In Year 9, pupils start their KS4 course. Pupils study a range of texts similar to those they will study for their GCSE English Language and Literature exams (both exams will be sat at the end of Year 11). This year enables pupils to start developing the relevant GCSE skills while exploring a wide range of texts, including foundational classics such as Dicken’s 'A Christmas Carol' and Shakespeare’s 'Macbeth'.
In English Language, they will study a variety of texts from different eras, learning how to apply examination questions to these. They will also practise writing tasks in order to become fluent, skilful writers.
In Years 10 and Year 11 pupils study for their final GCSE English Language and English Literature exams (AQA board). The texts that we study for Literature include the modern play 'An Inspector Calls'; the 19th century novel 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'; and a range of poems from across the ages. For the Language exam, pupils learn how to analyse both fiction and non-fiction texts, and how to write in a variety of genre and forms, from short stories to speeches.
What type of pupil succeeds at GCSE?
English consists of two demanding subjects and a love of books is helpful for both Language and Literature. A sense of enjoyment from analysing texts is also useful.
Pupils receive homework three times a week. English is best learned through extensive reading and pupils get plenty of opportunity to do so. It is important for pupils to read other texts beyond those set for the exams. Pupils will also practise exam questions regularly for each text.