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English Language & Literature

Overview

The study of English at EGA plays a vital role in the personal and academic development of all of our students. The English curriculum places a huge emphasis on the transformational power of literacy in the lives of our young people. For our students to be leaders of both themselves and their communities in the future, it is vital that they possess the core literacy skills required to communicate successfully. Explicit teaching of vocabulary, grammar and oracy skills helps students to leave us more confident in expressing themselves in wider society beyond EGA. We carefully choose high challenge texts as part of our curriculum to encourage a deep and critical response to literature. As a faculty, we also place a huge focus on the value of reading widely for pleasure.

The design of our curriculum recognises that a strong foundation in the literary canon is crucial to a deep understanding and appreciation of the subject. As a diverse school community, our curriculum emphasises the importance of celebrating a range of voices in our subject. We want our students to see their backgrounds and experiences represented in the literature that they read as part of our curriculum. Our aim is for all of our students to recognise themselves as writers who have important ideas and experiences to share. 

The English curriculum at EGA asks that students value the impact their voices can have on wider society and culture through exposure to a range of literature.

English Intent Statement

English Curriculum Map

English at KS3

Year 7

In Year 7, we begin the year by exploring one of the greatest stories ever told - The Iliad! As students move through the year, they are introduced to a range of writing to give them a strong foundation for future study of the subject. We end the year with an amazing promenade performance of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ for parents and the EGA Reading Festival, our annual opportunity for students to meet with successful female authors and read their work.

In Year 7, we cover the following...

  • The Iliad
  • Introduction to Poetry
  • Tulip Touch
  • The Gothic
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • EGA Reading Festival
  • Short Stories
  • Plus weekly writing and grammar lessons

Year 8

In Year 8, students begin the year by studying The Odyssey, to build upon their study of The Iliad in Year 7. We then move onto looking at poetry from around the world, journey through London with Charles Dickens and learn about Anne Frank. We finish the year by considering representations of women in Shakespeare’s writing, as well as composing our own speeches about social issues important to our students.

In Year 8, we cover the following...

  • The Odyssey
  • Poetry (Home and Displacement)
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Anne Frank’s Diary
  • Dystopian Writing
  • Shakespeare’s Women
  • Speech Writing
  • Plus weekly writing and grammar lessons

Year 9

In their final KS3 year, students build upon the knowledge and skills they have acquired in Year and 8 in order that they are confidently prepared for the start of GCSEs in Year 10. We begin the year by exploring questions of responsibility in An Inspector Calls, consider ideas of conflict in poetry and experience the struggles of growing up by reading Anita and Me. Students end the year by considering how the experience of women has been articulated across time in a range of non-fiction writing.

In Year 9, we cover the following...

  • An Inspector Calls
  • Conflict Poetry
  • Anita and Me
  • Narrative writing
  • Descriptive writing
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Women’s Voices (Non-Fiction)

Homework at KS3

  • Students are set termly and weekly reading homework by the English department to complement the topics they are covering in their lessons. This homework is assessed online to check their understanding.
  • Students are also expected to read for a minimum of 20 minutes a day

English at KS4

At GCSE, students are taught the AQA exam board specification. All students are examined in both English Language and English Literature at the end of Year 11 and will receive a grade for each subject. Students are assessed through in class assessments and mock examinations throughout the course to monitor their progress and support their learning.

English Literature

English Literature encourages students to explore the ideas of writers, formulate their own critical responses and develop their skills of analysis. Students develop and apply a range of skills in literal and inferential comprehension. In order to do this, the curriculum focuses on exploring aspects of plot, characterisation, themes and settings across the set texts. 

In Year 10, we begin with an exploration of Animal Farm and Orwell’s political messages. Moving through the year, students will compare a range of poetry and study Macbeth as their Shakespeare play. In Year 11, we move on to the iconic story of Jane Eyre, before revising and consolidating everything we have covered in preparation for the exams in the summer.

The course is assessed at the end of Year 11 through two, closed-book exam papers. These two papers make up 100% of the English Literature GCSE.

The set texts we study for the English Literature GCSE are…

  • Jane Eyre
  • Macbeth
  • Animal Farm
  • Poetry (Love and Relationships)

English Language

English Language GCSE allows students to demonstrate their ability to use English in real life contexts, when reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students will study a variety of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st century. These texts will include literature and literary non-fiction as well as other quality writing such as reviews and journalism. The course is assessed at the end of Year 11 through two, unseen extract exam papers. These two papers make up 100% of the English Language GCSE.

Homework at KS4

  • Students are set weekly homework on the Educake learning platform to consolidate lesson content: Educake.co.uk
  • Students are set regular extended writing questions by their teachers to consolidate their skills
  • Students are also expected to read for a minimum of 20 minutes a day

EGA Reading Lists

To support our students to read widely across their time at EGA, we have created two reading lists in collaboration with the library to help them select texts for their independent enjoyment.

KS3 ‘EGA St Pancras’ Reading Map

KS4 Challenging Reading List

Extra Curricular Clubs in English

The English department offers a full range of extra-curricular clubs, both during lunchtimes and after school, for students to participate in.

Clubs we have run this academic year include…

  • Latin Club
  • Debating Club
  • Poetry Discussion Groups for both KS3 and KS4
  • Pride Club
  • Writing with Identity Club
  • Reading groups for every year group

 

Contact

Please contact the Head of English, francesca.gibsonfaux@egas.islington.sch.uk, if you would like more information about the course.