In English, students explore a range of different texts, aimed at encouraging creativity, critical thinking and analysis of the world around them. Through the study of a variety of different mediums of written and spoken language, students are able to journey through the curriculum and experience a wealth of culturally significant literary landmarks, both from this country and abroad. In English the critical skills of analysis, evaluation, creative thought, debate and public speaking are honed gradually throughout their time with us, to ensure our students are not just able to complete examinations, but are also well equipped with skills required for life beyond the classroom.
In KS3 students will study texts ranging from Shakespeare to 19th Century inspired Literature, as well modern drama plays, and novels from the 20th and 21st century. Our curriculum is diverse and inclusive and we want all of our students to feel inspired by the texts we study. We aim to ensure that all students have access to an English pathway that enables them to be successful in reading, writing and oracy.
To develop Literacy skills, some students have access to Lexia which creates a personalised learning approach, which enables progress at a pace that supports their needs. All KS3 English classes have access to Bedrock during one lesson a week, as well as for homework, which focuses on enabling students to become better communicators through vocabulary acquisition. .
At The North School we follow the AQA English Language and Literature syllabus for GCSE.
The English Language GCSE is examined over two papers:
- Paper 1 Explorations in creative reading and writing (1 hour 45 minutes). This paper is split into two sections: reading and writing. The reading section will be based on one unseen fiction text and the writing section will require students to complete a piece of creative writing.
- Paper 2 Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives (1 hour 40 minutes). This paper is split into two sections: reading and writing. The reading section will be based on two unseen non-fiction texts and the writing section will require students to complete a piece of writing for form, audience and purpose.
Students will also be required to complete a speaking and listening assessment. This will involve students giving a short presentation on a topic of their choosing, followed by a question and answer session.
The English Literature GCSE is examined over two papers:
- Paper 1 Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel (1 hour 45 minutes). This paper will require the study of the following texts:
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (current Year 11 students)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde (current Year 10 students)
- Paper 2 Modern texts and poetry (2 hours 15 minutes). This paper will require the study of the following texts:
An Inspector Calls
Power and Conflict Poetry Anthology
To support independent learning, all students in KS4 have access to GCSE Pods, which enables them to access revision materials specifically linked to their exam board.
In Key Stage 5, the English Department offer the following A-Level Qualifications
- English Literature- Exam Board: AQA Specification A
English Literature is one of the oldest and mostly highly regarded qualifications in the world. It is a subject for true book lovers. English Literature A Level takes students on a journey. It covers a broad range of texts from the plays of William Shakespeare to the dystopian future of The Handmaid’s Tale. The course also expects students to gain an understanding of the relationship between texts and the time in which they are created and received.
- Othello by William Shakespeare
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- AQA Pre-1900 poetry Anthology
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Feminine Gospels by Carol Ann Duffy
- A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
Higher Education Links & Career Opportunities
We have clearly established links with the University of Kent who we liaise with to work with our Year 11 students on their key skills. We also take our A-Level students to experience what English Literature is like at university with a tailor made day arranged through the University Outreach programme.The career opportunities with English are numerous. This is because all the skills developed within English (analysing, investigating, inferring, deducing, communicating…etc.) are transferrable and therefore in high demand. The choice of careers is wide and varied. Below is just a selection of jobs where English is useful: