English

ENGLISH

Groupings in English:

Year 7 – In English, we teach Year 7 in mixed ability tutor groups.

Year 8 – English groups are the same as in History, RE, ICT, and Science. On each half of the year (Cornbury and Wychwood), there is a slightly smaller lower ability group (group 3) and then 2 parallel middle-to-higher ‘mixed-ability’ groups (group 1 and 2).  This pattern best fits the diverse needs of these subjects within the restrictions of only having 3 groups on each half. For example, in some subjects there are issues of having enough space in classrooms for larger groups. Final Year 7 levels in English have been used to create the initial groups, but teachers have also been asked for their input about how individual students learn best, and social factors have also been taken into account. Heads of Department, and Heads of Learning Community have also checked the groupings and contributed to the creation of the groups.

Year 9, 10 and 11 – In English, students are grouped into 4 classes on each half of the year (Cornbury and Wychwood).  There is a small lower-ability group on each half where the pace of the lessons and the support provided can more easily match the needs of the students in the group. There are 2 parallel middle groups (groups 2 and 3) which have exactly the same spread of ability and then 1 more able group (group 1).  Final end of year levels have been used to create the groups in Year 9 and 10, with other factors - such as the social mix of the group, and teacher input - also taken into account. In Year 11, groups are the same as Year 10 with one or two changes for specific reasons. Factors such as class size are also taken into account in these 3 years.

All students follow exactly the same curriculum and have the same opportunities to achieve all levels and grades – particularly as the GCSE papers no longer have tiered entry. This means all students will eventually sit exactly the same papers, so all lessons from Year 9 to Year 11 are preparing them for these exams. 

 

YEAR 7

ENGLISH CURRICULUM

Aim

To develop students into being confident readers and writers who are able to engage with a range of texts – fiction and non-fiction – and write creatively. Developing skills in speaking and listening is also a focus.

Topics covered

The course is arranged into 3 large terms and focuses on building skills from KS2. Students will study a mixture of prose fiction, non-fiction, poetry and a Shakespeare play. In particular:

Term 1 - Louis Sachar’s Holes alongside non-fiction texts about survival. Students build their skills of inference by studying characterisation and considering the structure of the novel. They build their speaking and listening skills through presentation, and also their writing skills through writing letters and articles related to the topic.

Term 2 - Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful alongside some poetry. Students consolidate their inference skills and move into exploring how language is used for effect in both prose and poetry. Creative writing is developed through tasks where students write a description of a relevant image, linked to the topic of the texts.

Term 3 - Shakespeare’s The Tempest alongside narrative adventure writing. Students will be introduced to Shakespeare and his world by exploring the narrative of The Tempest and exploring his language choices and their effects. The theme of adventure is then picked up with extracts from adventure stories, and students will develop their own narrative writing. 

Homework

Homework will be set each week and students are expected to spend between 20 and 30 minutes on it. The tasks will range from those designed to help students understand something, to applying skills learned in the lesson, to evaluating texts, ideas, and their own work. 

Assessment

Assessment criteria in year 7 are designed to move them on from KS2 and to begin to progress towards the skills required for GCSE. Assessments are spread across the year. Some will test independence through an unseen text or prompt for writing, and others will be an assessment of a particular element or passage they have been taught. 

YEAR 8

ENGLISH CURRICULUM

Aim

To develop students’ skills in each of the assessment objectives and for them to make progress. Certain aspects of the course will have a specific grammar focus with the aim of improving the accuracy and effectiveness of students’ writing.  Reading choices should become more sophisticated and responses will become more detailed and perceptive.

Topics covered

Students have 3 one-hour lessons a week in one of three groups on each half of the year. One group is marginally smaller for less able students and those for whom a slightly slower pace is helpful, and the other two are equally balanced with a mix of mid to high ability students. Across the year, students will cover each of the following topic areas:

Term 1 – The Gothic

Students will be introduced to the Gothic genre through a range of extracts of classic gothic stories. They will develop their own creative writing in response to this genre and develop their ability to explore the impact of language choices. Students will also study aspects of Shakespeare’s Macbeth make links to the Gothic, and developing their understanding of character development, and Shakespeare’s use of language. 

Term 2 – Writing about the World

Students will study a range of non-fiction writing, and in particular, travel writing. They will develop their own non-fiction writing skills and how to craft their use of language to present opinions, descriptions and ideas.

Term 3 – Stories from a Different Time

Students will study Philip Pullman’s The Ruby in the Smoke and will explore the Victorian setting of the story, beginning to make links to context. They will continue to develop their understanding of the writer’s methods in constructing the story. To develop their exploration of the Victorian period, they will also study extracts from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.

