English

Aims

We believe that the ability to communicate with ease is one of the most important skills a student will learn at school. Whatever a young person chooses to do with their life, written and spoken communication is at the heart of every success story. Therefore, as a core subject and the main facilitator of these skills, the study of English at Frances Beardsley is regarded as extremely important for all students.

English is not only a functional subject; at Frances Bardsley we expose students to our rich, varied and lively literary heritage. Through this, students develop understanding of the historical, political and religious background of the texts they study. They consider current affairs. They explore moral and social issues. They analyse character behaviour and motivation, and since English is also the study of people and the world around us through texts, they explore the presentation of fact, opinion and authorial intentions.

The English Department at Frances Bardsey aims to foster a love of language and literature in students but also to prepare them for the demands of public examinations and the wider world beyond.

Teaching and Learning

We use a wide range of teaching methods in English: individual, paired and group work, presentations, research, discussion and debate, use of film and media clips, and many others.

Reading is an extremely important part of English study and we aim to ensure that all students develop their skills from Year 7 onwards by reading and analysing challenging texts and discussing our reading habits in class.

To develop both reading and writing skills, we work with students on their vocabulary, spelling, punctuation and grammar, as these are the core tools for learning and making progress in English. We aim to ensure that this will equip students for study in other subjects as well.

Assessment for learning                            

Students are assessed every half term and their progress is monitored by classroom teachers, the Key Stage Co-ordinator, the Head of Department and specialist staff.

Students are directly involved in their own target setting in terms of skills, but these are agreed in association with the classroom teacher. Target setting and evaluation of previous targets takes place on a termly basis, but is closely monitored throughout the year.

Students receive written feedback on extended pieces of writing. Students are then asked to respond to the feedback as part of Directed Improvement and Reflection Time, and redraft where appropriate, to encourage an ongoing dialogue between teacher and student, and to engage them in their own learning and development. We also ask students to undertake self and peer-assessment of their own and others’ work against marking criteria in order to give them a wider experience and understanding of how to approach tasks and how they are marked.

Home Learning

In English, homework takes a range of different forms. It may involve researching the life and times of a text or character being studied, for example. Students may be asked to prepare their analysis of a poem in advance of the lesson, or they may be asked to look up definitions of words in a dictionary and learn these alongside spellings. All homework in English is a development of the work undertaken in class and aims to mould our students into independent learners, again preparing them for future academic and work life.

All English teachers publish homework to ‘Show My Homework’, which can be found by following the link on the school’s homepage. Students and parents can access this through their accounts or by filtering the results. This is particularly useful if a student has missed lessons and needs to catch up on homework as the homework is held on the website permanently. In addition, a student should also find out the work they have missed from their classroom teacher and arrange a reasonable time in which this can be completed.

Equipment

Although we provide access to dictionaries, you may wish to provide your daughter with a pocket-sized dictionary and/or thesaurus that she can take to all lessons, not only English, in order to encourage her to develop her vocabulary and improve her spelling. A highlighter or set of highlighters is also useful for labelling and annotating texts. Students should write in blue or black pen in their exercise books, although at times they will also be asked to complete self and peer-assessment in green pen. Green pens are provided in school, but you may wish your daughter to have her own pen. 

 

Key Stage 3

English

Programme of Study

Year

Autumn term

Spring term

Summer term

7

Students will complete a writing project called ‘Island Eye’ and will read a novel as a class.

Students will study a play and will also read William Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

Students will read a range of non-fiction texts. They will also read a selection of poetry.

Assessments

At the end of the first half-term, students will be assessed on their writing skills, with the focus on ‘Writing to argue/ persuade’. Before Christmas, students will complete an assessment based on an extract from the novel that they have been reading.

At the end of the first half-term, students will be assessed on their writing skills, with the focus on ‘Writing to describe’. Before Easter, they will complete an assessment based on an extract from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

During the first half-term, students will be preparing for their end of year exam which will focus on both reading and writing skills. Before the end of the year, students will complete a speaking and listening assessment based on the poetry that they have read.

8

Students will study a range of Gothic Literature. They will also read a novel as a class.

Students will read a range of poetry and complete a writing project focusing on the skills of persuasive writing.

Students will read a range of non-fiction texts and will also read Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’.

Assessments

At the end of the first half-term, students will be assessed on their writing, with the focus on ‘Writing to describe’. Before Christmas, they will complete an assessment based on an extract from the novel that they have been reading.

At the end of the first half term, students will complete an assessment based on an unseen poem. Before Easter, the will be assessed on their writing, with a focus on Writing to argue/ persuade’.

