Learn your language well and command it well, and you will have the first component to life.
- Edward Roscoe Murrow (1908-1965), American news broadcaster and VP of CBS.
Key Stage 4 Core Subject Information
Exam board: AQA
Qualification: GCSE in English Language
All students will follow the AQA English Language syllabus. During Years 10 and 11, students are exposed to a variety of literary and non-literary texts to equip them with the essential subject terminology needed to elicit responses. With a clear focus on authorial viewpoint and methods, students practise the skills needed to meet the requirements of the exam. Students will also have opportunities to develop higher-order reading and critical thinking skills that encourage a genuine enquiry into different topics and themes.
As well as reading, writing creatively is an integral part of the curriculum. Students also learn how to engage an audience in their writing and how to use a range of techniques in a sophisticated manner to reveal a clear and distinct voice. In both their reading and writing skills, students are encouraged to develop flair, creating and analysing texts with insight.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7 the students study a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, the topics of which include Shakespeare, mythology, pre-1960 short stories and science fiction. Over the course of the year, the reading skills covered are: skimming and scanning; using quotations; analysing language and structure; the identification of author’s intentions and the constructions of PEA paragraphs. The writing skills to be covered are: the revision of the use of basic punctuation; simple, compound and complex sentences; deliberate paragraphing; effective use of vocabulary and spelling.
In Year 8 the students study a selection of short stories, fiction, non-fiction, plays and poetry, the topics of which cover action and adventure, conflict, heroes and villains and the gothic. Over the course of the year, the reading skills developed are: embedding quotations; analysing language, form and structure; the exploration of context and the analysis of language devices. The writing skills covered are: effective variation of sentence openings; explicit teaching of clauses; the use of colons, semi-colons, ellipsis and parenthesis; the variation of sentence length for effect; effective use of vocabulary and spelling.
In Year 9 the students study a mixture of plays, fiction, non-fiction and poetry, building on the skills needed for GCSE. The topics covered include Shakespeare, media, texts from other cultures and poetry from the AQA anthology. The reading skills to be covered are: detailed language analysis; the exploration of different interpretations; the exploration of social and historical context; the analysis of structure; exploration of aspects of narrative and characterisation. The writing skills to be developed are: learning how to inform, explain, describe, argue and persuade; the improvement of accuracy and paragraphing; writing for a specific audience and complex sentence structure.