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 English Faculty

 


Head of Faculty – Mr S Veasey (sveasey@nationalce-ac.org.uk)

The English Faculty is comprised of eleven teachers, nine of whom teach English fulltime. We teach from six English classrooms at the main site and from three at the sixth form centre, whilst the library is an indispensable resource in enhancing the pupils’ enjoyment of reading and developing research skills.

At Key Stage 3, all pupils receive four lessons of English a week. One of these lessons is a dedicated reading lesson, with the goal being to foster or extend in all pupils a love of reading while also focusing on essential English SPaG skills (Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar). In year 9, the focus for the reading lesson changes to tackling challenging texts, to further prepare students for the demands of GCSE work in year 10. For those pupils with a below average reading age, we offer the Accelerated Reading program to develop their reading age. We, as passionate readers ourselves, see this as a major aspect of the service we offer the pupils.

In the other three lessons a week, pupils follow a curriculum that covers all aspects of the English National Curriculum through challenging, varied and methodical schemes of work. Accordingly, pupils are assessed regularly using the Reading, Writing or Speaking & Listening assessment foci. Moreover, as much as possible, we aim to show pupils how English is relevant to the real world by engaging with contemporary uses of English e.g. the language of modern technologies. In Key Stage 3, pupils work in mixed ability sets in year 7, while this changes to ability sets in years 8 & 9.

All keys stage 3 pupils are assessed for their reading age at the start and end of the school year, with some pupils, who are below the average chronological reading age, receiving an extra assessment midway. Moreover, all KS3 pupils are assessed formally for reading and writing using GCSE style assessments twice a year. These are alongside more regular assessments on specific skills.

Alongside their four English lessons, some pupils will receive an extra literacy lesson every week, focusing on essential, cross curricular literacy skills.

At Key Stage 4 pupils follow the AQA syllabus and are taught over five lessons a week in groups setted according to ability. All pupils study for both the English Language and English Literature GCSE during both KS4 years.

Lastly, at Key Stage 5 pupils can opt to study for AQA English Language and English Literature within the faculty.

 

KS3

Year 7 The first aim of year 7 is to allow for a smooth and effective transition from year 6. We engage with reading, writing and speaking & listening skills through thematic schemes of work. Units include: identity; Victorian heroes and villains; spy unit; creative writing; festival project. Pupils also study a classroom novel and the play ‘Our day Out’. Ensuring pupils have a good understanding of essential SPaG skills is also a key part of their learning.

Year 8 Pupils follow a thematic program of study, though all lessons are still firmly grounded and assessed using the same key stage 3 assessment foci. A range of literary texts are engaged with while we also aim to underline the modern relevance of English. The schemes of work are:

  • Class novel: text dependent on ability set
  • Creative writing: dystopian literature
  • Non-fiction: sport
  • Texts from other cultures
  • Media texts: the Titanic
  • 19th century literature
  • Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew

Again, further developing SPaG skills is a vital ingredient of the weekly lessons.

Year 9 The thematic schemes of work continue in year 9, again assessed using the same assessment foci. However, the main focus is on essential GCSE preparation. The schemes of work are:

  • Class novel: ‘Of Mice and Men’;
  • Poetry unit looking at poetry from 1789 to the present day (GCSE 2015 preparation);
  • GCSE preparation on non-fiction;
  • Creative writing unit;
  • Drama based unit on Shakespeare’s Macbeth exploring a key themes (GCSE 2015 preparation);
  • Extended reading: ‘Whose Life Is It Anyway’;
  • Gothic literature: GCSE preparation;

While all the time, pupils’ SPaG skills will still be a major focus to ensure they begin their KS4 education with these essential skills.

 

KS4

Pupils continue their GCSE studies in year 10, following the AQA syllabus. All pupils will study for their GCSE English Language and English Literature over both years,

English Language

What will I study?

You will study how different writers adapt form, structure and language in their texts to suit different purposes and audiences.   The texts you will study will be a range of fiction and non-fiction taken from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.   You will also study how you as a writer can adapt form, structure and language for different purposes and audiences. Hence, you will write extracts for non-fiction and fiction purposes.   You will lastly study how to adapt your spoken language to communicate clearly and effectively for different purposes.

How will I be assessed?

GCSE English Language is 100% exam assessed. You will sit 2 exams at the end of year 11. There is also a non-examined assessment of your speaking but this does not form a part of your GCSE final mark & grade. There are not different tiers in English Language so all pupils take the same paper.

English Literature

What will I study?
You will study a range of fiction texts that are regarded as important and influential examples of English literature. These are:

  • A Shakespeare play: Romeo and Juliet;
  • A 19th century text: A Christmas Carol;
  • A modern play: J B Priestley’s An Inspector Calls
  • A selection of poetry from 1789 to the present day that explores the themes of power & conflict.. How will I be assessed?
  •  

GCSE English Literature is 100% exam assessed. The pupils will sit 2 exams at the end of year 11. There are not different tiers in English Literature so all pupils take the same paper but will study different texts depending on ability. paper but will study different texts depending on ability.

KS5

The faculty offers two A levels: AQA English Language (syllabus B) and AQA English Literature (syllabus B).

English Literature
At AS level, you will focus on the study of a specific literary genre: tragedy.

The course is then structured into two units. In unit one you will study a Shakespeare drama (King Lear) and another tragic drama (Death of a Salesman). In unit 2, you will continue with the study of tragedy by reading and analysing a novel (The Great Gatsby) and a selection of poetry (Keats).

At A2 level, there are three units. In unit 1, the focus is on the genre of tragedy through the exploration of a Shakespeare text, a modern drama text and a novel. Unit 2 will explore the genre of political texts, through the study of two texts, a poetry selection (Songs of Innocence and Experience) and a novel (Harvest)

Lastly, unit 4, will use two critical theories ( Marxism & feminism) to analyse a literary text of the student’s own choosing.

English Language
AS English Language is assessed by two examinations: Language and the Individual and Language Varieties.

A2 English Language is assessed by two examinations: Language, the Individual and Society and Language Diversity and Change. There is also one piece of non-examination assessment to produce (an investigation and original writing).