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English

Our Curriculum Aims:

English is the oxygen of learning across the whole curriculum. We aim for our students to be:

  • enthusiastic, swift and critical readers across a wide range of texts, forms, periods and cultures
  • clear, creative, accurate and effective writers across a wide range of purposes, audiences and forms
  • confident, articulate and effective speakers across a wide range of contexts and purposes
  • knowledgeable about British culture, values and literary heritage, and aware and appreciative of different cultures
  • active, engaged, articulate citizens of a multi-cultural society and enthusiastic lifelong readers and learners

Key Stage Three Curriculum Overview
Throughout KS3 Students will develop the following skills:

Reading and Understanding

Students will read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts from different genres, eras and cultures. The five key skill areas are: synthesizing, selecting; summarising information; analysing language choices; analysing structural choices; comparing texts; evaluating the success of a text.

Writing and Technical Accuracy

Students will plan and produce a wide range of texts, with a variety of purposes, to meet the needs of various audiences. The five key skill areas are: planning interesting and appropriate content; organising a text into logical and effective sections; selecting increasingly mature vocabulary; using a full range of punctuation effectively; spelling accurately.

Speaking and Listening

Students will develop their confidence and fluency in speaking in a range of contexts including ‘real world’ scenarios. The five key skill areas are: using Standard English confidently and accurately; giving an individual presentation; discussing and debating in groups; using language creatively in role-play situations; listening actively and sensitively to others.

 

Name of topic

Key Content of the Topic

Assessment points

HT 1

Life Stories BAME

Experience and Memoir

Our own lives are the source of some of the greatest stories, funniest episodes and most heart-breaking moments. This LP focuses on the lives of famous people, ordinary people, great heroes, shameful villains – and most importantly our own diverse experiences.

Creative Reading - Fiction

Creative Writing Describe-Narrate

HT 2

Fictional Worlds BAME

The Novel

Studying a novel is a chance to immerse ourselves in a new world of epic characters, vivid settings, challenging themes and gripping action. 2021-2: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Literature

Novel

HT 3

The Globe 1900

Shakespeare’s World

Shakespeare is a towering figure in English literature and culture.  We begin with one of his early plays – a tragic love story about young, reckless love. A chance to explore the Elizabethan period, a golden age for theatre, and the life of one of Britain's national treasures.

Literature

Drama

 

HT 4

Heroes and Villains 1900

Epic Characters

Creating compelling, credible characters is vital to any story. In this LP we study the way great writers introduce characters, describe their appearance, thoughts, actions and back-story to make us sympathise with them. Then we have a go at doing it ourselves.

Creative Writing

Describe-Narrate

HT 5

The Launch

Marketing and Persuasion

This is a team project to launch a new product – and tests speaking skills. Teamwork, presentation and persuasion are vital here. This a chance for the shy to speak up, for the confident to take the limelight, and for everyone to learn to speak with purpose, power and persuasion.

Speaking

Group Presentation

 

HT 6

Brave New Worlds 1900

Dystopia and science fiction

Science fiction is one of the most popular genres in literature. The world of the future may include exciting technology, disturbing science and nightmarish visions. This creative writing LP offers the chance to read some classics and then create an imaginative 'brave new world'.

Creative Writing

Describe-Narrate

Year 8

 

Name of topic

Key Content of the Topic

Assessment points

HT 1

Blood and Roses 1900

The Gothic

The darkly beautiful themes in many classic literary texts allow students to explore more mature and challenging ideas, such as paradox, mortality, suspense, hauntings and the unknown.

Creative Reading  Fiction
Creative Writing
Describe-Narrate

HT 2

Fictional Worlds 1900

19th Century

Novel

Our literary and cultural heritage is rich and diverse. The 19th Century was key to Britain’s role in the modern world – for better and for worse. This challenging LP offers the chance to read a “classic” and find out more about how language, society and values have changed over time. 2021-22: War of the Worlds by HG Wells

Literature

19 C Novel

HT 3

For God and Country BAME 1900

War and Conflict

War - and the trauma, glory, heroism and patriotism that goes with it – is a dramatic topic for writers. This LP covers wars from many centuries, and writers with a range of viewpoints on war. It culminates in an assessment on two classic war poems.

Literature

Poetry

 

HT 4

Viewpoints

Writing to Express Opinions

Building arguments and expressing opinions with control and power is a key life skill - vital in careers such as journalism, politics, law, business and marketing. In this feisty LP, students practise arguing their side of a debate, marshalling their evidence, and writing with impact.

