At KS4 there are 10 English groups.
There are 2 upper groups, two middle groups and a foundation group on each side of the timetable.
Students are taught English and English Literature during three one hour lessons per week.
Most students will receive two GCSEs – one in English and one in English Literature.
The aim of the English Curriculum at KS4 is to nurture the reading and writing skills developed at KS3 and to ensure that all students leave school with the ability to read and write well, and communicate effectively verbally.
Guided by this principal we offer different GCSE courses that are specially tailored to suit the need of our students.
AQA English Literature GCSE
The aim of Key Stage 3
There are three main areas of study for English at Key Stage Three: Reading, Writing and Speaking. The aim of our Key Stage 3 curriculum is to help pupils develop the ability to communicate effectively in all of these areas.
Our goal is that through reading texts from a range of contexts pupils will develop a cultural, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual appreciation of the world in which we live.
Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know including effective use of vocabulary and an appreciation of writers’ craft.
Pupils will develop the skills required to communicate their ideas and knowledge through effective and accurate use of vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and spelling. They will grasp the complexities and importance of being able to express themselves clearly in a range of forms and for a range of purposes.
Pupils will develop the confidence to share their ideas verbally. They will also be encouraged to listen and interpret what others say in a supportive nature questioning different perspectives and ideas. Pupils will understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate, as well as continuing to develop their skills in working collaboratively with their peers to discuss reading, writing and speech across the curriculum.
How they will learn
There is a strong emphasis on increased challenge in our Key Stage Three Curriculum. Lessons are pupil focused and aim to promote the development of independent learning and thinking skills.
There are three themes for each year group (one for each term) which allows us to cover a range of texts and skills under one umbrella. This includes texts which cover all aspects of the National Curriculum including Shakespeare, poetry, prose and texts from pre and post 1914.
It is hoped that this approach will make learning seem much more connected and therefore develop transferable skills. Each topic includes three formal assessments one for reading, one for writing and one for speaking and listening. This allows us to monitor progress in all areas. The challenge of each task increases (where appropriate) as the academic year moves forward.
Lessons are differentiated for all pupils with a specific focus on developing key skills with set 4 by looking at comprehension style tasks and more accessible texts. Upper groups receive increased challenge by more demanding texts.
Setting in Year 7
Currently we place students into sets based on ability using KS2 data. There are two parallel groups on the A and B side of the timetable and four sets within each.
Next year, with the loss of a cohesive level system we will need to complete base line testing in the first half term to ensure that pupils are set based on ability.
Setting in Year 8 & 9
All pupils complete end of year exams which are used to place them into sets for Year 8 and Year 9. These tests are similar to a SATS paper and link to one of the topics from earlier in the year.
In addition to these results the portfolio of assessments completed throughout the year and teachers’ professional judgment are used to make the final decision.
Looking forward to next year we will need to complete end of year exams that mirror the skills required by the new GCSE course(s). These will need to be developed in conjunction with the department and under the guidance of SLT depending on how the whole school will be replacing the current KS3 levels.