Key Stage 3
During Years 7, 8 and 9, students study a range of literary and non-literary texts across a range of different writers, genres, forms and contexts. Students also engage in a range of speaking and listening activities in line with National Curriculum guidelines. The courses followed are designed to prepare students for GCSE and to foster an environment where students can become productive and independent learners as well as young people who are passionate about English.
Key stage 4
All students will follow two distinct GCSE courses that separate English into its two component areas. Both courses are assessed entirely by external examinations taken at the end of Year 11. These are not tiered, meaning that all students do the same examination papers. Students will be graded on the 9-1 scale.
GCSE English Language
English Language involves the study and analysis of a range of different types of text.
Paper 1 - Explorations in creative reading and writing
The first section of this paper tests reading of extracts from challenging English literary texts. This leads into the second section which tests narrative or descriptive writing skills. The paper tests both reading for understanding and the ability to communicate accurately using written Standard English.
Paper 2 - Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives
This paper tests reading of literary and non-literary non-fiction texts. These texts will often be taken from older sources from as far back as 1800. This leads into the second section which tests writing to present a viewpoint.
GCSE English Literature
Paper 1 - Shakespeare and the 19th century novel.
This paper involves the study of a Shakespeare play such as ‘Macbeth’ and a British novel written between 1800 and 1900, such as ‘A Christmas Carol’. The exam involves answering two timed essay questions.
Paper 2 - Modern prose/drama, poetry selection and unseen poetry.
This involves studying either a drama text or prose text classified as ‘modern’, such as ‘An Inspector Calls’. This is followed by a study of a collection of themed poetry. Finally students learn to appreciate and analyse unseen poetry. The examination involves three timed essay questions.