English

An extensive team of dedicated, conscientious English specialists cover all aspects of English at both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. This high performing department consistently exceeds national targets for both English and English Literature at Key Stage 4 whilst engaging the pupils with rigorous and stimulating texts.

The department understands the importance of enriching the curriculum; it offers a variety of extra-curricular experiences including visiting writers, GCSE theatre trips and residential visits to London.

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Year 7

The English course at Year 7 follows a five topic curriculum plan with end of year examinations in the final term.  Each term, pupils will focus on a topic and will be assessed through a common assignment which will look at particular skills for either reading or writing.  Assessments do not always fall at the end of a term.  Pupils will be prepared for these assessments through the series of lessons and homework tasks.

Here is a breakdown of the topics covered throughout the year and the accompanying assessments.

Topic Assessment Task Assessment Date
Families Analysis of a poem Half Term 1
Myths and Legends Story writing Half Term 2
Lessons for Life Descriptive task Half Term 3
Fantastic Beasts Analysis of a leaflet Half Term 4
Tests Reading and writing tasks Half Term 5
Journeys Analysis of a poem Half Term 6

In addition to following a particular topic, students will also engage in one lesson a week which focuses on punctuation, grammar, spelling skills and a class reader. Students will also have time for their own independent reading in this lesson and will take part in Standish’s Super League Reading Challenge. Students will receive prizes for reading books throughout the year and successfully passing quizzes on them in order to check their understanding.

Enrichment Opportunities

  • Pantomime Trip (December)
  • Class performance of Revolting Rhymes poem (December)
  • Visiting Authors
  • Local competitions including Spelling Bees, Readathon and the Big Book Quiz

Year 8

Much like Year 7, the English course at Year 8 follows a five topic curriculum plan with the end of year examinations in the final term.  Each term, pupils will focus on a specific text type and will be assessed through a common assignment which will look at particular skills for either reading or writing.  Assessments do not always fall at the end of a term.  Pupils will be prepared for these assessments through the series of lessons and homework tasks. This is also the first year that students begin to study Shakespeare in depth at Standish.

Here is a breakdown of the topics covered throughout the year and the accompanying assessments.

Topic Assessment Task Assessment Date
Narrative writing Story writing Half Term 1
Poetry War Poetry analysis Half Term 2
Pre 20th Century Prose Analysis of extract Half Term 3
Non-fiction writing Article writing Half Term 4
Tests Reading and writing tasks Half Term 5
Shakespeare ‘Romeo & Juliet’ analysis Half Term 6

In addition to following a particular topic, students will also engage in one lesson a week which focuses on reading, punctuation, grammar and spelling skills. Students will be given the opportunity to continue with their Super League Reading Challenge during this lesson.  In this lesson, they will have the opportunity to read a text, as a class, for pleasure.

Enrichment Opportunities

  • London Trip – activities have included a tour of The Globe Theatre, “The Harry Potter Experience” at Warner Brothers Studios and various West End Theatre productions.

Year 9

Year 9 is a pivotal year as students will make the transition from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4. For the first part of the year, students will work towards reading and writing assessments in order to complete their Key Stage 3 programme of study. For the second part of the year, students will study a range of challenging texts, including Shakespeare and texts from other cultures, in order to prepare them for the commencement of their GCSE course in Year 10.

Topic Assessment Task Assessment Date
Love Poetry Poetry Analysis Half Term 1
Travel Writing Travel Writing Review Half Term 2
Macbeth Analysis of two scenes Half Term 3
Of Mice and Men Extract and Essay Half Term 4
Transactional Writing Transactional piece of writing Half Term 5
Using Spoken Language GCSE Speaking and Listening Presentation Half Term 6
A Christmas Carol Not assessed Half Term 6

Enrichment Opportunities

  • Theatre Experiences – wherever possible, students will be given the opportunity enhance their understanding and enjoyment of their studied texts with theatre opportunities. In recent years, we have organised trips to see stage adaptations of Of Mice and Men and brought in a theatre group to perform Macbeth and offer students drama workshop activities.
  • Shakespeare Schools – in conjunction with the Drama department, the school performs a production of a different Shakespeare play each year. Recent productions have included The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing.

GCSE English Language

The English Language GCSE course follows a two-year, five-term curriculum plan. External examinations take place in term six, at the end of Year 11.

To support their learning, we use a range of visual, audio and kinaesthetic approaches to developing descriptive and narrative writing skills.  Speaking and listening tasks range from a formal presentation to the headteacher to informal debates on real local issues. We use a range of challenging and engaging texts, both modern and from the literary heritage canon, in order to stretch students and foster a love of English as well as equip them with the vital skills in reading and writing they will need for their future.

The English Department has also celebrated success at “Speak Out” – a public speaking competition – organised by St John Rigby College and aimed at older pupils.  Speakers have delivered their views on “The Value of Sport” and “The Role of Capital Punishment” and have been praised by judges for their confident, articulate and mature delivery.

The curriculum for GCSE English Language is delivered alongside GCSE English Literature. We teach to the EDUQAS examination board.

Year 10

  • Students will study narrative writing in preparation for their mock exam at the end of half term one.
  • Students will learn how to answer a fiction reading paper in preparation for their mock exam in the summer term.

Year 11

  • Students will continue to study transactional/persuasive writing and how to answer a non-fiction reading paper as well as revisiting Year 10 work.
  • Students will sit a full mock examination in December & March.
  • The final exams will be in summer of Year 11. There are two papers:
    • Component 1: 20th Century Literature Reading and Creative Prose Writing (40%)
    • Component 2: 19th and 21st Century Non-Fiction Reading and Transactional/Persuasive Writing (60%)

GCSE English Literature

The English Literature GCSE course follows a two-year, five-term curriculum plan with the examinations in term six in Year 11.  As a department, we feel that all students should be able to access and appreciate a range of texts both from the modern and the literary heritage canon.  To this end, we enter all students for the GCSE English Literature examination.

To support their learning, we invite in drama groups to carry out workshops; take the students to see their text in performance; encourage them to participate in competitions – both writing and speaking and listening.

The English Department also has very strong links with the writers’ workshops based at Sunshine House.  Many of our Key Stage 4 students have had the privilege of working with writers of the calibre of Will Self, Anthony Horowitz, Stuart Maconie and Times journalist Stephen Armstrong in recent years.

The curriculum for GCSE English Literature is delivered alongside GCSE English Language. We teach to the EDUQAS examination board.

Year 10

  • Students study either “An Inspector Calls” or “Blood Brothers” and sit a mock examination after Christmas.
  • Students study a selection of unseen poetry in pairs for a mock examination near the spring half-term.
  • Students study the EDUQAS poetry anthology (15 poems) for a mock examination around Easter.

Year 11

  • Students will study “Macbeth” for a mock examination at the end of the first half term.
  • Students will study “A Christmas Carol” for a mock examination at Christmas.
  • Students will sit a full mock examination in March.
  • The final exams will be in summer of Year 11. There are two papers:
    • Component 1: Shakespeare and Poetry (40%)
    • Component 2: Post-1914 Prose/Drama, 19th Century Prose and Unseen Poetry (60%)

More Information

National Curriculum for English at Key Stage 3 National Curriculum for English at Key Stage 4
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