English

Year 8 – English groups are the same as in Computing, Drama, DT, Geography, History, Music, PD, RE and Science. They are therefore mixed ability to reflect the diverse skills required across these subjects. Cornbury and Wychwood are mixed together. Final Year 7 levels in English and Science are used to create the initial groups, then Heads of Department, the Head of Learning community, and subject teachers are asked for their input individual students and social factors are taken into account.

Year 9 - Students are grouped into 7 mixed ability groups with Cornbury and Wychwood students mixed together. Final end of Year 8 levels are used to create the groups in Year 9, with other factors - such as the social mix of the group, and teacher knowledge of individual students – also being taken into account.

Year 10 - Students are grouped into 7 classes with Cornbury and Wychwood students mixed together. Four groups are comprised of middle and higher attaining students, two slightly smaller groups are of middle and low attaining students, and a final small group is created for those who need more support. There is no difference in the content taught to any class, as all students follow the GCSEs in English Language and Literature, for which there is no tiered entry: all students sit the same papers at the end of Year 11.

Year 11 – As for Year 10, students are grouped into 7 classes with Cornbury and Wychwood students mixed together. Four groups are comprised of middle and higher attaining students, two slightly smaller groups are of middle and low attaining students, and a final small group is created for those who need more support. There is no difference in the content taught to any class, as all students follow the GCSEs in English Language and Literature, for which there is no tiered entry: all students sit the same papers at the end of Year 11.

Curriculum

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 three large terms and focuses on building skills from KS2. Students will study a mixture of prose fiction, non-fiction, poetry and a Shakespeare play. There are 3 one-hour lessons per week and one library lesson per fortnight.

Term 1 (September until Christmas) - Louis Sachar’s Holes is studied 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 presentations, and also their writing skills through writing letters and articles related to the topic.

Term 2 (Christmas until Easter) – Students consolidate their inference skills and move into exploring how language is used for effect in both prose and poetry. We begin with poetry, including work by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes and students learn how to analyse the effects of the choices made by the poet. We then study Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful to explore the same skills in prose fiction, to further consider characterisation, and to develop understanding of more complex structural choices. Creative writing is developed through tasks where students write a description of an image, linked to the topic of the texts.

Term 3 (Easter until the summer) - Shakespeare’s The Tempest is explored alongside the genre of adventure stories. Students are introduced to Shakespeare and his world by exploring the narrative of The Tempest and exploring his language choices and their effects, as well as beginning to link the writer’s choices to key themes. The concept of genre conventions is then introduced through extracts from adventure stories. Using this knowledge, students develop their own narrative writing.

In Year 7, we also follow the Accelerated Reader programme and students are expected to read at home for 20 minutes every day as well as being given 20 minutes of reading time in school each day. Students are encouraged to quiz on the books they have read as soon as possible after finishing them. This is also the focus of the fortnightly library lessons.

Homework

Homework will be set each week and students are expected to spend between 20 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 will be assessed using criteria that 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. In their writing, they will be assessed using criteria that focus on style, content, coherence, and structure, as well as grammar and spelling accuracy. Speaking and listening skills are taught as part of the courses. Assessments are spread out across the year with a separate reading and writing assessment in each term.

YEAR 8

ENGLISH CURRICULUM

Aim

To build skills in understanding, inference and analysis by reading increasingly complex texts, and developing greater sophistication and accuracy in writing to enable progress. Certain aspects of the course will have a specific grammar focus with the aim of improving the accuracy and effectiveness of students’ writing and analysis. Independent reading choices are expected to become more sophisticated and responses to texts studied should become more detailed and perceptive.

Topics covered

Students have three one-hour lessons a week.

Term 1 (Sept- Christmas) – 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 learning about the conventions and thus develop their ability to explore the impact of language choices. Students will also study aspects of Shakespeare’s Macbeth making links to gothic conventions, developing their understanding of character development and change, and exploring Shakespeare’s use of language.

Term 2 (Christmas – Easter) – Writing about the World

Students will study a range of non-fiction writing - in particular autobiography, travel writing and poetry from different cultures. Through these texts, students are introduced to a diverse range of voices and experiences from across the globe. They will develop their own non-fiction writing skills and learn how to craft their use of language to present opinions, descriptions and ideas, as well as improving their analytical skills.

