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.
The student learning journey in English at Ruislip High encourages each student, each term, to:
Know It: know the core knowledge and skills for each scheme of learning
Explain and describe it: be able to convey their knowledge verbally and in writing through high level vocabulary which expresses key concepts
Link it: make connections with other ideas and knowledge from across the curriculum
Prove it: show what they know through tests, quizzes, speeches, debates or extended written answers
Experience it: through enrichment, extra curricular activities and the super curriculum, students are encouraged to explore the subject through wider reading, films, theatre, gallery or museum visits or trips to historical places of interest.
Students complete a summative assessment in either reading or writing once a term which is given a threshold and teachers assign targets for students as part of this process . At other points of the year, teachers assess formatively and give students frequent feedback to support their learning and progress.
All Key Stage 3 students are given homework every week which will include: vocabulary and spellings of key words and reading short fiction or non-fiction extracts to extend reading experience for English Language and/or memorisation of quotes or key knowledge for English Literature.
KEY STAGE THREE – Years 7, 8 and 9
The Key Stage Three Curriculum is led by the National Curriculum.
In response to this, the Key Stage Three curriculum at Ruislip High School is planned thematically around key concepts and knowledge essential to the subject: Year 7 is themed around ‘Character and Voice’, Year 8 ‘Time and Place’ and Year 9 ‘Power and Freedom’.
YEAR 7: CHARACTER AND VOICE
Before students come to Ruislip High, they are invited to experience the Super Curriculum by
Reading: Wonder by R.J. Palacio and/or an abridged or narrative version of a Shakespeare play
Visiting: The Globe or another theatre and watching a production of a Shakespeare play.
Watching: A film related to Shakespeare eg. Bill, or an adaptation of a Shakespeare play.
Creating: A project about Shakespeare
The focus on Character and Voice in Year 7 is underpinned by the following ‘big questions’:
How are characters established and developed in a text?
How do writers establish and develop narrative voice and structure when writing a text?
How do writers establish and develop conflict in a text?
How do writers make choices in a poem or play script as opposed to a prose text?
In the Autumn Term of Year 7, students focus on ‘Growing Up and Telling Your Story’
Students firstly study autobiographies and write their own, focusing on descriptive writing, narrative sequencing and authorial voice.
Autumn Term (1): GROWING UP
English Literature: Chinese Cinderella
GENRE: Prose fiction, narrative writing
BIG QUESTION: HOW ARE CHARACTERS ESTABLISHED & DEVELOPED IN A PROSE TEXT?
CONCEPTS: Identity, otherness, conflict, growth, change, coming of age, bildungsroman, biography, autobiography
FOCUS: Evaluating & analysing prose techniques used by writers to establish & develop character
ASSESSMENT: Analysing how the writer develops character
Autumn Term (2): TELLING YOUR STORY
English Language: Autobiography
GENRE: Autobiography (prose non-fiction)
BIG QUESTION: HOW IS NARRATIVE VOICE ESTABLISHED & DEVELOPED IN AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL TEXT?
CONCEPTS: Identity, voice, fiction & non-fiction, conflict, growth, chronology
FOCUS: Using structural and language techniques to establish & develop character in an autobiography
ASSESSMENT: Using flashback in an autobiography
Autumn Term Super Curriculum
Reading: Boy and Going Solo by Roald Dahl; I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, No-one is Too Small to make a difference by Greta Thunberg; Great Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela; Anne Frank’s Diary.
Visiting:The Victoria & Albert Museum China Galleries; the Imperial War Museum; Churchill’s War Rooms
In the Spring Term of Year 7, students focus on ‘Developing your voice and expressing a viewpoint’
Students first study the use of rhetoric as developed in Ancient Greece, then explore how Shakespeare used rhetoric to develop character in order to ultimately create their own speech in character, using rhetorical devices to convince their audience.
Spring Term (1) RHETORIC
English Language: Using rhetoric in viewpoint writing
BIG QUESTION: HOW DO WRITERS USE RHETORICAL TECHNIQUES TO ESTABLISH & DEVELOP VIEWPOINTS?
