Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3 English lessons, students focus on developing key skills in preparation for their GCSE courses at KS4. These key skills are:
- Read, understand and respond
- Analysing writer’s craft
- Structure and organisation
- Technical accuracy
Within the Key Stage 3 curriculum, students study a range of theme based units as well as prose texts and Shakespeare texts in each year.
Students study Treasure Island at the start of the year following on from work done on induction day and a summer writing project. They also study two full prose text and a Shakespeare play as well as a themed unit on ‘The Natural World’. Within these units they develop a range of reading, writing and spoken language and have opportunities to practice these skills and receive feedback.
Students study 3 themed units: Heroes and Villains; Change and The Unknown. Within these units they develop and are assessed on a range of reading, writing and speaking and listening skills. They also study one full prose text and a Shakespeare play. Within these units they develop a range of reading, writing and spoken language and have opportunities to practice these skills and receive feedback.
Students spend year 9 preparing for their GCSE course. They study a prose text and a Shakespeare play. They are assessed during these extended units using GCSE style exam questions. They also study different styles of writing as well as responding to unseen fiction and non-fiction texts. Students in year 9 sit two practice GCSE exam papers in term 5. At the end of the year they study a range of poetry skills analysing both seen and unseen poetry.
Throughout Key Stage 3 drama is also delivered through English lessons.
Key Stage 4
In years 10 and 11 all students study for two GCSEs: English Language and English Literature. We use the exam board AQA for both of these subjects.
Students study a range of reading and writing skills using unseen fiction and non-fiction texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries in preparation for two exams at the end of year 11.
Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing
Students answer four reading questions about one 20th or 21st century fiction text and complete one piece of creative writing based on an image stimulus.
Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives
Students answer four reading questions about two non-fiction texts, including a 19th century text, and complete one piece of viewpoint writing in response to a given statement.
Students will study three complete texts and a collection of themed poetry in preparation for two exams at the end of year 11.
Paper 1: Shakespeare and the C19th Novel
Students answer one question on each text they have studied. Students need to analyse an extract from the text and make links to the wider text.
Students study either ‘Macbeth’ or ‘Romeo and Juliet’ for the Shakespeare text. They study either ‘A Christmas Carol’ or ‘Frankenstein’ for the 19th Century text.
Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry
Students answer one question from a choice of two on the Modern Text they have studied. They then answer one question comparing two of the poems they have studied. Finally, they analyse an unseen poem before comparing it to another unseen poem.
Students study one modern text from a choice of the following:
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
- Blood Brothers by Willy Russell
- An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
Students study one cluster of 15 poems: either Power and Conflict or Love and Relationships from the AQA anthology.