In KS3 learners are offered a broad and balanced curriculum which encompasses a wide range of learning experiences, Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural issues and Writers’ with a foundation based on Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. Students will study works by historical and contemporary writers as part of their programmes of study.
Our Year 7 curriculum allows our learners to learn through creative texts through diverse themes from Dystopian fiction to Literary Heritage. In year 8, our learners will build upon these foundation skills and master them further through sustained investigations on themes ranging from Mystery to Horror through to Shakespeare. During year 9 we continue to develop communication, analytical and practical skills by introducing more challenging themes and texts that link directly to the new GCSE English Language and Literature Curriculum. All our KS3 lessons are designed to prepare students to a higher level and we mirror the content and structure of the GCSE. Throughout each unit of work, we set differentiated independent learning tasks that deepen understanding.
In KS4, all our students study two GCSEs: English Literature and English Language.
In preparation for their Literature examinations, students will study: either ‘Jane Eyre’, ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ or ‘The Sign of Four’. All classes will study ‘Lord of The Flies.’ Their Shakespeare text will be ‘Much ado about Nothing’. There is a requirement to study poetry and our students will be looking at the AQA Poetry Anthology. The aim is for students to have a secure and in-depth knowledge of the key texts and be able to respond to a question linked by character or theme.
To prepare students for their English Language exam, there are two papers: Paper One has a fictional source in which they will answer questions and Paper Two is a non-fiction paper with sources from different time periods. There are a series of stimulating questions for the students to respond to where both reading and writing skills are challenged.
For English Language there is also a non-examined speaking and listening task that aims to develop effective communication skills. Students are supported throughout the course by their teachers and are monitored by post-holders in the Department. Revision and intervention classes are run at certain points throughout the year to support students in their learning and their preparation for the examinations in these important qualifications. Please see below the Assessment requirements for both the English Language and English Literature examinations, which will take place for our year 11’s in May/June 2019.
The cohort of Year 12s have completed their initial first year of studying English Literature. They have read poetry by Rossetti, Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ and Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’. They are also looking at the Orwell classic ‘1984’ and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. The students have benefitted from small class sizes and relished the stimulating texts and the thought provoking discussions that arise. A Level Literature has been a resounding success with several of the cohort considering the subject at degree level.
The English Department has had an eventful year leading to some exceptional accomplishments by our students.
Building on the new reformed GCSE’s our current Year 10 move into Year 11 with a focus and determination to be successful. Throughout the past year our Year 10’s have enjoyed the variety of literary texts ranging from: Poetry, Jekyll & Hyde, Jane Eyre, Sign of Four, Lord of The Flies and Much Ado about Nothing that have allowed our students to look at various issues that are still prevalent within society today. Year 9 moving into KS4 will be studying a range of different texts, including Shakespeare’s ‘Much ado about Nothing’, A nineteenth century text and Lord of the Flies. Year 9 have been fortunate to visit stage productions of ‘Much Ado’ at Shakespeare’s famous Globe Theatre in preparation of their key GCSE text. We have also been fortunate to be able to visit London where we watched an exceptional production of ‘Lord of the Flies’. It was enjoyed by all!
Key Stage 3 (Years 7 & 8) students will also come across an increased variety of literary and non- literary texts. Reading will have a continued high profile within school with Years 7 and 8 where there is personal reading starting every lesson. This is an opportunity for your son/daughter to develop their own preferred reading tastes. One afternoon registration each week will also be devoted to reading for pleasure when the whole school will stop to read. Additionally, the students will have a library lesson once a fortnight to enable them to read quietly and gain marks/scores towards a prize at the end of the year. Year 9 students will have a reading lesson once a week with tasks linked to a challenging class read.
Support for your learning
- Encourage students to read a range of fiction – using both the school and local libraries.
- Encourage students to read a range of non-fiction texts (free online broadsheet newspapers, magazines, internet articles, newsletters, reviews, reports, letters (formal and informal), leaflets and apps, e.g. The Guardian) to ensure students are familiar with a range of writing styles and expanding their vocabulary.
- Check students are completing homework for English each week; students can always correct and redraft work independently to make sure they are improving constantly. Reading through and discussing homework is very useful.
- Encourage students to look up new vocabulary and check spellings using a dictionary and a thesaurus.
- Encourage students to use formal spoken language or Standard English in a range of contexts as speaking and listening skills are still tested.
- Students can use CGP guides which include activities to improve punctuation, paragraphing and sentence variation.
Resource/text books available for AQA English Language 9-1:
- New GCSE English Language AQA Revision Guide – for the Grade 9-1 Course Paperback – 4 Aug 2015 by CGP Books
- New GCSE English Language AQA Workbook – for the Grade 9-1 Course (includes Answers) Paperback – 10 Aug 2015 by CGP Books (Author, Editor)
- AQA GCSE English Language: Student Book 2: Assessment preparation for Paper 1 and Paper 2 Paperback – 12 Mar 2015 by Jane Branson and Peter Ellison
- Encourage students to read the set novels or plays at least twice in their own time.
- Encourage students to watch different versions of the texts they have studied.
- Encourage students to read a range of poetry.
- Encourage students to read beyond set texts and develop opinions about writers’ stylistic choices, e.g. how they structure novels, plays and poetry.
- Check homework diaries on a regular basis to ensure students are completing homework on a regular basis.
- Use www.bbc.bitesize.co.uk to revise characters, themes and relevant context.
- Use www.aqa.co.uk website to gain access to past papers.
- Revision guides: Students should ask teachers for recommendations of revision guides for their particular texts; there are York Notes (pictured below), CGP guides, Letts guides and Philip Allan guides.
- Students can and should independently create revision guides to memorise key quotes using cue cards, sugar paper, post-its, etc.
Resource/text books available on Amazon AQA English Literature 9-1: (Ensure that you know which text your child is studying)
- New GCSE English Literature AQA Poetry Guide: Love & Relationships/Power and conflict Anthology – the Grade 9-1 Course Paperback – 12 Aug 2015 by CGP Books (Author, Editor)
- Lord of the Flies: York Notes for GCSE Workbook: Grades 9-1 Paperback – 4 Aug 2015 by Ms Clare Constant (Author)
- Much Ado about Nothing: York Notes for GCSE Workbook: Grades 9-1 Paperback – 4 Aug 2015 by Mike Gould (Author
- Much Ado about Nothing: York Notes for GCSE (Grades A*-G) 2010 Paperback – 2 Jul 2010 by James Sale (Author)
- Jekyll & Hyde: York Notes for GCSE 2015 Paperback – 4 Aug 2015 by Lucy English (Author)
- Jekyll and Hyde: York Notes for GCSE (9-1) Workbook: YNA5 GCSE a Christmas Carol 2016 Paperback – 30 Mar 2016 by Ms Beth Kemp (Author)
- Jane Eyre – York notes
- Sign of Four – CGP work book and revision guide.