CONCEPTS: Ethos/logos/pathos, types of conflict (emotional, physical, social, political, internal/external – money/desire/power)
CORE KNOWLEDGE: See KO rhetoric
SKILL FOCUS: Using rhetorical techniques (language & structure) in a speech
ASSESSMENT: Using flashback (analepsis) when writing autobiographically
Spring Term (2) CHARACTER, CONFLICT & RHETORIC IN SHAKESPEARE
English Literature: Exploring how characters are established in Shakespeare’s writing
BIG QUESTION: HOW DO WRITERS ESTABLISH & DEVELOP CONFLICT IN A TEXT?
CONCEPTS: Kingship, heroism, nobility, power & influence, tragedy, hamartia, ethos/logos/pathos, dramatic conflict
FOCUS: Evaluating and analysing the writer’s use of rhetorical & dramatic techniques (language & structure) in a monologue
ASSESSMENT: Creating and delivering a dramatic monologue, using rhetorical features, in character, based on one of Shakespeare’s famous speeches
In the Summer Term of Year 7, students focus on ‘Heroes and Villains’ and ‘Finding a voice’:
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 in their analysis of the drama. 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.
Summer Term (1) Heroes & Villains
English Literature: Philip Pullman’s ‘Frankenstein’
GENRE: Modern drama, adaptation of gothic novel
BIG QUESTION: HOW DO WRITERS, DIRECTORS AND ACTORS MAKE CHOICES? Exploring the play script as an instruction manual and looking at dramatic direction
CONCEPTS: Power, ambition, hamartia, tragic hero, dramatic foil, supernatural, man vs God / self / nature, ‘the beast within’ (link J&H) Gothic, the beast within’), archetypes
FOCUS: Analysis of dramatic techniques in developing character
ASSESSMENT: ‘To what extent is Frankenstein’s monster a villain?’
Summer Term (2) Finding a Voice
English Literature: Unseen poetry
GENRE: Poetry (Character, Place & Identity)
BIG QUESTION: HOW IS POETIC VOICE / PERSONA ACHIEVED?
CONCEPTS: Identity, power, conflict
FOCUS: Analysis of poetic techniques in creating character; understanding of poetic voice/persona
ASSESSMENT: Comparing how poets create character in two different poems.
Summer Term Super Curriculum
Reading: The Northern Lights trilogy by Philip Pullman; Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’; Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ or other gothic fiction / adaptations or abridged versions
Visiting: Visit the Globe theatre or attend a poetry event from http://poetrylondon.co.uk/listings/
Ensure you email the chosen event first to make sure it is child-friendly.
Watching: Find a film adaptation of a Shakespeare play or watch ‘His Dark Materials’ adaptation of The Northern Lights trilogy.
Year 7 into Year 8 Summer super curriculum: Students are encouraged to read for pleasure over the summer holidays and to seek out experiences to enrich their enjoyment of English, such as going to see plays and films.
Link to Key Stage Three Reading List - https://docs.google.com/document/d/16u3JJnSvGaG2qEctlc-0RGkE6agIACXE1otKQylgzIM/edit
YEAR 8: TIME AND PLACE
Year 7 focused on how writers establish narrative character and voice; Year 8 focuses on how writers establish setting, time and place.
The focus on Time and Place in Year 8 is underpinned by the following ‘big questions’:
How are time and place established and developed in a text?
How do writers establish and develop setting when writing a text?
How do writers establish and develop structural conflict in a text?
How do writers make choices in a poem or play script as opposed to a prose text?
Autumn Term: Fear, suspense and the supernatural - 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.
Autumn Term (1) Gothic reading
GENRE: Prose (Novel - Woman in Black), Gothic
BIG QUESTION: HOW DO WRITERS USE CONVENTIONS TO ESTABLISH (THE GOTHIC HORROR) GENRE AND CREATE SUSPENSE?
CONCEPTS: Genre, gothic horror, mystery, fear, supernatural, fate, setting, suspense, tension, mood, protagonist/antagonist
FOCUS: Evaluating and analysing how language & structure is used to create suspense
ASSESSMENT: Analysing how writers create mystery, tension and suspense in the gothic genre.
Autumn Term (2) Writing a gothic narrative
GENRE: Prose fiction
BIG QUESTION: HOW TO ESTABLISH GENRE, TENSION AND SUSPENSE IN YOUR WRITING?
