English, Media Studies and Drama
Key Stage 3
“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” (Sylvia Plath.)
At Melbourn Village College, our English team is committed to inspiring young minds by encouraging students to be imaginative and creative. We give our students the confidence to experiment and take risks with their writing. We want our students to have the determination, perseverance and true grit to succeed in a broad subject that undoubtedly opens many new doors and exciting opportunities for the future. Our students develop self-expression and fluency in their writing, self-confidence in presenting their ideas, and the capability to use language to communicate effectively and present themselves to their best advantage. Pupils at Melbourn Village College study a range of modules which enable them to engage with the many different spheres of learning English. Students study a Shakespeare play every year; read and interpret a range of modern novels; explore the world of poetry; and discover many genres of writing, using language in different forms for a range of audiences. As part of our enriched curriculum we also offer opportunities for students to get involved in a range of events throughout the year, which help to extend, embed and strengthen the skills developed during their lessons.
The English Department:
- Miss K. King - Head of English
- Mrs S. Hallam - Second in Dept
- Mrs B. Tobutt
- Ms N. Bailey
- Miss J. Douglas
Please see the relevant Year Group curriculum plan for details of assessments.
Key Stage 3
All Key Stage 3 (KS3) students have one hour of drama per week.
In Year 7 students start their education in drama at the very beginning – looking at the history of theatre. We investigate practically the different genres, going from pre- historical ritual, leading on to Greek theatre, Medieval mystery and a passion plays, Commedia dell ‘Arte, Melodrama, and Modern theatre. This allows the students to gain vital groundings in their knowledge about the different elements of drama that exists, experience performing in different styles and allows for a basis to develop for year 8 for a study of practitioners. Year 7 will also study Shakespeare in detail which complements their English studies for The Tempest. We also investigate modern theatre practice, with a focus on political theatre considering dramatic intention. Students study devising theatre, where they learn to respond to a stimuli planning and preparing both narrative and character to portray in performance.
For Year 8 students further develop their knowledge of practitioners and styles and apply the different techniques their knowledge to range of different texts. The set text study also allows the students the opportunity to learn about the different technical aspects of performance and the semiotics of making meaning through our choices. Students also investigate specific genres and styles in more detail
In Year 9 as students deepen their exploration and understanding, a closer study takes place, specifically focusing on certain practitioners and their techniques. They then apply their understanding when they devise from a stimulus. Students get the opportunity to focus on either acting of technical skills allowing them to solidify their skills for KS4. All Key stage 3 students study both devising theatre and both pre 20th century, and a post 20th century play script per academic year.
Alongside dramatic theory students will also focus on the development of characterisation, empathy and portrayal. Students will be taught how to appreciate live theatrical performance and evaluation.
Students work in mixed groups to develop positive working relationships with others in the class, creating and encouraging confidence and respect.
Through these studies students gain a practical understanding of different types of people and different situations in which they live. This widens their appreciation for others and enables them to create considered and thoughtful theatre.
Drama is assessed using a level system. The levels range from 1-9 and are separated into the following 3 strands: Practical performance, Creative Process and Participation and Attitude. Throughout the year students are assessed within the 3 strands.
Students can be assessed both within curriculum time, and within enrichment as appropriate within tasks set.
Key Stage 4
- Students are longer required to complete controlled assessments as part of their GCSE. Their final GCSE grades for both English Language and Literature will be awarded through their final examinations at the end of Year 11.
- Speaking and Listening will be reported separately and no longer contributes to the overall grade.
- Spelling, punctuation and grammar marks allocated on the Literature paper. Worth up to 8 marks in total for both papers.
English Language (AQA examination board)
- Paper 1 (50%): Reading (One literature fiction text 20th/21stcentury)
- Writing (Descriptive and/or Narrative)
- Paper 2 (50%): Reading. (One non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text. One will be 19th century and the other will be 20th/21st)
- Writing. (Transactional writing and writing to present a viewpoint)
English Literature (AQA examination board)
Paper 1: (40%)
- Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
- 19th Century novel: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Paper 2: (60%)
- Modern text: An Inspector Calls by J.B.Priestley
- Cluster poetry: power and conflict (students will learn a collection of 15 poems from this section.)
- Unseen poetry comparison
How can you support your child?
The students will have homework every week - speak to his/her English teacher as soon as possible if your child needs help.
Don’t stop reading (anything and everything –it all helps).
A good dictionary and a straightforward thesaurus.
Develop good editing skills: he/she needs to be able to edit his/her own work for spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Media Studies at Melbourn provides an opportunity for students to expand their focus beyond literature and non-fiction texts and look at a wider range of media products. Students will view, evaluate and analyse products ranging from magazines to films.
Students will study media language, consider how different groups and issues are represented in differing media products and learn about the institutions that are involved in their creation.
They will have an opportunity to develop practical skills related to media by developing their understanding of photography and filming, as well as learning how to edit and manipulate text, images, videos and sound.
Students will study a variety of film genres, analyse how products are marketed and create their own advertising campaign, and produce a film trailer after researching appropriate forms and conventions. Each year a new exam topic is provided which gives students a chance to do an in-depth study of a media topic, examples from past years include Science Fiction films and Television news.
Details of the current specification and the proposed specification for September 2017 are available here.
Type of qualification: GCSE AQA 8261
How it is assessed:
40% Written Examination – 80 marks - open book
Section A: multiple choice (4 marks)
Section B: four questions on a given extract from the set play chosen (44 marks)
Section C: one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (32 marks)
40% Devised Drama
Devising log and devised performance
20%Texts in Practice
Performance extract of a scripted work
The course is designed to be practical, engaging and creative. It will provide the opportunity to examine drama, the work of theatre professionals and to explore the range of drama as an art form. Students will be able to work independently; as well as in a group, to create drama whilst making informed artistic choices. The course enables students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the process of creating and developing drama to their own performance work. It gives the opportunity for a student to solely focus on either the performance, or the technical aspect of theatre should they wish to. Within the practical components students may specialise in performing, lighting, sound, set or costume.
You will learn about all areas of theatre and drama, looking at technical skills as well as acting within performance. You will become critically aware of your own and others’ work and understand the social context of your work and that of others. You will look at different practitioners and playwrights and gain the opportunity to study and perform in various styles and genres; you will develop your learning of strategies, and the process of a play structure.
Everybody is somebody