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English

Why we teach English

At Melbourn Village College, our English team is committed to inspiring young minds by encouraging pupils to be imaginative and creative. We give our pupils the confidence to experiment and take risks with their writing. We want our pupils to have the determination, perseverance, and true grit to succeed in a broad subject that opens many new doors and exciting opportunities for the future. Our pupils 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. Through a range of modules they engage with the many different spheres of learning English. Pupils 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 pupils to get involved in a range of events throughout the year. These help to extend, embed and strengthen the skills developed during their lessons which will in turn, benefit them throughout their life.

KS3 English

Overview of content

We have an excellent range of modules that underpin all our values of encouraging pupils to be imaginative and creative. Pupils study a Shakespeare play in Yr7 and Yr8; read and interpret a range of modern novels; explore the world of poetry; and learn about many genres of writing, using language in different forms for a range of audiences. Our Year 7 curriculum focuses on introducing the skills and style of questions they will need to be familiar with at GCSE, which they will then build upon every year through a variety of different texts.

Yr 7 Programme of Study

Half term

Topics studied; skills and knowledge

How this will be assessed

Autumn - 1

Reading (‘Private Peaceful’): pupils will be introduced to the skills of identifying explicit and implicit meanings from texts; analysing a writer’s use of language, structure and form; and how to give personal responses to texts through the skill of evaluation.

Pupils will be given a range of reading and comprehension questions at the end of the module. The assessment will be one hour.

Autumn - 2

Writing (Transactional): pupils will learn how to use persuasive writing in the form of text for a leaflet and speech. There will also be a focus on spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Pupils will be asked to write a persuasive speech at the end of the module. The assessment will be one hour.

Spring - 1

Literature (Shakespeare – ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’): pupils will be introduced to the skills of interpreting and understanding events, characters and themes in one of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as looking at his use of language, form and structure.

Pupils will be given an extract from the play and asked to write an essay in response to a question. The assessment will be one hour.

Spring - 2

Reading (19th and 21st Century non-fiction texts): pupils will develop their skills at analysing a writer’s use of language, form and structure and learn how to identify similarities and differences between texts.

Pupils will be given a 21st and 19th century non-fiction source and they will answer a range of reading and comprehension questions. The assessment will be one hour.

Summer - 1

Literature (‘The Boy at the Back of the Class’): pupils will develop their skills of interpreting and understanding events, characters, plot and themes, as well as identifying and explaining the writer’s use of language and structure.

Pupils will be given a question linked to either character or theme and asked to write an essay response. The assessment will be one hour.

Summer - 2

Writing (narrative): pupils will learn all about the features to create a successful narrative, including: using imaginative and entertaining language; literary techniques; and how to structure a story. There will also be a focus on spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Speaking & Listening (inform/explain): pupils will be introduced to the skill of oratory. They will learn how to give a successful speech for the purpose of informing and explaining.

Pupils will be given an image and asked to write a story in response to the image. The assessment will be one hour.

 

Pupils will be asked to give an individual presentation with the purpose to inform/explain.

Yr 8 Programme of Study

Half term

Topics studied; skills and knowledge

How this will be assessed

Autumn - 1

Reading (‘Thursday’s Child’ or ‘Holes’): pupils will develop their skills of identifying explicit and implicit meanings from texts; analysing a writer’s use of language, structure and form; and how to give personal responses to texts through the skill of evaluation.

Pupils will be given a range of reading and comprehension questions at the end of the module. The assessment will be one hour.

Autumn - 2

Writing (Transactional): pupils will learn how to write for the purpose of entertaining and explaining in the form of travel writing, articles and autobiographical writing.

Pupils will be asked to write the text for a website explaining their views in response to an exam question. The assessment will be one hour.

Spring - 1

Literature (Shakespeare – ‘Twelfth Night’): pupils will enjoy one of Shakespeare’s comedy plays and will develop their skills of interpreting and understanding events, characters and themes, as well as explaining his use of language, form and structure.

Pupils will be given an extract from the play and asked to write an essay in response to a question. The assessment will be one hour.

Spring - 2

Reading (range of 19th and 21st century non-fiction extracts): pupils will develop their skills at analysing a writer’s use of language, structure and form, as well as building on comparison skills.

Pupils will be given a 21st and 19th century non-fiction source and they will answer a range of reading and comprehension questions. The assessment will be one hour.

Summer - 1

Literature (Poetry): pupils will be introduced to the skills of identifying a poet’s meaning, message, purpose; use of language, structure and form; and identifying similarities and differences between poems.