Writing | Argue-persuade

HT 5

The Debate

The Art of Formal Debating

The art of debating is a formal skill involving preparing carefully in a team, crafting cogent arguments, selecting the best evidence, listening attentively to the arguments being put, rebutting the opposition, and fielding questions from the floor. It's a competitive speaking challenge.

Speaking | Debating

HT 6

Spies and Private Eyes 1900

Crime

Crime and 'true crime' are two of the most popular genres in the world of books and films. The fascination with crime and detection reveals our deep interest in questions of morality, justice, secrecy, and sin. Here we study some classic crime writers – and have a go at writing in the genre.

Writing | Describe-narrate

Year 9

 

Name of topic

Key Content of the Topic

Assessment points

HT 1

Still I Rise BAME

Protest

The human spirit in the face of oppression and tyranny is an inspirational subject. This LP blends politics, history, struggle, suffering and hope to present students with the very best and worst of the human condition.

Creative Reading
Non-fiction
Writing from a Viewpoint 
Argue-Persuade

HT 2

The Mighty Fall 1900

Shakespearean Tragedy

 

Shakespeare's tragedies are some of the most powerful dramas ever written, offering audiences a glimpse into the human condition that both inspires and devastates. This LP serves useful introduction to 'tragic theory' before GCSE when students study 'Macbeth'.

Literature 
Drama

HT 3/4

An Inspector Calls

Modern Drama

 

This is the first major GCSE exam text – a modern play that features in Literature Paper 2A. Studying drama is a great way to get students acting, and appreciating the craft of the playwright – the physical possibilities of theatre and the amazing variety of interpretations.

Literature

Drama

HT 5

The Speech

GCSE Endorsement

The GCSE Spoken Endorsement is de-coupled from GCSE English Language, but is still a valuable qualification, signalling an ability to plan and deliver a 4-5 minute individual speech. This is about hooking an audience, prosecuting an argument, and entertaining along the way.

Speaking

Individual Speech

HT 6

Victoriana 1900

19th Century contexts

A major part of GCSE Language (P2A) and Literature (P1B) is focused on texts written in the 19th Century. This LP introduces students to a range of texts, writers and themes from this era as a way of acclimatising students to texts such as Jekyll and Hyde that are studied for GCSE.

Literary Heritage Reading

Classic texts

Key 1900 pre-1900 texts

BAME Black and Minority Ethnic authors/texts

What can parents do to support their sons?

Encourage your son to:

  • read every day across a range of texts such as The Edge Programme, novels, magazines, biographies and newspapers
  • engage with documentaries, podcasts and radio shows – all useful ways of engaging with language and ideas
  • read out loud, and encourage him to be a confident, clear reader
  • enjoy new texts and learn more adventurous vocabulary
  • talk about current affairs by raising interesting questions from the worlds of politics, sport, culture and the arts
  • write on a regular basis: diaries, reviews, stories, poetry and lyrics are useful ways of encouraging the habit of writing
  • visit the theatre, cinema, and cultural events to broaden his cultural and creative development
  • join the many English extra-curricular activities on offer at school such as debating, performing, and book clubs

A full list of recommended books is available on the school website and via STU_ENGLISH


GCSE Course Followed: English Language and English Literature (Two GCSEs)

Specification: AQA (Syllabus codes: English Language 8700 and English Literature 8702)

Why Study GCSE English and English Literature

Language surrounds, defines and shapes us as individuals, and as a society. Literature in English is rich and influential, reflecting the experiences and creativity of people from many countries and times. This dynamic interplay between language and literature is what makes GCSE English such a diverse and stimulating subject.

In today’s competitive society, it is vital for young people to be confident communicators, skilful readers and effective writers. In English lessons, students develop the ability to express themselves imaginatively in a range of different contexts. They learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts.

English provides the skills that are the cornerstone of a good all-round education and a successful, fulfilling life – communication, creativity and clarity. At the heart of our work is a passionate belief in the power of language, the adventure of literature and the joy of self-expression.

Students will take two GCSEs – English Language and English Literature – taught together as a single course.

English Language (AQA)
Students sit two examinations, each 1 hour 45 minutes long, both of which involve reading and understanding previously unseen non-fiction or fiction material from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. There will also be a writing task on each paper. Paper 1 offers a choice of descriptive or narrative writing whilst Paper 2 requires students to present a viewpoint. There is no coursework or controlled assessment. Except for the internally assessed Spoken Language component, all assessment is through examinations taken at the end of Year 11.

English Literature (AQA) 
Students sit two examinations – one of 1 hour 45 minutes and the other 2 hours 15 minutes - in which they write about one Shakespeare play, one nineteenth century novel, either a play or a novel written since 1914, and some poetry. 

