Theme of the week is: Democracy
Our dedicated English team is made up of nine very passionate and enthusiastic teachers, who, together, have a wealth of knowledge of all aspects of English Language and Literature.
The English curriculum across key stages 3, 4 and 5 is very rigorous and focuses on clear progression for every student and across the subject as a whole. Grammar is taught explicitly to provide all students with the greatest chance of achieving excellent grades, not only in Literature and Language, but in students’ other subjects, too.
As well as the learning that takes place in the classroom, additional opportunities to develop writing, oracy and reading skills are provided through involvement in school trips, theatre productions, external and in-house competitions, and extra-curricular clubs. Regular library lessons also encourage wide, personal reading, which has a direct effect on students’ understanding at GCSE in both Language and Literature.
Students are set at both GCSE and KS3 into mixed-upper ability groups or a lower ability group, in order to tailor the course to the students’ needs. Lower ability groups cover the same content as mixed-upper groups but classes tend to be made up of fewer students and the pace is slower, providing your son or daughter with more time to understand more complex ideas or practise skills they may find more challenging. Additional support is also provided to these groups by other members of staff.
Key Stage 3
Students are immersed, from Year 7, into the worlds of Chaucer, Shakespeare and Homer (to name a few) and work their way through a rich literature heritage to more contemporary writers such as Simon Armitage and Lloyd Jones. Our Key Stage 3 curriculum has been designed to foster a love of literature in all our students, providing a strong knowledge base to support studies at both GCSE and A Level, whilst developing key language skills needed in order to communicate effectively both in school and the wider world.
As part of the KS3 course, students are able to take part in fortnightly library sessions, where support is offered from our wonderful librarians in finding appropriate and interesting books to engage your son or daughter and help develop that love of reading!
In year 7, students are able to undertake fortnightly, dedicated, Accelerated Reader sessions. This course is proven to help build students’ confidence and ability with reading and understanding texts in greater depth, regardless of their starting point. To make the most of the programme, students should read in their spare time and undertake the quizzes as often as they can – they shouldn’t just wait until their Accelerated Reader session.
Website links: Accelerated Reader: http://www.renlearn.co.uk/accelerated-reader/ Youth Speaks: https://www.rotary-site.org/rotary-youth-competitions/148/district-1060-youth-speaks-competition.html
Key Stage 4
At GCSE, we follow the AQA syllabus. Most students study both English Language and English Literature. Formal assessment is by exam only at the end of the two year course.
There are two exams for English Language: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives; Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing. Students are required to analyse a range of unseen literary and non-
fiction extracts, as well as compose their own material. Students who are informed about the world around them and take an interest in current affairs are best equipped for this.
There are also two exams for English Literature: ‘Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel’; ‘Modern Prose or Drama and Poetry’. Both of these papers are termed ‘closed book’ exams, which means the students will not have the text with them in the exam hall.
For Paper One (Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel), students will be required to answer one question on each text (they do not have an option) but they are provided with an extract, which they will be asked to initially focus on before speaking about the text as a whole.
Shakespeare texts are chosen by the teacher from Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet and The Tempest. The texts will be chosen to best suit the group’s needs and ability.
The 19th Century Novel will be chosen from either Jekyll & Hyde and A Christmas Carol.
For Paper Two (Modern Prose or Drama and Poetry), students are provided with a choice of two questions for both the ‘Modern Prose or Drama’, and the first ‘Poetry’ question. This poetry question requires students to compare a named poem with another poem of their choice from a bank of 15, which they will have studied. The second part of the poetry exam requires students to answer two questions on unseen poems. Students who read widely for their own pleasure (and have made the most of library lessons at KS3) tend to be much better equipped for this section of the paper.
The modern texts will be chosen from Lord of the Flies, Never Let Me Go, Animal Farm, Telling Tales and Pigeon English. Again, this decision will be down to the individual teacher and will be based on the students’ needs and ability levels.
Website links: Language: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700
Key Stage 5
Students have the choice of two A Levels, either English Literature B or English Language and Literature. Both A Level courses follow the AQA specification.
The English Literature A Level is a two year, linear course comprised of two exams (80%) and a coursework portfolio (20%). Students study the ‘Tragedy’ option, where they will read and critically explore Shakespeare’s King Lear, Richard II and Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, as well as considering the elements that form classical and modern tragedy. The ‘Social and Political Protest’ unit comprises of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and Dickens’ Hard Times, as well as an unseen extract of prose, poetry or drama, giving students scope to consider a range of contexts across world history. Students complete a non-exam assessment, where they produce a portfolio of two 1500 word essays on a novel and book length collection of poetry which they choose. Students devise their own enquiry, whilst considering different critical readings.
The English Language and Literature A Level is a combined, linear course, where students consider literary and linguistic approaches in an integrated manner. Like the Literature A Level, it comprises
two exams (80%) and a research project (20%) taken after two years of study. The first unit, ‘Telling Stories’, explores a collection of non-fiction (spoken transcripts, adverts, biography and letters) that focuses on representations of Paris, Shelley’s Frankenstein, as well as selection of Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry. The second unit, ‘Exploring Conflict’, allows students to engage in recreative writing of The Great Gatsby, as well as the critical analysis of A Streetcar Named Desire. Finally, the research project is an exploration of a literary and non-literary text, chosen by the student, where they consider linguistic and contextual elements of their choice.
Website links: Literature: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/as-and-a-level/english-literature-b-7716-7717
Lang Lit: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/as-and-a-level/english-language-and-literature-7706-7707
Miss Charlotte Kitching (Subject Leader)
Mrs Jemma Malik (Deputy Subject Leader)
Miss Anna Kirkland
Mr Jack Adams
Mr Henry Bew
Mr Steven Messenger
Miss Rebecca James
Miss Linda Sutton (Assistant Headteacher)
Mr Michael Baker
If you have any queries about English at FCC, please feel free to contact Miss Charlotte Kitching: email@example.com