English Curriculum Overview

The grid below gives an overview of the curriculum for this academic year:

Year 7

English study covers the skills of reading, writing and speaking and listening. Our curriculum for Years 7 to 9 reflects preparation of students for life, work and further study. Emphasis will be placed on spelling, punctuation and grammar as well as creative writing and wide reading of both fiction and non-fiction texts.

Schemes of work include: study of a novel; ‘The Tempest’, Chaucer, Science Fiction/Science Fact and creative writing.

Year 8

Schemes of work include: ‘Macbeth’, Media and non-fiction, ‘Beowulf’ and ‘Dracula’.

Year 9

Schemes of work include: Gothic genre, ‘Hamlet’, close reading, study of poetry and writing for different audiences.

Course Title:  GCSE English Language 

Awarding Body:  AQA

Why study English Language?

The GCSE English Language course is compulsory. Every student in the Upper School must follow the course. English Language is essential in order to understand and communicate in the wider world and enables students to access all other subjects studied in school and beyond. Writing and reading are the cornerstones of human interaction, and are vital to success in society and the workplace.  

Course Outline

There is only one tier of entry for English Language which covers the Grades 1 – 9 range.

The specification offers a skills-based approach to the study of English Language in an untiered context. The course enables students to read and analyse different types of text from modern contexts but also from pre twentieth century sources.  Writing skills and technical accuracy are developed to cover both fiction and non-fiction genres. Questions are designed to take students on an assessment journey through lower tariff tasks to more extended responses.

There are two written papers for the English Language GCSE and a non-examined assessment in Spoken Language.

Assessment Format

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

What's assessed - Section A: Reading (one literature fiction text), Section B: Writing (descriptive or narrative writing)

Assessed - written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes (80 marks) 50% of GCSE

Questions

Reading (40 marks) (25%) – 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)

Writing (40 marks) (25%)

1 extended writing question (24 marks for content, 16 marks for technical accuracy)

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

What's assessed - Section A: Reading (one non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text), Section B: Writing (writing to present a viewpoint)

Assessed - written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes (80 marks) 50% of GCSE

Reading (40 marks) (25%) – two linked texts

1 short form question (1 x 4 marks), 2 longer form questions (1 x 8, 1 x 12 marks)

Writing (40 marks) (25%)

1 extended writing question (24 marks for content, 16 marks for technical accuracy.

More information and the full syllabus can be found at: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700

What skills will I need to be successful in this subject?

Reading skills include reading for inference as well as close reading and skimming and scanning for specific information or thematic view. Analysis and evaluation are key skills in understanding and comparing the information provided in different kinds of text. Students will need to demonstrate imagination, control and strategic planning in their approaches to writing for different purposes and audiences.  

Possible Careers and Future Education

English is a vital life skill and is useful in all careers and courses. A GCSE English Language grade of 4 or above is highly valued by employers. Most post 16 courses require this for both vocational and non-vocational courses.

Careers in Journalism; Business; Teaching; IT; Accounting; Finance; Law; HR; Publishing and Politics are just some of the areas that can be accessed with an A level or degree in English.     

"The limits of my language are the limits of my world" - Ludwig Wittgenstein

 

Course Title:  GCSE English Literature

Awarding Body:  AQA

Why study English Literature?

The GCSE English Literature course is compulsory. Every student in the Upper School must follow the course. The study of English Literature inspires, challenges and motivates every student, regardless of ability level. It is every student’s entitlement to study the rich literary heritage that exists today in plays, novels and poetry. In addition, students benefit from an integrated approach with the English Language course.

Course Outline

There is only one tier of entry for English Literature which covers the Grades 1 – 9 range.

The specification offers a skills and content based approach to the study of English Literature in an untiered context. The course enables students to read and analyse different literary texts including a play by Shakespeare, a modern text, a novel written before 1900 and a range of poetry. Students not only develop a love of literature, but learn to analyse, discuss and evaluate the impact of these texts, including context in social, cultural, historical and literary terms.

There are two written papers for the English Literature GCSE, one worth 40% and one worth 60%

Assessment Format

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel

What's assessed - Shakespeare plays, The 19th-century novel

How it's assessed - written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes (64 marks) 40% of GCSE

Questions

Section A Shakespeare: students will answer one question on the play that they have studied. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole.

Section B The 19th-century novel: students will answer one question on the novel that they have studied. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole.

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry

What's assessed - Modern prose or drama texts, The poetry anthology, Unseen poetry

How it's assessed - written exam: 2 hour 15 minutes (96 marks) 60% of GCSE

Questions

Section A Modern texts: students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text.

Section B Poetry: students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster.

Section C Unseen poetry: Students will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.

More information and the full syllabus can be found at:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-literature-8702/specification-at-a-glance

What skills will I need to be successful in this subject?

A love of reading and an inquiring mind are both important to be successful in English Literature study. Resilience and persistence when dealing with more challenging language in some texts will enable students to excel in their work.

Possible Careers and Future Education

English Literature is an enriching and enabling life skill and is useful in all careers and courses. A GCSE English Literature grade of 4 or above is highly valued by employers.

Careers in Journalism; the Library Service; Business; Teaching; IT; Writing; Accounting; Finance; Law; HR; Publishing; Politics and the Civil Service are just some of the areas that can be accessed with an A level or degree in English Literature.

‘Literature is one of the most interesting and significant expressions of humanity.’ P.T. Barnum

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