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Est. 1921

English

CURRICULUM VISION

INTENT:

What is the curriculum aim / vision for this subject?

The English curriculum is designed around 4 key principles or aims:

  • The curriculum should give students the opportunity to become highly literate, articulate, critical thinkers who are able to access, analyse and question the world around them.

  • The curriculum should give students access to traditional cultural capital through the delivery of canonical texts but also through the delivery of more culturally broad, diverse and contemporary material.

  • The curriculum should lay the groundwork for further study at GCSE and A-Level, in particular, through the explicit teaching of GCSE skills and through the use of GCSE-style assessments.

  • The curriculum should encourage students to enjoy English, to appreciate the beauty, power and value of language and literature.

What do we expect students to get from this subject?

  • Students should enjoy and achieve in English.

  • They should be challenged and engaged.

  • They should be supported to develop key, transferable skills which prepare them, not only for public examinations, but for making a positive contribution in society.

  • They can expect to gain in self-confidence, and to develop the confidence to articulate themselves.

IMPLEMENTATION:

How does learning develop over the five years?

The curriculum for Years 7 to 9 now reflects the structure and challenges of the new GCSE.

  • Reading and writing assessments linked to reading material.

  • High challenge content: Victorian Literature, unseen prose, unseen poetry, two Shakespeare texts, engaging and challenging texts.

  • Assessments are all linked to the new more rigorous GCSE criteria

The curriculum at GCSE has also recently be reviewed and rationalised. Curriculum plans are available further down.

What principles have guided our decision making in developing this curriculum? What is distinctive about our curriculum?

  • The text choices are very distinctive and broad in the offer. They are fairly contemporary texts but include new, more challenging genres which were not taught in the past: fantasy, romance, bildungsroman etc. Students we feel will enjoy these contemporary texts.

  • The transition from Years 7 to 9 through to A-level studies is streamlined in order to provide students with clear stepping stones across the whole curriculum.

How is the timetabled curriculum supplemented or enriched by other approaches to learning?

  • The Shakespeare Showcase unit at the end of year 7 enables students to explore texts through the medium of drama and perform for other classes.

  • Public speaking competitions

  • The enrichment curriculum is supplemented by extra-curricular activities such as Wild Writers’ Club.

In what ways does our curriculum help to develop…?

  • Cultural diversity and identity: Texts by diverse authors or with identity as a key theme. GCSE Paper 2.

  • Physically and mentally healthy lifestyles Year 9 focuses on mental health and bereavement in two texts.

  • Community participation: Competitions such as the Athenaeum Young Writers’ Competition; Wild Writers.

  • Careers and enterprise: Employability interview application forms.

  • Technology and the media: Year 7 Writing to Express a Point of View (Speeches that changed the world); Frequent use of multimodal texts at GCSE.

Creativity and critical thinking: All of our reading units encourage critical thinking; our writing units creativity.

IMPACT:

What forms do assessments take? What is the purpose of assessment?

  • In Years 7 to 9, assessments are half-termly and modelled closely on sections of GCSE examinations.

  • For reading schemes of work in Years 7 to 9, this takes the form of:

    • Unseen fiction or non-fiction extracts with four questions modelled on GCSE Language paper 1A or 2A.

    • Extracts from the texts studied or a printed poem, with character or theme based questions modelled on GCSE Literature paper 1 or paper 2 section B and C.

    • Essay based questions on the texts studied.

    • For writing schemes of work in years 7 to 9, this takes the form of:

    • Narrative and descriptive writing modelled on GCSE English Language paper 1B.

    • Writing to express a point of view modelled on GCSE English Language paper 2B.

  • At GCSE, assessments are half-termly and use sections of GCSE past papers where possible. There are two complete mock examinations each year, one Language and one Literature.

  • At KS5, assessments are half-termly, per class and use sections of A-Level past papers where possible. There is one partial examination in January year 12 and a full mock in June year 12. Year 13 follows the same pattern

  • The purpose of assessment is to measure how much progress students have made against their target grade.

How do we know if we have a successful curriculum?

  • Pupil voice, staff voice, parental voice.

  • Learning walks and lesson observations.

  • Scrutiny of student work.

  • Middle leaderships checks.

  • Accurate Department self-evaluation.

  • Students making demonstrable progress in Years 7 to 9.

  • Students making improved progress accountability measures at GCSE.

  • Students making sustained progress in A-level English Literature English Language.

CURRICULUM CONTENT

KEY STAGE 3

  • The curriculum at Key Stage 3 has recently been redesigned to build on the skills learned at Key Stage 2, cover the requirements of the National Curriculum and ensure pupils are GCSE ready by the time they reach year 10.

  • As well as homework set by class teachers, there is an independent half-termly project homework linked to the theme of the scheme of work. Pupils choose three tasks from a menu of activities and hand in a portfolio of work at the end of the half term. Outstanding work is rewarded and displayed on the English corridor.

 

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Year 7

Writing to Describe: Words from Pictures.

