We believe English unlocks the door of opportunity for our students. We want to inspire a love of English within every student by introducing them to an exciting range of writers, texts, cultures and ways of thinking. We will teach students ‘the best that has been thought and said’ in order to develop their knowledge of English language and literature, and hone their own creative and critical voice in response. We are committed to ensuring that every student leaves RHS with the essential qualifications and communication skills needed for future success - and a knowledge and appreciation of English language and literature that will stay with them for life.
Schemes of Learning
Schemes of Learning are planned with the view that every Year 7 student is a potential A-Level English student: we aim high and plan with the key knowledge, skills and concepts in mind to potentially take students through to university in the subject.
Key Stage Three therefore allows students to explore a range of fiction and non-fiction from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries to lay the ground for the texts studied in Key Stage Four and Five. There is a situating of texts in their historical, social and cultural contexts, a focus on thinking hard about challenging ideas, a training in how to plan and execute extended writing and a strong emphasis on accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar alongside adventurous vocabulary so that students can express themselves with confidence.
KEY STAGE THREE – Years 7, 8 and 9
Before students come to Ruislip High, they are invited to explore the Super Curriculum by
- Reading: Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Visiting: The Globe Theatre and watching a production of a Shakespeare play.
- To start exploring the themes, genres and ideas we will be studying in English in Year 7
Autumn Term: EXPRESSING YOURSELF
English Language: AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WRITING
English Literature: RHETORIC IN SHAKESPEARE’S JULIUS CAESAR
Students firstly study autobiographies and write their own, focusing on descriptive writing, narrative sequencing and authorial voice.
After half term, students progress to studying Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ with a focus on rhetoric through the famous speeches in the play. They are also introduced to the world of Shakespeare and the Globe to establish understanding of Shakespearean context.
Autumn Term Assessments:
English Language: Autobiographical writing
English Literature: Analytical writing based on an extract from a Shakespeare text
- Reading: Boy and Going Solo by Roald Dahl or I am Malala, ‘Boy’ ‘Great Walk to Freedom’ ‘Memoirs of a Child Soldier’ or ‘Anne Frank’s Diary’
- Visiting: Visit the Imperial War Museum or Churchill’s War Rooms
Spring Term: EXPLORING VIEWPOINTS
English Language: FAMOUS SPEECHES
English Literature: THE NOVEL: FAT BOY SWIM/CHINESE CINDERELLA
Having explored Shakespeare’s use of rhetoric in Julius Caesar in the Autumn Term, students study a range of famous speeches before writing their own persuasive speech.
After half term, students continue to develop their reading skills while learning how to write analytically, based on extracts from Catherine Forde’s ‘Fat Boy Swim or those from the novel ‘Chinese Cinderella’. Both texts also allow for the discussion of wider social and cultural issues faced by young people around the world.
Spring Term Assessments:
English Language: Persuasive speech writing
English Literature: Analytical writing based on extracts from a 20th century text.
- Reading: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
- Visiting: Visit the Victoria & Albert Museum China Galleries
Summer Term: AMBITION AND HEROES
English Literature: DRAMA: Philip Pullman’s ‘Frankenstein
English Literature: POETRY: An introduction to poetic forms
Students study Philip Pullman’s adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic novel ‘Frankenstein’, learning about dramatic form and structure, analysing extracts from the play, evaluating viewpoints and ideas and writing and presenting their own persuasive speech relating to the issues in the play. A short introduction to poetic forms also offers the chance for creative writing, as students write their own poems and descriptive pieces based on the poems analysed.
Spring Term Assessments:
English Literature: Evaluative writing based on ‘Frankenstein’
English Language: Creative and persuasive tasks based on ‘Frankenstein’ and/or poetry
- Reading: Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
- Visiting: Attend a poetry event from http://poetrylondon.co.uk/listings/
- Ensure you email the chosen event first to make sure it is child-friendly.
- Reading: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
- Visiting: The Tower of London
Autumn Term: INTRODUCING THE GOTHIC GENRE
Students spend the first half term reading ‘The Woman in Black’ by Susan Hill and exploring a range of Gothic texts through wider reading and independent study, immersing themselves in the Gothic world and analysing the form, structure and language of Gothic literature. After half term, they develop their own Gothic short story and read it back in performance to the whole class.
