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English

The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.”

 

The Key Stage 3 curriculum ensures that students study a broad range of texts from 19th, 20th and 21st century writers covering a range of genres and texts from other cultures in preparation for Key Stage 4.  Students will study texts in depth and will use texts as a foundation to enable them to adapt their own writing style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences focusing on their understanding of grammar.  There are many opportunities provided for speaking and listening through the units of study in the form of formal presentations, debate, role play etc to allow students to explain and develop their understanding of ideas and concepts.  Through our study of texts we will make links to contextual factors in order to build students’ cultural capital and enable students to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.  Engendering a love of literature is at the heart of all our planning and as a department we hope to foster the students’ enthusiasm for English through the units of work covered, competitions, celebrating literature days, participating in local literary festivals and trips.


Underlying key principles in our curriculum design:

  • Read and study a range of texts spanning time, culture and gender
  • Ensure students make progression in the three key areas of English: Reading / Writing / Speaking and Listening
  • Maximise opportunities to explore Cultural Capital
  • Develop writing using a ‘reading to writing’ model
  • Introduce and encourage students to use a rich and sophisticated vocabulary

Curriculum Aims at KS3

The Key Stage 3 curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, both for pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn: they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

 

Knowledge and Skills at KS3

Reading:  developing independence of response; infer comment on, explain, analyse, evaluate, compare.  Developing knowledge of vocabulary; contextual knowledge.

Develop an appreciation and love of reading, and read increasingly challenging material independently through:

  • reading a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, including in particular whole books, short stories, poems and plays with a wide coverage of genres, historical periods, forms and authors, including high-quality works from English literature, both pre-1914 and contemporary, including prose, poetry and drama; Shakespeare (2 plays) and seminal world literature
  • choosing and reading books independently for challenge, interest and enjoyment
  • rereading books encountered earlier to increase familiarity with them and provide a basis for making comparisons

 

Understand increasingly challenging texts through:

  • learning new vocabulary, relating it explicitly to known vocabulary and understanding it with the help of context and dictionaries
  • making inferences and referring to evidence in the text
  • knowing the purpose, audience for and context of the writing and drawing on this knowledge to support comprehension
  • checking their understanding to make sure that what they have read makes sense

 

Read critically through:

  • knowing how language, including figurative language, vocabulary choice, grammar, text structure and organisational features, presents meaning
  • recognising a range of poetic conventions and understanding how these have been used
  • studying setting, plot, and characterisation, and the effects of these
  • understanding how the work of dramatists is communicated effectively through performance and how alternative staging allows for different interpretations of a play
  • making critical comparisons across texts
  • studying a range of authors, including at least 2 authors in depth each year

 

Writing: knowing and understanding the genres and grammar and being able to apply independently in a variety of context across a range of text types.  Adapt (and subvert?); plan, draft, edit and proof read; develop vocabulary.

Write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length for pleasure and information through:

  • writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences, including: well-structured formal expository and narrative essays; stories, scripts, poetry and other imaginative writing; notes and polished scripts for talks and presentations and a range of other narrative and non-narrative texts, including arguments, and personal and formal letters
  • summarising and organising material, and supporting ideas and arguments with any necessary factual detail
  • applying their growing knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and text structure to their writing and selecting the appropriate form
  • drawing on knowledge of literary and rhetorical devices from their reading and listening to enhance the impact of their writing


Plan, draft, edit and proofread through:

  • considering how their writing reflects the audiences and purposes for which it was intended
  • amending the vocabulary, grammar and structure of their writing to improve its coherence and overall effectiveness
  • paying attention to accurate grammar, punctuation and spelling; applying the spelling patterns and rules

 

Grammar and vocabulary

Consolidate and build on their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary through:

  • extending and applying the grammatical knowledge and analyse more challenging texts
  • studying the effectiveness and impact of the grammatical features of the texts they read
  • drawing on new vocabulary and grammatical constructions from their reading and listening, and using these consciously in their writing and speech to achieve particular effects
  • knowing and understanding the differences between spoken and written language, including differences associated with formal and informal registers, and between Standard English and other varieties of English
  • using Standard English confidently in their own writing and speech
  • discussing reading, writing and spoken language with precise and confident use of linguistic and literary terminology

 

Speaking:  formulate, develop and articulate ideas with increasing confidence, fluency and sophistication in a range of contexts; use of Standard English.

Speak confidently and effectively, including through:

  • using Standard English confidently in a range of formal and informal contexts, including classroom discussion
  • giving short speeches and presentations, expressing their own ideas and keeping to the point
  • participating in formal debates and structured discussions, summarising and/or building on what has been said improvising, rehearsing and performing play scripts and poetry in order to generate languages and discuss language use and meaning, using role, intonation, tone, volume, mood, silence, stillness and action to add impact

Curriculum Aims at KS4

The Key Stage 4 curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate

Students at St Peter’s study English Language and English Literature and follow the AQA specification.

