The English Department

English Teaching Staff

Dr. V Butler  I/C English
Ms. D Porter 2 I/C (KS3)
Mrs. M Watts
Miss. R Moody
Ms. S Bowes
Mrs. G Chazot
Mrs. L Bush
Ms. H Gott
Ms. A Camrass
Mrs. L Bennett (P/T)

English TA
Ms I Ryan

Information

The English Faculty aims to provide students with a lively, varied, accessible yet ambitious curriculum. We encourage students to become critical readers of both fiction and non-fiction texts, whilst supporting their development into confident, articulate speakers. Whether examining print texts or moving image, we aim to provide students with the skills they need to write with accuracy, clarity and precision. We aim to foster a love of reading, and to encourage pupils to read widely.

We currently follow the AQA GCSE specification for English Language and English Literature.A Level English Literature is an extremely popular option; we currently follow the AQA English Literature Specification A and the AQA English Language and English Literature Specification A at A level.

At Key Stage 3, we offer students a wide and challenging sequence of units. We aim to build on the literacy skills taught at primary school, and to encourage students to become increasingly accurate writers.

Term Breakdown

Reading at Key Stage 3

In each academic year, students will read a novel, a Shakespeare text, a selection of poetry and a selection of non-fiction texts in order to foster a love of reading in all, as well as to prepare students for the academic rigour of KS4.

Reading is a fundamental part of English studies. The department set clear guidelines for students and encourage excellent reading habits. This involves providing a comprehensive reading list, which needs to be distributed to students.

Below is a full recommended wider reading list for lower school students:

Year 7 Books

Key Stage 3 Key Skills

Key skills will be taught both explicitly and implicitly as part of each SOW.  This will enable students to build on the explicit teaching of grammar during KS2 and prepare them for the KS4 GCSE courses which increasingly require a high-level of accuracy.  This also allows students with a more ‘scientific’ mind-set to study the science of the English Language.

Students are encouraged to learn to spell the 100 most common misspelt or misused words:

Misspelt words

Key Stage 4 – Year 9

The year 9 English curriculum builds upon the skills developed during KS3, and aims to equip students with the skills needed to take both English Language and Literature GCSEs.

Term One and Two –A Creative Reading and Writing / Language Focused Unit

Unit will allow students to explore all types of creative writing including those using picture stimulus, being given an opening sentence, differing narrative viewpoints, gothic, horror, detective writing and short story writing.

In addition, all students complete a guided reading/ free reading unit.

Stimulus extracts –

  • Short stories
  • Extracts from novels –modern and pre-1914.
  • Previous students work – peer examples
  • Blogs
  • Auto-biographies
  • Semi-autobiographies

Terms Three and Four – Text (s) Unit

This unit focuses upon the skills needed covering for the English Language assessment objectives – discursive writing, writing to argue/ persuade as well as creative writing techniques, thus building on skills taught in terms one and two. The unit also encourages students to develop and broaden their experience of literature. Texts to be studied include; Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jamaica Inn and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

Assessment will be through classwork, and students will also begin to write exam style essays, focusing upon specific extracts from the texts, some of which will be completed in timed conditions.

Term Five- Six:  A Shakespeare Unit.

Students may look at one play in detail, or a range of plays focusing upon one specific them such as relationships and love.

Key Stage 4 – Year 10-11

We currently follow the AQA English Language and English Literature syllabus.

GCSE English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

All texts in the examination will be unseen.

What’s assessed:

Section A: Reading

·         one literature fiction text

Section B: Writing

·         descriptive or narrative writing

Assessed:

·         written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

·         80 marks

·         50% of GCSE

Questions

Reading (40 marks) (25%)– one single text

·         1 short form question (1 x 4 marks)

·         2 longer form questions (2 x 8 marks)

·         1 extended question (1 x 20 marks)

Writing (40 marks) (25%)

·         1 extended writing question (24 marks for content, 16 marks for technical accuracy)

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

What’s assessed:

Section A: Reading

·         one non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text

Section B: Writing

·         writing to present a viewpoint

Assessed:

·         written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

·         80 marks

·         50% of GCSE

Questions:

Reading (40 marks) (25%) – two linked texts

·         1 short form question (1 x 4 marks)

·         2 longer form questions (1 x 8, 1 x 12 marks)

·         1 extended question (1 x 16 marks)

Writing (40 marks) (25%)

·         1 extended writing question (24 marks for content, 16 marks for technical accuracy)

Non-examination Assessment: Spoken Language

What’s assessed:

·         presenting

·         responding to questions and feedback

·         use of Standard English

GCSE English Literature

All assessments are closed book: any stimulus materials required will be provided as part of the assessment. All assessments are compulsory.

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel

What’s assessed:

·         Shakespeare plays

·         The 19th-century novel

How it’s assessed:

·         written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

·         64 marks

·         40% of GCSE

Questions:

Section A Shakespeare: students will answer one question on their play of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole.

Section B The 19th-century novel: students will answer one question on their novel of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole.

Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry

What’s assessed:

·         Modern prose or drama texts

·         The poetry anthology

·         Unseen poetry

How it’s assessed:

·         written exam: 2 hour 15 minutes

·         96 marks

·         60% of GCSE

Questions:

Section A Modern texts: students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text.

