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English

Welcome to the English Department

Within these pages you will find lots of information about the subject and how the department operates.

If you have any queries regarding English please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Louise Tickell
Head of English

Newman Catholic School, Carlisle

Key Stage 3

Year 7

In Year 7, pupils begin the year with a creative writing unit called ‘Escape from Kraznir’. This unit of work is designed to encourage pupils to build on their writing skills from KS2. Alongside this unit, pupils will also study a selection of poetry. In the spring term, pupils will study a Shakespeare play and in the summer term, they will be analysing a range of Gothic narratives. Pupils are also encouraged to read modern texts in their own time.

Year 8

In Year 8, pupils will continue to study texts from the literary canon. In the autumn term, pupils will study a range of texts, both fiction and non-fiction from the Romantic era. In the following term, pupils will study a selection of 19th century texts and in the summer term, pupils will study a Shakespeare play.

Year 9

In year 9 students begin to focus thoroughly on the structure of textual extracts and whole texts. They will begin to study the set texts for their GCSE English Literature examinations. These texts include: An Inspector Calls, a selection of poems from the given anthology and a range of unseen poems.

All pupils in KS3 will use the Accelerated Reader Programme to test books which they have read. Pupils will have their reading and spelling age tested on a regular basis.

In KS3 English, pupils are taught the following skills in accordance with the government’s New Secondary Curriculum: speaking and listening, in particular, discussion skills, presentation, listening and responding and drama; reading, in particular, reading for meaning and understanding the author’s craft; writing (generic conventions, language analysis); generic conventions; language analysis, such as learning the conventions of writing and composing.

Improving pupils’ literacy skills is a whole school focus. Pupils have a literacy target which is monitored by teachers across the curriculum. Pupils and teachers are aware of this and must strive to achieve the given target.

New long-term plans have recently been developed for KS3 students and are available to pupils and parents if required.

Key Stage 4

GCSE English Language and Literature: All students will study both GCSE English Language and English Literature.

The new GCSE- the main changes:

  • The final award will be a number between 1 and 9 (9 being the highest) rather than A*-G.
  • There will be no tiers of entry.
  • Students will be expected to read more challenging unseen and previously studied texts.
  • Students will, for both Language and Literature, have to study texts from the nineteenth century.
  • The Literatue exams are all ‘closed book’, which means they will not be permitted to take a copy of the text into the exam.

English Language AQA

There will be two exams, each lasting one hour 45 minutes. Both of these exams will require students to respond to a series of questions on unseen texts: one literary fiction, one literary non-fiction (diary, travel writing etc) and one fiction. These texts will have been written in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century (one from each century).

Paper 1: ‘Explorations in creative Reading and Writing’. 50%

Section A: Reading 25%

Four questions on one literature fiction text from either the 20th or 21st century.

Section B: Writing 25%

One question, out of a choice of two narrative or descriptive tasks.

Paper 2: ‘Writer’s viewpoints and Perspectives.’ 50%

Section A: Reading 25%

Four questions on two texts, one literary non-fiction and one non-foction. One of these texts will be from the nineteenth century.

Section B: Writing 25%

One question out of a choice of two discursive tasks.

English Language AQA

There will be two exams, each lasting one hour 45 minutes. Both of these exams will require students to respond to a series of questions on unseen texts: one literary fiction, one literary non-fiction (diary, travel writing etc) and one fiction. These texts will have been written in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century (one from each century).

Paper 1: ‘Explorations in creative Reading and Writing’. 50%

Section A: Reading 25%

Four questions on one literature fiction text from either the 20th or 21st century.

Section B: Writing 25%

One question, out of a choice of two narrative or descriptive tasks.

Paper 2: ‘Writer’s viewpoints and Perspectives.’ 50%

Section A: Reading 25%

Four questions on two texts, one literary non-fiction and one non-foction. One of these texts will be from the nineteenth century.

