English

At St Thomas More, we aim to deliver a varied and exciting English curriculum across Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 that recognises the diversity of the English Language and the rich cultural history of the Literature canon. Furthermore, we aim to instil in students a love of all aspects of English Literature and Language.

Core Skills

Speaking and listening skills are nurtured across Key Stage 3 and 4; we believe it is essential that all students can articulate their ideas and be confident speakers, which is an essential skill for life. All students are encouraged to write for a variety of purposes and to regard writing as an enjoyable and important process.

In addition, the English department promotes the enjoyment of reading and we ensure all students understand the benefits of reading and the impact this has across the curriculum. During Key Stage 3 and 4 all students will read a wide range of non-fiction and fiction texts to develop their analytical and inference skills. However, our ultimate aim is to embed a love of reading and to inspire students to be independent readers.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, pupils are introduced to a variety of subjects through a range of Literature texts and engaging schemes of work. The English department seek to provide students with an interesting range of opportunities to use spoken and written English in both real and imagined situations.

During Year 7, 8 and 9 students will cover a range of topics that encourage collaborative and ‘deep’ learning. These include: the novel, seminal world literature, creative writing, Shakespeare, poetry, analysing literary and non-fiction texts, investigating spoken language, writing for specific audience purposes and a range of pre-1914 and contemporary literature. Each unit has a specific assessment focus and culminates with an assessed piece of work to monitor each individual student’s progress across the year.

Year 9
In Year 9, students start to prepare for their GCSE English Literature exam that will take place at the end of Year 11. The GCSE topics that are covered in Year 9 are:

Macbeth

AQA Conflict Poetry

Writing from a Viewpoint/ delivering a speech

Animal Farm

Students complete an introductory unit on Macbeth and the AQA Poetry to develop their knowledge and understanding of the contextual ideas and themes in the play and poems. Furthermore, students will develop analytical and exploratory skills during the units of work and they will focus on developing their essay writing skills

Key Stage 4

Students are awarded 2 GCSEs: English language and English literature; spoken language will be awarded as a separate endorsement.
At Key stage 4, students follow the AQA syllabus for English Language and Literature. GCSE English is taught over eight lessons a fortnight and home learning is set on a designated day every week. English lessons combine the Language and Literature course and all of students will sit two GCSE examinations: GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature at the end of Year 11

AQA English Language (8700) – 100% examination: 2 papers
http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700
AQA English Literature (8702) – 100% examination: 2 papers
http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-literature-8702

Students will draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus and engage with creative as well as real and relevant contexts. Students will have opportunities to develop higher-order reading and critical thinking skills that encourage genuine enquiry into different topics and themes.
This specification will ensure that students can read fluently and write effectively. Students will be able to demonstrate a confident control of Standard English and write grammatically correct sentences, deploying figurative language and analysing texts.

Key skills that will be developed are:

Reading 
• articulating informed interpretations of meanings supported by well-chosen textual reference 
• analysing how writers use language and structure to convey ideas, achieve effects and influence readers using relevant subject terminology
 • comparing ideas, attitudes, methods and contexts in order to evaluate effectiveness
 • relating different texts to their relevant social, historical and literary context across the 19th, 20th and 21st century
 • making links between texts
 • accessing unseen literature independently
 • evaluating texts critically and supporting this with appropriate textual references

Writing 
• communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively

• selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences
• organising information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features to support coherence and cohesion of texts 
• selecting appropriate words and phrases from a rich and wide vocabulary 
• demonstrating control of spelling, punctuation and grammar 
• utilising a variety of sentence structures with control for both meaning and effect

AQA GCSE English Literature

Students will study the following set texts for the GCSE English Literature exam.
Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel
Paper 1: Macbeth and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry
Paper2: Students will study the following set texts:

An Inspector Calls, AQA Conflict Poetry Anthology and unseen poetry

Key skills that will be developed are:
Reading 
• articulating informed interpretations of meanings supported by well-chosen textual reference
 • analysing how writers use methods to convey ideas, achieve effects and influence the reader or audience, including language, structure, form and dramatic devices
 • comparing ideas, attitudes, methods and contexts in order to evaluate effectiveness
 • making specific links between texts and their relevant social, historical and literary context across the 19th, 20th and 21st century 
• comparing unseen texts 
• exploring the writer’s purpose, ideas and perspectives 
Writing 
• demonstrating control of spelling, punctuation and grammar when articulating ideas