English is a core subject in the National Curriculum and must be studied by pupils in all years.
The National Curriculum states that “English should develop every pupils’ abilities to communicate effectively in speech and writing and to listen with understanding. It should also enable them to be enthusiastic, responsive and knowledgeable readers”.
English aims to improve all aspects of communication: to help young people to become fluent readers, writer and speakers; to provide them with the skills to cope with other subjects in school and with adult life; to enjoy books and drama and understand the media.
Key Stage Three
During Key Stage Three, we cover the National Curriculum Attainment Targets: Speaking and Listening, Reading (which includes reading for meaning and literature) and Writing (which includes spelling and handwriting), through the objectives of the National Framework for Literacy.
Over the course of the year pupils will be taught to develop their skills in the following:-
§ Reading: (from the following texts)
o Prose: Holes, Ruby Holler, Private Peaceful, The Other Side of Truth, Huckleberry Finn, Buddy, Across the Barricades, To Kill a Mockingbird, Animal Farm
o Poetry A selection of Pre and Post 1914 poetry including those from the English National Heritage
o Drama: The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
o Media Advertising, Newspapers, the Moving Image
o Non-Fiction: Travel writing, journals, autobiography, biography, information texts
§ Independent Reading:
In addition to fulfilling the National Curriculum and Framework requirements, all pupils throughout KS3 are required to bring a fiction book of their own personal choice to all English lessons. All lessons will start with a short reading session to encourage pupils to read as much as possible.
Mrs Sandham, the school librarian, introduces all of the pupils to the library, giving lessons on fiction and non-fiction to Years 7 and 8.
All pupils are taught the conventions of the following writing triplets in order to identify them in texts and to adopt those particular styles themselves in their own writing:
o to imagine, explore, entertain
o to inform, explain, describe
o to analyse, review, comment
o to persuade, argue, advise
§ Speaking and Listening:
o Describing, narrating, explaining, arguing, persuading, entertaining.
o Paired discussion, group work, reporting back, formal and informal language, presentations, reading aloud etc.
§ Theatre Visits:
Each year group will be given the opportunity to see a performance at a theatre at least once a year.
Key Stage Four
Examination Board: AQA
What will you do?
The English department believes that it is essential to keep both subjects in the core so that pupils have maximum certification in this important subject area as well as a sound understanding of our heritage of language and literature.
When you study English you will:
develop your understanding of the spoken word and acquire the ability to express yourself effectively in a variety of speaking and listening situations.
develop your ability to read, understand and respond to a range of writing, and develop new methods to improve your reading skills.
be taught to construct and convey what you wish to write using correct grammar and standard English.
When you study English Literature you will:
be given the chance to explore your literary interests and you will be helped to develop your ability to read efficiently and effectively. You will come to understand and respond to many types of fiction text - prose, poetry and drama - and to appreciate the ways in which writers achieve their effects.
learn to place your reading into a personal and social context which will make the texts more alive and relevant to you.
be helped to convey your personal response to the texts you read through speaking and writing successfully about them.
How will you do it ?
A range of writing is studied for the English qualification including media, non-fiction, other cultures, prose, poetry and drama. A Shakespearean play, a major pre-1914 writer and a major post 1914 writer will also be studied.
Reading and writing coursework is worth 20%
Speaking & Listening is worth 20%
The exams are worth 60%
GCSE English Literature
For the Literature qualification, pre and post 1914 texts are studied in Drama, Prose, Literacy, Non-Fiction and Poetry.
Written coursework is worth 30%
The exam is worth 70%.
GCSE English and English Literature
Pupils will be entered for either Higher Tier Grades A - D or Foundation Tier Grades C - G and this will depend upon individual pupil progress, not upon group settings. Some coursework is assessed for both English and English Literature.
Examinations take place in January and May/June and it is possible to take some modules, i.e. Drama in Year 10 or Year 11.
AQA English and English Literature Specification A
You will receive two GCSEs – on in English and one in English Literature
Texts that you will study both for GCSE English and English Literature:
§ One post-1914 prose text
§ One pre-1914 prose text
§ One pre-1914 drama text
§ One post -914 drama text
§ A variety of non-fiction/media texts and moving images
§ A selection of poetry and all short stories from the AQA Anthology
o Section 1 Cluster 1 and/or 2
o Section 2 – Poets Heaney/Clarke or Armitage/Duffy
o One post 1914 prose text
§ You will produce
o 5 pieces of written coursework
o 3 Speaking and Listening activities
Coursework = 40%
Speaking and Listening (En 1) (20%)
3 assessed activities
Written assignments (20%)
Shakespeare (En 2 – Reading)* (5%)
Prose study pre-1914 text (En 2 – Reading)* (5%)
Media (En 3 – Writing to analyse, review, comment) (5%)
Original writing (En 3 - Writing to imagine, explore, entertain) (5%)
*Indicates a ‘cross-over’ piece, which will be marked for both GCSE English and GCSE English Literature
Examination = 60%
Paper 1 (30%)
1¾ hour written paper
Section A (15%)
Reading response to media and non-fiction texts
Section B (15%)
One question to be answered from a choice of questions to test your ability to argue, persuade, advise
Paper 2 = 30%
1½ hour written paper
Section A (15%)
Reading response to poetry from different cultures and Traditions in the AQA Anthology
Section B (15%)
One question to be answered from a choice of questions to test your ability to write to inform, explain, describe
English Literature GCSE
Coursework = 30%
Pre-1914 drama text – play by Shakespeare* (10%)
Pre-1914 prose text* (10%)
Post-1914 drama text (10%)
Examination = 70%
1¾ hour written paper
Section A (35%)
One question to be answered from a choice of questions based on the post-1914 prose
Section B (35%)
One question to be answered from a choice of questions based on pre and post-1914 poetry from the AQA Anthology
Homework assignments can include a task to be completed on the evening it is set, or part of a longer assignment where the work will be undertaken over a period of time. The work will embrace some or all of the following: reading; writing in a variety of forms, including articles, descriptive and imaginative pieces; researching; writing notes; written tasks both critical and imaginative based on study of literature texts, poetry, prose and drama.
Parents can support their children’s studies:
§ by encouraging and sharing in their child's reading.
§ by taking an interest in homework assignments and encouraging their son or daughter to take a pride in written work.
§ by encouraging their son or daughter to take a lively interest in our language, in order to become an effective and thoughtful speaker and listener.
It will certainly enhance pupils’ progress in Literature if parents read the texts with them and discuss the issues raised by such readings.
For further information contact Mrs G. O'Connor, Head of Department