English Literature: Analytical writing about fiction and non-fiction texts
English Language: creative (narrative) writing
- Reading: Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ (abridged)
- Visiting: Watch a performance of The Woman in Black at the theatre
Spring Term: FROM PERSONAL TO POLITICAL
English Language: LONDON THROUGH THE PAGES
English Literature: ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
Students explore a range of texts linked to London, ranging from the 19th century to the present day. They develop their analytical writing about a range of unseen prose extracts to build their confidence with texts from Victorian times to the present. They then move on to the modern classic ‘Animal Farm’ which introduces students to the allegorical form and the political context of Communism and the Russian Revolution.
English Language: Evaluative and analytical writing comparing a range of fiction and non-fiction texts
English Literature: Analytical writing about ‘Animal Farm’
- Reading: 1984 by George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London’ by George Orwell or Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.
- Visiting: The Dickens Museum
Summer Term: AN INTRODUCTION TO TRAGEDY
English Literature: DRAMA: TRAGEDY Romeo and Juliet
English Literature: Comparing poetry
Returning to Shakespeare after studying Julius Caesar in Year 7, students explore the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. This is followed by a comparative poetry scheme of learning, in which students develop the skill of comparing different texts further.
English Literature: Analytical writing based on an extract from a Shakespeare play
English Literature: Comparative writing: comparing unseen poems
- Reading: Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
- Visiting: Watch a production of Romeo and Juliet or West Side Story - google what's on near you
- Reading: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- Visiting: The Wallace Collection
Autumn Term: EXPLORING POWER AND PREJUDICE
English Language: ‘RABBIT PROOF FENCE’
English Literature: ‘OF MICE AND MEN‘
Students study the Australian text and film ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’, exploring Britain’s colonial history as a basis for a variety of creative writing tasks which explore different viewpoints. An independent study project on the context of ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’ encourages student research skills. After half term, students read the classic American novel ‘Of Mice and Men’, exploring 20th century history and context alongside the language, form and structure of this famous novella.
English Language: Descriptive and narrative writing based on a picture prompt or statement
English Literature: Analytical writing based on an extract from ‘Of Mice and Men’
- Reading: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Visiting: The British Museum
Spring Term: VIEWS OF THE WORLD
English Language: VIEWPOINT WRITING
English Literature: DYSTOPIAN GENRE STUDY
The Spring term starts with a topical unit based on current news, views and issues leads students to engage with and explore their own ideas on a range of topics and develop their skills in planning and writing persuasive pieces. A range of forms is covered including letters, articles, speeches, essays and leaflets, encouraging students to select the form and style of their writing to the appropriate purpose.
Further to the English Language scheme of learning, students explore a range of extracts from dystopian fiction texts as a means of studying different genres and writers’ techniques, language, form and structure in order to produce their own piece of dystopian fiction
English Language: Viewpoint writing, based on topical issues
English Literature: Evaluative and analytical writing about dystopian fiction, based on an extract
- Reading: Dystopian fiction: Exodus by Julie Bertagna or The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Visiting: Visit The Crystal or google current exhibitions - for example at the V&A or The British Library and pick one that you find interesting to visit and topical for today.
Summer Term: MAKING A DIFFERENCE
English Literature: ‘THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTTIME’
English Literature: WAR POETRY COMPARISON
The Summer term begins with an exploration of a GCSE text to help set up the skills and become familiar with analysing a play before entering year 10.
English Literature: Comparative poetry analysis.
English Literature: Evaluative and analytical writing about the play.
- Reading: The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
- Visiting: Watch the production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
KEY STAGE FOUR: Years 10 & 11
Year 10 and Year 11 students sit the AQA exam board for both English Language and English Literature GCSEs.
SUPERCURRICULUM: Summer reading and outings
Year 9s going into Year 10 should read fiction from the KS3 reading list.
Year 10s going in to Year 11 should reread An Inspector Calls, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and the poetry from the Conflict and Power cluster of their anthology.