During the first half-term, students will be preparing for their end of year exam which will focus on both reading and writing skills. Before the end of the year, students will complete a speaking and listening assessment based on the Shakespeare text that they have been reading.

 

Additional Information

Students in Years 7 and 8 read a wide range of material, including fiction and non-fiction. They are also given the opportunity to write in a variety of styles and are encouraged to expand their vocabulary through the use of dictionaries and thesauruses. There are also opportunities for speaking and listening activities throughout the year.

Students in Year 7 have a lesson in the Library once per fortnight. They take part in a reading programme called Accelerated Reader which recommends specific books for students to read based on their reading ages and monitors the progress they make. Students have their own log-ins and can access Accelerated Reader in school in order to complete quizzes on the books that they have read.

Students are also encouraged to participate in events on World Book Day. Last year, students in Year 7 were invited to dress up as characters from their favourite book. There was also a book trail which involved students answering clues around the school in order to receive a prize at the end.

How Parents/ Carers can help

-Ensure that your daughter reads for at least 20 minutes every day. This can be a fiction or non-fiction book.

-Speak to your daughter about your own reading, and discuss books that you enjoyed when you were her age.

-Try to give your daughter access to a dictionary when she is completing homework.

 

Some helpful websites:

HTTP://WWW.BBC.CO.UK/EDUCATION/SUBJECTS/Z3KW2HV

http://WWW.RSC.ORG.UK 

HTTPS://WWW.LITERACYTRUST.ORG.UK   

worldbookday.com

 

If you have any further questions about this course, to whom do I speak?

Miss R Smyth – Head of KS3 English and Literacy Coordinator

Key Stage 4

English

Programme of Study

Students follow the AQA syllabus.

Specification number: AQA English Language (8700) and English Literature (8702). 

Link to the specification website:

HTTP://WWW.AQA.ORG.UK/SUBJECTS/ENGLISH/GCSE/ENGLISH-LANGUAGE-8700

HTTP://WWW.AQA.ORG.UK/SUBJECTS/ENGLISH/GCSE/ENGLISH-LITERATURE-8702 

 

The Language course is designed to develop students’ ability to read a range of texts including non-fiction critically and to respond with evaluative insight and appreciation of a writer’s language and structure as well as to produce their own writing for creative and persuasive purposes.  In addition, students will participate in a range of spoken presentations that develop their use of Standard English and confidence to express themselves in a variety of contexts. The Literature course covers the study of Shakespeare (Macbeth), poems from the AQA Anthology (Conflict) and study of a nineteenth century text, A Christmas Carol as well as a modern play, An Inspector Calls. The study of English Language and Literature promotes students’ interest in how language can be manipulated to create a range of effects as well as encouraging them to master the skills needed to communicate effectively and articulately as informed citizens. Following the completion of their courses it is hoped the students will have enjoyed their studies, learned to appreciate the value of literary texts and refined their own writing styles. In the past students have commented that the study of English has helped develop a lifelong love of reading and its many values, not least of which is for pleasure.

 

English Language

English Literature

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 1

Unit 2

Explorations in Creative Writing

Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

Shakespeare and the Nineteenth Century Novel

Modern Texts and Poetry

 

Throughout KS4 students will enjoy a range of teaching methods that will include whole class teaching, modelling and discussion. The emphasis is on building confidence and developing the ability to cope with challenge and tackle a range of texts, including both fiction and non-fiction, modern and nineteenth century texts and the unseen texts of the examinations.

There will be opportunities for paired discussion, group work and for students to present their views and explorations to the whole class once they have grasped the skills needed to take a more leading role in the lessons. Regular assessments and timed practices will ensure that examination technique is embedded throughout the 2 year courses.

Accreditation Structure

Examination/assessment structure

Unit

Assessment

Length

Weighting

1

Written examination (Language)

1 hour 45 mins

50%

2

Written examination

(Language)

1 hour 45 mins

50%

1

Written examination

(Literature)

1 hour 45 mins

40%

2

Written examination

(Literature)

2 hours 15 mins

60%

Spoken Language

Non-examination assessment – teacher marked.

Teacher set throughout the course.

0% of the GCSE, but a compulsory unit.

 

Additional Information

Year 11 students in June 2017 are the first cohort to sit the new examinations in AQA for both Language and Literature.  There is no coursework or controlled assessment component with students assessed on their examination performance across the 4 papers only.

Revision sessions for Year 11 will be available every Wednesday after school from the mid-September 2016.

 

Year 10 students will be invited to attend sessions as end of year examinations approach.

