English

The English department are an enthusiastic and experienced team who make a strong contribution towards the academic success of the school and its extra-curricular life which includes public speaking, writing competitions and producing an online magazine.

Ensuring that pupils gain success in their GCSE course to enable them to access the post-16 pathways of their choice is the main priority of the department’s work, although we encourage our pupils to enjoy all aspects of English and are pleased that many continue to study English and English Literature in Years 12, 13 and beyond.

Pupils are set according to ability in Key Stage 4 with typically seven sets in Years 10 and 11. There are typically four one hour periods per week in Key Stage 4. In addition, pupils in need of additional support and exam preparation are withdrawn from other subjects for extra tuition when necessary.

At Key Stage Four students follow two courses: 

  • AQA GCSE English Literature
  • Eduqas GCSE English Language

Students will be taught the English Literature qualification in Year Nine and Year 10 (with elements of the English Language specification interwoven) and will sit their GCSE English Literature exam at the end of Year 10.

In Year 11, students will focus exclusively on the GCSE English Language exam which they will sit at the end of Year 11.

Both qualifications are assessed by 100% examination.

Year 10
Autumn One ‘Macbeth’ – studied in depth in its entirety along with transactional tasks for GCSE English Language.
Autumn Two

‘Macbeth’ – studied in depth in its entirety along with creative prose writing for GCSE English Language.

Spring One Revision of skills for GCSE English Literature exam focussing on: ‘Macbeth’, ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘Unseen Poetry’. Continuation of creative prose writing for GCSE English Language.
Spring Two Revision of skills for GCSE English Literature exam focussing on: ‘An Inspector Calls’ and poetry. 
Summer One Revision for GSCSE English Literature exam.
Summer Two Spoken Language presentation – assessed. Transactional writing including writing to persuade.
Year 11
Autum One Reading questions focused on 20th Century literature and creative prose writing.
Autumn Two Reading questions focused on 19th Century and 21st Century Non-fiction literature including comparative skills. 
Spring One Transactional writing including writing to persuade.
Spring Two Revision of key skills. 
Summer One Revision of key skills.
Summer Two Revision of key skills and final examination.
GCSE English Language

Students will be assessed through 100% examination which will take place at the end of Year 11. Throughout the course students will be assessed on ‘Assessment Objectives’, each of which assess the use of particular skills. 

The Assessment Objectives

Reading

AO1: The ability to identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas. The ability to select a synthesis information from a range of different texts.

AO2: Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their views.

AO3: Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts.

AO4: Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textural references.

Writing

AO5: Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register of different forms, purposes and audiences.
AO6: Candidates must use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation. 

Spoken Language

AO7: Demonstrate presentation skills in a formal setting.
AO8: Listen and respond appropriately to spoken language, including to questions and feedback to presentations.
AO9: Use spoken Standard English effectively in speeches and presentation.

Assessment Overview

The Reading and Writing Assessment Objectives each carry 50% weighting in the examinations. The Spoken Language Assessment Objectives are unweighted in the assessment of the GCSE English Language exam but are reported separately as a part of the qualification.
The content and examination is split into three components.

Component One – 20th Century Literature and Creative Prose.

Section A

  • Students must study a range of 20th Century literature prose and be able to answer a number of questions about a previously unseen text.

Section B

  • Students will study how to write description and narrative texts with creative and imaginative use of language and structure.

Assessment Overview

The Component One examination will be 1hour and 45 minutes in duration and is worth a total of 40% of the final mark. Each section is equally weighted and worth 40 marks each.

Section A  

  • Reading assessment focusing on Assessment Objectives 1, 2 and 4.
  • Students will need to read an unseen extract from a 20th Century text (between 60 and 100 lines) and answer questions linked to the specified Assessment Objectives.

Section B

  • Writing assessment focusing on Assessment Objectives 5 and 6.
  • Students will be offered four choices of titles and will be required to write to describe or narrate use language creatively and imaginatively.
Component Two – 19th and 21st Century Non-Fiction Reading and Transactional/Persuasive Writing.

Section A 

  • Students must read a range non-fiction texts from the 19th and 21st century. Non-fiction texts may include: letters, extracts from autobiographies or biographies, diaries, reports, articles and digital and multi-modal texts of various kinds from newspapers, magazines and the internet.

Section B

  • Students will study how to write a range of transaction, persuasive or discursive texts for a range of audiences and purposes. They will need to adapt their style accordingly to form and ‘real-life’ contexts. These texts may include: letters, articles, reviews and speeches.

Assessment Overview

The Component Two examination will be 2 hours in duration and is worth a total of 60% of the final mark. Each section is equally weighted and worth 40 marks each (in Section B that is 20 marks per task).

Section A

  • Reading assessment focusing on Assessment Objectives 1, 2, 3 and 4.
  • Students will be required to read two previously unseen texts, one from each century and will answer a range of questions linked to the specified Assessment Objectives.

Section B

  • Writing assessment focusing on Assessment Objectives 5 and 6.
  • Students will be asked to write texts in accordance to a specified task which will be transaction, persuasive or discursive in nature. They will need to adapt their language, form and structure in order to write for a specified audience and purpose.
Component Three - Spoken English

Spoken English will require students to prepare and present a formal presentation. They will also need to be able to pose and answer and range of questions about presentations. Aspects of spoken language should continue to be taught and utilised throughout the whole of the course. Component Three is worth a total of 40 marks and is an unweighted component in the GCSE English Language examination. The grade will be recorded on the certificate but will not contribute towards the final GCSE grade.