Reading Prose: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaimen.

Reading Non-Fiction: Tabloid, Broadsheet and Web-Based News.

Reading Poetry: Sonnets, Ballads and Dramatic Monologues.

Writing to Narrate: Classical Myths and Legends.

Reading Drama: Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing; The Tempest or A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Year 8

Reading Prose: Animal Farm by George Orwell.

 

Writing to narrate: Narratives Through Art (SPAG Bootcamp).

Reading prose: Stardust by Neil Gaimen.

Reading Poetry: Poems from Other Cultures.

Writing to express a point of view: Travel Writing

Writing to argue: The History of the English Language.

(SPAG Bootcamp).

Year 9

Reading Drama: Macbeth by Shakespeare.

Writing to describe: Things That Go Bump in the Night-Gothic Themed Writing.

Reading Prose: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge.

Writing to Express a Point of View: Speeches that Changed the World.

Reading Poetry: Unseen Poetry.

Reading Victorian Prose: AQA Victorian Gothic Anthology.

Reading Non-Fiction: Comparing Non Fiction.

KEY STAGE 4

  • At Calderstones, we are with AQA for both GCSE English Language and Literature.

  • All pupils sit English Language and English Literature and gain two separate GCSEs.

  • There are no longer any tiered papers, (foundation or higher) so all pupils sit the same examinations.

  • There are two examinations for each of these GCSEs so pupils will sit a total of four papers.

  • All GCSE Literature examinations are closed book which means pupils cannot take the text they are studying with them into the examination.

  • Some of the questions have extracts for pupils to work with but there is a real emphasis on pupils learning quotations.

  • Pupils study GCSE Literature in Year 10 and the GCSE English Language in year 11.

  • Pupils will also take part in a Spoken Language Assessment where they will complete a formal presentation before their peers. This does not count towards their final grade but will be printed on their GCSE certificate.

GCSE English Language

Paper 1

Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (The “fiction” paper)

  • 1 hour 45 minutes

  • 80 marks

Section A

(Reading)

 

40 marks

  • One literary fiction extract from a novel or short story.

  • Candidates should spend 15 minutes reading and annotating the extract and questions before writing.

  • 45 minutes to answer the questions on this section.

Q1 Short question  (4 marks)

AO1

List 4 things we learn about…

Q2 Longer question (8 marks)

AO2

How does the writer use language

Q3 Longer question (8 marks)

AO2

How does the writer structure

Q4 Extended question (20 marks)

AO4

What methods does the writer use to present…

Section B

(Writing)

 

 

40 marks

Q5

  • A choice of question from two creative writing tasks.

  • Descriptive or narrative writing.

  • Some questions have visual stimulus.

  • 45 minutes to answer the question on this section.

AO5

Content and organisation (24 marks)

AO6 SPAG

Spelling punctuation and grammar (16 marks)

Paper 2

Writer’s Viewpoints and Perspectives (The “non-fiction” paper)

  • 1 hour 45 minutes

  • 80 marks

Section A (Reading)

 

40 marks

  • Pupils spend 15 minutes reading two extracts linked by theme.

  • Texts can be non-fiction and/or literary non-fiction and tend to be high quality journalism, articles, reports, essays, travel writing, accounts, sketches, letters, diaries, reports, autobiography, biographical passages etc.

  • Two sources are from different times (one tends to be Victorian) and genres.

Q1 Short question  (4 marks)

AO1

Choose 4 true statements (from a choice of 8)

Q2 Longer question (8 marks)

AO1/2

Summarise the differences between…

Q3 Longer question (12 marks)

AO2

How does the writer use language

Q4 Extended question (16 marks)

AO3

Compare the methods used by the two writers to express their viewpoint

Section B

(Writing)

 

40 marks

Q5

  • One compulsory question.

  • Writing to present a viewpoint. Pupils must argue, persuade or inform about a subject.

  • The question usually contains a quotation which pupils must respond to.

AO5

Content and organisation (24 marks)

AO6 SPAG

Spelling punctuation and grammar (16 marks)

GCSE English Literature

Paper 1

Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel

  • 1 hour 45 min (closed book)

  • 40% of Lit GCSE

  • 64 marks

Section A

30 Marks +

4 Marks (SPAG)

  • Students currently study Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

  • The exam will contain a printed extract from the play.

  • Pupils must respond to a theme or character in the extract and then consider the presentation of this theme or character in the rest of the play.

Section B

30 marks

  • Students currently study Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

  • The exam will contain a printed extract from the play.

  • Pupils must respond to a theme or character in the extract and then consider the presentation of this theme or character in the rest of the play.

Paper 2

Modern Texts and Poetry

  • 2 hours 15 min (closed book)

  • 60% of Literature GCSE

  • 96 marks

Section A

30 marks
plus​​​​​​​ 4 marks AO4

Modern Prose

  • Pupils currently study J.B. Priestley’s, An Inspector Calls.

  • Choice of two essay questions; one usually on character and one on a theme.