Homework

Homework will be set each week and students are expected to spend approximately 30 minutes on it. The tasks will range from those designed to help students understand something, to applying skills learned in the lesson, to evaluating texts, ideas, and their own work.

Assessment

Students are currently assessed based on 4 reading assessment objectives, which focus on: understanding texts; the ability to analyse language and structure; understanding how effects are created and the writer’s intentions; and the significance of the context of a text. There are also 2 writing assessment objectives which focus on style, content and structure, as well as grammar and spelling accuracy. Speaking and listening skills are taught as part of the courses. The English department continue to use National Curriculum levels to assess and monitor progress. Assessments are spread across the year. Some will test independence through an unseen text or prompt for writing, and others will be an assessment of a particular element or passage they have been taught

YEAR 9

ENGLISH CURRICULUM

Aim

To develop students’ skills in each of the assessment objectives and for them to make progress. Skills which have been studied across KS3 will be consolidated and teaching and learning will focus specifically on preparation for GCSE.

Topics covered

Students are taught in 1 of 4 broad ability groups, for 3 one hour lessons a week.

Between terms 1-4, students will study:

·         Prose – Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

·         Dystopian texts – extract based

·         Poetry  - based on the theme of Conflict

·         Non-fiction  - Speeches  - including the study of spoken language

In terms 5 and 6, students will study a range of topics and skills focusing on preparing them more specifically for the GCSE course. This will include practising exam skills.

Homework

Homework will be set each week and students are expected to spend between 30 and 40 minutes on it. The tasks will range from those designed to help students understand something, to applying skills learned in the lesson, to evaluating texts, ideas, and their own work.

Assessment

Students are currently assessed based on 4 reading assessment objectives, which focus on: understanding texts; the ability to analyse language and structure; understanding how effects are created and the writer’s intentions; and the significance of the context of a text. There are also 2 writing assessment objectives which focus on style, content and structure, as well as grammar and spelling accuracy. Speaking and listening skills are taught as part of the courses. The English department continue to use National Curriculum levels to assess and monitor progress. Some will test independence through an unseen text or prompt for writing, and others will be an assessment of a particular element or passage they have been taught.

YEAR 10 & 11

ENGLISH GCSE CURRICULUM

Aim

For students to develop their written accuracy and their ability to respond critically to a wide range of challenging texts – both fiction and non-fiction - from different contexts, time periods and writers. The English Language course also aims to improve student ability to use spoken language confidently and clearly in both presentation and discussion.  

Exam Boards

AQA English Language and AQA English Literature

AQA English Language

AQA English Literature

Programme of Study

All students will take both English Language and Literature, and will be taught in 1 of 4 broad ability groups – groups 2 and 3 are equivalent groups. There are 7 lessons a fortnight in Year 10, increasing to 8 a fortnight in Year 11.  Across both courses, students will study:

  • A variety of extracts of fiction and non-fiction, (including literary non-fiction) from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries
  • 19th century Prose
  • Shakespeare
  • Poetry from different time periods
  • Creative and discursive writing 
  • Modern drama
Homework

Homework will be set each week and students are expected to spend between 40 minutes to an hour on it. The tasks will range from those designed to help students understand something, to applying skills learned in the lesson, to evaluating texts, ideas, and their own work.

Assessment

English Language

Paper 1 – exam of 1 hour 45 minutes. Explorations in creative reading and writing.  One fiction extract (unseen before) with a range of short and longer answer questions, followed by a creative writing task.

Paper 2 – exam of 1 hour 45 minutes. Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives. One non-fiction extract and one literary non-fiction extract (both unseen before) with a range of short and longer answer questions, followed by a writing task relating to taking a viewpoint.

Spoken Language is assessed separately. Students will do a presentation and will then field questions and discussion. This will be awarded separately as a pass, merit or distinction. 

English Literature:

​Paper 1 – exam of 1 hour 45 minutes. Shakespeare and 19th-century novel.

Section A Shakespeare: students will answer one question on their play of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole.

Section B The 19th-century novel: students will answer one question on their novel of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole.

This paper is a closed book exam.

Paper 2 – exam of 2 hours 15 minutes. Modern texts and poetry.  

Section A Modern texts: students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text.

Section B Poetry: students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster.

Section C Unseen poetry: Students will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.

This paper is a closed book exam. 