English in Year 9

In Year 9 we will complete a foundation year for GCSE English Language and Literature. This year will cover all the key skills and text types that students will face in their GCSEs.

In English Language there are no set GCSE texts, but students will face unseen texts from the 19th Century, 20th Century and 21st Century. These texts will be both fiction and non-fiction. Students will also have to write creatively, and be able to write texts which present a viewpoint for specific purposes and audiences. Towards the end of Year 9, students will do a speaking presentation which will be their Spoken Endorsement for GCSE.

In Literature, we will be training Year 9s to approach literature texts in preparation for their GCSE Literature exams. They will read and study a novel and a Shakespeare play.  Year 9 will also study six GCSE poems from the Anthology on ‘Power and Conflict’ and complete a prelim paper on one of the poems they have studied.

The course outlines will help you understand the types of texts and the exam structure faced in both the English Language and English Literature exams.


Knowledge and Skills at KS4

Reading:  developing independence of response; infer comment on, explain, analyse, evaluate, compare.  Developing knowledge of vocabulary; contextual knowledge.


Read and appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage through:

reading a wide range of high-quality, challenging, classic literature and extended literary non-fiction, such as essays, reviews and journalism. This writing should include whole texts. The range will include:

at least one play by Shakespeare
works from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries
poetry since 1789, including representative Romantic poetry 

 

  • re-reading literature and other writing as a basis for making comparisons
  • choosing and reading books independently for challenge, interest and enjoyment


Understand and critically evaluate texts through:

  • reading in different ways for different purposes, summarising and synthesising ideas and information, and evaluating their usefulness for particular purposes
  • drawing on knowledge of the purpose, audience for and context of the writing, including its social, historical and cultural context and the literary tradition to which it belongs, to inform evaluation
  • identifying and interpreting themes, ideas and information
  • exploring aspects of plot, characterisation, events and settings, the relationships between them and their effects
  • seeking evidence in the text to support a point of view, including justifying inferences with evidence
  • distinguishing between statements that are supported by evidence and those that are not, and identifying bias and misuse of evidence
  • analysing a writer’s choice of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural features, and evaluating their effectiveness and impact
  • making critical comparisons, referring to the contexts, themes, characterisation, style and literary quality of texts, and drawing on knowledge and skills from wider reading


Make an informed personal response, recognising that other responses to a text are possible and evaluating these

Writing: knowing and understanding the genres and grammar and being able to apply independently in a variety of context across a range of text types.  Adapt (and subvert?); plan, draft, edit and proof read; develop vocabulary.


Write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length for pleasure and information through:

  • adapting their writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences: to describe, narrate, explain, instruct, give and respond to information, and argue
  • selecting and organising ideas, facts and key points, and citing evidence, details and quotation effectively and pertinently for support and emphasis
  • selecting, and using judiciously, vocabulary, grammar, form, and structural and organisational features, including rhetorical devices, to reflect audience, purpose and context, and using Standard English where appropriate

Make notes, draft and write, including using information provided by others [e.g. writing a letter from key points provided; drawing on and using information from a presentation]
 

Revise, edit and proof-read through:

  • reflecting on whether their draft achieves the intended impact
  • restructuring their writing, and amending its grammar and vocabulary to improve coherence, consistency, clarity and overall effectiveness
  • paying attention to the accuracy and effectiveness of grammar, punctuation and spelling

 

Grammar and vocabulary

Consolidate and build on their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary through:

  • studying their effectiveness and impact in the texts they read
  • drawing on new vocabulary and grammatical constructions from their reading and listening, and using these consciously in their writing and speech to achieve particular effects
  • analysing some of the differences between spoken and written language, including differences associated with formal and informal registers, and between Standard English and other varieties of English
  • using linguistic and literary terminology accurately and confidently in discussing reading, writing and spoken language

Speaking:  formulate, develop and articulate ideas with increasing confidence, fluency and sophistication in a range of contexts; use of Standard English.

Speak confidently, audibly and effectively, including through:

  • using Standard English when the context and audience require it
  • working effectively in groups of different sizes and taking on required roles, including leading and managing discussions, involving others productively, reviewing and summarising, and contributing to meeting goals/deadlines
  • listening to and building on the contributions of others, asking questions to clarify and inform, and challenging courteously when necessary
  • planning for different purposes and audiences, including selecting and organising information and ideas effectively and persuasively for formal spoken presentations and debates
  • listening and responding in a variety of different contexts, both formal and informal, and evaluating content, viewpoints, evidence and aspects of presentation
  • improvising, rehearsing and performing play scripts and poetry in order to generate language and discuss language use and meaning, using role, intonation, tone, volume, mood, silence, stillness and action to add impact

English Language AQA – course outline

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Assessment: Written exam – 1 hour 45 minutes        80 marks in total      50% GCSE

