What is special about this subject?

It encourages students to appreciate the richness of the English language in all its forms with literacy at its core. It empowers students to empathise and value the thoughts and experiences of the world around them.

What is the Learning Journey through this subject?

Key stage 3 – English

What will I learn in this subject?

The purpose of teaching English is to increase students’ understanding of the language and to develop their ability to use it as effectively as possible in all its forms.

What knowledge and themes are covered?

The following areas are covered during the Key Stage.

  • Literature
  • Writing to explore, imagine and entertain
  • Language Change, Past, Present and Future
  • Poetry: Writing to analyse, review and comment
  • Writing to argue, persuade and advise
  • Writing to explore, imagine and entertain
  • Writing to inform, explain and describe
  • Writing to argue, persuade and advise
  • Autobiography and Identity
  • Literacy Skills — reading, writing, researching, planning and presenting
  • Speaking and Listening Skills — news and journalism, personal health and well-being
  • Reading Skills — poetry analysis, texts from other cultures, analysis of novels
  • Writing Skills — language skills, Gothic tales

How is it assessed?

English is assessed in line with NTC Standards guidelines and AQA mark schemes.  Each students’ work is assessed at the end of each project and their progress is monitored throughout the year.

Where does this take me?

The skills learnt in English ensure that all KS3 students have improved their understanding and application of the skills required at KS4 for the study of English Language and English Literature.  For example, the students will study prose, poetry and drama; the English ‘triplets’ for reading, writing, speaking and listening are taught in projects throughout the year.

Key Stage 4 – GCSE English Language and Literature

What will I learn on this course?

You will study towards to separate qualifications, a GCSE in English Language and a GCSE in English Literature

GCSE English Language

Students will draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus and engage with creative as well as real and relevant contexts. Students will have opportunities to develop higher-order reading and critical thinking skills that encourage genuine enquiry into different topics and themes. It will ensure that students can read fluently and write effectively and are able to demonstrate a confident control of Standard English and write grammatically correct sentences, deploying figurative language and analysing texts.

For GCSE English Language students will learn to:

  • read fluently, and with good understanding, a wide range of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including literature and literary non-fiction as well as other writing such as reviews and journalism
  • read and evaluate texts critically and make comparisons between texts
  • summarise and synthesise information or ideas from texts
  • use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
  • write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
  • use grammar correctly and punctuate and spell accurately
  • acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • listen to and understand spoken language and use spoken Standard English effectively.

GCSE English Language is designed on the basis that students should read and be assessed on high quality, challenging texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Each text studied must represent a substantial piece of writing, making significant demands on students in terms of content, structure and the quality of language. The texts, across a range of genres and types, should support students in developing their own writing by providing effective models. The texts must include literature and extended literary non-fiction, and other writing such as essays, reviews and journalism (both printed and online). Texts that are essentially transient, such as instant news feeds, must not be included. The number and types of texts, and their length, are not prescribed.

How is this qualification assessed?

You will sit two exams alongside other non-examination assessments:

  • Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing – Written exam of 1 hour 45 minutes which makes up 50% of the GCSE
  • Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives – Written exam of 1 hour 45 minutes which makes up 50% of the GCSE
  • Non-examination Assessment: Spoken Language
    • Set and marked by the teacher throughout course
    • Separate endorsement (0% weighting of the GCSE)

GCSE English Literature

This course will encourage students to develop knowledge and skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. Through literature, students have a chance to develop culturally and acquire knowledge of the best that has been thought and written. Studying GCSE English Literature should encourage students to read widely for pleasure, and as a preparation for studying literature at a higher level.

For GCSE English Literature students will learn to:

  • read a wide range of classic literature fluently and with good understanding, and make connections across their reading
  • read in depth, critically and evaluatively, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often
  • appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage
  • write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using Standard English
  • acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including the grammatical terminology and other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they read.

How is this qualification assessed?

You will sit two exams:

  • Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel – Written exam of 1 hour 45 minutes which makes up 40% of the GCSE
  • Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry – Written exam of 2 hour 15 minutes which makes up 60% of the GCSE

What qualification will I achieve?

A GCSE from AQA in English Language and a separate GCSE from AQA in English Literature

How can I find out more?

Speak to Mrs Johnson (johnsons@ntc.kent.sch.uk) or any of the English team.