English at KS4

At Key Stage 4, all students follow a curriculum that prepares them to sit two GCSEs at the end of Year 11: English Language and English Literature, specifically the AQA 1-9 GCSE. Throughout the course, there are opportunities for students to engage with a wide range of texts, including pre-19th century and Shakespeare, as well as write creatively and for a purpose. 100% of the GCSEs is assessed by examination at the end of the course in Year 11. Spoken Language is assessed separately, and allows students to be marked on a formal style of speech.

The importance of wider-reading cannot be overlooked in English. Studies attest that reading enables students to perform better in school, and will encourage better writing as well. To support our students’ reading, and encourage them to stretch their reading capabilities, we have allocated one full lesson per fortnight to reading where teachers can ensure that students are being stretched and supported by their reading choices. In addition, it is highly encouraged that students read at home; there are reading lists for this purpose.

Exam Information

The exam board we use is AQA.

English Language GCSE

The reading and writing components of this course equally contribute towards the English Language GCSE and are assessed by examination. Students will be assessed on both the content of their responses and the technical accuracy of their writing. In the reading sections, students will read and respond to a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Source materials will include newspaper articles, short stories, extracts from literary novels and travel writing. In the writing sections, students will produce writing for a range of audiences and purposes. This will include both creative writing and non-fiction writing.

Spoken language is a component of this course but is assessed separately and does not contribute to the overall English Language GCSE grade. Students will present information and ideas in spoken presentations, and then listen and respond to others appropriately.

English Literature GCSE

Students will read and respond to a wide range of literary texts, including:

19th Century novel
Modern prose or drama text
Literary heritage and contemporary poetry

100% of this course is assessed by examination. Students will be assessed on their response to texts that they have studied as well as previously unseen texts. Copies of the required texts will be provided by the school during the course, although they are also available to purchase through the school in order to allow students to take notes in the books themselves. During the examination, no access to texts will be permitted.