English

Our primary aim in the English Department is to promote a love of reading, writing and the spoken word. We are a well-established and enthusiastic team of staff with a genuine passion for the subject and strive every day to instil a thirst for learning into pupils.  We encourage, through the study of both historical and modern literature, an understanding of the world around us; exploring a diverse range of topics including the power of social media, issues such as homelessness and the nature of war.

We pride ourselves on the maintenance of high standards and pupils respond to this by working in a calm and purposeful way on the acquisition and development of key English skills as well as wider competencies such as note taking, revision and independent learning. The English corridor is also a hub of creativity through extra-curricular clubs and activities such as Poetry, Reading and Debate clubs.

The study of English is essential. We seek to foster in our pupils the ability to read widely and critically; to write confidently and with accuracy and to think deeply, with understanding and empathy, thus providing a strong foundation for further academic and vocational study, for employment and for adult life.

Learning Sequence Overview

Key Stage 3

Year 6 to 7 Transition Stage

Pupils will first experience English at Longfield through transition in the summer term of Year 6 and this is our opportunity to emphasise the importance of this core subject and the enjoyment of fully engaging in our lessons. We familiarise the pupils with the library, which is at the very heart of the department; encourage collaborative, creative and fun writing, such as group poems and introduce our new pupils to reading challenges such as ‘Speed Reading’.

Sequence of Learning KS3

On arrival in September of Year 7, pupils will embark on a 3 year Key Stage 3 programme. Each half-termly unit has been planned and resourced in order to introduce and develop the reading and writing skills which are required for a successful GCSE course in Years 10 and 11. Work is differentiated by class teachers and adapted, to best suit the needs of groups as well as individual pupils. All Key Stage 3 pupils are assessed on a half-termly basis.

KS3 Intervention Programme

We closely monitor pupil progress towards end of year target grades through whole school data collections and departmental tracking systems. Pupils who need extra support are offered a range of intervention strategies. In addition, all pupils follow an Accelerated Reader scheme that matches pupil books to individual reading ages and facilitates progression in key reading skills. The Bedrock vocabulary programme is used as a twice-weekly homework, again tailored to individual pupils in terms of difficulty and challenge while the Fresh Start phonics package is used to support pupils as appropriate.

How can parents/carers help?

We appreciate your involvement and support in helping pupils progress. Reading with your child is invaluable as well as discussing the content of their books and lessons in general. Please ensure that Bedrock Vocabulary weekly homework is completed and that revising and preparing ahead of assessments takes place in line with any guidance and deadlines written in pupil planners.

Key Stage 4

Sequence of Learning KS4

Each half-termly unit has been planned and resourced in order to introduce and develop the reading and writing skills that are required for a successful GCSE course. Work is differentiated by class teachers and adapted, to best suit the needs of groups as well as individual pupils. All Key Stage 4 classes are assessed at the end of each half term or in line with whole school mock exams.

KS4 Intervention Programme

We closely monitor pupil progress towards GCSE target grades through whole school data collections and departmental tracking systems. Pupils who need extra support are offered regular, timetabled and formal intervention after school and at lunch times to close knowledge gaps, develop key skills, practise exam questions and address misconceptions.

GCSE Specification

All pupils follow the Edexcel GCSE English Dual Award from which they gain a GCSE in both English Language and English Literature.

https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/english-language-2015.html

Qualification aims and objectives for English Language:

To enable students to:

  • read a wide range of texts fluently and with good understanding.
  • read critically and use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing.
  • write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately.
  • use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately.
  • acquire and apply a wide vocabulary alongside knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
  • listen to and understand spoken language, and use spoken Standard English effectively. Spoken language will be reported as a separate grade on the student’s certificate.

Overview of Assessment  for English Language:

Component 1: Fiction and Imaginative Writing

 

Ø  Section A – Reading: questions on an unseen 19th-century fiction extract.

Ø  Section B – Writing: a choice of two writing tasks.

Ø  Assessment duration: 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Ø  Worth 40% of overall marks.

Component 2: Non-fiction and Transactional Writing

 

Ø  Section A – Reading: questions on two thematically linked, unseen non-fiction extracts.

Ø  Section B – Writing: a choice of two writing tasks.

Ø  Assessment duration: 2 hours and 5 minutes.

Ø  Worth 60% of overall marks.

 

Qualification aims and objectives for English Literature:

To enable students to:

  • read a wide range of classic literature fluently and with good understanding, and make connections across their reading.
  • read in depth, critically and evaluatively, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas.
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often.
  • appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage.
  • write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using Standard English.
  • acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including grammatical terminology, and other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they read.

Overview of Assessment  for English Literature:

Component 1: Shakespeare and Post-1914 Literature

 

 

Ø  Section A – Shakespeare: a two-part question, with the first task focused on an extract. The second task is on how a theme reflected in the extract is explored elsewhere in the play.

Ø  Section B – Post-1914 British play or novel: ONE essay question.

Ø  Assessment duration: 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Ø  Worth 50% of overall marks.

 

Component 2: 19th-century Novel and Poetry since 1789

 

Ø  Section A – 19th-century novel: ONE extract question and ONE essay question, exploring the whole text.

Ø  Section B – Part 1: ONE question comparing a named poem from the Pearson Poetry Anthology collection to another poem from the anthology. Part 2: ONE question comparing two unseen contemporary poems.

Ø  Assessment duration: 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Ø  Worth 50% of overall marks.

 

Extra Information

https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/subjects/zr9d7ty

https://www.gcsepod.com/gcsepod_content/english/

https://www.sparknotes.com/

How can parents/carers help?

We appreciate your involvement and support in helping pupils progress. Supporting your child in preparing for their GCSE exams is invaluable: devising revision timetables, testing them on knowledge and recall as well as reading through work with them and offering advice. Various  websites are available to further support their studies such as BBC Bitesize, GCSEPod and Sparknotes.