English provides plenty of opportunities to experience and reflect upon the emotional, psychological, spiritual and cultural dimensions of human experience. We seek to develop a depth and maturity of thought and understanding. Beginning in Year 9, the students follow a bespoke curriculum that provides them with a solid foundation to progress into study at GCSE. We aim to use Year 9 to develop confident reading and writing skills that will support students’ success across the curriculum, as well as in English.
The Year 9 course aims to develop and extend what students have learned in Year 7 and 8 in their previous schools, whilst bridging the gap between the end of Key Stage 3 and the GCSE Language and Literature courses. Students are encouraged to experiment and innovate with their writing; this includes creative and transactional (non–fiction) writing. There is an emphasis on securing the accuracy of students’ writing overall as well as using devices and techniques for effect. Within the reading of texts and poetry, students will consider context and purpose, and start to investigate the methods and techniques which writers use. Year 9 students have five English lessons per week.
Autumn Term 1: Iridescent and Adolescent (a collection of diverse short stories published by the English Media Centre)
Autumn Term 2: The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Spring Term 1: Poetry: focus on Nature and the Romantic poets
Spring Term 2: The Stories of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Summer Term 1: Non-fiction reading and writing
Summer Term 2: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
January Paper 1: Question on text - 45 minutes
Paper 2: Narrative Writing - 45 minutes
June Paper 1: Questions on 2 texts - 90 minutes
Paper 2: Transactional Writing - 45 minutes
English at GCSE level is used as a minimum requirement for most further education, higher education and job role specifications. This is because it provides one of the strongest foundations for success in these scenarios.
It’s one thing to be able to speak and write in English, but it’s another to understand the English language in its entirety. Consider how two different writers can have completely dissimilar styles. Or how their viewpoints and perspectives can reshape how language is used. The words in our language can be applied in many ways and contexts. When used effectively, spoken and written words can be incredibly powerful and influential. English Language studies the use of words in a scientific way. By studying GCSE English Language, students learn how to understand an author by the words they have written on the page. This will help them produce clear written work that can be adapted to any text they read or need to write in the future.
Studying English Literature helps to sharpen analytical skills. If students can take a text and find the themes plus connect it with other texts, theories and historical events, they are showing that they can handle complex ideas, search for patterns and interpret information in a wider context. They will also develop their planning and research skills as well as gaining knowledge of history, culture, philosophy and even human behaviour. Careers in the sciences, engineering, technology and maths also need more English than one might think. Writing proposals, academic papers or articles and communicating with others is key to getting funding for projects and telling people about the work being completed.
In Years 10 and 11 the students follow the AQA GCSE English Language and English Literature specifications gaining two GCSEs from their English lessons. The two courses complement each other as students learn to apply the reading and writing skills developed through the study of literature to the construction and analysis of creative and non-fiction texts.