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, whilst also promoting a love of learning and inclusivity.
Students study a diverse and engaging English curriculum across Years 7 to 9, developing both Language and Literature skills to best prepare them for the KS4 curriculum. We want to expose students to a broad range of high-quality literature.
We begin your secondary English journey by developing speaking and listening and abstract thinking skills through our love of reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Next, our Lord of the Flies inspired creative writing unit invites you to step into the role of a marooned child, a concept continued in our Shakespeare play The Tempest – filled with mystery, deception and magic. From the realms of imagination and adventure, you will begin to read a range of non-fiction texts about the history of London and its people, thinking about how language and structure affect you in different ways. Finally, you will explore various aspects of the criminal justice system in our ‘Freedom Writers’ unit, using this to inspire a range of non-fiction texts.
In The War of the Worlds, you will explore the origins and conventions of the science–fiction genre. ‘Empowerment’ challenges you to consider the issue of gender identity through transactional writing by writers with different viewpoints. In the spring term, our poetry comparison unit explores key historical events from around the world and the impact these events have had on a variety of individuals; an opportunity to develop both your contextual knowledge of the world but also your ability to express how texts make you think/feel. Next is a chance for you to truly terrify your readers through our Gothic inspired creative writing unit. 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 exploring and question the key themes within Shakespeare’s Othello, before moving on to our Around the World in 80 Reads creative writing unit focused on developing your narrative voice. 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 the summer term, you will explore cultural identity in the hilarious play East is East. 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.
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 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, a novella focusing on the selfish miser, Scrooge.
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 - 40%
(1 Hour 45 Minutes)
Paper 2 – Non-fiction (20th & 21st Century extracts) and Transactional Writing - 60%
(2 Hours 5 minutes)
English Literature GCSE (AQA):
Paper 1 – Shakespeare (Macbeth) and the 19th Century Novel (A Christmas Carol) - 40%
(1 Hour 45 Minutes)
Paper 2 – Modern Texts (An Inspector Calls) and Poetry (Power and Conflict Anthology and unseen) - 60%
(2 Hours 15 minutes)