In English you will build, develop and improve upon your literacy and grammar knowledge through a varied curriculum that mixes language and literature. This means that you will cover the skills of reading analysis and creative and/or transactional (non-fiction) writing every term.
Throughout KS3 (Years 7, 8 and 9), you will continue with independent and guided reading through the Accelerated Reader programme . This programme will help you to determine which books you should read based on the level of challenge they will present; it will also give you feedback on how your reading is going through online quizzes.
In your first year at Broadlands Academy your English programme will look like this:
- Dickens’ world: here you will explore some of the best known Dickens’ characters and get to create your own Dickensian style masterpiece
- An exploration of Shakespeare’s The Tempest
- Develop your skills as a story writer, through the study of narrative techniques and texts
- Create and experience a wide range of spoken voice and performance poetry
- Travel through place and time; an opportunity to explore sci-fi fiction and non-fiction travel writing by creating your own country (anywhere in space and time) and promoting it through a range of non-fiction texts.
- Share the renowned Historical Fiction novel, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Moving into Year 8 at Broadlands Academy, your English programme will look like this:
- Explore the at times insane world of Extreme Sports through Joe Simpson’s Touching the Void, using this extraordinary autobiography as a basis for creative first person writing and textual analysis
- Continue the study of literature and Twentieth Century history through shared reading of John Boyne’s novel, The Boy at the Top of the Mountain
- Travel back to Victorian London with Sherlock Holmes through the distinctive Murder Mystery writing of Arthur Conan Doyle.
- Read and deconstruct a wide range of modern crime poetry·
- Exploration the greatest love story ever told: Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
- Enjoy Twenty-first Century drama through the 2007 West End favourite Noughts & Crosses
In the first half of Year 9 you will engage with a range of former GCSE texts ahead commencing the GCSE content from Term 4 onwards:
- Explore the unforgiving world of the American West in the 1930s through John Steinbeck’s classic novella Of Mice and Men
- Discover the world of Hollywood and writing for film through a Film Studies taster unit
- Develop your understanding of British drama through the Willy Russell’s modern classic Blood Brothers
From Term 4 onwards you will be undertaking your preparation for your final GCSE examinations:
- Discover the genius of Shakespeare through the bewitching ‘Scottish Play’, Macbeth
- Sharpen your poetry analysis toolkit through a wide range of unseen poetry (your Literature GCSE will comprise 20% unseen poetry)
- Demonstrate your spoken language skills for the Speaking and Listening requirement of GCSE English, a discretely assessed component.
In English lessons across KS3, you will be expected to do plenty of Speaking and Listening. You will discuss texts and ideas in pairs, small groups and as a whole class. You will use role-play and performance to help you to explore the meaning of texts.
KS4 (classes of 2019 and 2020)
GCSE English Language and Literature
Exam board: Eduqas
Under the new GCSE framework, as well as being awarded a numerical value (1-9) instead of a letter grade (E-A*) students will no longer complete any coursework. In place of this they will have four exams in the summer term of Year 11: two exams for their GCSE in English Language and two for Literature.
Students will also complete a speaking and listening assessment as part of their English Language study and whilst this will not count as part of their overall grade, it will be reported on alongside their final grade in terms of a Pass, Merit or Distinction.
Both of the English Language exams include a reading and writing section. Paper 1 focusses on fiction and is currently worth 40% of the overall GCSE. There is one 20th Century text extract to read and respond to and one narrative writing task. Paper 2 is worth the remaining 60%. In this paper there are two non-fiction texts to read and respond to, one from the 19th Century and one from the 21st Century. These texts will be linked by topic or theme and there is a requirement to compare them. Pupils will then need to produce two non-fiction texts of their own. All of these extracts are from previously unseen texts and require students to be able to read to at a good level independently.
The program of study for the English Literature GCSE will include studying the following:
Macbeth, A Christmas Carol, An Inspector Calls and an anthology of poetry.
Paper 1 will assess students’ knowledge and understanding of Macbeth and the anthology of poetry and is worth 40% of the overall GCSE. Paper 2 will assess the remaining two texts and unseen poetry. Students will not able to take any of the books into the exams they will also be expected to recall events and key quotations for each character and across the whole text and for each of the fifteen poems.
Although each GCSE is separate and different they do share common assessment objectives and expectations. This means that the way in which your child answers the questions to the unseen reading texts in the Language exams is the same as they would on the books covered in Literature. Their spelling, punctuation and grammar is also assessed in exactly the same way in both GCSEs. This has enabled us to structure a blended curriculum in year 10. Whereby, students will practice the skills required for both GCSEs every term and study both qualifications together; ensuring that the skills are learned at the deepest level. In year 11 pupils will continue to study both subjects but focus on one specific GCSE per term.
KS4 (class of 2021 and beyond)
GCSE English Language and Literature
Exam board: AQA
Starting this year (2019), the English team at Broadlands Academy will be using AQA as their exam board in English Language and English Literature in order to bring Broadlands in line with the rest of the schools within the Academies Enterprise Trust. This will enable us, across the 2 and a half year GCSE course, to assess our students alongside a cohort of students in over 35 other secondary schools around the country, opening up the possibilities for comparative assessment across a much wider range of GCSE candidates.
Following this change, the study texts for English Literature will remain largely the same, comprising Macbeth, A Christmas Carol and An Inspector Calls alongside a new anthology of poetry focused around the theme of conflict.
Supporting your child at home in KS4
Under this new framework it is imperative that students are able to learn and remember each text and in order to facilitate their learning and revision we are striving to provide them with a variety of experiences and opportunities for learning outside of the classroom.
There are a few key ways in which you can support your child with their preparation for both of their English GCSEs. Firstly, encourage them to read high quality fiction and non- fiction texts. The emphasis is on unseen extracts in the new GCSEs and the expectation is that your child can interpret and retrieve information from any given text. Reading daily broadsheet news articles, quality reviews or a novel and practicing summarising what they have read and listing the key information will enable your child to gain confidence and increase the speed at which they can demonstrate these skills – both incredibly considering both of the GCSEs are 100% examination. Internet programmes such as Quizlet are also very useful for making revisions cards and completing other activities designed to aid the learning and memorization of quotations. The BBC Bitesize website also has information and activities on most of the set texts taught for English Literature and the English Language section has been completely updated for the requirements of the new GCSE. LitCharts is another useful internet based tool for consolidating understanding of the Literature texts.
- GCSE English Language
- GCSE English Literature
Extra-curricular activities and clubs
- Film Club
- Writing Club
- Shadowing the CLIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children’s book awards
Doing well in this subject will help you
A confident use of the English language is vital for all jobs and careers, so we ensure all our students are challenged to achieve the highest grade possible. A good grade in English Literature is also invaluable for all careers that involve evaluating and analysing written documents and texts.