The English department aims to build on the reading, writing and the speaking and listening skills learned at primary school. This gives students a firm foundation for success in their GCSE examinations at the end of year 11.
Key Stage 3
In each of the years 7, 8 and 9 the curriculum covers a novel, a play, poetry, writing skills and a genre of literature.
In Year 7 the students begin by revisiting the rules of good writing through the creation of an imaginary island, following which they study the gothic horror genre. In addition they read and study a modern horror text and a short classic play. In the final term they will focus on learning the literary features in poetry, concluding the year with a creative writing project.
In Year 8, students are reminded of effective writing skills in a short scheme of work about superheroes. They then study Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Dickens: his Works, Life and Times, followed by one of his novels. A modern literary text will also be studied. The poetry focus for this year is the analysis of poetic forms and styles. The final area of study is the science fiction genre.
In year 9, students again revisit writing skills, focussing on different writing genres, particularly non-fiction. In this year, they also study autobiography and travel writing. The texts read this year include Of Mice and Men, Shakespeare’s Macbeth and a range of poetry from other cultures.
The English Department encourages KS3 students to take part in a range of initiatives, including theatre visits and trips, the Readathon sponsored read, National Poetry Day, National Book Day and various literary competitions.
Key Stage 4
Year 10 students follow the Edexcel GCSE English Language (9-1) (1ENO) and English Literature (9 -1 ) (1ETO) courses. The two courses will be studied in parallel over the 5 lessons every week.
In English Language, students study 19th Century fiction, 20th Century and 21st Century non-fiction, imaginative writing and transactional writing.
In English Literature, students study a Shakespeare play, post -1914 literature (a play), a 19th Century novel and a wide range of poetry. Students take 4 exams in the summer term of Year 11. There is no coursework element; assessment is 100% final exam.
A separate grade will be given to students for Speaking and Listening attainment.
The current Year 11 (2015/2016) will be the last year to be entered for AQA GCSE either English Language (4705) and Literature (9715) or English (4700). Both courses comprise 60% final exam and 40% controlled assessments, which are completed in school under exam conditions.
The English Language (4705) students will study for four controlled assessments. Two are creative writing pieces, the third is a spoken language study and the final piece is a critical analysis of a literary text.
The students taking English (4700) will complete five controlled assessments. These comprise two creative writing pieces, and three essays on a Shakespeare play, a range of poetry and a modern literary text (Of Mice and Men).
The exam for all students at the end of the course will assess their reading comprehension and writing skills.
All students will be given a separate grade for Speaking and Listening, which is assessed by the teacher.