Students who achieve the highest grades and get the most out of their English lessons do the following: read regularly across a range of fiction and non-fiction genres, write regularly for personal enjoyment, participate in discussion and debate, keep up with news and current affairs, visit the cinema and theatre, learn new words and enjoy using the English language.

Recommended reading lists, sample exam papers and study resources are available on STU_English

Key Stage Four Curriculum Overview

Year 10

 

Name of topic

Key Content of the Topic

Assessment points

HT 1

Jekyll and Hyde 1900

The 19th Century brought radical change: scientific breakthroughs, industrialisation and significant challenges to established religious ideas from Darwin and Freud's theories. Stevenson's novel is a cunning expose of middle-class hypocrisy as well as a rip-roaring, twisted thriller

Literature P1B

HT 2

Conflict Poetry 1900 BAME

Conflict and war often present us with the very best and worst of human nature. This LP includes soldier's firsthand experiences alongside views of war from family members, trauma victims, those deemed cowards, and even a war photographer.

Literature P2B

HT 3

Creative Reading and Writing

Right at the heart of English is the ability to read, understand, and respond. The LP is about reading fiction swiftly, with perception, and analysing a writer's methods. The writing section is a chance to write fiction with control, accuracy and flair.

Language P1A/B

HT 4

Power Poetry 1900 BAME

Power is central to human relationships and society – the powerful and the powerless. These poems explore repressive governments, megalomaniac emperors, cold aristocrats, as well as awe-inspiring mountains, wild sea storms, beautiful books, and forgotten heroes.

Literature P2B

HT 5

Y10 Trial Exam

Creative Reading and Writing

Jekyll and Hyde / Conflict Poetry

Language P1

Literature P1B/2B

HT 6

Reading and Writing from a Viewpoint 1900

English Language P2 is a non-fiction paper. First, reading two texts - one modern and one pre-1900. Summarising, analysing and comparing are the key skills.  The writing section involves planning a line of argument, and completing a controlled, accurate, powerful piece of non-fiction.

Language P2A/B

Year 11

 

Name of topic

Key Content of the Topic

Assessment points

HT 1

Macbeth 1900

After studying 'Hamlet' in Y9, students have explored some tragic theory, experienced the unique power of Shakespearean tragedy, become familiar with Shakespeare's language and verse, and learnt about his theatre and his age. Time for Macbeth.

Literature P1A

HT 2

Trial Exams

Reading and Writing from a Viewpoint

Macbeth / Jekyll and Hyde

Language P2

Literature P1

HT 3

Unseen Poetry BAME

After studying 15 'set' poems, the challenge here is to encounter two unseen poems with confidence. Poetry is to be enjoyed and appreciated and the spirit of this LP is to encourage exploration, inference, interpretation and a bold individual response.

Literature P2C

HT 4

Trial Exams

Creative Reading and Writing

An Inspector Calls / Power and Conflict Poetry / Unseen Poetry

Language P1

Literature P2

HT 5

Revision

All sections of Language and Literature papers

 

HT 6

N/A

 

GCSE exams

 

Recommended Revision Guides for GCSE

English language 
Reading widely across fiction and non-fiction genres is the best way to prepare together with completing past exam papers.

CGP Books: New GCSE English Language AQA Complete Revision & Practice - Grade 9-1 -Revision Book - ISBN-10: 1782944141.

CGP Books: New GCSE English Language AQA Complete Revision & Practice - Grade 9-1 Course - SAMPLE PAPERS - ISBN-10: 1782944125

Office365 STUEnglish carries all revision materials and past papers.

English Literature
Revision guides for set texts will be provided by teachers.

Study notes on classic texts are also available free on-line at sites such as: www.sparknotes.com and www.cliffsnotes.com.

Commercially produced guides by CGP, Cambridge, Collins or Heinemann are useful as long as they are specifically for the AQA specification 8702.

YORK NOTES STUDY GUIDES AND WORKBOOKS:

  • AN INSPECTOR CALLS ISBN-10: 1447982169 / ISBN-10: 1292100796
  • JEKYLL AND HYDE ISBN-10: 1447982185 / ISBN-10: 1292138084
  • MACBETH ISBN-10: 1447982207 / ISBN-10: 1292100818
  • POWER AND CONFLICT POETRY ISBN-10: 129213805X

Office365 STUEnglish carries all revision materials and past papers.

Support available for GCSE Students

All students in years 10 and 11 are encouraged to see their English teacher at any time if they need guidance or support. STU_English carries a comprehensive range of support materials.