The English classrooms are mainly found on the ground floor and 3rd floor of the WS Block. English forms part of the core curriculum at both KS3 and KS4, with groups organised into sets in all year groups. At GCSE all students study English Language and English Literature. Students can elect to study English Literature and/or English Literature/Language as post-16 courses.
English is all about communication through reading, writing, speaking, and listening. It involves critically and analytically reading novels, plays, poetry and non-fiction, and writing about all of these as well as producing your own imaginative writing. Whilst English Literature fosters appreciation of language used for creative expression and social comment, English Language empowers students to manipulate language for a variety of purposes in a range of contexts and to engage meaningfully and critically with the written texts central to functioning as citizens and in the world of work.
English Language and Literature both follow the WJE Educas exam board course (C700QS and C720QS).
It will be essential for students to take notes, learn quotations and learn how to structure essays to be successful in the English examinations. (There are plenty of study guides available to support students in their understanding of the texts they will study.) Students will be expected to work independently at home, both on homework tasks and regular revision. They will be encouraged to read for pleasure and for knowledge on a regular basis in their own time. Both GCSE courses make great demands on students to work accurately, to write in a rich style and with a varied vocabulary, and to respond to texts in a thoughtful and personal manner. The best way to do well in English is to get involved in class discussions, read enthusiastically, and write experimentally
Students follow the Eduqas GCSE English Language, and GCSE English Literature specifications. Both of these courses are 100% exam: there is no controlled assessment or coursework.
Students will sit the terminal examinations at the end of Year 11, which are made up in the following way: Component 1 (40%): Unseen fiction for analysis and a creative writing task. Two hour exam Component 2 (60%): Analysing and comparing nineteenth and twenty-first century non-fiction, Two hour exam and transactional writing tasks (letter, article or report, for example). Component 3 (0%): Presentation or Speech to a group. This is assessed and reported on the exam certificates but is not part of the final examination grade.
A lot of the skills for the analysing of text in both English Language and Literature are similar and will be taught alongside each other. The English Literature examinations are as follows -
Component 1 (40%): Two hour exam a) Shakespeare play Students will answer an extract question and a choice of essay questions. They will study one of the following plays: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth or Henry V. b) Poetry from 1789- the present day Students will answer two questions based on poetry studied in the Eduqas Poetry Anthology, one of which involves comparison. Component 2 (60%): Two and a half hour exam a) The Modern Text Students will answer one source-based question. Students are likely to study An Inspector Calls or A Taste of Honey. (There are other texts from which the teacher can choose) b) Nineteenth Century Novel Students will answer one source-based question. Students are likely to study War of the Worlds or The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. c) Unseen Poetry Students answer two questions on unseen poetry, one of which involves comparison.