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English Language & Literature


English is a popular and successful subject at EGA.  We aim to develop students into confident and creative readers, writers and speakers, as well as widening their cultural knowledge and experiences.

The department is well resourced with a wide range of texts, interactive whiteboards in all classrooms, laptops, digital cameras, DVDs, audio books and computer programmes which are all used to support effective teaching and learning.

Homework is integral to success in English.  It allows students to apply their skills, extend their knowledge and develop their ability to think independently and take responsibility for their own learning.  Homework is set every week but tasks will vary.  Students may be set creative writing, vocabulary learning, spelling and grammar practice, essay planning, essay writing, research, skills worksheets or revision.

We give regular feedback on your daughter’s work  in a variety of ways. Feedback may be written or oral and we may use marking codes.  Our expectation is that your daughter engages with feedback and uses it to improve her work.

Students are expected to read widely and frequently. Suggested reading lists are available and we have an excellent library of books with a very knowledgeable and helpful librarian.

English at Key Stage 3

In year 7 and 8, students follow a wide curriculum which is planned in order for progression.   They will study novels, poetry, drama, short stories, non-fiction texts. Year 7 students all participate in a promenade performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to which parents and carers are invited.

Reading is at the heart of student progress in English and we explicitly teach vocabulary and comprehension strategies. Securing literacy skills are a key priority in these years and there will be explicit teaching of spelling rules, parts of speech, grammar rules, sentence types and punctuation.  

Writing is taught weekly or, sometimes, in standalone units. We aim to create confident writers who can generate their own ideas and express themselves clearly and with flair.

At the end of every unit of work, students complete assessments in reading and writing. We carefully tracks students’ progress across the terms and assessments are stored in the students’ personal portfolios.   

Enrichment activities on offer include author visits, participating in the Pop Up reading festival, the BBC News school report competition, projects with the Dickens’ House Museum, entry into creative writing competitions and visits to the National Library.

Year 9 is a transitional year as students begin to develop the skills required for GCSE English Language and Literature. Students study a Shakespeare play, conflict poetry, transactional writing and a modern text.

English at Key Stage 4

English and English Literature GCSEs.
We use the AQA exam board for both of these subjects.

An emphasis on reading.
Requirements for the new GCSE English and English Literature means students must have a developed vocabulary and be able to access a variety of texts in the exam. It is vital that students are reading constantly to develop these skills. We encourage students to read non-fiction texts such as newspapers, biographies, memoirs and thought provoking blogs.

Overview of Key Stage 4 English
GCSE English and GCSE English Literature are studied together over two years in Year 10 and Year 11. Both subjects are assessed through four exams taken in Summer of Year 11, resulting in 100% of the grades awarded. Students will sit mock exams in preparation throughout the course.

In Year 10, students study Animal Farm, poetry, extract-based work and Macbeth. Students require their own copies of Animal Farm (available through the English Faculty) as they need to return to their notes in preparation for their exams in Year 11.

In Year 11, students will study The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or another 19th century text, revise work and ensure they are fully prepared for their four exams in the summer.

All students are invited to join the GCSE English Google Classroom. Here,  students are supported by sharing revision material for all topics studies in English and English Language GCSEs.

Subject: English Language – Examined in Year 11

What is English Language?
English Language GCSE allows you to demonstrate your ability to use English in real life contexts, when reading, writing and speaking and listening. You will study a variety of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. These will include literature and literary non-fiction as well as other quality writing such as reviews and journalism. You will sit two exams in Year 11 and these will account for 100% of your GCSE English grade. To achieve well in English Language, reading a variety of texts must become an everyday habit.

What skills will I  develop?
English Language GCSE will ensure you can read fluently and write effectively. You will be able to demonstrate a confident control of Standard English and write grammatically correct sentences, using figurative language and analysing texts. You will learn how to read for precise meaning by understanding the way writers craft their use of language. You will also be able to respond to texts, precisely selecting material to illustrate your points in your response as well as writing your own thoughtfully crafted fiction and non-fiction for the exams.

I will also get the opportunity to:

  • Develop your critical reading and comprehension skills
  • Evaluate of a writer’s choice of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural features
  • Produce clear and coherent text and write for impact
  • Presenting information and ideas to your class and respond to spoken language

Subject: English Literature – Examined in Year 11

What is English Literature?
The emphasis on your approach to English Literature should be “it’s all about ideas”. Literature allows you to explore a variety of texts, from poetry to Shakespeare, 19th Century to modern texts. You will develop your analytical skills with extract-based texts and one complete Shakespeare play. There is no coursework for English Literature; you will sit two closed-book exams at the end of year 11 alongside your English Language course.  These will make up 100% of your English Literature GCSE.

What skills will I develop?
You will develop and apply your skills in literal and inferential comprehension.  That is the ability to understand a word, phrase or sentence in context; explore aspects of plot, characterisation, events and settings.  Your critical reading skills will also be developed, giving you the tools to interpret, analyse and evaluate writers’ works.

I will also get the opportunity to:

  • Study a Shakespeare play in its entirety
  • Learn how to respond to unseen poems with confidence
  • Learn how to compare two poems in preparation for my exam

Recommended Reading

Click here for reading list

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