YEAR 10 and Year 11
Year 10 and Year 11 will be preparing for their exams in both English Language and Literature.
- There is no Controlled Assessment or coursework element in either English Language or Literature: the course is examined by terminal exam.
- There are two English Language exam papers and two English Literature exam papers
- Speaking and Listening is assessed separately but does not count towards the GCSE grade.
English Language Exam:
PAPER 1: Explorations in creative reading and writing (1h 45 – 50% of GCSE)
- Section A: Reading – one literature fiction text x 4 questions text (25%)
- Section B: Writing – descriptive or narrative writing x 1 question (%25)
PAPER 2: Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives (1h45 - 50% of GCSE).
- Section A: Reading one non-fiction text AND one literary non-fiction text x 4 Qs (25%)
- Section B: Writing – writing to present a viewpoint x 1 question (25%)
- Spoken Language as a separate endorsement.
English Literature Exam:
PAPER 1 (1h45) - Shakespeare and the 19th century novel. Closed book exam (40%)
- Section A: Shakespeare x 1 question, no choice. Writing in detail about an extract from the play and then about the play as a whole.
- We have chosen to study Macbeth
- Section B: The 19th Century Novel x 1 question no choice. Writing in detail about an extract from the novel and then about the novel as a whole
- We have chosen to study The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
PAPER 2 (2h15) - Modern texts and poetry since 1789. Closed book exam (60%)
- Section A – Modern Texts: essay on Post-1914 British play
- We have chosen to study An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley
- Section B – Poetry
- Students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster (comparison). There is no choice of question on each cluster.
- We have chosen to study the Conflict/Power poetry cluster.
YEAR 10 – Schemes of learning
AN INSPECTOR CALLS (Literature Paper 2)
JEKYLL & HYDE (Literature Paper 1)
LITERARY FICTION FROM 19TH – 21ST CENTURY (Language Paper 1)
CREATIVE WRITING: descriptive & narrative (Language Paper 1)
‘CONFLICT POETRY’ ANTHOLOGY (Literature Paper 2)
UNSEEN POETRY (Literature Paper 2)
REVISION & MOCK EXAM
YEAR 11 – Schemes of learning
MACBETH (Literature Paper 1)
READING (Language Paper 2)
CREATIVE WRITING: writing to present a viewpoint (Language Paper 2
REVISION & TERMINAL EXAMS
KEY STAGE FIVE – Years 12 and 13
Students follow AQA English Language.
Paper 1: Textual Variations and Representations
40% of A-level, 2 ½ hour exam
Students study a range of texts and consider approaches to analysing texts. The exam also looks at how children develop language.
Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change
40% of A-level, 2 ½ hour exam
Students study language diversity, considering accents, dialects and how men and women use language differently. They also consider how and why language has changed over time.
Students follow Eduqas English Literature A Level.
Component one: Poetry
• 30% of A Level
• 2 hour exam
Section A: Poetry Pre-1900 (open-book, clean copy) - Donne
One two-part question based on the reading of one pre-1900 poetry text from a prescribed list.
Section B: Poetry Post-1900 (open-book, clean copy) - Carol Ann Duffy and Philip Larkin
One question from a choice of two based on the reading of two post-1900 poetry texts from a prescribed list.
Component two: Drama
• 30% of A Level
• 2 hour exam
Section A: Shakespeare (closed-book)
One two-part question based on the reading of one Shakespeare play from a prescribed list.
Section B: Drama (closed-book) - A Streetcar Named Desire and The Duchess of Malfi
One question from a choice of two based on the reading of a pair of plays: one pre-1900 and one post-1900, from a prescribed list.
Component three: Unseen Texts
Section A: Unseen Prose - 2 hour exam
One question from a choice of two, analysing an unseen passage of prose, taken from one of two prescribed periods for study.
Section B: Unseen Poetry
One question from a choice of two, analysing an unseen poem or poetry extract.
Component four: Coursework
20% of A Level
One 2500-3500 word assignment based on the reading of two prose texts from different periods, one pre-2000 and one post- 2000, nominated by the centre. Texts studied: Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, Atonement by Ian McEwen, Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller and A Room with A View by EM Forster