CONCEPTS: GOTHIC HORROR & CONVENTIONS: setting, character, gender, plot, pathetic fallacy, dreams/nightmares, supernatural, death
FOCUS: Structuring writing for suspense & tension.
ASSESSMENT: Creating and writing a gothic narrative and reading it performatively
Spring Term Super Curriculum
Reading: Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ or an abridged version
Visiting: Watch a performance of The Woman in Black at the theatre or a similarly spooky or scary play
Spring Term: Allegory & Dystopia; City & Context
Students spend the first half term reading ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell which introduces students to the allegorical form and the political context of Communism and the Russian Revolution. before writing their own persuasive speech. After half term, 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 and start to compare texts from different eras.
Spring Term (1) Allegory & Dystopia
English Literature: Animal Farm
GENRE: Allegory, dystopia, prose novella
BIG QUESTION: HOW AND WHY DO WRITERS USE ALLEGORY TO CONVEY IDEAS?
CONCEPTS: Allegory, satire, dystopia, rhetoric, power (instrumental/influential, legislative, executive, judicial), socialism, communism, capitalism
FOCUS: Analysing language/structure of a text as a basis to create own writing.
ASSESSMENT: Persuasive speech inspired by Animal Farm.
Spring Term (2) City & Context
English Literature and Language: London Through the Pages
GENRE: Prose non-fiction & fiction
BIG QUESTIONS: HOW DO READERS COMPARE TEXTS? & HOW DOES CONTEXT INFLUENCE OUR READING OF A TEXT?
CONCEPTS: CONTEXT (VICTORIAN SOCIETY)
CORE KNOWLEDGE: See KO – Victorian context, language and structural techniques.
SKILL FOCUS: Comparing fiction and non-fiction texts and viewpoints in context
Spring Term Super Curriculum:
Reading: 1984 by George Orwell, Oliver Twist or other texts by Charles Dickens.
Visiting: The Dickens Museum
Summer Term: Love, Rebellion and Tragedy; People & Places
Returning to Shakespeare after exploring Shakespeare’s famous speeches 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.
Summer Term (1): Romeo & Juliet
GENRE: Drama (Tragedy)
BIG QUESTION: HOW DO WRITERS CREATE, BUILD AND MAINTAIN HEIGHTENED EMOTION / TENSION (EVEN WHEN ENDING IS KNOWN)?
CONCEPTS: Tragedy, tragic hero, hamartia
FOCUS: Evaluating & analysing dramatic methods within the context of the conventions of a tragedy
Summer Term (2): People & Places
BIG QUESTION: HOW CAN YOU EVALUATE AND COMPARE THE METHODS USED BY WRITERS TO ESTABLISH PEOPLE, PLACES AND CONFLICT?
CONCEPTS: Identity, self-concept, conflict, power, immigration, emigration, diaspora, intersectionality
FOCUS: Analysing and comparing poems through ideas, concepts and poetic methods (language, form & structure)
Summer Term Super Curriculum:
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
Year 8 into Year 9 summer super curriculum: Students are encouraged to read for pleasure over the summer holidays and to seek out experiences to enrich their enjoyment of English, such as going to see plays and films. Suggestions:
Reading: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Visiting: The Wallace Collection
Link to Key Stage Three Reading List - https://docs.google.com/document/d/16u3JJnSvGaG2qEctlc-0RGkE6agIACXE1otKQylgzIM/edit
YEAR 9: POWER & FREEDOM
As Year 7 focused on how writers establish narrative character and voice and Year 8 focused on how writers establish setting, time and place, Year 9 moves to a more conceptual level to examine how writers explore and address power and freedom in literature. As students mature, they can engage with concepts around political and personal power in the arenas of colonialism, race and ethnicity, gender and disability through the text studied, and use language techniques to express their own viewpoints on these issues.
Underpinning the Year 9 exploration of ‘Power & Freedom’ are these ‘big questions’:
How do writers use structure and symbolism to convey concepts?
How relevant is a writer’s background and identity to their writing (eg. ethnicity, gender, social class, age)?
How far do stereotypes affect the creation and reception of a text?
How and why do writers use specific genres & conventions to explore ideas
How are dramatic techniques used to establish character difference or otherness?