Section B Poetry: students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster.

Section C Unseen poetry: Students will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.

A LEVEL ENGLISH LITERATURE – AQA SPECIFICATION A

Unit 1 – Love Through the Ages

Study of three texts: one poetry and one prose text, of which one must be written pre-1900, and one Shakespeare play. Examination will include two unseen poems
Assessed:

  • written exam: 3 hours
  • open book in Section C only
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A-level
Questions

Section A: Shakespeare: one passage-based question with linked essay (25 marks)

Section B: Unseen poetry: compulsory essay question on two unseen poems (25 marks)

Section C: Comparing texts: one essay question linking two texts (25 marks)

Unit 2 – Texts in Shared Contexts

Choice of two options:

Option 2A: WW1 and its aftermath

Option 2B: Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day

Study of three texts: one prose, one poetry, and one drama, of which one must be written post-2000

Examination will include an unseen extract

Assessed

  • written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • open book
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A-level
Questions

Section A: Set texts. One essay question on set text (25 marks)

Section B: Contextual linking

  • one compulsory question on an unseen extract (25 marks)
  • one essay question linking two texts (25 marks)

Non-Exam Assessment – Independent critical study: texts across time

 

Comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900

One extended essay (2500 words) and a bibliography

Assessed

  • 50 marks
  • 20% of A-level

A LEVEL ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND ENGLISH LITERATURE – AQA SPECIFICATION A

Unit 1 – Telling Stories

What’s assessed:

  • Remembered places – the representation of place
  • Imagined worlds – point of view and genre in prose
  • Poetic voices – the forms and functions of poetic voice
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities
Assessed:

  • written exam: 3 hours
  • 100 marks
  • 40% of A-level
Questions:

Section A – Remembered places

  • One compulsory question on the AQA Anthology: Paris (40 marks)
  • This section is closed book.

Section B – Imagined worlds

  • One question from a choice of two on prose set text (35 marks)
  • This section is open book.

Section C – Poetic voices

  • One question from a choice of two on poetry set text (25 marks)
  • This section is open book.

Unit 2 – Exploring Conflict

What’s assessed:

  • Writing about society – the role of the individual in society, and re-creative writing based on set texts
  • Critical commentary – evaluating own writing
  • Dramatic encounters – conflict in drama
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities
Assessed:

  • written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 100 marks
  • 40% of A-level
Questions:

Section A – Writing about society

  • One piece of re-creative writing using set text (25 marks)
  • Critical commentary (30 marks)
  • This section is open book.

Section B – Dramatic encounters

  • One question from a choice of two on drama set text (45 marks)
  • This section is open book.

Non-Exam Assessment – Making Connections

What’s assessed:

  • Making connections – investigation on a chosen theme and texts
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activity
Assessed:

  • Assessed by teachers
  • Moderated by AQA
  • 50 marks
  • 20% of A-level
Task:

  • A personal investigation that explores a specific technique or theme in both literary and non-literary discourse (2,500-3,000 words)

English is a taught by ten English specialists, one of whom is on the school leadership team. We have eight English classrooms for the full time members of the department and the use of a large open space for drama teaching. The department is well stocked with a wide range of materials from traditional classic texts to ICT and multimedia resources. All classrooms have their own smart/white board and teachers make use of these in a variety of ways. Students are positive about the subject and enjoy taking part in a range of English activities within and beyond the classroom. This culminates in excellent pass rates and value added for the department. The English department is always looking for ways to extend learning beyond the classroom both in terms of homework and revision and exciting extracurricular opportunities. As well as theatre trips and book clubs the coming months see lecture trips and cinema trips for sixth-form, a creative writing club and a variety of revision sessions and catch up classes for those wanting extra support. Below you will find more information on what we do in English at each key stage, as well as some useful revision links.

Clubs, Extension and Enrichment

At Maplesden, we are proud of the extremely rich and diverse range of activities that are experienced by students across all of the key stages. Students are encouraged to participate in order to fulfil their potential by making the most of the opportunities available to them. Our English teachers understand that there is so much more to learning than classroom experiences alone, and so many staff give of their time to enrich the learning experience by arranging visits or trips, running clubs or organising competitions and events so that students access as rich an education as possible.

Readathon gives a massive boost to pupils’ reading skills and supports the school’s Resource Centre. Students gain sponsorship for reading a certain amount of books within the week, and English lessons and homework time are given over to supporting this wonderful cause.

Times Spelling Bee – Miss Porter, Year 7 English teachers.

The first ever UK spelling Championship for schools – The Times Spelling Bee – is now in its fifth year and hundreds of schools throughout the UK have taken part. Each year, we hold mini spelling bees in each Year 7 class and then the winners attend a lunch time spelling bee, supported by their friends. From this, four overall winning spellings are selected and undergo a training programme one lunch time a week before competing in the national competition. We have taken part in MABA for the last three years and will continue to do so as the students enjoy this a great deal.

Throughout the year there will be many exciting and challenging competitions to enter. Students will be kept informed of these by their class teacher and announcements in English lessons and in assemblies.