  • No printed extract.

  • 4 marks are available on this section for spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Section B

30 marks

Poetry

  • Pupils study an anthology of 15 poems.

  • There are two to choose from: love and relationships or power and conflict. This is at teacher discretion.

  • One question per cluster. Poem named in question is printed.

  • Compare printed poem to one other from memory.

Section C

32 marks

Unseen Poetry

  • Two printed unseen poems.

  • 2 questions. Students must answer both.

  • Q1 on 1st poem (24 marks)

  • Q2 a comparison of both poems (8 marks)

KEY STAGE 5

A-Level English Language

What’s
assessed?

Assessed

Component

Type of
Question

Marks

%

Paper 1: Language and the individual

  • Textual variations and representations

  • Children's language development (0–11 years) Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities

Written exam:

2 hours 30 minutes

Section A

Textual variations and representations

Two texts (one contemporary and one older text) linked by topic or theme.

  • A question requiring analysis of one text (25 marks)

  • A question requiring analysis of a second text (25 marks)

  • A question requiring comparison of the two texts (20 marks)

70 marks

40%  of A Level

 

 

Section B

Children's language development

(0–11 years)

A discursive essay on children’s language development, with a choice of two questions where the data provided will focus on spoken, written or multimodal language (30 marks)

30 marks

Paper 2: Language diversity and change

  • Language diversity and change

  • Language discourses

  • Writing skills

  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities

Written exam:

2 hours 30 minutes

Section A

Diversity and change

One question from a choice of two: either: an evaluative essay on language diversity (30 marks) or: an evaluative essay on language change (30 marks)

30 marks

40%  of A Level

 

Section B

Language discourses

Two texts about a topic linked to the study of diversity and change.

  • A question requiring analysis of how the texts use language to present ideas, attitudes and opinions (40 marks)

  • A directed writing task linked to the same topic and the ideas in the texts (30 marks)

70 marks

 

 

Non-exam assessment: Language in action

  • Language investigation

  • Original writing

  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities

  • word count: 3,500

  • assessed by teachers

  • moderated by AQA

Part 1:

Language investigation

Students produce:

  • a language investigation (2,000 words excluding data) (50 marks)

100 marks

 

20% of A-level

 

Part 2:

Original writing and commentary

Students produce:

  • a piece of original writing and commentary (1,500 words total) (50 marks)

A-Level English Literature

At Calderstones, we follow AQA Specification A for English Literature. The course is 2 years with examinations taking place at the end of year 13. There are two examinations and one piece of coursework.

Component

Text
Requirements

Centre Choice

Type of
Question

Marks/
AOs

Percentage

Closed/
open

Paper 1: Love through the ages (3 hours)

Section A

Shakespeare
drama text

The Taming
of the Shrew

One passage
based question with linked
essay covering whole text (25 marks)

Total 75m

Total 40%

 

AO1 14%

AO2 12%

AO3 12%

AO4 6%

AO5 6%

Closed

 

AO1 7m

AO2 6m

AO3 6m

AO4 3m

AO5 3m

Section B

Unseen poetry

A collection of paired love poems for practice.

Compulsory
essay linking
two unseen
poems (25 marks)

AO1 7m

AO2 6m

AO3 6m

AO4 3m

AO5 3m

Closed

 

Section C

Comparing texts

one poetry

one prose

(one must be pre-1900)

Pre-1900 love poetry Anthology

 

The Great Gatsby (FC).

One essay
question from choice of two, linking two texts (25 marks)-must write on at least two poems.

AO1 7m

AO2 6m

AO3 6m

AO4 3m

AO5 3m

Open on section C

Paper 2B Texts in Shared Contexts - Modern Literature (2 hours 30 minutes)

Section A

Essay question. Pupils choose to write on one of three set texts.

The Handmaid’s Tale (prose);

A Streetcar Named Desire (drama);

Feminine Gospels (poetry post 2000)

Choice of two essay questions with statement to examine (25 marks)

75 marks

 

AO1 7m

AO2 6m

AO3 6m

AO4 3m

AO5 3m

Total 40%

 

AO1 14%

AO2 12%

AO3 12%

AO4 6%

AO5 6%

Open

Section Bi

Respond to unseen prose fiction/no-fiction extract from 1945-present.

Unseen prose extract anthology

One compulsory question on an unseen extract (25 marks)

AO1 7m

AO2 6m

AO3 6m

AO4 3m

AO5 3m

Open

Section Bii

Essay question on remaining two texts.

See texts above

Compare the significance of given theme in two texts  (25)

AO1 7m

AO2 6m

AO3 6m

AO4 3m

AO5 3m

Open

Paper 3: Independent Critical Study (coursework)

Course-work

Comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre 1900.

Comedy Themed:

The Country Wife (Wycherley) plus another text of your choice.

Core set texts studied at AS-A-Level not to be used. 2500 words+

bibliography

50 marks

20%

Assessed by teachers

moderated by AQA

N/A

2