 

How Parents/ Carers can help

Practical help: Students benefit from discussing the texts they are reading outside of the classroom. Parents/carers can help with this by encouraging discussion and perhaps reading the texts to help their daughter have a deeper appreciation of the texts.  Here is a list of questions to stimulate discussion:

  • What are the main themes of the text and where can the reader see these coming through?
  • Who are the main characters?
  • What are their roles/purposes in the text?
  • What key scenes/chapters are they in and what do they do?
  • Are there any key images used in the text? What do they do?
  • How is the text structured? E.g. Where is the climax or the most important part? Where is tension built and how?
  • What do you think the author was trying to portray in the text?
  • What messages are there for the reader?

Newspapers:

Lively newspaper articles are excellent for provoking discussion with your daughter. You could discuss:

 The views, opinions and facts being presented in the article and how far you agree with them.

What alternative viewpoints are there?

  • Language and language techniques the writer uses to get their point across and how successful this is
  •  
  • The headline and its impact on the article
  •  
  • How the article is structured for effect

Theatre performances:

If you are able to take your daughter to a live theatre production of a Shakespeare play such as our chosen text, Macbeth, or indeed a performance of the other set texts, A Christmas Carol and An Inspector Calls this will be most beneficial.  Experience of live theatre will help with students’ understanding of the text in performance and inform their understanding of writer dramatic technique.

Examination technique:

Students need to practise planning and answering questions under timed conditions. Encouraging students to do this at home, particularly in the run-up to the examination period, is particularly beneficial.

Literacy:

You can help your daughter by proof-reading her work with her and encouraging her to self-correct using a dictionary or looking up grammar or punctuation points.

Developing vocabulary:

Encourage your daughter to use a wide range of language and higher level vocabulary where appropriate. Use of a dictionary or thesaurus will expand working vocabulary.  Television programmes with factual content such as debates or documentaries can also help to foster the acquisition of higher order language.

If you have any further questions about this course, to whom do I speak?

Ms A. Lucas – Head of KS4 English

 

Key Stage 5

English Language (New linear course from September 2015)

 

Programme of Study

Students follow the AQA A Level English Language syllabus.

Two year course.

Specification number: 7702

Link to the specification website: HTTP://WWW.AQA.ORG.UK/SUBJECTS/ENGLISH/AS-AND-A-LEVEL/ENGLISH-LANGUAGE-7701-7702

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Language, the Individual and Society

Language, Diversity and Change

Coursework

 

Accreditation Structure

 

Component

Mode of Assessment

Weighting

1

Language, the Individual and Society

The unit will cover textual variations and representations, children’s language development and methods of language analysis.

40% of the final mark

2

Language, Diversity and Change

The unit will cover language diversity and change, language discourses (how language is used to present attitudes, ideas and opinions) and directed writing.

 40% of the final mark

Coursework

Students will produce a folder of work to a maximum of 3500 words including a language investigation and original writing.

20% of the final mark

 

Additional Information

Revision classes: These are provided at Easter prior to students’ final examinations.

UCAS: We support students with their UCAS applications by offering advice and help with their personal statements, particularly if they are applying for an English-related course at university.

How Parents/ Carers can help

Key websites:

HTTP://LINGUISTICS-RESEARCH-DIGEST.BLOGSPOT.CO.UK/

HTTP://WWW.ENGLISHLANGSFX.BLOGSPOT.CO.UK/

HTTP://WWW.BL.UK/LEARNING/LANGLIT/EVOLVINGENGLISH/ACCESSVERS/INDEX.HTML

HTTP://WWW.BL.UK/LEARNING/LANGLIT/SOUNDS/INDEX.HTML

 

Books:

‘A/AS Level English Language for AQA Student Book’ ISBN-13: 9781107465626

‘Rediscover Grammar’ by David Crystal

‘Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language’ by David Crystal

‘The Adventure of English’ by Melvyn Bragg

There are many other books available on English Language topics. These are just a selection of introductory texts.

 

Newspapers: There are articles about linguistic issues in the newspapers and online almost on a weekly basis. Should you come across any, you could point these out to your daughter and encourage her to read and discuss them.

Literacy: You can help your daughter by proof-reading her work with her and encouraging her to spot her own mistakes and correct them using a dictionary or looking up grammar or punctuation points.

If you have any further questions about this course, to whom do I speak?

Head of English

                                                  

English Literature (New linear course from September 2015)

 

Programme of Study

Students follow the Edexcel A Level English Literature syllabus.

Two year course.

