Key Stage 3 – Years 7 & 8
Students joining us at Key Stage Three follow a course which is aimed at introducing and developing the skills they will eventually need to be successful in their GCSEs. They will follow an interleaved curriculum, which combines both Literature and Language skills. This approach uses the novel as the base text each allows them to explore the ideas presented in the text through different media such as non-fiction, poetry and writing from other times, as well as the8ir own writing skills through both creative and transactional tasks.
Students also take part in a library lesson each fortnight, which introduces them to essential research and presentation skills as well as allowing them time to develop their reading and try out different authors and texts.
We also offer an extensive enrichment programme, including trips to the Theatre to see productions, English Club, Book clubs, British Library Creative Writing Programme, National Writing Competitions and BBC School Report.
Key Stage 4 – Years 9-11
Our students currently follow a three-year Key Stage Four path, starting in Year Nine. All students are studying for both GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature with AQA.
At GCSE, Language and Literature are taught separately and given balanced time to reflect their status as separate GCSEs. The course enables us to interleave and revisit prior learning and so support their progress with these more challenging closed book exams. Assessment for both GCSEs is 100% examination
GCSE English Language
In preparation for this, students will work in class on responding to a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. They will explore the language and structure of these texts, as well as responding critically and comparatively to the ideas in the texts. They will also develop their writing skills in both depth and accuracy, exploring a range of narrative and transactional prompts. We also focus on deepening their vocabulary and understanding of English.
In addition, all students will complete a short Speaking and Listening Assessment on a topic of their choice. This compulsory aspect takes the form of a presentation in front of an audience as well as their response to questions.
GCSE English Literature
Students will understand and explore the presentation of ideas, characters and themes in a range of 19th and 20th Century texts. Currently the texts we teach are:
* A Christmas Carol (Year 9)
* An Inspector Calls (Year 9 and 10)
* Macbeth (Year 10)
* Power and Conflict Poetry Selection (Spread across all three years)
As part of the teaching, we interleave the base text with the poetry to enable students to start to make connections across the text. In Year 11, we focus on recalling and developing a more critical response to the texts in preparation for the closed book exams, as well as developing their responses to a pair of unseen poems on a linked theme.
To support our students with their engagement and understanding of the text, we also have external drama troupe who work with the students to enrich their understanding of the text to fantastic reviews from the students themselves. _____________________________________________________________________________________
Key Stage 5 – Years 12-13
At A Level, we offer two popular and successful courses, both with AQA. Both A Levels are linear and are examined in the Summer of Y13.
A Level English Literature (AQA A)
Students will explore a range of texts linked to the First World War and its aftermath, including Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong, David Haig’s My Boy Jack and a range of war poetry. On the other side, they will explore the theme of Love through the Ages in both Drama (A Shakespeare Play, currently Taming of the Shrew), Prose (The Great Gatsby) and Poetry.
Examination is open book, and includes comparison, critical response and response to both unseen poetry and prose.
In addition to the exams, students will complete an NEA which is work 20% of their final mark. This will involve a common base text, but students are able to make their own choice of a more modern quality text to compare on a thematic link. This allows students to explore the critical reception and interpretation of both texts over time.
A Level Language and Literature (AQA)
Students will explore a wide range of texts covering both Fiction and Literary . They will explore the different ways a range of texts have presented the city of Paris, including travel writing, advertising, biographies and transcripts of conversation. They will also explore the presentation of ideas and viewpoints in a range of poetry, drama and prose approaching them from a mixed literary and linguistic standpoint. For example, by considering how conversation theory is used in A Streetcar named Desire to present ideas of conflict between characters or the use of the unreliable narrator in The Great Gatsby.
This is examined in two extended papers. Students will be expected to explore and compare the presentation of ideas in their texts, as well as recreate a hidden aspect of a text and comment on their own creative choices.
In addition to the exams, students will complete an NEA project which allows them to compare a Fiction and Non-Literary fiction choice of their own. This may involve them exploring political speeches, extracts from Film or TV or even a series of tweets or web posts and comparing the presentation of an idea with an example of poetry, prose or drama. This is worth 20% of their final mark.