Key Stage 3 English

In Years 7 and 8, students are introduced to a range of fiction, drama, non-fiction and media texts which they explore in ways which are both engaging and challenging. The curriculum has been designed to build students' skills in areas which will be of huge value to them in the future.

Students are taught reading, writing and spoken language skills throughout Key Stage 3. These skills link closely with the skills required for GCSE and the curriculum is designed to prepare students effectively for the next level. In reading assessments, students are assessed on skills of comprehension, inference, interpretation, analysis and evaluation. They will also learn to write effectively for a range of purposes, including description, narration, review, persuasion and constructing an argument.

Reading is at the heart of the Key Stage 3 curriculum. Every student attends a fortnightly Library Lesson in which they follow the Accelerated Reader programme. Students are encouraged to read widely and supported by their teachers to choose books which they will love and which will help to progress their reading. In their Library Lesson, students have the opportunity to read aloud to their teacher and to talk about what they are reading, and they love to complete quizzes on the books they have read!

Key Stage 4 ENGLish

Throughout Years,9,10,11 students are taught both English Language and English Literature in preparation for two qualifications of equal status.

English Language (AQA)

Students currently in Year 10 are preparing for their English Language GCSE. The English Language curriculum involves preparation for two papers: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing, and Writer's Viewpoints and Perspectives. In preparation for the exams at the end of Year 10, students study and practise a range of reading and writing skills, including analysis, synthesis of information, inference and comparison for the reading section, and creative writing and presenting an argument for the writing section. Students also complete a separate compulsory unit: Spoken Language Endorsement. While this spoken presentation does not contribute towards a student's overall grade, the mark (Pass/Merit/Distinction) will be recorded on their exam certificate.

English Literature (AQA exams from 2017)

Students are taught a range of texts, including Shakespeare, a 19th-century novel, a modern text and a range of poetry, all in preparation for two exams at the end of Year 11. They will learn how to closely analyse passages of text and make links with the whole text. They will also develop skills of comparison when studying poetry, including how to compare unseen texts. Students will study the set texts within their social and historical context and learn how this context affects audience interpretations.

English Lang (AQA or IGCSE exams in 2016)

Students currently in Year 11 are preparing for their English Language GCSE, having achieved record breaking results in English Literature in the Summer of 2015. Students in 11a1, 11a2, 11a3, 11a4 and 11b1 are studying AQA English Language; students in 11b2, 11b3, 11b4 and 11b5 are studying Cambridge IGCSE English Language. Both routes involve centre-assessed work: a controlled assessment folder of four pieces for AQA; and a coursework portfolio of three pieces for IGCSE. They will also complete Speaking and Listening tasks. Finally, both routes culminate in one written exam in the Summer of 2016.

Key Stage 5 English

Students who achieve a B or above in GCSE English can study A-Level English Literature, A-Level English Language and/or A-Level Media Studies. These challenging courses build on the skills and knowledge that students have aquired in their previous studies. Each of these subjects not only provides students with an advanced understanding of English and Media but they also prepare students for degree-level study as students are encouraged to become independent learners.

English Language: AQA Specification B

The aims of the AS and Advanced level specifications are to:

  • further candidates’ interest and enjoyment in the use of English through learning more about the structures and functions of English, drawing on their experience and knowledge of the way language changes and varies
  • develop candidates’ ability to express themselves in speech and writing with increasing competence and sophistication
  • widen candidates’ experience of written and spoken English, refining their critical and analytical responses

English Literature: AQA Specification A

The aims of the AS and Advanced level specifications are to:

  • encourage students to develop interest and enjoyment in literary studies through reading widely, critically and independently
  • introduce students to the traditions of English Literature

Media Studies: AQA

The aims of the AS and Advanced level specifications are to:

  • provide students with a critical framework to help them read and investigate the mass media
  • enable students to use research skills, to work independently and to communicate effectively via a media technology
  • develop an understanding of various contexts, such as historical and social, relevant to media issues
  • develop students’ own understanding of contemporary media issues and debates as well as the impact of new technologies.

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