Specification number: 9ET0

Link to the specification website: HTTP://QUALIFICATIONS.PEARSON.COM/EN/QUALIFICATIONS/EDEXCEL-A-LEVELS/ENGLISH-LITERATURE-2015.HTML

 

Year 12

Shakespeare play, Contemporary and Unseen Poetry, Drama text: A Streetcar Named Desire’, Prose on the theme of Science and Society: ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, Coursework: free choice of 2 texts.

Year 13

Completion of coursework and Prose, Metaphysical Poetry, revision.

 

Accreditation Structure

 

Unit

Content and Mode of Assessment

Weighting

Drama

The Drama unit will cover either tragedy or comedy and will include in depth study of one Shakespeare play, as well as one other drama text.

30% of the final mark

Prose

The Prose unit will cover 2 texts on a chosen theme. One text will be from pre-1900.

 20% of the final mark

Poetry

In the Poetry unit students will study two collections of poetry, one of which will be contemporary poetry and the other which will focus on a particular poet or movement.

 

30% of the final mark

Coursework

Students will study two texts that are linked by theme, genre or ideas and will produce a comparative essay of up to 3000 words, which will be internally assessed and moderated by the examination board.

20% of the final mark

 

Additional Information

Film screenings:

Where possible we aim to show film versions of the set texts, but also films with literary merit that expand students’ experience of literature. We are able to stream live recordings of theatre productions from the National Theatre to the school. The recordings shown are subject to availability.

Revision:

Revision classes are provided at Easter prior to students’ final examinations.

UCAS: We support students with their UCAS applications by offering advice and help with their personal statements, particularly if they are applying for an English-related course at university.

How Parents/ Carers can help

Key websites:

HTTP://WWW.RSC.ORG.UK/

HTTP://WWW.SHAKESPEARESGLOBE.COM/?GCLID=CM3OOO3XWSKCFASBWWODSWQLVA

HTTP://WWW.SHAKESPEARE-ONLINE.COM/PLAYS/OTHELLOSCENES.HTML

HTTP://WWW.SHAKESPEARE-ONLINE.COM/PLAYS/MEASURESCENES.HTML

 

HTTP://WWW.BL.UK/PEOPLE/MARY-SHELLEY

HTTP://WWW.BL.UK/ROMANTICS-AND-VICTORIANS/ARTICLES/MARY-SHELLEY-FRANKENSTEIN-AND-THE-VILLA-DIODATI

HTTP://WWW.BL.UK/ROMANTICS-AND-VICTORIANS/ARTICLES/FRANKENSTEIN-GRAVEYARDS-SCIENTIFIC-EXPERIMENTS-AND-BODYSNATCHERS

HTTP://WWW.BL.UK/LEARNING/LANGLIT/EVOLVINGENGLISH/ACCESSVERS/INDEX.HTML

 

HTTP://WWW.THEGUARDIAN.COM/BOOKS/2012/JAN/20/HANDMAIDS-TALE-MARGARET-ATWOOD

HTTP://WWW.CLIFFSNOTES.COM/LITERATURE/H/THE-HANDMAIDS-TALE/ABOUT-THE-HANDMAIDS-TALE

 

HTTP://WWW.UNIVERSALTEACHER.ORG.UK/POETRY/METAPHYS.HTM

HTTP://WWW.BBC.CO.UK/PROGRAMMES/B00CBQHQ

 

HTTPS://WWW.GUTENBERG.ORG/

 

Practical help: Students benefit from discussing the texts they are reading outside of the classroom. Parents/carers can help with this by encouraging discussion and perhaps even reading the texts to help their daughter have more fruitful and in-depth discussion.

Newspapers:

Reviews of relevant books and theatre performances are very useful in aiding students’ understanding of texts.

Theatre performances:

If you are able to take your daughter to a live theatre production to see a Shakespeare play, one of the texts being studied, or simply another play that is of interest, this will benefit her enormously as experiencing live theatre will help with students’ understanding of the Drama component and enable them to visualise the text much more easily. It also exposes them to a range of theatrical techniques that they cannot experience elsewhere.

Examination technique:

Students need to practise planning and answering questions under timed conditions. Encouraging students to do this at home, particularly in the run-up to the examination period, is particularly beneficial.

Literacy:

You can help your daughter by proof-reading her work with her and encouraging her to spot her own mistakes and correct them using a dictionary or looking up grammar or punctuation points.

If you have any further questions about this course, to whom do I speak?

Head of English

 

  • The Jack Petchey Foundation
  • Specialist Schools Trust
  • Sport England
  • Church of England Affiliation Scheme
  • The Duke of Edinburgh Award
  • Healthy Schools
  • LIFE Education
  • Ofsted Good