English is a core subject across both KS3 and 4. Lessons are geared towards preparing them for their GCSE examinations, giving them accuracy, purpose, and creativity in written communication and analytical reading skills – both at close range and across a text in its entirety.
GCSE Examination Board:
English Language 8700
English Literature 8702
Suggested support at home
GCSE (9-1) Target Grade 5 English Reading 978 0 435183 196 (for sets 2-4)
GCSE (9-1) Target Grade 5 English Writing 978 0 435 183 23 3 (for sets 2-4)
GCSE (9-1) Target Grade 9 English Reading 978 0 43518321 9 (for set 1)
GCSE (9-1) Target Grade 9 English Writing 978 0 435 183 24 0 (for set 1)
Centre ID: CR9AL2
Content and Skills
Students are taught grammatical functions of language explicitly. These are mapped out across year groups and reinforced as new topics are encountered. Students’ experiences are geared towards the assessment objectives in the GCSE examination board’s specifications referenced here.
Exercise books are regularly marked to monitor progress. Teachers mark in red ink, correcting spelling, punctuation and grammatical features. Students are expected to address areas for development by responding to the teacher’s advice in writing. This may be with a commitment or a task to correct errors.
Students will undertake an end of unit assessment following a period of study on a specific topic. These may be graded or will have comments and targets written by the teacher.
There is a Jack Petchey ‘Speak Out’ Challenge which some students participate in to compete with other schools in debating.
Students are always encouraged to read for pleasure.
Students will have the opportunity to participate in the school production.
Greek Myths: students study Greek mythology to learn the conventions of a Greek myth, and apply their learning to create their own story.
The Novel – A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: students explore this conceptually complex but engaging text, examining character, theme and plot development across the novel.
Media and Non-fiction: students study contemporary media with a focus on newspapers, compare these with old newspaper articles on topics such as Jack the Ripper and women’s suffrage from the nineteenth century.
Apartheid Poetry: students explore the contextually rich and demanding poetry from this thematically challenging era.
Mystery Stories: Students explore the conventions of the mystery genre with a specific focus on nineteenth century texts and the author’s craft across a short story.
Creative writing: Students learn how to develop their creative writing skills, focusing on how to craft plot and manipulate language for their specific purposes.
Comparative WWI Poetry: students explore the context of WWI and compare early twentieth century poetry and their opinions on the Great War.
The Novel – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: students learn about the conventions of the dystopian genre and examine character, theme and plot development across the novel.
Creative Writing: building on their knowledge from their reading unit, students learn how to create a piece of action writing based around current dystopian teen fiction.
Literary non-fiction, persuasive writing and speaking: students learn how to manipulate their writing to persuade their reader and the formalities of a debate.
Gothic Fiction: students explore the conventions of the nineteenth century gothic genre, working towards applying this knowledge to creating their own gothic short story.
Shakespeare’s The Tempest: students examine the characters’ motives and the themes culminating in an essay analysing Prospero’s character.
Year 9 is a preparatory year for KS4 and provides students with the skills they will require for the course. Students in Year 10 & 11 follow a programme of study directly linked to their GCSE exams.
The exams are as follows:
Speaking and Listening Assessment (0% but must be graded distinction, merit or pass and appears on the GCSE certificate): students prepare a presentation on a topic of their choice to deliver for their Speaking and Listening qualification (awarded separately from the Language and Literature GCSE qualifications). This is recorded on video for the examination board.
English Language Paper 1 (50%) 1 hour 45 minutes
Section A: fiction reading comprehension
Section B: writing – descriptive or narrative
English Language Paper 2 (50%) 1 hour 45 minutes
Section A: non-fiction reading comprehension. Students study contemporary and classic non-fiction texts in order to develop their summarising skills, ability to select relevant information, linguistic analysis, and evaluation skills.
Section B: writing – promoting a point of view
English Literature Paper 1* (40%) 1 hour 45 minutes
Section A: Macbeth
Section B: The Sign of the Four / A Christmas Carol
English Literature Paper 2* (60%) 2 hours 15 minutes
Section A: Modern Texts – An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley: students explore the play learning about Priestley’s own political views and how this has affected his writing.
Section B: AQA Poetry Anthology Power and Conflict: a selection of fifteen poems written between 1789 and the present day which students will compare and contrast in the examination.
Section C: Unseen Poetry: students experience a wide range of poetry in order to develop their ability to closely analyse unseen poems. They analyse and compare key features such as their content, theme, structure and use of language.
*Please note that these are closed book examinations – students must learn quotations to support answers in examinations
Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Stories: In preparation for their GCSE text by the same author the students familiarise themselves with the detective genre.
Creative Writing: Students build on their skills from KS3 to prepare for Part B of Paper 1, learning how to write both descriptive and narrative pieces.
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: students examine the characters’ motives and the themes across the play, analysing who ultimately was to blame for the characters’ premature deaths.
Reading Skills: students prepare for Part A of both Paper 1 and Paper 2 by studying a range of fiction and non-fiction.
Preparation for Literature Paper 2 – An Inspector Calls.
Speaking and Listening Assessment for the English Language GCSE.
The Novel – The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle, or A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: students are introduced to one of these two challenging texts, exploring their conventions, contexts, and the authors’ ideas. This fulfils the requirement for English Literature Paper 1 Section B.
English Language Paper 1 B Skills for English Language Paper 1: students study classic texts from the dystopian genre including 1984, A Brave New World, and Oryx and Crake in order to understand how to deliver close linguistic and structural analysis, in addition to replicating these techniques in their own creative writing.
Shakespeare’s Macbeth: students examine the major themes across the play and the contextual backdrop of Jacobean England to assess how this may have influenced Shakespeare’s writing, and learn how to analyse Shakespearean English at a close range. This meets the need for English Literature Paper 1 Section A.
Students continue to study Macbeth. English Language Paper 2B.
Speaking and Listening Assessment for the English Language GCSE (see above).
An Inspector Calls. Students study the language, form and stylistic features, commenting on the influence of the social context (English Literature Paper 2 Section A).
Poetry Anthology Power and Conflict. Students study the Power and Conflict section of the AQA anthology, commenting on language, structure and form (English Literature Paper 2B).
Writing to present a point of view (English Language Paper 2B).
Speaking and Listening (see above).
Reading – non-fiction reading comprehension: four questions on inference and deduction; language features, structure and textual analysis (English Language Paper 2A).
Reading – fiction reading comprehension: four questions on inference and deduction; language features and textual analysis (English Language Paper 1A).
Preparation for mock exams in December: English Language Paper 2 (reading non fiction and writing a point of view) & English Literature Paper 1 (The Sign of the Four & Macbeth).
Anthology poetry analysis – students are issued the anthology to make notes on the poems but cannot use the booklets issued in the exam hall (English Literature Paper 2B).
Revision of The Sign of the Four / A Christmas Carol.
Revision of An Inspector Calls (English Literature Paper 2 Section A) and unseen poetry (English Literature Paper 2 Section C).