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KS3 English

At Key Stage 3 we aim to:

  • introduce students to a wide range of challenging texts to develop their understanding of literature
  • enable students to analyse a range of non-fiction texts which are integrated into the content of each unit
  • develop students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through a study of fiction, including traditional texts and those from world literature
  • explicitly teach key aspects of spelling, punctuation and grammar which are reinforced through the schemes of work
  • prepare students for their GCSEs by building in exam-focused work and through building students’ confidence and competency with all areas of the examinations.
  • encourage students to develop a love of reading through library lessons and exciting opportunities to meet authors such as Robin Jarvis.
  • At KS3, students will study a range of exciting fiction and non-fiction texts and will complete the following units of work:

Year 7
‘War Horse’, The Beginnings of English Language, Poems from Different Cultures, The World Around Us (a thematic unit), Spies (a thematic unit) and Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Year 8
‘The Whale Rider’, ‘Dracula’, Fighting for Freedom (a thematic unit), Crime and Detection (a thematic unit), ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and Love Through the Ages (a thematic unit)

GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature

GCSE English

English is a dynamic subject and central to the College curriculum.

At Key Stage 4 we aim to:

  • develop students’ understanding of a range of challenging fiction and non-fiction texts, including writing from the 19th, 20th and 21st century
  • encourage students to become the best they can be by offering expert subject specialists and five English lessons per week.
  • offer opportunities to become critical, independent thinkers
  • encourage students to think beyond their text, classroom and community, and to respect the world contexts they are living in
  • fully prepare students for their terminal GCSE examinations.

All students will study both English Language and English Literature, for which they will gain two GCSEs. Students will begin preparation for their GCSEs in Year 9 and will work on themed units that focus on developing their reading and writing skills. Students will be given opportunities to read a range of engaging and challenging texts and will be encouraged to write creatively. All GCSE students are encouraged to develop independence, resilience and a commitment to excellence.

In Years 10 and 11, students will focus their studies on the set examination texts and will continue to develop as readers and writers. The set GCSE texts are: ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens, ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare, ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestley and a collection of war and conflict poetry. Students in Years 9, 10 and 11 will explore a range of literary and non-fiction texts and will complete formal, GCSE-style assessments throughout the three-year course. All students will sit four terminal exams at the end of Year 11 and will be awarded a level between 1 and 9. A ‘good’ GCSE pass will be classified as gaining a level 5 or above. At KS4 students will study the following:

Year 9
Literature: ‘Of Mice and Men’, ‘White Poppies’ (a play about WW1), Romeo and Juliet
Language: A range of English language units which develop reading and writing skills. These units are often themed and focus on promoting debate and engagement.

Years 10 and 11
A Christmas Carol, Unseen Poetry, Power and Conflict Poetry, Language Paper 1 and 2 (19th, 20th and 21st century fiction and non-fiction, Spoken Language, ‘An Inspector Calls’/‘Lord of the Flies’/’The Curious Incident of the Dog’.

Assessment is as follows:

  • there are no controlled assessments
  • GCSE English Language has two examination papers
  • GCSE English Literature also has two examination papers
  • spoken language skills are assessed through a single task and the award is reported alongside the GCSE Language grade. The spoken language assessment is separate from the GCSE Language qualification
  • examination papers are not tiered. All students take the same examination papers, regardless of ability.

English: a qualification for life

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

A-level English Language

A-level English Language

What will I study?
English Language students learn how our language works, as well as the power behind those words. Students will consider the impact of gender, age, technology and geography upon our language. You’ll never listen to rap lyrics or a Donald Trump speech in quite the same way again! Our students also write creatively, producing their own original writing for coursework. So if writing blogs, stories or articles is something you are interested in, English Language is for you. Students will have access to current journalists and visits from Buzzfeed and Cosmopolitan magazine.

What do students do afterwards?
Our students leave with an outstanding understanding of how and why humans communicate in the way we do, giving them routes into a range of careers including the media and journalism, as well as psychology, sociology and nursing. English Language is about communicating with others and some of our alumni now work within the arts such as the fashion brand Lulelemon, teaching dance in Dubai and working as journalists for Sky and Channel 4. The ability to use and understand language can take you anywhere!

How will I be assessed?
80% exam; 20% coursework.

What can I do to prepare?
Talk to other students who are already doing the course and ask them what they have done or wish they had done. Read widely; anything that takes your fancy and inspires you to think and discuss.

“The course is challenging yet rewarding as it pushed me to success.” – Kane Harland, Y13

A-level English Literature

A-level English Literature

What will I study?
Words matter. Wars are started over them. Great love affairs happen because of them. Studying English literature will give you the chance to read, think and discuss. In a world filled with 140 characters, Instagram and Snapchat, how often do you get the chance to fully absorb yourself in a good book? From Dracula to The Handmaid’s Tale, A-level literature is about amazing novels, poems and plays and our students get to grips with a range of texts covering a range of important issues. Our students are often creative writers, as well as enthusiastic readers and will have access to current journalists and visits from Buzzfeed and Cosmopolitan magazine. Literature that changes our world. Join us on the journey!

What do students do afterwards?
Last year, 100% of our students gained a grade C or above; 66% gained A* grades. Students have gone on to study English Literature, History, Psychology and Media-based degrees. Some are enjoying careers in the media, such as SKY and Channel 4 and others are continuing their studies at top establishments such as Oxford University.

How will I be assessed?
80% exam; 20% coursework.

What can I do to prepare?
Talk to other students who are already doing the course and ask them what they have done or wish they had done. Read widely; anything that takes your fancy and inspires you to think and discuss.

“We read interesting pieces of literature and have the chance to be creative.” – Rachel Russell, Y13