Across both key stages the department aims to immerse students in a range of literature and foster enthusiasm for reading and writing. This continues outside of the classroom with a creative writing group which meets at lunchtime, young journalists who produce the school newsletter and running competitions open to students of all abilities and interests.
KEY STAGE 3
KS3 lasts two years with mixed ability teaching in Y7 and ability grouping in Y8. The teaching of both year groups includes the reading of a range of literature texts including Shakespeare’s plays, the work of Dickens and poems from different cultures. There are two formal assessments each term (one each of reading and writing) but all skills are given full consideration in order to ensure students are confident and competent when entering KS4. In correlation with this, all KS3 marks are awarded according to GCSE assessment criteria to ensure familiarity and confidence in understanding current levels of achievement and how to make progress.
KEY STAGE 4
Students complete a cross-over unit of work on ‘Of Mice and Men’ before commencing the GCSE English Literature course. They continue to be taught in ability sets. Students study separate GCSEs in English Language and English Literature, following the AQA specifications. GCSE English Literature is a demanding course with students exposed to a range of literature from the 19th-21st century. We continue with the genres and writers introduced in Key Stage 3: Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol or Great Expectations in addition to a modern text (e.g. Blood Brothers, Lord of the Flies) and the exam board’s Anthology of Poems.
Students complete their GCSE studies with English Language. This involves the analysis of a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, from the 19th-21st centuries and honing their writing skills with a focus on descriptive and narrative styles required for paper one and personal writing (argue/persuade) assessed on paper 2.
Y7: 4 hours
Y8/Y9: 3 hours
Y10/11: 4 hours
ENGLISH LITERATURE (currently examined in Y10)
Paper 1: 1.75 hours (Shakespeare and the 19th-century Novel)
Paper 2: 2.25 hours (Modern Texts and poetry)
ENGLISH LANGUAGE (examined in Y11)
Paper 1: 1.75 hours (Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing)
Paper 2: 1.75 hours (Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives)
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT: Mrs. L. Loring