English

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Year 7

During Y7 pupils will read a variety of poetry, prose, and drama texts by a range of modern and classic writers including Shakespeare and 19th Century prose authors. They will be taught a range of skills, including how to break down a text; how to analyse the impact of a writer’s word choices and how to create their own creative and analytical texts. These skills will be tested in the end of year assessment; a test in Creative Reading and Writing designed by the AQA examination board to mirror the style of the GCSE English Language examination paper.

Term 1

In this term, students will undertake an induction unit to introduce them to English (literacy) at secondary level. It also gives us an opportunity to assess where they are at, and how we can adapt our curriculum to meet their individual needs. The induction unit covers reading, writing and group-work skills.

This is followed in the second half of the term by in-depth study of a prose text, introducing the skills of inference and deduction, unpicking the language effects, and exploring how texts are put together to achieve different effects (structure). This will lead up to analysis and evaluation. These are key reading skills; equipping students for more advanced responses to texts.

Homework: Year 7 pupils are set a piece of homework every week. Most tasks will relate closely to the units studied each half term although some may be stand-alone tasks tailored to the needs of each particular group.

Term 2

Students will undertake a mystery writing unit to broaden and deepen their writing skills. They will write in a range of genres and styles (both fiction and non-fiction) and be assessed on how they structure their writing for effect.

This will be followed by a unit of poetry and Shakespeare: exploring drama opportunities and the way that texts are put together to communicate interesting and varied ideas. This unit will allow for an appreciation of the Literary cannon, and will help introduce them to the literature components of the GCSE.

Homework: Year 7 pupils are set a piece of homework every week. Most tasks will relate closely to the units studied each half term although some may be stand-alone tasks tailored to the needs of each particular group.

Term 3

First half­term: pupils will be taught the skills necessary to answer questions on the AQA Y7 assessment test ‘Viewpoints and Perspectives’. This involves the analysis of two texts written at different time periods but linked by a common theme. It also includes a study of the skills necessary to produce a written discussion on an emotive topic. This will form the main assessment piece for this half term. Passages from a modern short story will also be used to revise the skills necessary to complete the end of year assessment test.

Year 7 students will complete the year by exploring drama – Shakespeare. They will study Shakespeare’s influence on global literature, and will respond to a selection of passages in a dramatic, analytical and creative way. This fosters an appreciation of language and effect which is a requirement of the literature curriculum.

Homework: Year 7 pupils are set a piece of homework every week. Most tasks will relate closely to the units studied each half term although some may be stand-alone tasks tailored to the needs of each particular group.

Year 8

Term 1

Students will begin Year 8 with an in-depth study of a prose text, building on the key skills developed in Year 7: inference and deduction, analysis and evaluation. These are key reading skills. Students will learn to prepare an extended response to a creative text, and to write in the style of the chosen author.

In the second half of this term, students will learn about myths and legends (classical Greek through to the modern day), exploring and analysing a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, with a strong emphasis on literary context and history. This will lead to a writing assessment where students will apply their learning to their own portfolio of work.

Homework: Year 8 pupils are set a piece of homework every week. Most tasks will relate closely to the units studied each half term although some may be stand-alone tasks tailored to the needs of each particular group.

Term 2

Pupils will start this term by studying a sample of portraits and tales (in modern translation) from Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. This will be followed by the study of a range of autobiographical writing in both poetry and prose. These texts will serve as models for the pupils’ own autobiographical writing. Their prose piece will form the basis for this term’s assessment.

Next, pupils will work through, with guidance, the AQA Y8 exam paper ‘Writer’s Viewpoints and Perspectives’. They will also learn the skills necessary to produce a discussion style essay on a topic of interest (e.g. ‘Technology: friend or foe?’). This piece will form the basis for this term’s assessment.

Homework: Year 8 pupils are set a piece of homework every week. Most tasks will relate closely to the units studied each half term although some may be stand-alone tasks tailored to the needs of each particular group.

Term 3

This term will begin by addressing any areas of development that have arisen form the AQA writing paper: revisiting and consolidating key skills to ensure they make excellent progress to prepare them for Year 9.

Finally, students will undertake a media-based unit where they will analyse advertising techniques and apply them to their own project: branding and marketing. This will explore English-skills in the real world and workplace, and draw on business and psychology concepts to help students develop their persuasion skills in formal communication, whilst also being able to critique and understand how advertising works.

Homework: Year 8 pupils are set a piece of homework every week. Most tasks will relate closely to the units studied each half term although some may be stand-alone tasks tailored to the needs of each particular group.

Year 9

Term 1

Students will begin Year 9 by exploring a demanding and engaging prose text such as The Hunger Games or Of Mice and Men. This will allow them to develop more sophisticated analysis and discussion skills in preparation for the GCSE year. The Dystopian Worlds unit (The Hunger Games) requires that students read widely: texts range from Orwell’s 1984, Golding’s Lord of the Flies, through to latest Carnegie winners and nominees Gardner’s Maggot Moon and Ness’ More Than This. This enables students to place literature in context, as well as practise the key skills of comparison and critique; presenting detailed discussions of language and structural features. To ensure students continue to mature in their writing, the term will culminate in a writing assessment drawing on all the writers’ techniques we have analysed.
Homework: A research project on the concept of dystopias and how they are presented, plus wider reading from a range of classic and modern texts.