Pupils will be given an essay question, which will ask them to analyse a poem.

Summer - 2

Writing (descriptive): pupils will read Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘A Canterbury Tales’ and they will learn about the use of descriptive techniques.

Speaking & Listening (persuade): pupils will learn how to use persuasive techniques in a speech.

Pupils will be asked to produce a piece of writing, which introduces and describes an amusing character of their creation. The assessment will be one hour.

Pupils will be asked to give an individual presentation with the purpose to persuade.

Yr 9 Programme of Study

Half term

Topics studied; skills and knowledge

How this will be assessed

Autumn - 1

Reading (range of 20th and 21st century fiction extracts): pupils will develop their skills of identifying explicit and implicit meanings from texts; analysing a writer’s use of language, structure and form; and how to give personal responses to texts through the skill of evaluation.

Pupils will be given a 21st century fiction source and they will answer a range of exam questions, which will assess their reading and comprehension. The assessment will be one hour.

Autumn - 2

Writing (Transactional): pupils will learn how to write for the purpose of arguing and explaining in the form of a letter and article.

Pupils will be asked to write an article with the purpose to argue their points of view. The assessment will be one hour.

Spring - 1

Literature (War Poetry): pupils will study a range of war poems and develop their skills of identifying a poet’s meaning, message, purpose; use of language, structure and form; and identifying similarities and differences between poems.

Pupils will be given two war poems and asked to write a comparison essay in response to an exam question. The assessment will be one hour.

Spring - 2

Reading (range of 19th and 20th  century non-fiction extracts): pupils will develop their skills at analysing a writer’s use of language, structure and form, as well as building on comparison skills.

Pupils will be given a 19th  and 20th century non-fiction source and they will answer a range of reading and comprehension questions. The assessment will be one hour.

Summer - 1

Literature (‘Animal Farm): pupils will develop their skills of understanding and interpreting meaning(s); identifying and analysing features of language, structure and form; and looking at how context contributes to understanding of a text.

Pupils will be given a choice of a character or theme question in relation to ‘Animal Farm’. The assessment will be one hour.

Summer - 2

Writing – (narrative/descriptive): pupils will develop their skills of writing short stories and descriptions of scenes.

Speaking & Listening (argue): pupils will learn how to use techniques required to produce and present a successful argument.

Pupils will be given a choice of an image, or a title, for which they will be asked to produce a narrative or descriptive piece of writing. The assessment will be one hour.

Pupils will be asked to give an individual presentation with the purpose to argue.

Homework

Homework will be set once a week and pupils are expected to spend forty minutes completing it to the best of their ability. The types of homework set can include wider reading around a topic/subject we are studying, research in connection with a topic, literacy, or the class teacher may set something specific in connection with the tasks being completed in lessons.

Learning outside the classroom

Every year we run the KS3 Poetry Festival, which is a fantastic opportunity for pupils to collaborate and experience their moment on the stage performing their chosen poem. It is always very successful and enjoyed by the pupils and staff. We often run various writing competitions, some of which are within our own school, but we also encourage pupils to take part in national competitions too. As a department, we welcome any ideas from pupils of events or competitions that they would like to take part in.

Parental support and extension

Feeling Inspired? Avoid the endless repeats on television by reading a novel.

Why not have a look at the following website links for some suggested books for reading?

The best support you can give your child to ensure they progress in English is to read with them and discuss what you have read together. There are also lots of useful websites with spelling, punctuation and grammar games/quizzes, which are an ideal way for pupils to develop their literacy skills independently.

More information

In terms of additional help that parents and carers can provide, please make sure that if you are able to, you ensure that your child uses a local public library to access as wide a range of reading material as possible. This is, of course, free. A dictionary and thesaurus are also excellent resources for pupils to have and to become accustomed to using when completing independent written tasks.

KS4 English

AQA GCSE English Language (8700) & GCSE English Literature (8702)

Overview of content

Pupils embark on their GCSE English Language and English Literature courses at the beginning of Year 10. The majority of the GCSE modules are studied during Year 10, which leaves time for revision of all of the modules in Year 11. At KS3, pupils have been introduced to the skills and types of questions they will experience for their GCSE examinations and are therefore familiar with what is expected of them by the time they start in Year 10. This approach at KS3 enables us to focus on developing pupils’ competence of reading and writing.

GCSE English Language: pupils will learn how to read, understand and interpret meanings of both fiction and non-fiction texts; they will learn how to analyse a writer’s use of methods; critically evaluate texts they read; and compare writers’ views and perspectives. Pupils will be taught how to write creatively and how to write for a specific form, purpose and audience. Accuracy skills are regularly visited within the course, particularly when we are focusing on writing skills.

