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English

In English, we empower our students by the literacy skills they have developed and honed in their English lessons to ensure they leave school being able to communicate effectively, to have developed their own voice and able to pursue their chosen endeavours and thrive in the real world and the world of work. 

We take pride in promoting a love of Literature and encouraging students to relish the infinite complexity of language.  Students develop their reading so that they are able to read for pleasure, for understanding, for retrieval and for writing.  We strive to enrich the students’ cultural capital, to encourage and develop empathy and nurture deep thinking in an environment where respect and tolerance for self and others is embedded and students are not afraid to ask questions.  We strive to help pupils to develop an understanding of their role, place and relevance in the wider world.

It is our intention that students develop the core skills of forming and communicating ideas and opinions effectively; reading with insight and perception; understand the nuances and layers of meaning in language; respond to texts empathetically, considering a range of ideas and perspectives, and writing with fluency and accuracy.  This is achieved through a broad and balanced curriculum. Our curriculum is underpinned by the following core concepts:

The Core Concepts 

  • The development of critical understanding to enable students to make critical responses to both fiction and non-fiction texts and knowledge. 
  • To develop understanding of different perspectives and explore what influences a text.
  • This empowers students’ written communication of creative fiction and the written communication of their point of view using technical accuracy and verbal communication to ensure clarity.

Key stage 3

Year 7: Creativity & Identity

Literacy: Fiction

  • How do I use figurative imagery to create setting, plot & character?
  • How do I begin to vary sentence structure in my writing?

Modern Novel: ‘Refugee’ by Alan Gratz

  • How do I use figurative imagery to write empathetically?
  • How do I begin to vary sentence structure in my writing?
  • To what extent is a text an expression of a writer’s identity? Do readers like characters who are thinly veiled versions of themselves?
  • How do I develop my comprehension skills using inference and textual evidence?

Myths & Legends

  • How do I use context to understand a piece of writing?
  • Why do writers write? Why do artists create? How do writers make creative choices to construct meaning?

Literacy: Non-Fiction

  • How do I use rhetoric & Repetition to write persuasively?
  • How do I begin to vary sentence structure in my writing?
  • How do I talk in purposeful and imaginative ways to explore ideas and feelings, adapting and varying structure and vocabulary according to purpose, listeners, and content?

Shakespeare: ‘Macbeth’

  • How do I develop my comprehension skills using inference and textual evidence?
  • How do I make critical connections within a single text?
  • How do I use context to understand a piece of writing?
  • Why do writers write? Why do artists create? How do writers make creative choices to construct meaning?

Year 8: Communication

Literacy: Fiction

  • How do I develop my use of figurative methods and use dialogue & voice to create action?

Modern Play: ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’ by Simon Stephens

  • How do I make my critical responses more meaningful?
  • How do I develop my understanding of author's message and themes?
  • How do I create and sustain different roles and scenarios, adapting techniques in a range of dramatic activities to explore texts, ideas and issues?

Conflict Poetry

  • How do I make critical connections across one or more texts?
  • How do I develop my understanding of author's message and themes?
  • How do writers ‘speak’ to readers through texts?

Literacy: Non-Fiction

  • How do I develop my use of rhetoric write persuasively and create tone?
  • How do I use deliberate lexical choices and punctuation to improve my writing?
  • How do I create and sustain different roles and scenarios, adapting techniques in a range of dramatic activities to explore texts, ideas and issues?

Speech Writing

  • How do I develop my use of rhetoric write persuasively and create tone?
  • How do I use deliberate lexical choices and punctuation to improve my writing?

Classic Novel: ‘The Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding

  • How do I make my critical responses more meaningful?
  • How do I develop my understanding of author's message and themes?
  • To what extent is a text a vehicle for communicating a writer’s  message?

Year 9: Culture & Perspective

Literacy: Fiction

  • How do I use patterns in imagery & figurative methods for specific effect?
  • How do I listen and respond to others, including in pairs and groups, shaping meanings through suggestions, comments and questions?
  • How can a character give us a window into a world?

Modern Novel: Novel to be confirmed

  • How do I develop my critical responses by using embedding quotations
  • To what extent is a text a product of culture or tradition?
  • How do texts and literary works express the values and beliefs of a society
  • How can a character give us a window into a world?

Literacy: Non-Fiction

  • How do I organise my writing most effectively?
  • How do texts offer readers new perspectives on life?
  • How do I use discourse markers & parenthesis to improve my writing?
  • How do I listen and respond to others, including in pairs and groups, shaping meanings through suggestions, comments and questions?

Topic

  • How do I synthesise across a range of texts?
  • How do I evaluate a text, its methods and different audience responses?
  • How do I organise my writing most effectively?
  • How do I use discourse markers & parenthesis to improve my writing?

Detective Fiction

  • How do I use patterns in imagery & figurative methods for specific effect?
  • How do texts and literary works express the values and beliefs of a society

Shakespeare: ‘Romeo & Juliet’

  • How do I use patterns in imagery & figurative methods for specific effect?
  • How do I evaluate a text, its methods and different audience responses?
  • How can a character give us a window into a world?

Key stage 4

All students will follow the AQA English Language GCSE and the AQA English Literature GCSE and will subsequently obtain two GCSE qualifications graded 9-1.

AQA GCSE English Language:  

  1. Explorations in creative reading and writing
  2. Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives
  3. Non-exam assessment

For the award of the GCSE in English Language students must offer all three assessments.

Assessments

All texts in the examination will be unseen.


Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

  • Section A: Reading one literature fiction text
  • Section B: Writing descriptive or narrative writing

Assessed via a written exam: 1 hour 45 minute 80 marks 50% of GCSE

Paper 2: Reading questions – one single text

  • 1 short form question (1 x 4 marks)
  • 2 longer form questions (2 x 8 marks)
  • 1 extended question (1 x 20 marks)

Total 40 marks 25% of GCSE

Paper 3: Extended writing question

Total 40 marks (24 marks for content, 16 marks for technical accuracy) 25% of GCSE  

AQA GCSE English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel

  • Shakespeare plays
  • The 19th-century novel

Assessed via written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes  64 marks  40% of GCSE

Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry

  • Modern prose or drama texts
  • The poetry anthology
  • Unseen poetry

Assessed via written exam: 2 hour 15 minutes  96 marks  60% of GCSE

Key stage 5

Key Stage 5

Content Overview

Component 01

 • Shakespeare

• Drama and poetry pre-1900

Component 02

 • Close reading in chosen topic area

• Comparative and contextual study from chosen topic area

Component 03

• Close reading OR re-creative writing piece with commentary.

• Comparative essay*

Assessment Overview

  1. Drama and poetry pre-1900 (01): Written paper 60 marks Closed text 2 hours 30 minutes 40% of total A level
  2. Comparative and contextual study (02): Written paper 60 marks Closed text 2 hours 30 minutes 40% of total A level
  3. Literature post-1900 (03): 40 marks Non‑exam assessment 20% of total A level