folder English

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.

  1. AQA English Language GCSE (4705)
  • This course is taken by students in upper groups, and runs along- side AQA English Literature GCSE
  • Students are able to be entered at either Higher or Foundation Level depending on their ability.
  • Higher level entry candidates can achieve from D – A* grade.
  • Foundation level candidates can achieve from C – G grade.
  • The course consists of the following elements:
    • Unit 1 – Examination  based on understanding and  producing non-fiction texts – worth 60% or overall award and lasting for 2 hours, 15 minutes.
    • Unit 2 – Speaking and listening – all students are required to complete this unit. However, it does not contribute to the overall award -  it is accredited separately on their Examination Certificate.
    • Unit 3 – Controlled Assessment Tasks based on understanding spoken and written texts and writing creatively.



AQA English Literature GCSE

  • This course is taken by all students in Upper and Middle groups and is taught along-side both AQA English Language and Cambridge IGCSE.
  • Students are able to be entered at either Higher or Foundation Level depending on their ability.
  • Higher level entry candidates can achieve from D – A* grade
  • Foundation level candidates can achieve from C – G grade.
  • The course consists of the following elements:
  • Examination – there are 2 examinations for English Literature.
  • The combined worth of the examinations is 75% of the overall award.
  • Paper 1 is based on exploring modern texts, for which students study the novels ‘The Woman in Black’ by Susan Hill and ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck’.
  • Paper 2 is based on poetry, for which students study and write about a collection of poetry on the theme of conflict. Students also have to respond to a poem they have not studied in class.
  • Controlled Assessment  is worth 25% of the overall award.
  • The Controlled Assessment covers the Shakespeare requirement of the course.

  1. Cambridge IGCSE English
  • This Course is taken by students in middle groups and runs along-side AQA GCSE English Literature.
  • Students are entered at either Core or Extended level according to their ability.
  • Extended level entry candidates can achieve grades D – A*.
  • Core level candidates can achieve grades C – G.
  • The course consists of the following elements:
  • Examination – 2 hours for Extended Tier candidates; 1 hour 45 minutes for Core Tier candidates.
  • The examination is worth 50% of the overall award.
  • Coursework – three pieces of coursework that count for 10% each of the total award.
  • Speaking and Listening – assessed by examination and worth 20% of the overall award.

  1. AQA English GCSE
  • This course is taken by students in foundation groups.
  • It is a combined English Language and English Literature course, culminating in a single-award GCSE in English.
  • Students are able to be entered at either Higher or Foundation Level depending on their ability.
  • Higher level entry candidates can achieve from D – A* grade.
  • Foundation level candidates can achieve from C – G grade.
  • The course consists of the following elements:

    • Unit 1 – Examination based on understanding and producing non-fiction texts – worth 60% or overall award and lasting for 2 hours, 15 minutes.
    • Unit 2 – Speaking and listening – all students are required to complete this unit. However, it does not contribute to the overall award - it is accredited separately on their Examination Certificate.
    • Unit 3 – Controlled Assessment Tasks based on understanding spoken and written fictional texts and writing creatively.



  1. AQA Entry Level Certificate in English
  • This course is taken by a small number of students for whom a grade G at GCSE is doubtful.
  • The course assesses the following key skills: speaking and listening; reading and writing.
  • Students are assessed on five pieces of work combining the key skills.
  • Students are able to achieve Entry level one, two or three depending on the quality of their work.




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.

Reading

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.

Writing

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.

Speaking

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.

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