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English

Head of Department - Mrs Griffiths

The English department encourages students to be confident, reflective and independent learners. The Personal Learning and Thinking Skills are embedded in our programmes of study and we work closely with other departments to help our students transfer their skills between lessons. Wider reading is encouraged throughout all units of work; we also run theatre trips and liaise with the library in providing a range of extracurricular activities. Homework is set each week to reinforce class work and to encourage independent learning. We seek to value the achievements of each individual.

Key Stage 3

Our aim is to help students settle into life at John O’Gaunt as smoothly as possible and encourage students to share their experiences of reading with one another through book reviews and recommendations.

At Key Stage 3, students follow a short transition unit and then six half termly units each year covering a wide range of topics including: novels, non-fiction texts, media and film, short stories, Shakespeare and poetry. Students receive six English lessons a fortnight and enjoy a wide range of activities including: drama, presentations, group work, individual work, interactive whiteboard activities, library lessons and research projects.

In Year 7 pupils are taught in mixed ability tutor groups and from Year 8 divided into sets based on their ability and progress. All schemes of work have been devised in-house by the department and are regularly reviewed and developed. The department uses the Assessing Pupils' Progress strategy (APP) where progression is measured against nineteen reading, writing and speaking and listening assessment foci. Students are encouraged to set their own targets and as a department we focus on encouraging students to recognise their individual talents and strive to improve in areas which they find more challenging.

Key Stage 4

GCSE English Language

What is the qualification?     AQA English Language GCSE

What will I learn in English Language?

You will learn to write creatively, persuasively, argumentatively, and analytically. You will also study speaking and listening techniques in preparation for your speaking and listening exam.

Course overview of English Language

  • Paper 1: Reading – Analysis of Unseen Fiction: 20th Century
  • Paper 1: Writing – Descriptive and narrative writing. An examination of short stories and poetry to understand plot development in timed conditions.
  • Paper 2: Reading – Analysis of Unseen Non-fiction: Pre-20th Century and Post-20th Century
  • Paper 2: Writing – Writing Non-fiction Texts - Persuasive writing techniques.

Speaking and listening assessment on a topic of their choice. Comprises of a 4 minute speech and 4-5 minutes of questions from the class.

How will I be assessed in English Language?

Title Length Number of marks % contribution
Paper 1: Explorations in creative reading and writing 1 hour 45 mins 80 50%
Paper 2: Writers' viewpoints and perspectives 1 hour 45 mins 80 50%
Speaking and Listening Assessment 8-10 mins Separate certificate - pass, merit or distinction Compulsory element

 What skills will I develop in English Language?

  • The ability to write clearly and explain yourself
  • The ability to be creative and imaginative
  • Enjoying speaking and performing in front of others
  • An excellent grasp of spelling, use of punctuation and grammar.

Why should I study English Language?

GCSE English Language will allow you to demonstrate the use of English in real life, investigate how language is used and draw on your own experience. English is invaluable for your future no matter what you are aiming for. A good command of the spoken and written word will help you every day – and benefit all your other GCSEs too. Whatever you end up doing, English is a must have subject for college, university, work and life!

Which career pathways will English Language lead to?

English will be a requirement if you wish to pursue:  Law, Journalism, Teaching, Media Studies, Humanities (psychology, history) Editing, Creative Writing, Politics, Research, Public Relations.

It will also be useful to you in any subjects that require writing, research, or communication skills of any kind. Some examples include: Business, Service industry/reception, Social Work, Nursing, Marketing, Sales, and many more besides.

GCSE English Literature

What is the qualification?     AQA English Literature GCSE

What will I learn in English Literature?

You will learn to respond in essay form to a variety of texts, some modern and some of literary heritage: poetry, modern drama, texts from different cultures and Shakespeare. You will learn to analyse literature, the social and historical contexts it was written in, and the author’s ideas. 

Course overview of English Literature

  • A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
  • Macbeth -William Shakespeare
  • An Inspector Calls - J B Priestley
  • Love and Relationships - Poetry anthology
  • Unseen Poetry analysis

 How will I be assessed in English Literature?

Title Length Number of marks % contribution
Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel 1 hour 45 mins 64 40%
Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry 2 hours 15 mins 96 60%
       

What skills will I develop in English Literature?

  • The ability to write clearly and explain yourself
  • The ability to be creative and imaginative
  • The ability to consider texts in light of their contexts
  • The ability to analyse, critique, and discuss texts

Why should I study English Literature?

GCSE English Literature offers you the chance to study classic literature and some contemporary novels too. It will teach the skills of literal and inferential comprehension and critical analysis. It will teach you to communicate your ideas effectively.

Which career pathways will English Literature lead to?

English will be a requirement if you wish to pursue:  Law, Journalism, Teaching, Media Studies, Humanities (psychology, history etc.), Editing, Creative Writing, Politics, Research, Public Relations.

It will also be useful to you in any subjects that require writing, research, or communication skills of any kind. Some examples include: Business, Service industry/reception, Social Work, Nursing, Marketing, Sales, and many more besides