YEAR 12 & 13

ENGLISH LITERATURE (Linear AS and A Level)

Aim

To develop understanding of the ways in which a range of literary texts can be read. Students are expected to be able to make links between texts from different writers and time periods, and overarching concepts from the genre of Tragedy and also from Political and Social Protest texts.

Topics covered

The course follows the AQA Literature B syllabus AQA website for English Literature

Paper 1: Literary Genres ‘Aspects of Tragedy’

Paper 2: Texts and Genres ‘Elements of political and social protest writing’

Texts studied:

Othello – William Shakespeare

Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller

Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini

The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood

Poetry by William Blake

Homework

Work will be set each lesson and students should expect to spend 4 hours of independent study on top of lesson time.  Tasks may include the following:

consolidation: write up class notes immediately after each lesson; re-read chapters, scenes and poems covered in class in the light of discussions; write a response to a section of text explored over one, or a number of lessons.

preparation:  read up on next lesson’s section of text or poem, annotate ideas relating to a particular theme, concept or character.

•Additional tasks include planning and drafting coursework, or responding to feedback on coursework drafts.

Assessment

  • Paper 1: written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • closed book

  • 75 marks

  • 40% of A-level

  • 1 extract based essay question on Othello

  • 1 further debate-style question on Othello

  • 1 essay linking Tess and Death of a Salesman to an aspect of tragedy.

  • Paper 2: written exam: 3 hours

  • open book

  • 75 marks

40% of A-level

  • 1 unseen extract to link to an aspect of political and social protest writing

  • 1 essay on either The Handmaid’s Tale or Kite Runner

  • 1 essay linking either The Handmaid’s Tale or The Kite Runner to Blake’s poetry

Coursework: 

Study of two texts: one poetry and one prose text, informed by the study of Critical Anthology.

Two essays of 1250-1500 words, each responding to a different text and linking to a different aspect of the Critical Anthology.

One essay can be re-creative. The re-creative piece will be accompanied by a commentary.

Assessed:

50 marks

20% of A Level

assessed by teachets 

moderated by AQA

YEAR 12 & 13

ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

Aim

To enable students to understand how language and literature are able to support each other as mutually supportive disciplines.  To encourage students to develop as independent, confident and reflective readers and writers.

Topics covered

The course follows the AQA Language and Literature A syllabus 

AQA AS and A Level Language and Literature

Paper 1: Telling Stories

The aim of this part of the subject content is to allow students to learn about how and why stories of different kinds are told. The will apply their knowledge to:

  • narratives that construct different views of a particular place

  • prose fiction that constructs imaginary worlds

  • poetry that constructs a strong sense of personal perspective.

Texts studied:

An anthology of texts about Paris

The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

The poetry of Robert Browning

Paper 2: Exploring Conflict

This part of the subject content focuses on how language choices help to construct ideas of conflict between people, and between people and their societies. Students will:

  • produce re-creative work that seeks to find an absent or underplayed perspective in the original text 

  • write a critical reflection on the processes and outcomes involved in re-creative work

  • study drama that explores conflicts at different levels from the domestic to the societal.

  • Texts studied:

    The Kite Runner

    Othello

Homework

Work will be set each lesson and students should expect to spend 4 hours of independent study on top of lesson time.  Tasks may include the following:

consolidation: write up class notes immediately after each lesson; re-read chapters and scenes covered in class in the light of discussions; write a response to a section of text explored over one, or a number of lessons.

preparation:  read up on next lesson’s section of text, annotate ideas relating to a particular theme, concept or character or planning for writing.

Additional tasks include: practice exam responses.

Assessment

Paper 1:

Written exam: 3 hours

100 marks

40% of A-Level

Questions

Section A – Remembered places

  • One compulsory question on the AQA Anthology: Paris (40 marks)

  • This section is closed book.

Section B – Imagined worlds

  • One question from a choice of two on prose set text (35 marks)

  • This section is open book.

Section C – Poetic voices

  • One question from a choice of two on poetry set text (25 marks)

This section is open book.

Paper 2:  

Assessed

written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

100 marks

40% of A Level

Questions

Section A – Writing about society

  • One piece of re-creative writing using set text (25 marks)

  • Critical commentary (30 marks)

  • This section is open book.

Section B – Dramatic encounters

  • One question from a choice of two on drama set text (45 marks)

This section is open book.

Coursework:

What's assessed

  • Making connections – investigation on a chosen theme and texts

Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activity

Assessed

  • Assessed by teachers

  • Moderated by AQA

  • 50 marks

20% of A-level

Task

A personal investigation that explores a specific technique or theme in both literary and non-literary discourse (2,500–3,000 words) 

updated: 20/01/2017