Section A: Reading

(one literature fiction extract - unseen)

Reading = 40 marks (25% of GCSE)

Section B: Writing

(descriptive or narrative writing)

Writing = 40 marks (25% of GCSE)

 

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

Assessment: Written exam – 1 hour 45 minutes        80 marks in total      50% GCSE

Section A: Reading

(two linked unseen extracts – one non-fiction extract and one literary non-fiction extract)

Reading = 40 marks (25% of GCSE)

Section B: Writing

(writing to present a viewpoint – writing for purpose, audience, form)

Writing = 40 marks (25% of GCSE)

 

Non-examination Assessment: Spoken Language

Assessment: set and marked by teacher during the course with a separate endorsement     0% of GCSE grade

Students will have to prepare and deliver a presentation in front of a specified audience and then respond to questions and feedback. Students will be assessed on their use of language and Standard English and their skills of delivering a presentation. (AO7 – 9)

 English Literature AQA – course outline                                                 

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century novel

Assessment: Written exam – 1 hour 45 minutes        64 marks in total      40% GCSE

Section A: Shakespeare

34 marks (30 marks + 4 marks AO4)

One question on the studied play (Macbeth). An extract from the play will be provided. Students will have to write in detail about the extract and then write about the play as a whole.

Section B: The 19th Century novel

30 marks

One question on the studied 19th Century novel. An extract from the novel will be provided. Students will have to write in detail about the extract and then write about the novel as a whole.

 

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry

Assessment: Written exam – 2 hours 15 minutes        96 marks in total      60% GCSE

Section A: Modern Texts

34 marks (30 marks + 4 marks AO4)

Students will answer one essay question from a choice of two (usually one on character and one on theme) on their studied modern text.

Section B: Poetry

30 marks

Students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from the studied anthology cluster.

 

Section C: Unseen Poetry

32 marks

Students must answer both questions in section C. They will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.

Assessment

Students will complete a pre-assessment task at the start of each unit which will be formatively marked by the teacher.  Teachers will provide whole class feedback and work with targeted students based on the outcome of this assessment. The pre-assessment will be used to inform planning and ensure students make progress towards their final assessment.  The final summative assessment will be marked using the appropriate PAC and students will be expected to ACT on their feedback.

Grouping

Groups are currently mixed ability within each population for Years 7 and 8, with some smaller supportive groups for those students who really need an extra help with their literacy. From Year 9 onwards the majority of students are in mixed ability groups within both populations, and again we have a smaller group for those who will benefit from extra support. In Year 10, we usually make at least two higher push groups, where we aim to stretch our most able students, and two smaller supportive groups for those students who will find GCSE English particularly challenging. However, our other mixed ability groups will have many very high ability students within them and many students from these groups attain top grades every year. We aim to stretch and challenge all our students and are keen to develop new ways to ensure all our students make excellent progress.

Homework

In Years 7, 8 and 9 students are expected to complete a weekly reading homework in order to develop the habit of reading widely and often for pleasure.  Students are expected to read a minimum of 3 books over the year which can be fiction or non-fiction.  In the first term, students will be assigned a class reader and the class teacher will assign the number of pages/chapters to read each week.  In the second term, students will work in groups based on the novel they want to read and will work more independently to set each other the amount they need to read for homework.  In the third term, students will have free choice to pick which book they want to read at home (they might want to read one of the books from the group read based on recommendations).  Towards the end of each term, students will be expected to produce a piece of work based on the book they have read.  This might take the form of a formal presentation, role play based on a part of the book, poem etc.

Students will also complete a weekly homework called ’38 things to do before you’re a year older’.  These homework activities are designed to encourage students to expand their cultural capital.  Cultural capital refers to all the non-financial assets that aid social mobility. It’s all those little extras that help people change their position and situation in the socio-economic world — their education, their intellect, the way they speak, how they carry themselves and even how they dress in certain circumstances.

In Years 10 and 11, students are given a homework booklet for English Language Papers 1 and 2 and are expected to consolidate their learning by completing the activities set by their teacher.  Students will also be given an English Literature homework booklet which contains practice questions and activities to help them revise for their exam.

Staffing

  • Kathy Hamilton – SLL
  • Rebekah Mardall – English Lead Practitioner
  • Gemma Pragnell – KS4 Co-ordinator
  • Lyndsay Kennett – KS3 Co-ordinator
  • Caroline Harding – KS3 Co-ordinator
  • Martyn Christopher – English and Media teacher
  • Alison McDowall
  • Lucy Hore
  • Vicky Ovens
  • Miriam Pannell
  • Ellie Richards
  • Rachel Smith
  • Camilla Simpson
  • Linda Wright
Subject Documents Date  
Year 7 13th Feb 2020 Download
Year 8 13th Feb 2020 Download
Year 9 13th Feb 2020 Download
Year 10 13th Feb 2020 Download
Year 11 13th Feb 2020 Download