GCSE English Literature: pupils will study a Shakespeare play, ‘Macbeth’ and a 19th Century novel, ‘A Christmas Carol’. They will be taught how to approach the exam questions for these modules, which require them to analyse a given extract and refer to other areas within the play/novel. Poetry is a heavy focus of the Literature course; pupils will need to know and learn a set of 15 poems from the Power & Conflict anthology and they will also be taught how to analyse poems they have not seen before, which is the focus of the ‘Unseen Poetry’ section of the Literature exam. In Year 11, pupils will study a modern play, ‘An Inspector Calls’ and they will be taught how to approach the exam question, which consists of two questions to choose from. These are usually separated into a character or a theme question.

KS4 Programme of Study

Year 10

 

 

Period of time

Area of study

Method of Assessment

Sept – Nov (8 weeks)

Literature Paper 1- section A: Macbeth

In class assessment

Nov – Dec (4 weeks)

Language paper 2-Section A (Non-Fiction)

In class assessment

Dec – Feb (7.5 weeks)

Literature paper 1 – section B: A Christmas Carol

In class assessment

 Feb – Mar (4 weeks)

Language paper 2 – Section B (Transactional writing)

In class assessment

Mar – May (4 weeks)

 

May-May (3 weeks)

Language paper 1 – Section A (Fiction)

In class assessment

Language paper 1 – Section B (Creative writing)

In class assessment

June – June (1 week)

 

June – June (1 week)

 

June –July (5 weeks)

Cluster poetry

(Power & Conflict)

 

Revision for Language paper 1 mock

Yr10 exams (June) – Language paper 1  & Literature paper 1

Cluster poetry

(Power & Conflict)

In class assessment

Year 11

 

 

Sept – Oct  (5 weeks)

1-2 weeks

An Inspector Calls

In class assessment

Spoken Language

Spoken Language assessments

Oct – Dec  (2 weeks)

 

Nov – (2 weeks)

Unseen poetry

In class assessment

Revision for Language paper 2 mock

Yr11 mock (Nov) – language paper 2 & Literature paper 2

Jan – Feb

Revision Literature papers 1 & 2

In class mock

Feb – Mar

Revision Language papers 1 & 2

In class mock

Apr – May

Revision for key areas identified from in class mocks.

 

June – July

 GCSE Exams

 

Homework

Homework will be set once a week and the time pupils are expected to spend on it is sixty minutes. The types of homework set can include: wider reading around a topic/subject we are studying, research in connection with a topic, literacy, or the class teacher may set something specific in connection with the tasks being completed in lessons. At GCSE level, we expect pupils to be revising key modules and areas of study straight away from the beginning of Year 10.

How it is assessed

English Language is assessed by means of two written exams sat at the end of the course.

  • Each paper is 1 hour and 45 minutes long.
  • Each paper is worth half of the total marks for the course.

English Literature is assessed by means of two written exams sat at the end of the course.

  • Paper 1 is 1 hour and 45 minutes long. This paper is worth 40% of the total marks for the course.
  • Paper 2 is 2 hours and 15 minutes long. This paper is worth 60% of the total marks for the course.

Spoken Language is assessed as part of the English Language course, but it does not contribute to the overall level. Pupils will deliver a talk, which is assessed by their teacher. The results will be recorded separately on the GCSE certificate as a Pass, Merit, Distinction or Not Classified.

Learning outside the classroom

Pupils are strongly encouraged to read around the subject in English Literature, investigating different ways of understanding character, plot and context for each of the set texts. Furthermore, using film and drama, pupils can find news ways to enjoy the presentation of these literary works in a more rounded manner. Teachers offer a range of links and opportunities to build pupils’ understanding of these texts as cultural artefacts and to broaden their experience of them in the context in which they are written as well as from the perspective of a modern reader or audience.

Parental support and extension

There are a range of films or theatre productions of the texts we study at GCSE. It will be very helpful for the pupils to see these prior to starting their GCSEs in Year 10. (A Christmas Carol, An Inspector Calls and Macbeth.)

More information

In terms of additional help that parents and carers can provide, please make sure that if you are able to, you ensure that your child uses a local public library to access as wide a range of reading material as possible. This is, of course, free. A dictionary and thesaurus are also excellent resources for pupils to have and to become accustomed to using when completing independent written tasks.

 

Everybody is somebody