English at Park View is at one of its most exciting phases; with the changes in the new curriculum the department is striving to adjust our provision in perfect alignment to the demands of a more rigorous and challenging subject.
Students study a broad and engaging English curriculum across Years 7 to 9, targeting both Language and Literature aspects of the subject in order to best prepare them for the KS4 curriculum. We want to expose students to a broad range of quality literature.
As a new student in a new school, Year 7 English is concerned with finding your voice and expressing your opinions confidently.
In Holes you will step into the shoes of Stanley Yelnats to think about what it is like to be someone else experiencing a new and sometimes hostile environment. You will look at how other writers depict monstrous characters and and sharpen your own writing skills. You will read examples of stories of suspense and examine how tension is created in texts. You will use poetry as a form of expression. Finally, you will read a range of old and new texts about London and think about how the language works to affect you in different ways.
Year 8 English is about challenging your perceptions and seeing issues from other viewpoints.
In the Hunger Games, you will encounter a dystopian future and think about the challenges therein. ‘Empowerment’ challenges you to consider the issue of gender identity from transactional writing by writers with different viewpoints about gender issues. ‘Poetry from other cultures’ will allow to examine and compare the language and experiences of a range of poets who have encountered prejudice or challenges from society in expressing their views. Finally you will study the history of theatre and read and perform Blue Remembered Hills, a play that will challenge your ideas about childhood.
Year 9 English will encourage the rebel in you.
You will be reading about characters like Romeo and Juliet, fated lovers, struggling to escape the conventions of their time. You will write your own depictions of suffering and hope when you create dystopian settings and scenarios.
In The Yellow Wallpaper you will encounter a woman desperate to break free from the confines of Victorian expectations (does she do it?). You will be able to counter argue some topical news stories and turn them into in depth reports and news clips in our journalism course.
In preparation for the end of key stage exams, you will read and respond to a range of texts based on prejudice. Finally, your teacher will choose a classic 20th century novel to read and study together.
GCSE English Language and English Literature equip students with the skills to analyse, persuade and articulate ideas in written and spoken forms. They are core subjects, essential for college entry and highly valued by all employers at all stages. Many former students go on to study ‘A’ Level English Literature or Language/Linguistics at college and university.
All students at Park View study for both GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature at Key Stage 4.
GCSEs begin in Year 10. We start with An Inspector Calls, a thrilling and unnerving play that will call for your judgement and may challenge your political views. Literature continues with poetry – we compare unseen poems and study the AQA Anthology themed on ‘Power and Conflict’ by a range of poets from Blake, Shelly and Wordsworth to Heaney, Armitage and Duffy.
In Spring, we focus on the Language paper reading extracts from 19th century fiction writers such as Charlotte Bronte and Mary Shelley as well as composing and drafting our own short stories.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare is studied and students are able to experience the Machiavellian plotting of one of literature’s most evil characters (and that’s just his wife).
Year 10s complete work experience during this term so Summer Term is about honing some life skills; practical transactional writing of letters, speeches, articles and reviews. We will also test the oral component of the GCSE exam a with a speech to the class on a topic of your choice.
On your return from work experience, you will be set your summer Reading ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens.
Year 11 is a culmination of our students’ studies in English at Park View. They should feel confidently equipped to read critically and write confidentially on a range of topics.
We start the term with a study of ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens – a fine novel charting the successes and failures of an ambitious young boy as he moves into adulthood.
The rest of the year is spent revisiting and revising for GCSE Language and Literature exams. There are four two-hour long exams to prepare for and through their dedication and resilience our students are gaining better and better results every year.
There is no longer any form of Coursework or Controlled Assessments in the new curriculum for students completing their GCSEs in 2019.
It is now a 100% linear exam assessment at the end of Year 11 consisting of 2 exams for Language and Literature each –accumulating into 4 Exams.
Students will be given many opportunities to write analytically about texts and will have to evaluate the way language is used and structured bearing in mind the social and historical context of texts as well as the writer’s own purpose. Once again, there will be many occasions for students to prepare for their examinations through Mock Exams throughout the two years.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar will now have a direct impact in exams and students will need to focus carefully on improving literacy in order to be successful in their examinations.
Speaking and Listening remains a feature of English GCSE but is now assessed separately and will not formulate a part of the GCSE grades.
To complete the GCSE courses successfully, students must remain focused, meet deadlines and work at home as well as at school. In addition, all students must participate in speaking and listening activities and make at least one individual speech to the class.
English Language GCSE (EDEXCEL):
Paper 1 – Fiction and Imaginative Writing
1 Hour 45 Minutes
Paper 2 – Non-fiction and Transactional Writing
English Literature GCSE (AQA):
Paper 1 – Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel
(1 Hour 45 Minutes)
Paper 2 – Modern Texts and Poetry