Welcome to the English Department
Mr A Morris, KS4 Lead
To impart the knowledge required for the Language and Literature GCSE and to equip students with the knowledge required to successfully navigate post-16 and post-18 destinations, including A Level Language and Literature at the Warriner School Sixth Form.
Building on their prior knowledge, Y7 students are taught the vocabulary and subject terminology necessary to communicate effectively in English lessons and discuss linguistic concepts. The methods that writers use for composition and rhetoric are embedded. They are also exposed to different literary genres and modes to learn their subtleties and conventions – poetry, prose, and non-fiction – letters, speeches, and articles. Students are taught the methods and strategies used to analyse texts linguistically – Comparison, Language and Structural Analysis, Evaluation, Inference, Comprehension – and the way both academic and creative writing should be presented and structured. Students are given information about how texts are created from the writing process to narrative theory, and are taught the ways language is constructed from its grammatical and lexical building blocks.
As students progress through KS3, they build on the knowledge gained in each year by going into more depth. The themes of the texts become more complex and narratives more intricate to give them knowledge of how writers use language and create meanings through character and plot. All KS3 classes have a library lesson where they learn the procedural knowledge of how to read and engage with fiction texts for pleasure.
A focus is placed on exposing students to writing from different cultures and perspectives in order to build cultural capital and expand horizons. The 19th century is particularly represented, allowing contextual details to be embedded ready for GCSE Literature which requires detailed knowledge of 19th century contexts. Texts from almost all English-speaking cultures are encountered within the three years of KS3 alongside examples of literature from the global cannon to allow students to gain an insight into the linear development of literature from its foundations to the present day. The curriculum is designed to meet the specification of the National Curriculum and allow students to make progress.
Cross-curricular links are strongly embedded throughout the curriculum aiming to scaffold subjects both within and outside of the faculty of Culture and Communication. Elements of History, Drama, Science, Maths, and MFL through both terminology and content.
At KS4 Literature the students are taught one Shakespeare play, two novels – one modern, one 19th century, and an anthology of poems. Students will also be required to have a general understanding of poetry and poetic analysis to successfully answer the Unseen Poetry section.
For the Language component, students learn the structure of the paper alongside the strategies and procedural knowledge required to meet the assessment objectives: interpretation, analysis, comparison, evaluation, organisation, and technical accuracy. The skills are combined into composites that allow independence from students.
At KS5 Literature, the students are taught one Shakespeare play, one 20th century play, three novels and an anthology of poems, with the curriculum sequenced to develop student’s prior knowledge. Students learn the procedural knowledge to meet all five assessment objectives, analysing texts through a particular lens: Aspects of Tragedy or Elements of Political and Social Protest Writing. This substantive knowledge of the genres allows students to explore an Unseen Extract in Paper 2. Disciplinary knowledge is taught through looking at critical lenses and applying these to the taught texts, as well as the NEA unit.
At KS5 Language, content is sequenced so that students learn the procedural knowledge required to meet the assessment objectives, developing their analysis of methods used by text producers, as well as their prior knowledge of creative writing. Disciplinary knowledge is taught through the NEA unit where students complete their own Language Investigation, as well as a piece of Original Writing.
Key Stage 3
During KS3, our students are welcomed into mixed-attainment classes, enabling them to acquire essential knowledge and skills to support them throughout their GCSEs and future endeavours.
Our KS3 curriculum offers our students the opportunity to study a wide range of texts including The Hunger Games, Cirque du Freak, Frankenstein, Macbeth and a wide selection of poetry. We aim to increase students’ cultural awareness through the exploration of identity in its varying forms along with recognition of narrative voice and the effect on us as readers.
Pupils are encouraged to craft their own writing through use of new and challenging vocabulary, developing awareness of purpose, audience and form. They also have the opportunity to study a wide variety of non-fiction texts as well as learning about writing from other cultures.
We prioritise development of oracy and critical thinking. Debate and discussion are essential across all of KS3 as students gain confidence in developing their communication skills.
Our extra-curricular provision is carefully selected to ensure that theatre trips, creative writing / poetry competitions and our writing club all offer opportunities for academic and personal development. In addition to this, throughout Years 7 & 8, students have the opportunity to establish a personal relationship with literature during our fortnightly library lessons.