How are poetic techniques used to explore power and conflict?
How do different forms (prose, poetry, drama) use language & structure to explore ideas & concepts, establish & develop character, setting, narrative voice, mood & tone, chronology?
Autumn Term: Outsiders & Survivors; Identity & Ethnicity
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. After half-term, 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 while building background knowledge.
Autumn Term (1): Outsiders & Survivors
English Literature: ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck
GENRE: Prose fiction (novella)
BIG QUESTION: HOW DO WRITERS USE STRUCTURE & SYMBOLISM?
CONCEPTS: Power, identity, gender, class, intersectionality, the American Dream, circularity, inevitability, fate
FOCUS: Analysis of language and structure in a prose text; ability to analyse texts in context and explore how and why different characters are presented as powerful or powerless
Autumn Term (2): Belonging & Otherness - Ethnicity and Identity
English Language: Rabbit Proof Fence & non-fiction writing
GENRE: Literature, film, poetry
BIG QUESTION: HOW RELEVANT IS A WRITER’S ETHNICITY OR CULTURAL BACKGROUND/ CONTEXT TO THEIR WRITING & OUR READING?
CONCEPTS: Identity, ethnicity, stereotypes, society, cultural, marginalisation, power
CORE KNOWLEDGE: See KO.
SKILL FOCUS: Analysis of fiction & non-fiction texts; constructing narrative writing from different perspectives
Autumn Term Super Curriculum:
Reading: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Visiting: The British Museum
Spring Term: Sex & Gender; Individual & Society
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. Students move on to 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.
Spring Term (1): Sex & Gender
English Language: Exploring Viewpoint Journalism
BIG QUESTION: HOW FAR DO GENDER STEREOTYPES AFFECT THE CREATION AND RECEPTION OF TEXTS?
CONCEPTS: gender vs sex, gender stereotypes, toxic/tender masculinity, femininity/feminism, equality, intersectionality, journalism
FOCUS: Analyse & construct viewpoint writing (blog, article, speech)
Spring Term (2): Individual & Society
English Literature: Dystopian genre study
GENRE: Dystopian Fiction
BIG QUESTION: HOW AND WHY DO WRITERS USE THE DYSTOPIAN GENRE & CONVENTIONS TO EXPLORE IDEAS?
CONCEPTS: Genre, identity, power, symbolism, allegory, individual vs society/technology, revolution, apocalypse, tyranny, totalitarianism
FOCUS: Evaluation & analysis of writers’ opinions and methods; constructing narrative in a given genre
Spring Term Super Curriculum:
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: Difference & Otherness; Power & Conflict
The Summer term begins with an exploration of a GCSE drama text to help set up the skills and become familiar with analysing a play before entering year 10, while also continuing the exploration of the Year 9 theme of power and freedom through ideas around autism, difference and disability. Students begin their GCSE studies in the summer term as they begin to explore some of the 15 poems in the AQA ‘Power & Conflict’ anthology, which features poems from the Victorian era to the modern day. The poems explore power and conflict in a range of contexts, from war itself, to the psychological effects of conflict and the power of nature, patriarchy and colonialism - concepts students will be familiar with from their studies as part of the Year 9 theme ‘Power & Freedom’.
Summer Term (1): Difference & Otherness
Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time (play)
GENRE: Modern Drama (adaptation)
BIG QUESTION: HOW ARE DRAMATIC TECHNIQUES USED TO ESTABLISH AND DEVELOP CHARACTERS AS DIFFERENT, ATYPICAL OR OUTSIDERS?
CONCEPTS: Identity, outsiders, difference, otherness, neuro-typical, ASD, autism & aspergers, ability/disability
FOCUS: Analysis of dramatic methods; understanding portrayals of difference, otherness and disability and relating to real life
Summer Term (2): Power & Conflict
Introduction to ‘Power & Conflict’ anthology
BIG QUESTION: HOW ARE POETIC TECHNIQUES USED TO PRESENT POWER AND CONFLICT?
CONCEPTS: Identity, power, conflict, nature, Romanticism, the Sublime, patriotism, glory, nobility, honour
FOCUS: Analysis of poetic methods, comparison of poems and poets’ methods and messages, understanding of different types of power and conflict and how they may be expressed.
