KS4 | English

The focus of English at Key Stage 4 is to ensure that all students reach their potential and make the required levels of progress. It is vital that students succeed in English GCSE in order to have as many options as possible available to them at post 16.

Key Stage 4 Co-Ordinator: 

Miss A Carew

Overview 

Students have 8 lessons of English per fortnight in Year 9, 7 lessons per fortnight in Year 10 and 7 lessons per fortnight in Year 11. However, some students may be granted access to additional lessons in Years 10 and 11 to supplement their learning and ensure good progress is made.

There are six teaching groups throughout Key Stage 4. At the start of Year 9, students are moved to a more rigorous setting system where sets one and two are the most able groups and, set three are the second most able group. This continues down to set six which is smaller group for the students that find English more difficult.  This setting structure continues throughout years 10 and 11. It is possible to be moved between sets based on student assessment performance.

What students learn:

For English Language, all students will study a range of fiction and non-fiction extracts.  They will be expected to read texts from the 19th Century to the 21st Century.  They will also be expected to write in different styles including descriptive and argumentative writing.

For English Literature, all students will study the following texts:

  • A selection of poetry based on the theme of ‘Power and Conflict’ from the AQA anthology.
  • A modern play (either An Inspector Calls or Blood Brothers)
  • A Shakespeare play (either Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet)
  • A 19th century novel (either The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Sign of Four,or, A Christmas Carol)
  • Unseen poetry

Assessment:

During the year students in Years 9, 10 and 11 students will complete two core tasks for each unit and one graded assessment at the end of half term. For their end of term assessment, they will receive a personalised learning checklist with their strengths and weaknesses. Students will be provided with materials to help them to address any areas of English that they find difficult. Once they receive their feedback it is expected that they will independently make improvements or redrafts in green pen based on this feedback. 

Official GCSE grades will be determined by 4 exams which they will sit at the end of Year 11.  There is no coursework.

English at GCSE follows the AQA Specification A. An overview of both courses can be seen in the tables below:

English Language:

For English Language you will be assessed through:

  • 2 exams at the end of Year 11
  • Speaking and listening assessment (You will be awarded a separate certificate for this)

Paper 1 – Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Exam (1 hour 45 minutes)             80 marks – 50% of English Language grade

Section A: Reading

40 marks (25%)

Students will answer 4 compulsory questions based on one 20th or 21stcentury fiction text.

Section B: Writing

40 marks (25%)

Students will complete 1 narrative or descriptive written task.

 

Paper 2 – Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

Exam (1 hour 45 minutes)             80 marks – 50% of English Language grade

Section A: Reading

40 marks (25%)

Students will answer 4 compulsory questions based on one non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text.

Section B: Writing

40 marks (25%)

Students will complete 1 written task for a specific audience purpose and form.

 

Speaking and Listening

In class assessment                          Result will be recorded on GCSE certificate

Students will need to give a presentation on a chosen topic then respond to questions from other students. They will need to use Standard English.

 English Literature

For English Literature you will be assessed through:

  • 2 exams at the end of Year 11. You will not be able to take any books or the anthology into the exams with you.

Paper 1 – Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel

Exam (1 hour 45 minutes)           64 marks – 40% of English Literature grade

Section A: Shakespeare

30 marks

SPAG: 4 marks

Students will answer 1 essay questions based on a Shakespeare play (e.g. Macbeth/Romeo and Juliet).

 

They will write about an extract from the play and then write about the play as a whole.

Section B: 19th Century Novel

30 marks

Students will answer 1 essay questions based on a 19th century novel (e.g. Jekyll and Hyde).

 

They will write about an extract from the novel and then write about the novel as a whole.

 

Paper 2 – Modern texts and Poetry

Exam (2 hours 15 minutes)         96 marks – 60% of English Literature grade

Section A: Modern Texts

30 marks

SPAG: 4 marks

Students will answer 1 essay question from a choice of 2 based on a modern text (e.g. An Inspector Calls/Blood Brothers).

Section B: Poetry

30 marks

Students will answer 1 essay question comparing one named poem from the anthology and a poem of your choice from the anthology.

Section C: Unseen poetry

32 marks

Students will answer 1 essay question on an unseen poem and 1 essay question comparing the first unseen