Our department is a forward thinking and highly regarded team both in school and across Lancashire. We are highly motivated and at the forefront of all new government initiatives. We pride ourselves on being an innovative and successful department who are committed to delivering the syllabus through active learning, encouraging all pupils to have a thirst for learning and making progress.
The department has thirteen dedicated teachers and a highly efficient and respected Curriculum Support Assistant (CSA) who helps to ensure that support, resources and administration is available to colleagues at all times. This helps the smooth running and improved effectiveness of the English team and our teaching.

As a department, which strives to encourage self-determination in our pupils, we create lessons which are engaging, challenging and provide opportunities for pupils to be independent and take responsibility for their own learning. Our lessons are active and ensure that all learning styles are met during the teaching of required skills.

Facilities

We are lucky in that every classroom has an interactive whiteboard and the department has an English computer suite, equipped with 28 personal computers which support our teaching. We also have thirty two Think Pads which can be used in class, further supporting the development and progress of our pupils. Media software such as video editing has been downloaded onto the machines, which are used weekly by all media classes.

We have a non-fiction and fiction library in school, where staff are encouraged to take their classes to promote independent research and learning and nurture the enthusiasm for reading. All KS3 pupils have reading focused lessons within English to ensure the 'Assessment Focus' objectives are routinely delivered.

We are also involved in a number of reading initiatives; Reading Recovery alongside the SEN department, Buddy Readers alongside our school librarian and Rainbow Reading scheme for some of our less confident readers in lower school and ‘The Big Read’ for all year 7 pupils. Each of these initiatives aim to help pupils develop their reading and comprehension skills further to benefit them in every subject whilst also developing a love of reading in the pupils.

A drama complex, equipped with a professional stage and lighting, provides facilities for delivering dynamic and innovative learning. This is regularly used to promote the importance of speaking and listening and communication skills throughout both Key Stages. The Head of Drama also runs a Drama Club and makes full use of the facilities on a weekly basis.

Well stocked with up to date text books, class readers, resources, media, DVDs and other equipment, the English Department constantly works to update and maintain resources to ensure pupil interest.

Our current Year 10 pupils are following the new Eduqas GCSE.

The English qualifications have changed. Your son/daughter will no longer complete Controlled Assessment as part of the course. All pupils will be required to study English Language and English Literature over the two year course.

Your child will still be assessed on similar skills to those having been taught at GCSE level before, such as critical reading skills and writing effectively and coherently, as well as developing an appreciation of literature.

The GCSE English Language qualification will:

  • be assessed by examination
  • have speaking skills assessed but this will not contribute to the overall grade. The assessment will be marked by teachers and reported separately, alongside the qualification grade on the certificate
  • include 20% of the marks for the written exams which will be allocated to accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • be untiered
  • be fully linear with assessments available in the summer series

The GCSE in English Language encourages pupils to read fluently and write effectively.

Subject Content

The qualification is made up of two externally assessed examination components and one internally assessed non-examination component. The internally assessed non-examination component tests spoken language skills.

There is a slightly heavier weighting on the non-fiction Reading and Writing in Component 2 than on the literature and creative writing in Component 1, in order to ensure that skills for work, life and further education are prioritised.

Component 1: 20th Century Literature Reading and Creative Prose Writing
Written examination: I hour 45 minutes
40% of the qualification

Component 2: 19th and 21st Century Non-Fiction Reading and Transactional/Persuasive Writing
Written examination: 2 hours
60% of the qualification

Component 3: Spoken Language
No-exam assessment
Unweighted

There is an outline of the English Literature course's components below.

The WJEC Eduqas GCSE in English Literature encourages pupils to develop knowledge and skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. It provides pupils with opportunities to read widely for pleasure across a range of high quality texts in the genres of prose, poetry and drama and to develop an understanding of how literature is both rich and influential.

The GCSE in English Literature enables pupils 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 the grammatical terminology and other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they read.

Subject Content

The qualification is made up of two externally assessed components. Both components allow pupils to show their depth and breadth of knowledge through varied assessments.

Component 1: Shakespeare and Poetry
Written examination: 2 hours
40% of the qualification

Component 2: Post 1914 Prose/Drama, 19th Century Prose and Unseen Poetry
Written examination: 2 hours and 30 minutes
60% of the qualification

Useful Links

www.eduqas.co.uk

Key Stage 3

Throughout Key Stage 3, pupils study reading, writing and speaking and listening skills and carry out assessments in each area. Formative and summative assessments are calendared for each unit and the pupils’ progress is tracked throughout the year. The data from assessments informs any necessary intervention to provide every pupil the opportunity to meet and exceed expectations. The topics we study during each term are listed below;

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 – preparation for GCSE year
Term one: The study and close reading of Dracula and Frankenstein Term one: Natural Disasters – newspaper reports. Descriptive writing. Term one: War poetry and ‘Macbeth’
Term two: Other Cultures poetry Term two: Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’. Transactional writing. Term two: Study of poetry and transactional writing
Term three: Detectives – Roald Dahl’s ‘The Lamb to the Slaughter’ Term three: Study of ‘Of Mice and Men’ with formal letter writing. Term three: ‘An Inspector calls’- GCSE English literature text.

