“The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr Seuss
Our aim is for our students to be literary explorers. On their curriculum journey from Year 7, staff support students to discover their ability to read critically, think deeply, debate passionately, write imaginatively and perform confidently. Students will foster a life-long love of reading, writing, performance and debate as they navigate through literary worlds: questioning, creating and empathising along the way.
Key Stage 3:
At Key Stage 3, students will be exposed to a range of literary and non-literary texts across a wide range of genres, forms and contexts. We recognise the importance of oracy in the modern world and ensure students are exposed to opportunities to develop their public speaking, discussion and debating skills.
Key Stage 4:
All students will follow two distinct GCSE courses; English Language and English Literature. Whilst GCSE English Language enables students to develop the skills they need to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts and write clearly, GCSE English Literature aims to expose students to a range of different texts, including studying a Victorian novel as well as reading a full Shakespeare play.
Key Stage 5:
We have a wide range of expertise within the department and therefore we are able to offer A level Drama & Theatre Studies, A level English Language and A level English Literature as post-16 choices.
Key Stage 3
Students partake in a range of different activities throughout the year designed to improve their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. At the end of each half-term they will complete a formally assessed piece of work. The outcome of this assessment will contribute to a building picture of the strengths and areas for development for individual pupils.
Students partake in a range of different activities throughout the year designed to build on their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. They will cover a variety of topics across the year and at the end of each half-term they will complete a formally assessed piece of work. The outcome of this assessment will contribute to a building picture of the strengths and areas for development for individual pupils.
Students partake in a range of different activities throughout the year designed to build on their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. They will cover a variety of topics across the year and at the end of each half-term they will complete a formally assessed piece of work. The outcome of this assessment will contribute to a building picture of the strengths and areas for development for individual pupils. All topics and skills covered during the year are also designed to be a firm foundation for the new, challenging AQA GCSE English Language & English Literature course which they will begin in Y10.
Key Stage 4
GCSE English Language:
Students will draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus and engage with creative as well as real and relevant contexts. Throughout the course they will:
• read fluently, and with good understanding, a wide range of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including literature and literary non-fiction as well as other writing such as reviews and journalism
• read and evaluate texts critically and make comparisons between texts
• summarise and synthesise information or ideas from texts
• use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
• write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
• use grammar correctly and punctuate and spell accurately
• acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
• listen to and understand spoken language and use spoken Standard English effectively.
They will be assessed by two external examinations as well as one internally assessed Spoken Language Endorsement. This will involve them delivering a short talk in front of their peers and will be completed in Year 10.
GCSE English Literature:
In studying a range of set texts as part of the course students will be able to demonstrate the following skills:
• understanding a word, phrase or sentence in context; exploring aspects of plot, characterisation, events and settings; distinguishing between what is stated explicitly and what is implied; explaining motivation, sequence of events, and the relationship between actions or events
• identifying the themes; supporting a point of view by referring to evidence in the text; recognising the possibility of and evaluating different responses to a text; using understanding of writers’ social, historical and cultural contexts to inform evaluation; making an informed personal response that derives from analysis and evaluation of the text
• analysing and evaluating how language, structure, form and presentation contribute to quality and impact; using linguistic and literary terminology for such evaluation
• comparing and contrasting texts studied, referring where relevant to theme, characterisation, context, style and literary quality; comparing two texts critically with respect to the above
• writing effectively about literature for a range of purposes such as: to describe, explain, summarise, argue, analyse and evaluate; discussing and maintaining a point of view; selecting and emphasising key points; using relevant quotation and using detailed textual references
• use accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar
Key Stage 5
A-level English Literature (AQA Specification B):
This A-level English Literature specification focuses on exploring critical theory through genre. The course is split into two sections and taught by two different teachers: five lessons a fortnight are focus on the comparative development of Tragedy as a distinct genre and four lesson a fortnight focus on the comparative development of Social and Political Protest writing as a distinct genre. At the heart of the curriculum is an introduction to critical theory including: Narrative Theory approaches, Marxist approaches, Feminist approaches, Ecocritical approaches, Post-Colonial approaches, and Literary Value approaches. Students become equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful on the course, but also experience a rich, challenging and coherent approach to English Literature that provides an excellent basis for studying a variety of arts and humanities subjects at university.