Summer Term Super Curriculum
Reading: The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
Visiting: Watch the production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
Year 9 into Year 10 summer super curriculum: Students are encouraged to read for pleasure over the summer holidays and to seek out experiences to enrich their enjoyment of English, such as going to see plays and films. They may also wish to read around the texts they will be studying at GCSE.
Link to Key Stage Three Reading List -
Link to Key Stage Four Reading List -
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. The Key Stage Four Curriculum is determined by the National Curriculum and by the terminal examination at the end of Year 11. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/331877/KS4_English_PoS_FINAL_170714.pdf
Glossary of key grammatical terms:
Details of exams: This course is 100% exam with 4 exams, 2 English Language, 2 English Literature
Exam board: AQA - English Language (8700) and English Literature (8702)
Link to KS4 Reading List
YEAR 10 Schemes of learning
Students have already begun their GCSE studies at the end of Year 9 through the ‘Power & Conflict’ poetry anthology. Year 10 opens with a modern drama, building on prior study of modern play ‘The Curious Incident in the Night Time in Year 9, and of Philip Pullman’s modern dramatic adaptation of ‘Frankenstein’ in Year 7. ‘An Inspector Calls’ explores socialism and capitalism in a post-war society: students can build on their knowledge of communism and socialism, symbolism and allegory from ‘Animal Farm’ and on their understanding of social, political and gender-based power dynamics studied in the fiction and non-fiction texts explored in Year 9 ‘Power & Freedom’.
Autumn Term (1): ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B.Priestley (Literature Paper 2)
An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley, written in 1945 but set in 1912, explores socialist ideas through the central character of Inspector Goole and his interrogation of the Birling family, following the death of a young girl called Eva Smith.
Having opened Year 10 with a more accessible, modern text, students face more of a challenge with the 19th century prose of ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde’. Students will draw on their prior contact with 19th century texts in Year 8’s ‘London Through the Pages’ and Year 9’s ‘Dystopia’ unit and study of Victorian poetry. Students will also build on prior study of prose fiction and narrative voice from Year 7’s study of ‘Chinese Cinderella’, of gothic genre and fatal ambition in Year 7’s study of ‘Frankenstein’ the play, and of gothic fiction, mystery and suspense in Year 8’s study of ‘The Woman in Black’. The concepts underlying the power dynamics in Stevenson’s novella have again been explored in Year 9’s ‘Power and Freedom’ unit.
Autumn Term (2): The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ by R.L. Stevenson (Literature Paper 1)
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886, is a Victorian classic about the complexities of science and the duplicity of human nature. Dr Jekyll is a well-respected and intelligent scientist who meddles with the darker side of science. Students will study the novella, exploring the gothic genre, the Victorian era and Stevenson’s prose. By the end of the course, they will write an essay based on a given extract in Literature Paper 1, which is worth half of the paper.
Spring Term (1): Writing to Express a Viewpoint (Language Paper 2)
Students will explore a range of non-fiction extracts from 19th, 20th and 21st century texts, learning how to compare and contrast, evaluate and explore writers’ viewpoints and to analyse how these are expressed. By the end of the course, they will write an extended viewpoint writing piece, such as an article or letter, in Language Paper 2, which is worth half of the paper. They will also answer a range of questions on two set texts in the exam, one from the 19th century and the other from either the 20th or 21st century.
Spring Term (2): ‘Power & Conflict’ poetry anthology (Literature Paper 2)
The AQA anthology features poems from the Victorian era to the modern day which explore power and conflict in a range of contexts, from war itself, to the psychological effects of conflict and the power of nature, patriarchy and colonialism. Students will study the 15 poems in the anthology, exploring poetic form and structure and how poets present their ideas. By the end of the course, they will write a comparative essay in Literature Paper 2, which is worth one third of the paper.
Summer Term (1): ‘Power & Conflict’ poetry anthology; Unseen Poetry (Literature Paper 2)
Students will explore a range of unseen poems in preparation for Literature Paper 2, which asks students to analyse and compare two unseen poems. This section of the paper is worth a third of the available marks.