Section B: Writing 25%

One question out of a choice of two discursive tasks.

English Literature AQA

There will be two exams, the first lasting one hour 45 minutes and the second lasting two hours 15 minutes. Students will read and study a variety of whole texts, including a play by Shakespeare, a nineteenth century novel, a modern novel or play and an Anthology of poetry.

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the nineteenth century novel 40%

Section A: Shakespeare: Macbeth

Section B: The nineteenth century novel: A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens) or The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Robert Lewis Stevenson).

For both sections of the exam, students will be provided with a key extract from the play/novel, which they will be expected to analyse. They are then required to link this to the rest of the novel. There are NO choices of questions.

Paper 2: Modern texts, poetry and unseen poetry 60%

Section A: Modern Texts: An Inspector Calls (J.B. Priestly) or Blood Brothers (Willy Russell). For this questions there will be NO extracts, but there will be a choice of two questions.

Section B: Poetry: Love and Relationships cluster from the AQA Anthology. One poem from the cluster will be printed on the paper, then the students will select a further poem and compare the two in relation to the given theme.

Section C: Unseen poetry: For this section, there are two questions. The first is on a single poem and the second is a comparison with a second poem. Again, there is NO choice of question.

Key Stage 5

Year 12

Unit One, Texts in Context.

You will study one set poetry text and wider reading. Your knowledge will be assessed by a written exam of 2 hours, open book. This gives you 60% of the total AS marks, 30% of total A Level marks. There will be two questions, one linking wider reading to a given extract, the second on the set poetry text.

Unit Two, Creative Study.

You will study one prose text and one drama text. Your knowledge will be assessed by a piece of coursework. This gives you 40% of the total AS marks, 20% of total A Level marks. Your coursework will be made up of two pieces of work: a personal, informed response to the chosen prose text; and a piece of writing on the chosen drama text, focusing on the text in context and aspects such as theme, structure, characterisation. Total 2000-2500 words.

Unit 2 requires students to produce two pieces of writing in different genres with a commentary for each, the whole totalling 2500 – 3000 words. This coursework is worth 40% of the total AS mark.

Library Services for Schools

Cumbrian secondary schools` book award

Spellbinding is all about fostering a love of reading and broadening reading horizons by being exposed to exciting new authors and titles.

Cumbrian secondary schools` book award

The award gives students aged 11-16 the opportunity to read, review and vote for their favourite book out of a shortlist of ten student-nominated titles. The interactive website allows them to share their views and opinions with students from other schools across the county.

Year 13

Unit Three, Reading for Meaning.

Unit 3 involves an examination of two and a half hours worth 60% of the A2 mark. Students must choose to write two responses on language acquisition and language change.

You will read at least the equivalent of three texts on the theme of Love Through the Ages, including: the three genres of prose, poetry and drama; literature written by both men and women; literature through time (Chaucer to the present day); some non-fiction texts.

You will be assessed by a written Paper of 2 hours 30 minutes, closed book. This gives you 30% of the total A Level marks. There will be four unseen extracts for close study, comparison and critical commentary, followed by two compulsory questions: one comparing two extracts of the same genre, with close reading of the texts and reference to the wider reading of love poetry; and one comparing two extracts (of the remaining two genres), using wider reading of love through literature to inform interpretations.

Unit Four, Extended Essay and Shakespeare Study.

Unit 4 requires students to produce an essay on an English Language topic of their choice and an accompanying creative piece, a media text, linked to that topic. This is worth 40% of the A2 mark.

You will read a Shakespeare play (not already studied at AS) and any two other texts of any genre (not already studied at AS). Your knowledge will be assessed by a piece of coursework. This gives you 20% of the total A Level marks. Your coursework will be made up of one piece of work: an extended essay (3000 words) comparing three texts and focused on: comparison; appreciation of the writer’s choices of form, structure and language; exploring interpretations of text; some understanding of the significance of context.

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