Key Stage 4
In Year 10, students begin both their GCSE English Language and English Literature courses and are set into classes based on prior attainment. There is no higher or foundation paper in either Language or Literature – all students are able to achieve all grades.
For English Language, the exam board we use is AQA. There are two papers: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (Fiction) and Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (Non-Fiction). Year 10 is spent familiarising students with these papers and learning the knowledge required to succeed in the key processes of analysis, evaluation, comparison, summary, inference, and writing accurately and creatively for both descriptive and persuasive tasks.
For English Literature, the exam board we use is Eduqas. There are two papers: Shakespeare and Poetry (Paper 1) and 19th Century Novel, 20th Century Prose, and Unseen Poetry (Paper 2).
Students at The Warriner all study Macbeth and Lord of the Flies. Depending on set, they will either study The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or A Christmas Carol. These texts were chosen to complement each other as they share themes of ambition and desire, good versus evil, power, and where the fantastic meet the rational. Yet they also expose students to a variety of different ideas relevant to 21st Century life from fate and freewill, to post-colonialism, the duality of man, and human economics.
All students will be provided with a copy of the Eduqas Poetry Anthology which contains 18 poems from the last four centuries spanning themes of love, power, war, and nature.
Year 10 is primarily spent engaging with the texts and setting the platform of knowledge that can then be used in Year 11 to focus on analysis and refining exam technique in order to prepare students for their final exams. Regular assessment is used throughout KS4 both formative (assessing students to teach them how to improve next time) and summative (measuring how much they have learned). Assessment takes place in the classroom by class teachers every lesson, but there are also key data points where you will be able to see how much progress your child is making in English.
The key ideas that students are taught to be confident with in KS4 are academic writing, linking context to text creation, analysing how writers use language, interpreting layers of meaning, evaluating the impact of texts, and comparing texts in an exploratory manner.
We aim to achieve excellence for all in KS4 English. This is both in terms of GCSE results, where we aim to facilitate every student to achieve their best possible grades, but also in terms of inculcating a love of language and literature that prepares students for their next steps and futures by giving them the confidence and competence to interpret and communicate fluently.
Key Stage 5
The curriculum at KS5 aims to extend students’ prior learning by focusing on students challenging the texts, and consequently the world, around them. The specifications taught enable students to develop the skills they have acquired at GCSE and engage creatively, and confidently, with a range of topics. At KS5, we offer both English Language A Level (AQA) and English Literature B (AQA).
The English Language course encourages students to progress from their GCSE studies by developing their study of English in its various forms. A large proportion of the course focuses on analysing the methods used by text producers, a skill which underpins the basis of students’ linguistic studies. Throughout the course, students will encounter a wide range of texts, analysing data and writing discursive essays. Students will also learn about how and why languages change and evolve, how and why different groups of people in various places and social positions use language differently and how children learn to speak and write. The course also offers independent elements which allow for students’ creativity, such as the Original Writing, and the investigative non-examined assessment in which students can choose their own area of linguistics to research.
The Literature B course offers a clear progression from students’ Literature studies at GCSE, building upon their prior knowledge of tragedy and understanding of the dramatic form. On the Literature B course, the exams are divided into two topics: Aspects of Tragedy and Elements of Political and Social Protest Writing. The progression from GCSE ensures that students analyse texts critically, using a number of critical lenses to inform interpretations of texts. These include: Feminism, Marxism and Post-Colonial theory to name a few. Students are encouraged to read widely to support their understanding of core texts, context and their independent non-examined assessments. One takes the form of a traditional discursive essay, in which students are able to choose their own prose text. The other piece lends itself to students’ creative abilities, in which they find a narrative gap within a series of poetry and write creatively from a character’s perspective.
English Language GCSE: AQA.
Paper 1 – Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (Fiction). 1 hour 45 minutes.
Paper 2 – Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (Non-Fiction). 1 hour 45 minutes.
English Literature GCSE: Eduqas
Paper 1 – Shakespeare and Poetry. 2 hours.
Paper 2 – 19th Century Novel, 20th Century Prose, Unseen Poetry. 2 hours 30 minutes.
English Language A Level: AQA
Paper 1 – Language, the individual and society. 2 hours 30 minutes.
Paper 2 – Language diversity and change. 2 hours 30 minutes.
English Literature A Level: AQA Specification B
Paper 1 – Aspects of Tragedy
Paper 2 – Political and Social Protest