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Garth Hill College

English

In the English department, staff work to help students improve their skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.

From the start of year 7 to the end of year 11, students are encouraged to read independently and will encounter a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction texts in lessons. We aim to make students active, confident and critical readers. Students are taught to be technically accurate writers who can use language in an adaptable and creative way. We also aim to develop pupils’ ability and confidence in speaking in a range of different situations. 

Subject Leader

  • Miss A Quick 

YEARS 7 and 8

Content

We cover a wide range of texts throughout KS3 to ensure that students are challenged appropriately and cover the skills necessary for the GCSE’s. Over the academic year, students will cover all three elements (prose, drama and poetry) with a focus on both Literature and Language skills.

Assessment

Each half-term students will undertake two milestone assessments, a formative and a summative assessment, these are styled on either the Literature or Language assessments found at GCSE level, depending on the focus of skills for the half-term. These assessments develop the skillsets that are required, with guidance on how to prepare for each one. These assessment points provide evidence for and are used to help determine planning and lesson focus to ensure that every student is provided with targeted teaching.

Home Learning

Home learning is set once a week at KS3. These take the form of quizzes based on knowledge organisers which cover the key areas of each topic including themes, context and vocabulary. We recommend students spend 30 minutes revising their knowledge organisers in order to complete the in-class quizzes.

How Parents and Carers Can Support

  • Encourage your child to ask teachers for help if experiencing any difficulties.
  • Encourage your child to read a wide range of literature, including fiction and non-fiction.

Encourage your child to make use of the college LRC, public libraries and computer resources where available.

Additional Support Available/Useful Links

Reading List

  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
  • A range of fiction and non-fiction texts, including newspapers (preferably broadsheet) and websites.

Assessment Schedule

Assessment Schedule - Year 7

Assessment Schedule - Year 8

Knowledge Organisers for Year 7

Knowledge Organisers for Year 8

YEARS 9 and 10
English Language and English Literature 

Exam board and syllabus code:

  • AQA GCSE English Language 8700
  • AQA GCSE English Literature 8702

Content

This double award GCSE is taught simultaneously across years 10 and 11. It is assessed through four examinations which are taken at the end of year 11. The preparations for these examinations offer students the opportunity to develop reading and writing skills, and to explore new literary texts. Further to this, students will also be given the opportunity to develop and demonstrate speaking and listening skills in various contexts. Although this element of the course does not contribute to the overall GCSE grade, it is recognised by AQA as an additional skilled element to the course and will be acknowledged on the final GCSE certificate of exam results. 

Assessment

There are four examinations which contribute to the overall English Language and English Literature GCSE grades.

GCSE English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (1hr 45mins, 50%)
Section A: Reading- Literature fiction text
Section B: Writing- Descriptive/Narrative

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (1hr 45mins, 50%)
Section A- Reading: Two linked texts
Section B- Writing to present a viewpoint

GCSE English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and 19th-century novel (1hr 45 mins, 40%)
Section A - Shakespeare
Section B - 19th century novel

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry (2hrs 15mins, 60%)
Section A - Modern texts (prose/play)
Section B - Poetry from AQA anthology: ‘Power and Conflict’
Section C - Unseen Poetry

Home Learning

Home learning is set once a week at KS4. Home learning is focused on the knowledge organisers created for each of the texts studied and is revision based, these pieces of home learning will be consolidated with a weekly in-class quiz.

How Parents and Carers Can Support

As always, we encourage reading to support the progress of students in English. In particular, we would suggest pre-reading and revision of the set texts. It is advised that students purchase their own copies of these texts to allow them to make annotations during lessons. Further to this, any supporting work on the grammatical rules of writing would also be of vast benefit to our students.

Additional Support Available/Useful Links

There are several websites which are of use when studying literature:

Beyond this, the LRC has many texts which would offer the opportunity to read beyond the set texts. English teachers or LRC staff would be happy to make recommendations to suit topics being studied.

Support on grammar, punctuation and sentence structure is available on FROG. Year 11s will be provided with a revision booklet for each of their exams.

Reading List

  • ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens
  • ‘Macbeth’ by Shakespeare
  • 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • 'An Inspector Calls' by J. B. Priestley
  • High quality, non-fiction media such as newspapers and magazines.
  • Books such as novels and autobiographies – any which have been shortlisted by book awards such as The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway, or Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize, are often a recommended choice.

YEAR 11
English Language and English Literature

Exam Board and Syllabus Code

  • AQA GCSE English Language 8700
  • AQA GCSE English Literature 8702

Content

This double award GCSE is taught simultaneously across Years 9, 10 and 11. It is assessed through four examinations, which are taken at the end of Year 11. The preparations for these examinations offer pupils the opportunity to develop reading and writing skills, and to explore new literary texts such as A Christmas Carol. Further to this, pupils will also be given the opportunity to develop and demonstrate speaking and listening skills in various contexts. Although this element of the course does not contribute to the overall GCSE grade, it is recognised by AQA as an additional skilled element to the course and will be acknowledged on the final GCSE certificate of exam results.

Assessment

There are four examinations which contribute to the overall English Language and English Literature GCSE grades. During the academic year 2020/21, these papers have been amended and are as follows:

  • GCSE English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (1hr 45min, 50%)

Section A – Reading literature fictions text

Section B – Writing descriptive/narrative

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (1hr 45min, 50%)

Section A  Reading two linked texts

Section B  Writing to present a viewpoint

  • GCSE English Literature

Paper 1: 19th Century Novel and Modern texts (1hr 40mins – 60 marks total)

Section A  Not answered by students in our cohort

Section B–19th century novel: ‘AChristmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens

Section C – Modern text: ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestley

Paper 2: Shakespeare and Unseen Poetry (1hr 45min, 70 marks total)

Section A – Shakespeare: ‘Macbeth ’by William Shakespeare

Section B – Unseen poetry

The speaking and listening elements will be assessed in term 1B this year.

Home Learning

Home Learning is set once a week at KS4. Home learning is focused on the knowledge organisers created for each of the texts studied and is revision based. These pieces of home learning will be consolidated with a weekly in-class quiz.

How Parents and Carers Can Support

As always, we encourage reading to support the progress of pupils in English. In particular, we would suggest pre-reading and revision of the set texts listed above. It is advised that pupils purchase their own copies of these texts to allow them to annotate during lessons. Further to this, any supporting work on the grammatical rules of writing would also be of vast benefit to our pupils. All of our pupils were exposed to these grammar rules at the start of the year (often referred to as ‘RATL’ – Raising Attainment Through Literacy) and have notes in their books to support their ongoing work on this skill. Please encourage our youngsters to proof read their work and use dictionaries to support their spelling.

Additional Support Available/Useful Links

There are several websites which are of use when studying literature:

Beyond this, the LRC has many texts which would offer the opportunity to read beyond the set texts. English teachers or LRC staff would be happy to make recommendations to suit topics being studied.

Support on grammar, punctuation and sentence structure is available on FROG. Year 11s will be provided with a revision booklet for each of their exams.

Reading List

  • ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens

  • ‘Macbeth’ by Shakespeare

  • ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestley

  • High quality, non-fiction media such as newspapers and magazines.

  • Books such as novels and autobiographies  any which have been shortlisted by book awards such as The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway, or Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize, are often a recommended choice.

Assessment Schedule

Assessment Schedule - Year 11