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.

What is the Curriculum within English?

It is our belief that the study of both English Language and English Literature helps to create well-rounded individuals, who possess the key life skills enabling them to communicate with others and live happily in an ever-changing world. The English curriculum has been designed and sequenced, primarily, to build on and develop the necessary skills and knowledge students will need to help them enjoy life and go into the world of work and further education. As a department, we purposefully revisit and revise topics and skills throughout KS3, KS4 and KS5 in order to refine the students’ mastery of English. Importantly, we pay special attention to literacy and reading, which is at the heart of being able to access the rest of the curriculum within the school and also are vital tools of building relationships and living successfully within a society. We desperately want students to be inquisitive of the subject, and to enjoy the many facets of studying English. Additionally, we have ensured that our students are studying a range of texts from across eras and areas; we use these texts as links to the outside world, as well as to issues linked more to citizenship, and always encourage debate and reflection of these sometimes contentious issues. Finally, we sincerely hope that through the study of English, our students become competent and confident communicators who can challenge what they see before them, as well as embrace others’ views and ideologies.

What will students learn in English?

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 KS3 Curriculum Map

What is GCSE English like?

English Language and Literature both follow the WJEC Eduqas exam board course (C700QS and C720QS), however, including and from the summer exams of 2021, students will sit the AQA English Language GCSE (8700).

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.

English KS4 Curriculum Map

How are Students Assessed at GCSE?

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.

English Language

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.

English Literature

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

  • Shakespeare play Students will answer an extract question and an essay question. They will study the following play: Romeo and Juliet
  • 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

  • The Modern Text
    Students will answer one source-based question. Students will study An Inspector Calls
  • Nineteenth Century Novel
    Students will answer one source-based question. Students will study The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  • Unseen Poetry
    Students answer two questions on unseen poetry, one of which involves comparison.

SCA Grade Descriptors for English

As of the summer exam series in 2021, our students will follow the AQA English Language board course (8700).