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GCSE English Language

Mathematics - Year 7

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Below you will find more specific information about the curriculum in English Language for Years 10 and 11 students, explaining to you what students will learn, when, why and how. There is also information about how parents/carers are able to support students in their learning, extra-curricular opportunities in this subject and how mathematics links to other subjects and the wider world.

While this information covers a broad range of areas, please do get in touch with the Subject Leader Mrs Weston if you have any questions.

Please click on the questions below to find out more.

Which exam board will students be examined by?

AQA

How are groups organised?

Classes are set according to ability.

Students have 9 one hour lessons per fortnight.

What characteristics does a successful student have in this subject?

The most successful students in English Language are avid readers and writers who enjoy writing creatively and are able to interpret and analyse the work of writers from a range of backgrounds. They are insightful and can recognise and appreciate the ways in which writers craft their work to create meaning. They are able to use literary devices and linguistic features with confidence within their own writing and appreciate the importance of effective communication in all aspects of life.

What are the key concepts students will study at this level?

  • Reading for meaning.
  • Analysis and evaluation of language use by a range of writers.
  • Understanding of the significance of structure in written texts.
  • Crafting and effective planning of creative writing.
  • Writing to engage an audience.
  • Confidence in both verbal and written communication.

What will students learn at this level?

English Language Unit 1: Examination (50% of total marks)

Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Section A: Reading - prose fiction from the 20th or 21st Century.

Section B: Writing - descriptive or narrative writing.

English Language Unit 2: Examination (50% of total marks)

Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

Part A: Reading - two linked extracts from literary non-fiction and          non-fiction including one pre 19th Century text.

Part B: Writing - presenting a point of view.

English Spoken Language Assessment (0% of total marks)

Separate grade on examination certificate.

One presentation with response to questions and feedback.

What skills will students develop at this level?

  • Reading skills.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Organisational skills.
  • Communication skills.
  • Creative thinking.
  • Critical thinking.
  • Evaluative skills.

How will students learn at this level?

  • Reading a wide range of texts.
  • Studying exemplar answers.
  • Reading examples of good creative writing.
  • Experimenting with different forms of creative writing.
  • Working collaboratively with texts.
  • Researching topics for presentation.
  • Debating and expressing points of view.
  • Observing presentations then responding critically and evaluatively.
  • Practising written responses and creative writing.

How will students’ learning be assessed at this level?

Through two examinations, each worth 50%:

English Language Paper 1:

Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Section A: Reading - prose fiction extract.

You will answer four questions on aspects of the text, including the ways in which the writer uses language for effect and the structure of the text.

Section B: Writing – you will complete an extended piece of descriptive or narrative writing.

English Language Paper 2:

Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

Part A: Reading – two non-fiction extracts including one pre-19th century text.

You will answer four questions, including a comparison of the ideas or attitudes expressed in the texts and an analysis of language use.

Part B: Writing – you will respond to a statement and present a point of view.

When do key assessments take place?

Year 10 end of year exams – April/May

Year 11 mock exams – January

Year 11 exams – June

You will complete practice questions throughout the course to test your knowledge and understanding of key concepts and the requirements of each assessment objective. 

How can parents/carers support students’ learning?

  • By encouraging the reading of a range of quality non-fiction writing and discussing its language use, ideas and merits
  • By discussing current affairs and encouraging the exchange of opinions and beliefs in rational debate.
  • By encouraging and supporting creative writing, reading plans and finished pieces and responding with constructive criticism.
  • By showing interest in the presentation topic and listening to the finished presentation, giving constructive feedback.

What equipment do students need for this subject?

Writing equipment

Dictionary and thesaurus

How does this subject link to other subjects?

  • Literacy – all subjects
  • Analytical skills – most subjects
  • Communication skills – all subjects

What websites or resources may be helpful to support students’ learning?

AQA Exam Board website

BBC Bitesize

Newspapers and magazines on current topics

What extra-curricular or enrichment opportunities are available for students in this subject at this level?

KTS Best Books – writing a review for publication on the KTS website

Creative Writing competitions

What sort of careers can this subject lead to?

  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Freelance writing
  • Law
  • Any career requiring high level literacy skills

What does student work look like in this subject at this level?

 

How does this subject support a broad and balanced curriculum, meeting the needs of all students, and developing traditional core skills?

Broad and balanced:

We cover a wide range of fiction including pre-1900 texts and texts from other cultures.

We study a range of non-fiction texts, including topics relating to current issues, and encourage critical thinking skills.

Meeting the needs of all students:

We differentiate appropriately in all lessons, adapting unit tasks and all assessments to ensure they are challenging and accessible to all pupils.

Texts are selected according to the ability, strengths and interests of students.

TAs are used effectively to support students and we liaise with relevant agencies/staff to ensure students’ needs are met.

Traditional core skills:

Literacy is at the heart of the English curriculum. We also develop critical thinking skills, encourage the forming and expression of opinion and consider ethics and morality when studying literature in particular.

How does this subject promote creativity, critical thinking, practice, perseverance and resilience, and making links?

Creativity:

We develop thinking skills and encourage students to respond creatively to texts and ideas explored in lessons.

We encourage creative writing throughout the key stage, allowing students the opportunity to think of their own ideas and develop them in the way they wish.

Critical thinking:

We encourage pupils to think about a range of issues, ideas, language use and writers’ intentions throughout the course. They are expected to formulate their own responses and ideas, identifying strengths and weaknesses and expressing their own views clearly and articulately.

Practice, perseverance and resilience:

We encourage drafting and self-editing to enable pupils to identify their own errors and improve the quality of their writing.

We encourage students to complete longer writing tasks on a regular basis to develop writing resilience and read longer, challenging texts and extracts to develop reading resilience. Pupils are encouraged to persevere with challenging tasks and we break down more complex tasks to ensure they are less daunting and more accessible to all students.

How does this subject encourage enrichment and the development of cultural capital, deep learning, and inclusivity?

Enrichment/cultural capital:

We study a range of extracts from literary texts covering three centuries and diverse themes. We study a broad range of non-fiction from a range of writers expressing a wide variety of opinions and viewpoints.

Substance/deep learning:

We study texts written for adult readers. Students are encouraged to think about mature ideas and themes and reflect on a range of issues.

All ideas are fully explored and tested to ensure pupils have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the skills taught throughout the year.

Open and inclusive:

We ensure all literature and non-fiction studied is relatable and accessible to all students. The themes reflect a wide number of concerns and issues, which are always dealt with appropriately and with sensitivity. We actively promote inclusivity in all of our units and within our classroom teaching.