Assessment Overview

  • Spoken language assessment will focus on AO7, 8 and 9.
  • Students will be required to prepare and deliver a formal presentation.
  • Students be required to answer unknown questions about their presentation.
  • Students will be requires to pose questions to other about their presentations.

The teaching pattern for the GCSE English Language is detailed below (please note this will be taught alongside GCSE English Literature).

Year 10
Autumn One ‘Macbeth’ – studied in depth in its entirety along with transactional tasks for GCSE English Language.
Literature Assessment Objectives: AO1, AO2, AO3 and AO4 (Paper 1)
Language Assessment Objectives: AO5 and AO6
Autumn Two ‘Macbeth’ – studied in depth in its entirety along with creative prose writing for GCSE English Language.
Literature Assessment Objectives: AO1, AO2, AO3 and AO4 (Paper 1)
Language Assessment Objectives: AO5 and AO6
Spring One Revision of skills for GCSE English Literature exam focussing on: ‘Macbeth’, ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘Unseen Poetry’. Continuation of creative prose writing for GCSE English Language.
Literature Assessment Objectives: AO1, AO2, AO3 and AO4 (Paper 1)
Language Assessment Objectives: AO5 and AO6
Spring Two Revision of skills for GCSE English Literature exam focussing on: ‘An Inspector Calls’ and poetry. 
Literature Assessment Objectives: AO1, AO2, AO3 and AO4 (Paper 2)
Language Assessment Objectives: AO5 and AO6
Summer One Revision for GSCSE English Literature exam.
Literature Assessment Objectives: AO1, AO2, AO3 and AO4 (Paper 1 and 2)
Summer Two Spoken Language presentation.
Transactional writing including writing to persuade.
Language Assessment Objectives: Spoken – AO7, AO8 and AO9
Written - AO5 and AO6
Year 11 English Language
Autumn One Reading questions focused on 20th Century literature and creative prose writing.
Language Assessment Objectives: Reading – AO1, AO2 and AO4 (Paper 1A)
Written – AO5 and AO6 (Paper 1B)
Autumn Two Reading questions focused on 19th Century and 21st Century Non-fiction literature including comparative skills. 
Language Assessment Objectives: AO1, AO2, AO3 and AO4 (Paper 2)
Spring One Transactional writing including writing to persuade.
Written – AO5 and AO6 (Paper 1B)
Spring Two Revision of key skills. 
Summer One Revision of key skills. 
GCSE English Literature

Students will be assessed entirely through examinations which will take place at the end of Year 11. Throughout the course, students will be assessed on ‘Assessment Objectives’, each of which assess the use of particular skills. Each Assessment Objective will be weighted differently in the two different components of the course.

The Assessment Objectives

AO1: Read and respond to texts critically and imaginatively; select and evaluate relevant detail to illustrate and support interpretations. (35%)
AO2: Explain how language, structure and form to writers’ presentation of ideas, themes and settings. (35%)
AO3: Make comparisons and explain links between texts, evaluating writers’ different ways of expressing meaning and achieving effects. (15%)
AO4: Relate texts to their social, historical contexts; explain how texts have been influential and significant to self and other readers in different contexts and at different times.
The content and examination are separated into two papers.

  AO1 AO2 AO3 AO4
Paper  One 15% 15% 7.5% 1.5%
Paper Two 25% 25% 7.5% 1.5%
Paper One - Shakespeare and Poetry

Section A - Shakespeare

  • Students will study a Shakespeare text in its entirety and will be required to demonstrate their knowledge of Shakespeare’s use of language, structure, form, dramatic techniques, themes and characters. Students will study Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ for this. Students will be required to answer one question where they have to write in detail about a given extract and an essay covering the whole play.

Section B – 19th Century Novel

  • Students will one text, (‘A Christmas Carol’), in depth. They will be expected to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the context of the text, the writer’s use of language, structure and form as well as key themes, characters and ideas within the text. Students will be required to answer one question where they have to write in detail about a given extract and an essay covering the whole play.
  • Students will study all of the poems from the ‘Equqas Poetry Anthology’ in order to foster an understanding and appreciation of how poets from across the centuries have explored similar themes in different ways. They will be expected to know and understand the context of each poem, its content and key ideas and the poets’ use of language, structure and form.
Paper Two Modern Text and Poetry

Section A – Modern Text

  • Students will study one text, (‘An Inspector Calls’) in depth. They will need to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of key themes, characters and ideas within the text as well as commenting on the writer’s use of language, structure and form. They will answer one essay question.

Section B – Poetry Anthology

  • Students will study all of the poems from the ‘AQA Poetry Anthology’ in order to foster an understanding and appreciation of how poets from across the centuries have explored similar themes in different ways. They will be expected to know and understand the context of each poem, its content and key ideas and the poets’ use of language, structure and form. The will answer one question where they are required to write about one named poem and one other from the chosen anthology cluster.

Section C – Unseen Poetry

  • Students will need to study the skills needed to analyse poems which they have not seen before. They will need to be able to write about two unseen poems from the 20th and/or 21st centuries and compare them. They will answer one question about one unseen poem and then compare the poem with a second unseen poem.