Paper 1- Literary Genres: Drama (Tragedy):
In preparation for this paper we will study:
‘Death of a Salesman’- Arthur Miller
A collection of poetry by John Keats
Shakespeare’s Sonnets (NEA)
Paper 2: Texts and Genres (Elements of Social & Protest Writing):
In preparation for this paper we will study:
‘A Doll’s House’ by Henrik Ibsen
A selection of poetry by William Blake
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Unseen Passages- Elements of Social & Protest Writing
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (NEA)
AQA A level English Language:
The course offers opportunities for students to develop their subject expertise by engaging creatively and critically with a wide range of texts and discourses. Students will create texts and reflect critically on their own processes of production, while analysing the texts produced by others.
Language, the individual and society (Paper 1)
Students are introduced to language study, exploring textual variety and children’s language development. Students will use methods of language analysis to explore concepts of audience, purpose, genre, mode and representation. Students will also explore how children learn language and how they are able to understand and express themselves through language.
Language diversity and change (Paper 2)
Students will study the key concepts of audience, purpose, genre and mode and will explore language in its wider social, geographical and temporal contexts. They will explore processes of language change. This part of the subject content also requires students to study social attitudes to, and debates about, language diversity and change.
Language in action (Coursework)
The aim of this area of study is to allow students to explore and analyse language data independently and develop and reflect upon their own writing expertise. It requires students to carry out two different kinds of individual research:
• a language investigation (2,000 words excluding data)
• a piece of original writing and commentary (750 words each).
Students can choose to pursue a study of spoken, written or multimodal data, or a mixture of text types, demonstrating knowledge in areas of individual interest.
Students will complete an assessment every half-term in Key Stage 3 and this will take different forms.
In Year 11, students will take the 4 external examinations detailed below to complete their GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature courses.
GCSE English Language Examinations:
GCSE English Language Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading & Writing
(1 hour 45 minutes)
GCSE English Language Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives
(1 hour 45 minutes)
GCSE English Literature Examinations:
GCSE English Literature Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel
Texts: ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare and ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.
(1 hour 45 minutes)
GCSE English Literature Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry
Texts: ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestley, ‘Love and Relationships’ poetry from the AQA anthology
(2 hours 15 minutes)
A level English Literature Examinations:
Paper 1- Literary Genres: Drama (Tragedy)
Examination: Written examination of 2 hour 30 minutes which is closed book.
Section A: One essay evaluating the conventions of tragedy in ‘Othello’ with a passage (25 marks)
Section B: One essay evaluating the conventions of tragedy in ‘Othello’ without a passage (25 marks)
Section C: One essay comparing how tragedy is presented in ‘Death of a Salesman’ and the poetry of John Keats (25 marks)
Paper 2: Texts and Genres (Elements of Social & Protest Writing
Examination: Written examination of 3 hours, which is open book.
Section A: One essay evaluating the conventions of protest in an unseen passage (25 marks)
Section B: One essay evaluating the conventions of protest in a single course text (25 marks)
Section C: One essay comparing the conventions of protest in two other course texts (25 marks)
Non Examined Assessments (NEA)
Students write two independent essays of 1250-1500 words each and submitted in Year 13. We apply a critical lens to support the evaluation of specifically chosen texts. We study Shakespeare’s Sonnets through the lenses of Marxism and Canon Theory. We study The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath through the lens of Feminism. This analysis and evaluation is supported by our exploration of Narrative Theory.
A level English Language Examinations:
Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society (2 hours 30 minutes)
Section A: Textual Variations and Representations
Section B: Children’s Language Development
Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change (2 hours 30 minutes)
Section A: Diversity and Change
Section B: Language Discourses
AQA: GCSE English Language
AQA: GCSE English Literature
AQA B: A level English Literature
AQA: A level English Language
Skills developed in English that support career pathways:
*Communication – the heart of all relationships and business
*Clear, persuasive and interesting expression
*Generating creative ideas and arguments
*Gathering, investigating and assessing information
*Drawing conclusions from research
*Logical and analytical thinking
*Creative and lateral thinking
Potential career pathways opened up through studying English:
* Authorship & journalism
* Online content creation
* Advertising, marketing, public relations
* Games Design
* Media: Film and TV
Mrs A. Lawson (Head of Department)
Mrs K. Burns (2nd in Department)
Mrs L. McCarthy (Curriculum & Resources Co-Ordinator)
Mr M. Allenby (Assistant Head)
Mrs C. Newton
Ms S. Graham
Mrs H. Fentum
Miss L. Rigg
Mrs R. Bush
Mr J. Towers
Mrs S. Price
Mr C. Burns
Mr H. Dunford
Mrs S. Sloggett