Term 2

The second part of Year 9 continues to build on the skills developed across the key stage. This unit explores the influence of the gothic on culture and society, with a particular emphasis on nineteenth-century literature: drawing on a collection of classic texts such as Dracula, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights; and writers including Edgar Allen Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle. This provides a grounding for the GCSE literature exam, as well as GCSE English Language paper 2 which uses nineteenth-century non-fiction extracts as its base. Pupils will complete a closed book response to a GCSE examination style question which will form the basis of the second half­term.
Homework: Wider reading of a range of short stories from the 19th century.

Term 3

In the final half-term, students will study a Shakespeare text alongside poetry which matches the themes and ideas explored in the play. This gives them a solid grounding in key aspects of the GCSE examinations. Texts typically studied are Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Richard III: the choice will be made on the interests and abilities of the class. Complementary poetry can include the themes of love, conflict and identity, depending on the choice of play. Analysis, comparison and evaluation skills (which underpin both GCSE Language and Literature) will be explicitly taught and developed.In the final half-term, students will study a Shakespeare text alongside poetry which matches the themes and ideas explored in the play. This gives them a solid grounding in key these aspects of the GCSE examinations. Texts typically studied are Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Richard III: the choice will be made on the interests and abilities of the class. Complementary poetry can include the themes of love, conflict and identity, depending on the choice of play. Analysis, comparison and evaluation skills (which underpin both GCSE Language and Literature) will be explicitly taught and developed.
Homework: Year 9 pupils are set piece of homework every week. Most tasks will relate closely to the units studied each half term although some may be stand-alone tasks tailored to the needs of each particular group.

Year 10

Please note that the current Year 10 are undertaking the first year of the new GCSE: alphabetic grades are no longer used for English, students will be awarded a number from 1-9 at the end of the course, with 9 being the highest grade achievable (equivalent to an A*).

Term 1

We deliver a ‘Taster Unit’ introducing students to the structure of the exam-only GCSE course, focussing specifically on the reading and writing skills required in Paper 1 of the English Language exam paper.

 

This is followed by an in-depth study of the first literature prose text: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Students will need to know this text thoroughly for the Year 11 exam.

 

Term 2

The new term will begin by exploring non-fiction 19th century texts to prepare students for the English Language paper 2. Whilst we are developing our reading skills for this paper, we will be practising our non-fiction writing skills for Section B of the exam (paper 2).

After the first half of this term, we will explore several of the poems required for Literature Paper 2: poetry. There are a selection of themes available for examination, and we shall select a body of work that best reflects the interests and abilities of our students. This year we will look at the presentation of power and conflict in traditional and modern British poetry.

Term 3

In this term, students will complete a module in advanced writing skills to help prepare them for the two English Language papers: sentence and paragraph structures, figurative and rhetorical techniques. This will be underpinned with spelling, grammar and punctuation revision to ensure students achieve their full potential.

Further into the summer term, students will prepare for their mock exams and will consolidate their learning from across the year: revision activities, summarising and addressing targets from their portfolio of exam skills and techniques.

Year 11

Term 1

Students will study a Shakespeare play. This year (2016-2017) will be Romeo and Juliet. This is one of the set texts in the literature exams. As the exam questions are extract-based, students must be prepared to respond to any passage from the play: this requires regular application of analysis skills and an excellent working knowledge of the themes and ideas in the text.

After half-term, the skill focus is making comparisons between texts.

English Language exam skills: preparing students for the reading and writing sections of the exam papers – analysing fiction (paper 1) and non-fiction (paper 2) in the first sections of each exam paper; also writing creatively (paper 1) and discursively (paper 2).

A mock for Paper 2 (non-fiction) in English Language and revision for the 19th century text (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) will take students up to the Christmas holidays.

Throughout the school year, students will prepare for the literature poetry exam on ‘Poetry Fridays’: covering a selection of modern and established poetry exploring the interrelated themes of power and conflict.

Term 2

Students will study a modern text: either An Inspector Calls or Lord of the Flies. This is the final text that students will study for the literature exams. Waiting until the penultimate term means the test is fresh in their minds for the upcoming exams. They need to be prepared to answer questions on the themes, ideas, language and structural effects. For more able students: identifying and commenting on patterns in the presentation (motifs, contrasts etc.) are key skills for this term.

As above, Poetry Fridays will continue in this term.

Term 3

Exam revision and preparation for all four exams.

Homework will focus on consolidation and revision of key skills and texts.

Key Stage 5

AS and A2 level English builds on the analysis and argument skills of GCSE: giving students the breadth and depth of a range of world and classical literatures. English Literature is a well-respected traditional academic and, as such, is seen as a desirable qualification for progression to university and within most careers: after all, communication is key in every walk of life.
At AS Level, we study a range of texts within the tragedy genre at Year 12, including Shakespeare, modern texts and American writing: drama, prose and poetry are all covered in depth. Further, an extensive wider reading component ensures students have a good grasp of literary tradition. Students are entered for two exam papers at the end of the Year 12 (which can complete the AS qualification if desired).
Year 13 (A2 Level) builds on the skills developed in Year 12. Students can choose to study crime writing or political writing for their examined topics: three texts within the chosen genre are studied in depth, leading to two examination papers. Students then have more freedom to pursue independent study and texts of their choice in the coursework component, which is supervised by the teacher in negotiation with the student’s own interests. Finally, unseen extracts are used in the examination to test a student’s analysis, evaluation and inference skills.