English

English Penguin

As a department, we are committed to developing independent, autonomous learners. We wholeheartedly believe that it is our responsibility to instil a passion for English in our students, encouraging them to become lifelong literary explorers who will take delight in reading, writing and thinking.
 
Students are encouraged to think creatively and critically, and their development in these areas is structured and supported. English students will grow into compassionate adults who are capable of reflecting upon their life’s experiences with exceptional empathy and humility.
 
In Years 7 and 8, pupils begin the start of a 5-year English course that prepares them for their English GCSEs. Students follow a curriculum that encourages them to think, to enjoy English, and to develop as readers and writers. They are taught in ability groups and are involved in a range of creative learning opportunities. A number of students will also benefit from additional English support through intervention and tuition programmes.
 
In Years 9, 10 and 11, pupils directly study for AQA GCSE English Language and English Literature qualifications.
Students are also offered the opportunity to continue their English education, opting to take A Level English Literature, an EdExcel qualification. At this Key Stage, as well as others, we intend to capture students’ interest and give them a secure and signposted route for learning in a climate that is healthy and empowers them to reach their full potential.
 
Year 7:
Students in English develop a range of reading and writing skills in interpreting, discussing and responding to a range of fictional and non-fictional texts and stimuli, in a variety of forms – letters, poems, dialogues, reports and narratives. Oral communication skills are practised through debate and pair and group discussion. Students are taught to use learning strategies through study skills techniques and to take responsibility for the organisation of their learning materials.
 
Year 8:
Students develop skills in oracy, reading and writing, which build on the Year 7 foundation and anticipate Year 9 programmes of study. The Year 8 programme encompasses the study of novels, plays, poetry which cover the full range of written GCSE materials and embraces formal and informal discussion. The demands of the course require that a number of texts are studied, which cover fiction and non-fiction genres from pre-twentieth century to modern authors. In addition, students develop their skills in creative and non-fiction writing and hone their application of grammar.
 
Year 9:
Year 9 begins with the first teaching of the GCSE set texts for Literature: ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Macbeth’ and ‘An Inspector Calls’. The new specifications studied at GCSE mean that final exams are closed book, so students not only learn plot, character and theme, but begin to learn key quotations and the importance of structure and form.
 
The study of the texts also focuses on both the social and historical context of the text and key extracts in context of the text as a whole. Following this, students focus on the specific skills in English Language required for the final GCSE papers: creative reading and writing and reading and writing from perspective.
 
Years 10 and 11:
All students follow the AQA course in English Language and the AQA course in English Literature. Students develop their reading skills and analysis of writers’ use of language and structure to convey perspectives and meaning. Students also develop their retrieval, inference and critical evaluation skills. The second section of the GCSE allows students to use their creativity to write descriptions and narratives based on images or themes, and gives students the opportunity to voice and argue their points of view on relevant, topical scenarios and situations. In addition to this, students undertake a Spoken Language examination which requires them to prepare and present their views on a topic of their choice.
 
 
 

A-LEVEL ENGLISH LITERATURE

English Literature at A Level provides students with a natural progression from their GCSE study of the subject. It encourages students to develop their interest in and appreciation of English Literature, through the study of a variety of texts from across the literary canon. 
The course content requires students to study: four prose texts at AS Level ‘Frankenstein’, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, ‘Never Let Me Go’ and ‘War of the Worlds’; two plays ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and Shakespeare’s play ‘King Lear’; a range of modern poetry ‘A Forward Anthology of Poetry’ and Chaucer. In addition to this, students complete one comparative piece of coursework based on two texts of their choice.
 
This course is particularly suitable for those students who wish to study English Literature in Higher Education. It encourages students to take responsibility for their learning and gives them a strong grounding in the academic principles relating to analysis, evaluation and critical engagement.