Key Stage 4

Our current Year 11, pupils work towards their GCSE English or GCSE English Language and Literature by completing a number of pieces of controlled assessment and working on exam preparation and practice.

GCSE English

Controlled Assessments: Written 40%
Assessment will be based upon four assignments;

  • Shakespeare and Poetry Comparison
  • Writing a story in 3rd person
  • Writing a story in 1st person
  • A study of a different cultures’ prose.

Assessments will be controlled and no re-drafting is permitted.

Speaking and Listening Assessments will still be carried out even though they no longer contribute to the overall GCSE grade. Pupils will be awarded for their speaking and listening assessments separately.

Speaking and Listening assessments will be based upon: Communicating and adapting Language; Interacting, responding and sustaining roles.

Assessment will be based upon the best achievement shown in a range of situations, audiences and activities during the course as a whole. Situations will include work in pairs, small groups and whole class. Some work will be drama based, whilst others will involve extended individual contributions.

The activities will provide evidence of achievement in:

  • Communicating clearly, structuring and organising talk and adapting to different situations.
  • Using Standard English.
  • Listening to and understanding varied speech.
  • Participating in discussions judging the nature and purpose of contributions and roles of other participants.

All controlled assessments will be completed in year 10. It is important that pupils think independently and creatively and are not afraid to experiment with their writing style.

External Assessments: 60%

Pupils will sit Unit One where they read non-fiction texts and analyse the effect of the language and then Unit Two where they will use their knowledge of the English language to complete two writing tasks.

GCSE English Language

Controlled Assessments: Written 40%
Assessment will be based upon the following assignments;

  • Writing a story in 3rd person
  • Writing a description
  • A study of a different cultures’ prose.
  • Study of spoken language

Assessments will be controlled and no re-drafting is permitted.

Speaking and Listening Assessments will still be carried out even though they no longer contribute to the overall GCSE grade. Pupils will be awarded for their speaking and listening assessments separately.

Speaking and Listening assessments will be based upon: Communicating and adapting Language; Interacting, responding and sustaining roles.

Assessment will be based upon the best achievement shown in a range of situations, audiences and activities during the course as a whole. Situations will include work in pairs, small groups and whole class. Some work will be drama based, whilst others will involve extended individual contributions.

The activities will provide evidence of achievement in:

  • Communicating clearly, structuring and organising talk and adapting to different situations.
  • Using standard English.
  • Listening to and understanding varied speech.
  • Participating in discussions, judging the nature and purpose of contributions and roles of other participants.

External Assessments: 60%

Pupils will sit Unit One where they read non-fiction texts and analyse the effect of the language and then Unit Two where they will use their knowledge of the English language to complete two writing tasks.

GCSE English Literature

Controlled Assessments: Written 25%

Assessment will be based upon one assignment:

  • Shakespeare and poetry comparison

Assessments will be controlled and no re-drafting is permitted.

External Assessments: 75%

For Unit One pupils will respond to questions based on the texts they have studied from Different Cultures’ Prose and compare two unseen poems. This is a two hour exam. For Unit Two pupils will respond to the text they have studied either from Contemporary Drama or and Pre-20th Century Prose or Pre-20th Century Drama and Contemporary Prose. This is also a two hour exam.

Pupils will be analysing texts and author techniques. It is essential that they are able to understand not only the story but the social, historical, and cultural aspects surrounding the text. They will need to learn literary devices in order to enhance their analysis.

English / English Language and English Literature GCSE

Parent Tips

We thought it might be beneficial for you to know the type of tasks your child could be asked to complete in their English exam.
They will be asked to write two of the following on their Unit 2 Writing exam:

  • A formal letter
  • An informal letter
  • An article
  • A speech
  • A review
  • A rough guide
  • A report
  • A leaflet

It would help if your child practised writing in these styles, using the skills they have learnt in lesson, and choosing topics of their choice.

Here are some examples of what they could be asked to write:

  • Write a rough guide on a famous holiday destination.
  • Write an article for your school magazine on "How to survive your GCSE years".
  • Write a review on a book, film or TV programme of your choice.
  • Write a letter to your friend who is thinking of taking up an extreme sport, giving your opinions.
  • Write a letter to your local council, who have just proposed an 8.00pm curfew all week for 16 year olds and under, giving your views.

For English Literature, your child should be studying the following texts.

  • 'Of Mice and Men'
  • 'An Inspector Calls'
  • 'About A Boy'

You could enjoy testing them on their knowledge of the characters, their relationships, the themes and how they link to the characters and any social and historical references they know.

For further information regarding this subject, please email the Curriculum Area Leader.