Summer Term (2): Revision and Year 10 PPE
Students will take a PPE (pre-public exam) in Year 10 in which they will be tested on their learning. The exams will include questions on ‘An Inspector Calls’, ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ and some of the ‘Power and Conflict’ poetry, along with English Language Paper 2.
YEAR 11 Schemes of learning
Having studied modern drama in Year 10, we introduce Macbeth to students as they mature into Year 11. Drawing on their prior study of Shakespeare in Year 7, and of Romeo & Juliet in Year 8, and experienced a Shakespeare performance in Year 10, students are also building on their study of other plays (Frankenstein in Year 7, the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time in Year 9). Students approach Shakespearean tragedy in their final year of Key Stage Four study in order to have the greatest opportunity to appreciate its complexities.
Autumn Term: Macbeth (Literature Paper 1)
Shakespeare’s Jacobean ‘Scottish play’ is a study of ambition, betrayal, bloody violence and the supernatural. Students will spend a term exploring the play in depth. By the end of the course, they will write an essay based on a given extract in Literature Paper 1, which is worth half of the paper, equal to ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’.
After studying Macbeth, students return to creative writing and fiction extracts in preparation for Language Paper 1.
Spring & Summer Terms: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (Language Paper 1)
Students will explore a range of fictional texts, learning how to analyse narrative and descriptive writing and identify how and why writers have used certain techniques. By doing so, they will develop their own creative writing. By the end of the course, they will write an extended creative writing piece for Language Paper 1, which is worth half of the paper. They will also answer a range of questions on one fictional extract given in the exam paper for the Reading section of the exam, also worth half the marks.
The latter part of Year 11 is spent revising key content, based on the teacher’s judgment of which aspects most need revision after the PPEs.
Summary of exams:
English Language Examinations
ENGLISH LANGUAGE PAPER 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (1h45 – 50% of GCSE)
- Section A: Reading: 1 literature fiction text x 4 Qs (25%)
- Section B: Writing: Descriptive/narrative writing x 1 Q (25%)
ENGLISH LANGUAGE 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 Q (25%)
English Literature Examinations
PAPER 1 - Shakespeare / 19th century novel. Closed book exam (40%). Extract questions. (1h45)
- Section A: Shakespeare (Macbeth) x 1 question, no choice. Writing in detail about an extract, linked to writing about the play as a whole.
- Section B: The 19th Century Novel (The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson) - x 1Q, no choice.
PAPER 2 Modern texts and Poetry since 1789. Closed book exam (60%) (2h15m)
- Section A – Modern Texts: essay on Post-1914 British play
- (An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley)
- Section B – Poetry: x 1 comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their ‘Conflict Poetry’ anthology. No choice of question.
What and how to revise:
- Know the exam structure, questions and mark scheme (how to get marks)
- Timing will also be key for exams, so improve past exam answers and do practice papers
- Use proven revision methods to memorise key quotations, plot, character, themes and context
- Use study guides eg. CGP or Collins SNAP guides to support revision
- Make flashcards on the plot, character, theme, context and quotations to test yourself.
- Self quiz: Read, cover, write, check, fill in the gaps, use flashcards or apps like Quizlet
- Complete all homework and revision tasks set in your revision booklets or on Show My Homework
HOW TO REVISE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (unseen texts)
- Read a wide range of literature, both fiction and non-fiction, from 19th century onwards.
- Revise key terms: know and use the correct terminology for word classes, language and structural techniques.
- Learn a range of vocabulary, using emotional synonyms and key phrases to support analysis.
40% of the writing questions and a total of 20% of the English Language grade overall depends on technical accuracy, in other words, spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG). Revise on:
- GCSE BBC Bitesize Grammar: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/zx3gr82/revision
- BBC Skillswise English: http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/english
- Grammar Exercises – University of Bristol: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/exercises/grammar/grammar_tutorial/page_41.htm
Practise writing descriptive and viewpoint writing, using spelling, punctuation and grammar accurately. Reading is also a fantastic way of improving your writing.
Try Guardian 'Comment is Free' -https://www.theguardian.com/uk/commentisfree for a range of articles and to see how arguments are shaped and written.
HOW TO REVISE ENGLISH LITERATURE
- Know the set texts for Literature: re-read them, use online resources alongside class notes eg.
