Key Stage 3:
From the very first day in Year 7 we are preparing our students for their GCSEs, English is very much a skills based subject and so we are continually revisiting vital components that students need to master.
Y7 to Y9 is specifically mapped to cover essential skills needed for the 4 exam papers they will sit at the end of Y11.
A sample of Y7 topics:
- The Hunger Games. Through this text we explore plot, characterisation and themes – ideas that are at the heart of the Literature paper. We also look at writing skills, specifically descriptive writing, and how to construct effective sentences, use ambitious vocabulary and the appropriate use of figurative language.
- Culture. Through this theme we look at comprehension skills and how writers use language to create mood and atmosphere, and explore implied meanings. We also use this theme to explore poetry and the effect of language.
A sample of Y8 topics:
- Slam Jam Project. Through this competition we explore writing skills, they will experiment with a wide range of sentence structures and punctuation for deliberate purpose and effect, and develop crucial editing skills.
- Isolation. Through this theme they will study ‘Of Mice and Men’ exploring characterisation and themes and respond to exam style questions. They will also read non-fiction texts and make comparisons.
A sample of Y9 topics:
- Short stories. Through this topic they will explore how a writer has structured the text to engage a reader. They will also focus on how to evaluate texts.
- Blood Brothers. In year 9 we introduce GCSE texts. Through this text they explore character motivation and debate key ideas that run through the text.
Assessment in Y7-9 is done termly and links directly to the skills we have been developing in class. As everything is directly focused on the skills required for GCSE, these assessments are GCSE style questions. Assessments take place in exam-like conditions in order to fully prepare students for the 100% exam.
GCSE English Language
English is a core subject and therefore is compulsory for all students. English is regarded as a qualification that students need for all walks of life, regardless of whether they intend to go to college or the workplace.
There are 3 components to English Language:
- Paper 1. Explorations in creative reading and writing.
- Paper 2. Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives.
- Spoken Language.
Paper 1. Explorations in creative reading and writing.
For this paper students are given one piece of fiction to read, and they are to use this to answer 4 questions which test their ability to retrieve, explain and analyse decisions the writer has made and critically evaluate.
They are also given a picture prompt and will be asked to write either a description or a narrative.
Paper 2. Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives.
For this paper students are given two pieces of non-fiction to read, they are to use this to answer 4 questions which test their ability to summarise, explain and analyse decisions the writer has made, and compare.
They are also given a topic statement and asked to give their viewpoint.
Students must prepare a 5 minute presentation on a topic of their choice. This will be assessed by their English teacher and then validated by an external assessor.