Term 3 (Easter- summer) – Stories from a Different Time and The Criminal World.

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.

In Year 8, we also follow the Accelerated Reader programme and students are expected to read at home for 20 minutes every day as well as being given 20 minutes for reading in school each day. Students are encouraged to quiz on the books they have read as soon as possible after finishing them.

Homework

Homework will be set each week and students are expected to spend between 30-45 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 will be assessed using criteria that 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. In their writing, they will be assessed using criteria that focus on style, content, coherence, and structure, as well as grammar and spelling accuracy. Speaking and listening skills are taught as part of the courses. Assessments are spread out across the year with a separate reading and writing assessment completed each term.

YEAR 9

ENGLISH CURRICULUM

Aim

To develop students’ confidence with increasingly challenging texts, and to teach students to explore more sophisticated literary ideas, as well as being able to articulate their understanding in more developed written work. 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 for three one hour lessons a week.

From September to November, students will study Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. They will be introduced to a wide range of writer’s methods, consider the construction of the text as a whole, and will learn how to link these together to support a detailed analysis of a character or idea.

From November to December, students will explore the dystopian genre through a range of extracts from classic and modern texts. We will reinforce aspects of language terminology, but will also focus on improving vocabulary and sharpening student use of structural features in their own crafted writing in response to an image.

From January to February, students will develop their poetry analysis by exploring a wide range of poems by a diverse range of poets. Choices will be based around the themes of conflict, love, diversity and protest. Understanding how to explore the effects of poetic methods, to link these to the poet’s intentions, and to be able to make comparisons will form a significant part of the teaching.

From February to March, students will study a range of opinion piece texts, including newspaper columns and speeches. As well as learning to analyse rhetoric, students will use the texts to inspire their own persuasive arguments, building up their written accuracy and sophistication.

From April to July, students will study a range of topics and skills focusing on preparing them more specifically for the GCSE course. This will include developing narrative writing, practising exam skills using unseen texts, and beginning to introduce some of the taught texts.

Homework

Homework will be set each week and students will be expected to spend between 30-45 minutes on it. The tasks will range from those designed to help students understand something, to applying skills learned in the lesson, evaluating texts, ideas, and improving their own work.

Assessment

Students will be assessed using criteria that 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. In their writing, they will be assessed using criteria that focus on style, content, coherency, and structure, as well as grammar and spelling accuracy. Speaking and listening skills are taught as part of the courses. Assessments are spread out across the year with a separate reading and writing assessment completed each term.

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, have 8 lessons a fortnight. 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: either Jekyll and Hyde, or The Sign of the Four
  • Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
  • Poetry from different time periods
  • Creative and discursive writing
  • Modern drama: An Inspector Calls

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. Specific tasks will also be set to focus on building skills for revision, with different texts being revisited at different times across the course.

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 Romeo and Juliet. 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 either Jekyll and Hyde or The Sign of the Four. 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 An Inspector Calls.

Section B Poetry: students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from the Power and Conflict poetry cluster in the anthology they will be taught.

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

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 the genre of political and social protest writing.

Topics covered

The course follows the AQA Literature B syllabus

AQA website for English Literature

Paper 1: Literary Genres ‘Aspects of Tragedy’

Texts studied:

Othello – William Shakespeare

Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller

Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

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

Texts studied

The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini

The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood

Songs of Innocence and Experience poetry by William Blake

In addition, students are taught about a range of critical approaches and will select both a poetry and a prose text to study independently for coursework.

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, The Kite Runner, or Songs of Innocence and Experience.
  • 1 essay linking the remaining two texts to an aspect of political and social protest writing

Non-Examined Assessment (coursework):

Study of two texts: one poetry and one prose text, informed by the study of a Critical Anthology which will introduce critical theories such as feminism, Marxism and post-colonialism.

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 availble

  • 20% of A Level

· assessed by teachers and 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

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

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 - Khaled Hasseini

Othello - William Shakespeare

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 Frankenstein (35 marks)
  • This section is open book.

Section C – Poetic voices

  • One question from a choice of two on Browning’s poetry (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 The Kite Runner (25 marks)
  • Critical commentary (30 marks)
  • This section is open book.

Section B – Dramatic encounters

  • One question from a choice of two on Othello (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 and 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)