Macbeth (1606) – William Shakespeare (Jacobean period 1603 – 1625)
- BBC Bitesize: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english_literature/dramamacbeth/
- Mr Bruff analysis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPhB8AzAnlk
- SparkNotes Macbeth: http://nfs.sparknotes.com/macbeth/
- York Notes: https://www.yorknotes.com/gcse/macbeth/revision-cards
- Macbeth in 96 seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5nlx2XzP-4
- Macbeth whole script: http://shakespeare.mit.edu/macbeth/full.html
- Film versions eg Michael Fassbender version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgH_OnrYlCk
- Ian Rankin investigates: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007qyzv
- BBC Bitesize - http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english_literature/prosejekyllhyde/
- Mr Bruff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epEvPobaMIY
- Shmoop: http://www.shmoop.com/jekyll-and-hyde/summary.html
- Sparknotes: https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/jekyll/
An Inspector Calls
- BBC Bitesize - http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english_literature/dramainspectorcalls/
- 1980s TV version - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vukp3EFVweQ
- Recent BBC adaptation - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWvwdxJeYCc & https://www.amazon.co.uk/Inspector-Calls-DVD-David-Thewlis/dp/B0144E0SW2
Link to KS4 Reading List
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) - The Tempest
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
ENGLISH CURRICULUM INTENT
- To bring students into contact with ‘the best that has been thought and said’
- To introduce students to a range of texts from traditional to modern, including fiction (drama, poetry, prose) and non-fiction to offer the canon and cultural range. Through these texts, to introduce students to a variety of ideas, concepts and ways of thinking, promoting social and cultural awareness, engagement with the world around them & acceptance of difference.
- To draw thematic and conceptual connections eg. heroism, freedom, power, betrayal, conflict, hypocrisy, secrecy, duality, class, gender, ethnicity, patriarchy, misogyny, difference
- To explore power structures and groups in society over time within literature, including marginalised groups, for example (Rabbit Proof Fence, Of Mice and Men, poetry from other cultures) and explore important social issues through through fiction and non-fiction eg. bullying, child marriage, child obesity, family abuse, racist language
- To explore all genres: drama, poetry and prose
- To teach key techniques and conventions within the genres of drama, poetry and prose eg. dramatic irony, flashback, the sonnet
- To enable close study of the literature and context of key periods, eg. Shakespearean, 19th century/Victorian and modern texts
- To explore different forms of written text eg. novel, short story, article, letter, leaflet, essay, allegory
- To ensure students can write for different purposes: inform, explain, persuade, argue, describe, narrate
- To include genre study: fiction, non-fiction, gothic, autobiography, rhetoric, satire, parody
- To study a range of texts from different cultures, including connection with British empire and colonial past
- To ensure students learn, practise and embed key reading and writing skills eg. comprehension, annotation, planning, inference, analysis, evaluation, comparison
- To identify, explore and compare a range of narrative voices, viewpoints and perspectives, including topical debates and contemporary voices
- To encourage student independence through developing self and peer evaluation and assessment, using a range of assessment for learning techniques and metacognitive strategies and by setting open ended or enquiry tasks and questions.
- To develop students' metacognitive thinking through social construction and cognitive conflict
- To ensure students understand the context in which texts are written and received
- To encourage an enjoyment of reading and a love of learning, working with the LRC to introduce students to a range of texts outside of English lessons, not just as part of the curriculum, and to encourage reading for pleasure outside the classroom through offering access to a range of texts
- To build cultural capital and reading fluency, comprehension, enjoyment, inference, comparison and evaluation of texts through curriculum and super curriculum planning
- To develop student oracy and build confidence in exploring ideas through talk, discussion and presentations.
- To build student confidence & resilience through building their knowledge and skills alongside supportive professional relationships: building in opportunities for continual small successes and checking regularly what students do and do not know so that we can teach them what we have agreed on the long term curriculum they need to know.
- To encourage ambition through personal writing like ‘autobiography from my future’ and exploring role models through ‘famous speeches’ and non-fiction reading homework
- To prepare students for future pathways (including non-academic) so that they have life chances and opportunities.
- To prepare for GCSE and A-Level examinations through developing relevant skills eg. analysing extracts from texts, evaluating statements on texts, writing creatively under timed conditions.