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Ms N. Heap
Ms H. Gibson
Mr. J. Mulholland
Mrs S. Rees

Key Stage 3

In the English department, we value the skills of independent reading, thinking and problem solving, developing communication skills and working with others. During the course of the Key Stage 3 curriculum, we aim to provide opportunities for pupils to pursue these skills through a range of texts, themes and tasks. Our aim is to give all students the opportunity to explore both fiction and non-fiction texts, as well as to learn the functional skills needed to communicate in the world through reading, writing, talking and listening and ICT.

In Year 8, pupils study their own language development, a range of spelling strategies, different forms of poetry, Shakespeare’s Macbeth and creative writing, as well as entering into the Accelerated Reader programme which allows pupils to track their reading, set targets and earn points.

In Year 9, pupils study the genre of fantasy fiction, Irish poetry, film, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, media texts, persuasive writing, as well as continuing to read independently to earn points in the Accelerated Reader programme in the library. In Year 9, we also teach drama within English, exploring character through role play and other interactive strategies in the drama studio.

At the end of Year 10, pupils are accessed on their Communication skills, and so we provide a range of opportunities for reading, writing and talking and listening within class time. Activities in these units include a formal debate, writing newspaper articles and analysing leaflets. As well as those functional skills, pupils also study a play by Willy Russell, Our Day Out, an anthology of poetry and a collection of short stories in preparation for their GCSE English and English Literature courses in Years 11 and 12.

In the English department, we are also keen to provide opportunities outside of the classroom, so in addition to regular theatre visits and cinema trips, we enter the Mock Trial competition (at both junior and senior level) and the Times Spelling Bee on an annual basis. Pupils who take part thrive on the experiences gained from practicing their English skills outside the classroom and we encourage all pupils to get involved.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 we build on the skills such as independent reading, thinking and problem solving, developing communication skills and working with others that have been developed at Key Stage 3. We continue to provide a balance between fiction and non-fiction as well as providing some literature focus for those pupils who do not pursue English Literature GCSE as an optional subject.

Key Stage 4: GCSE

English Language

This subject is compulsory for all pupils. It consists of assessment three controlled assessment tasks, three controlled assessment speaking and listening tasks and two external examinations.

The examination board is CEA.

Internal, controlled assessment tasks (60%)
Speaking and listening assessment (20%) based on three best assessments

Written assessment: Studying Spoken and Written Language and Writing Creatively: (40%)
Task 1: The Study of Spoken Language (10%)
Task 2: The Study of Written Language (15%)
Task 3: Writing Creatively (15%)

External examination Assessment (40%)

Unit 1
Section A - Personal Writing: fluent, organised, engaging, accurate writing
Section B – Reading Multi-modal texts: analyse and explain how texts engage readers

Unit 2
Section A – Functional Writing:
Inform, Explain, Describe
Section B – Reading non-fiction:
Response to Non-fiction and Media

English Literature

This subject is optional at GCSE and consists of assessment through two terminal examinations and one controlled assessment task.

The examination board used will be AQA

Examination Assessment (75%)
(Choice of texts subject to change)

Unit 1: Exploring modern texts
The study of two prose texts (such as Lord of the Flies and Of Mice and Men)
Unit 2: Poetry across time (poetry cluster from anthology and unseen poem)

Internally assessed tasks (25%)

(Choice of texts subject to change)

Unit 3: The significance of Shakespeare and the English Literary Heritage (such as Macbeth and Animal Farm)
One comparative task

Key Stage 5/sixth form

At Key Stage 5 we seek to balance the development of skills such as independent study and critical analysis within the support of collaborative class study.

Pupils are given extra curricular opportunities to develop their skills and creativity through theatre visits, the annual Joyce Beckett writing competition run with Clongowes Wood College, participating in the senior mock trial, public speaking competitions and the annual Royal Schools debating competitions.

Key Stage 5: AS and A2 level

English Literature

The examination board used will be AQA

Unit 1: Aspects of narrative
Comparative study of Poetry and Prose pre and post 1900 (such as McEwan: Enduring Love, Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby, Browning anthology and Tennyson anthology)
(60% 0f AS, 30% of A2 level)

Study of two novels and two poetry texts answering two questions from two sections
2 hours open book

AS 2: Dramatic Genres
Coursework on two dramatists, one to be Shakespeare
(40% 0f AS, 20% of A2 level)

Study of two texts within dramatic genre of comedy (theme is subject to change): William Shakespeare’s As You Like It and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.
2 pieces of coursework

A2 3: Texts and genres
Comparative study of texts across genre pre and post 1800 (30% of A level)

Study of three texts within theme of gothic (theme is subject to change): William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus.
2 hours closed book

A2 4: Further and Independent Reading
Study of prose (such as Joyce: Dubliners, Friel: Translations and Shakespeare: The Tempest)
(20% of A level)

2 pieces of coursework, one to be comparative and one to show critical awareness