English

Year 7

The work undertaken in Year 7 covers aspects of the programme of study in the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3

Speaking and Listening: Informal discussion and formal presentations of topics encourage personal confidence in speaking. The task may involve the use of a video recorder in order to gain confidence prior to GCSE assessment. Pupils will undertake a wide range of activities encouraging them to communicate clearly, structure and organise their talk and adapt it to different situations.

Reading: Texts range from modern popular works to selections from the ‘English Literary Heritage’. Reading is often teacher-led for the more difficult texts, but may be group work, or individual reading set for homework. Written tasks based on texts range from simple critical assignments to imaginative and creative responses. The ability to read fluently and with understanding is fostered.

Writing: Confident and accurate writing in a wide variety of styles and genres is encouraged. Emphasis is placed on the achievement of technical accuracy in presentation, particularly the construction of sentences and punctuation of sentences. Spelling strategies are suggested to suit individual needs and a personal spelling record is encouraged. Pupils learn to adapt their writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences.

Library and Information Technology: Students are encouraged to make full use of the library to choose fiction and to become familiar with the resources available for research. Students are encouraged to make appropriate use of I.C.T. skills for various assignments. 

Year 8

The work undertaken in Year 8 builds on the foundations laid in Year 7 and continues to cover aspects of the requirements of the programme of study in the National Curriculum for English at Key Stage 3. These are based on activities for the three attainment target areas of:

Speaking and Listening: Pupils will undertake oral activities appropriate to their needs. A wide variety of tasks will be set ranging from formal prepared presentation to unscripted drama.

Reading: The department also stresses the value of studying complete works of literature from Shakespeare and pre-1900 to contemporary texts. Reading and understanding is supported in class through traditional comprehension work and formal essay writing. Pupils are given encouragement and guidance on their wider reading. 

Writing: The department aims to provide pupils with the opportunity to use newly acquired skills along with those already achieved in Year 7. Learning will be reinforced by targeting the needs of pupils using material that is appropriate for them.

Library and Information technology: The school library and I.T. facilities are available and pupils are urged to take full advantage of these to facilitate learning and to extend their skills in these areas.

Extra-Curricular Activities: Such activities are a regular feature in English and again all pupils are encouraged to make full use of the opportunities available to them. Write-ups regarding previous trips feature on the website. 

Year 9

The work undertaken in Year 9 builds on the foundations laid in Years 7 and 8 and prepares pupils for the GCSE course begun in Year 10. It covers aspects of the programme of study in the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3.

English Language

Speaking and Listening: Students will undertake a wide range of oral activities encouraging them to communicate clearly, structure and organise their talk and adapt it to different situations. Participation in informal discussion and formal debates gives personal confidence in speaking and prepares pupils for the oral component at GCSE.

Reading: We aim to develop the ability to read accurately, fluently and with understanding and to analyse and evaluate a wide range of texts including moving images and film, non-fiction and media texts and literature from the English Literary Heritage and from other cultures. Students are given encouragement and guidance on their wider reading.

Writing: Confident and accurate writing in a wide variety of styles and genres is fostered. It is important that pupils learn to communicate clearly, adapting their writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences. Students are encouraged to use accurate spelling and punctuation and to present work neatly and clearly.

Years 10 and 11

English LANGUAGE GCSE Syllabus Content

Students will study two main units.  Both of these are examination units which will be undertaken at the end of the course in Year 11.  Each of these units are worth 50% of the candidate’s mark.  There is also included a ‘Non exam/assessment’ unit comprising of Speaking and Listening.  The format of this unit is still under review by the examination boards; however, it will not add to the final GCSE grade.

Unit 1:  Communicating Information and Ideas 

This unit focuses on reading and writing non-fiction texts.

  • Learners read and compare non-fiction texts: one 19thcentury text and one 20th or 21st century text.
                Learners write one piece of original non-fiction.

Unit 2:  Exploring Effects and Impact

This unit focuses on reading literary prose texts and creative writing.

  • Learners read and respond to literary prose texts, one text may be literary non-fiction.
  • Both texts are 20thor 21st century literary prose.  There will not be a 19th century text in component 02.
Learners write one piece of original creative writing.

Unit 3:  Spoken Language 

This unit focuses on speaking and listening skills.  

ENGLISH LITERATURE OCR

English LITERATURE GCSE Syllabus Content

Students will study two units.  Both of these are examination units which will be taken at the end of the course in Year 11.  Each of these units are worth 50% of the candidate’s mark.  

Unit 1:  Exploring Modern and Literary Heritage Texts

This unit focuses on reading and responding to one studied modern prose or drama text, including making connections with a thematically linked unseen modern, same-genre extract and one studied 19th century prose text.

Unit 2:  Exploring Poetry and Shakespeare

This unit focuses on reading and responding to one thematic poetry cluster from the OCR Poetry Anthology, including making connections with a thematically linked unseen poem and one studied Shakespeare play.

The skills for these units will have been thoroughly taught at KS3 and will now develop and become further under the students’ control.  These include: varying sentence structures; using a wide range of punctuation and vocabulary; including rhetorical devices; effectively including creative techniques and ‘Point, Quotation, Explain’ commentary. 

Why should you study this subject?

As a core curriculum subject, English is compulsory and all employers use English GCSE as a measure of your literacy and ability to communicate.  English Literature can easily be studied together with English Language.  English Literature at Advanced Level is more accessible if students have studied Literature at GCSE.  Good communication skills are so crucial in adult life that the study of English is an essential part of any student’s education.

Further education opportunities:

A GCSE in English is a useful qualification for many other Advanced Level subjects.  English forms part of the key skills that have to be acquired during Advanced Level courses.  Most Higher Education institutions will require at least a Grade C in English Language as an entry .

Qualification. English and related subjects (Linguistics, Creative Writing, Theatre Studies, Media Studies, Film Studies, American Studies, for example) are widely available in all universities.

Possible career routes:-  A qualification in English is a requirement for many forms of employment.  Those who choose to specialise in English may wish to pursue careers in teaching, publishing, librarianship, journalism, television, film or drama, though many careers require the good communication skills that the study of English promotes.  The study of English Literature is a good preparation for any student’s future life.

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