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.
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 be introduced to Shakespeare and his historical and tragic plays. In the spring, you will read examples of stories laced with suspense and tension, and examine how to apply these skills to your own writing. 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. Finally, you will explore various aspects of the criminal justice system and will use this to inspire a range of non-fiction texts.
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 through transactional writing by writers with different viewpoints. ‘Poetry from other cultures’ will allow you to examine and compare the language and experiences of a range of poets who have encountered prejudice or challenges in society. Our Lord of the Flies inspired creative writing unit invites you to step into the role of a marooned child. Finally, you will study the history of theatre, reading and performing Blue Remembered Hills, a play that will challenge your ideas about childhood.
You will be reading about characters like Romeo and Juliet, fated lovers, struggling to escape the conventions of their time. You will explore Chinua Achebe’s pre-colonial Nigeria through the tragic hero Okonkwo, using this to inspire your own creative writing.
In the spring term, we will be exploring a range of Non-fiction texts that will challenge your perceptions of prejudice in the world. You will then explore a range of global, ethical and social issues and construct a range of non-fiction texts in response.
In preparation for the transition to the GCSE course, you will read Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, returning to the theme of the tragic hero. We will end the year exploring the Romantic period from Shelly through to more modern perceptions of this movement.
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 unless there are exceptional circumstances.
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 focused on ‘Power and Conflict’ featuring poets from Blake, Shelly and Wordsworth to Heaney, Armitage and Duffy.
In spring, we focus on the first 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. This is followed by Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, a novel charting the successes and failures of an ambitious young boy as he moves into adulthood.
Year 10s complete work experience during the summer term, so we focus on honing life skills by exposing them to a range of transactional writing examples. We will be analysing the authors’ use of language and structure, as well as developing comparative ideas. This will then be followed by your own transactional writing of letters, speeches, articles and reviews. We will also test the oral component of the GCSE exam through a speech in front of the class on a topic of your choice.
We start the term with a study of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, where students are able to experience the Machiavellian plotting of one of literature’s most evil characters (and that’s just his wife).
The rest of the year is spent revisiting and revising for GCSE Language and Literature exams. There are multiple opportunities to practise all four English exams with a multitude of revision materials provided to our students and revision skills developed throughout the course of the 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, with all students completing at least one individual speech in front of the class.
To complete the GCSE courses successfully, students must remain focused, meet deadlines and work at home as well as at school. Therefore, students will be set regular homework and will be provided with additional revision materials to work through independently.
English Language GCSE (EDEXCEL):
Paper 1 – Fiction (19th Century extract) and Imaginative Writing
(1 Hour 45 Minutes)
Paper 2 – Non-fiction (20th & 21st Century extracts) and Transactional Writing
(2 Hours 5 minutes)
English Literature GCSE (AQA):
Paper 1 – Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel
(1 Hour 45 Minutes)
Paper 2 – Modern Texts and Poetry
(2 Hours 15 minutes)