English

Intent

At DHS, we aim to nurture the most successful communicators, readers, writers and thinkers. Instilling life-long skills, we intend to put at the forefront of our curriculum the functions of literature and language, enabling students to lead the best possible lives that they can.

Challenging students to think, act and speak like those in the world of work helps our students: to read like writers; to write like readers; to speak like orators using ambitious and challenging vocabulary. It prepares them for jobs such as journalists, teachers, curators, writers, publishers and many more.

The English department build the Cultural Capital of our students constantly by teaching texts in context.  We are aware of our broad mono-culture in rural Norfolk, therefore we want to ensure that children are exposed to a wide range of literature from a range of times, cultures and traditions. Our goal is to make clear how language and literature have been and can be instrumental in changing the world we live in.

Further rationale behind our curriculum design includes building on the knowledge acquired at KS2, and developing the ability to write, read and speak perceptively, expressively and purposefully. We make clear the links between language and literature and well-being, consistently ensuring that the level of challenge is high whilst at the same time, providing support for students who need it.

Implementation

Our curriculum covers the different areas of reading and writing fiction and non-fiction, and study of literary texts. We offer a progressive curriculum, with clear mapping of the re-visiting and development of key skills over time, nurturing resilience and aspiration.

Discussion and debate are a regular feature of lessons, as is extended reading and writing. ‘Talk for Writing’ is used to underpin these skills. We engage with real life contexts where possible to enable students to connect their learning with the world beyond. Vocabulary is a key feature at DHS: Bedrock Learning is a tool utilised weekly to develop and encourage students to be ambitious in the way in which they communicate both in English and across the curriculum.

See attached overview of our curriculum design.

KS3 Long term reviews.pdf

Impact

By the end of our KS3 curriculum, students feel empowered and prepared for the demands of the Eduqas English Language and English Literature GCSE qualifications. They develop academic resilience, are encouraged to cultivate independence in reading when responding to a range of texts and feel confident in writing for a range of purposes and audiences.

Classes are organised so that students with similar target levels are working together. Within classes there will be a mix of class, group, pair and individual work. Each unit of work has an associated formal assessment (see curriculum plan). Marking criteria will be shared and discussed with groups; a clear grade will be given for assessed work, along with individual targets for improvement. Every student will have a target sheet in their book so that progress can be monitored, and targets regularly consulted. Lessons are tailored to the needs of the students and provide the opportunity to give and receive regular feedback.

 

How can I help my child?

Good websites:

 

Other things you can do:

  • Encourage your child to read a range of fiction and non-fiction regularly for pleasure.
  • Read a range of texts together and discuss the stories and characters.                             
  • Talk about your child’s latest Bedrock Learning unit and the vocabulary / subject they have been exploring.
  • Ask your child about their learning, including any targets or ‘next steps’ they are working on.         
  • Play word games together! (Board games – Scrabble, Boggle, Bananagrams; Apps – Wordshake, Word Beach, Word Cookies; Quizzes – crosswords, wordsearches).

 

Careers

Challenging students to think, act and speak like those in the world of work helps our students: to read like writers; to write like readers; to speak like orators using ambitious and challenging vocabulary. It prepares them for jobs such as journalists, teachers, curators, writers, publishers and many more.

KS4

SUMMARY OF ASSESSMENT

GCSE English Language (EDUQAS)

WRITTEN PAPER – Component 1: 20th Century Literature Reading and Creative Prose Writing (1 hour 45 minutes, 40% of qualification)

Section A (20%) – Reading

Understanding of one prose extract of literature from the 20th century assessed through a range of structured questions.

Section B (20%) – Prose Writing

One creative writing task selected from a choice of titles.

WRITTEN PAPER – Component 2: 19th and 21st Century Non-Fiction Reading and Transactional / Persuasive Writing (2 hours, 60% of qualification)

Section A (30%) – Reading

Understanding two extracts of high-quality non-fiction writing, one from the 19th century, the other from the 21st century, assessed through a range of structured questions.

Section B (30%) – Writing

Two compulsory transactional / persuasive writing tasks.

NON EXAM ASSESSMENT – Component 3: Spoken Language

One presentation / speech, including responses to questions and feedback.  

GCSE English Literature (EDUQAS) 

EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT (Written paper) – Component 1: Shakespeare and Poetry (2 hours, 40% of qualification)

 

Section A (20%) – Shakespeare

Students will study ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Macbeth’ or ‘Much Ado About Nothing’.

Students’ knowledge and understanding of the text will be tested through one extract-based question and one essay question.

Section B (20%): Poetry 1789 – present day 

Students will study a range of poetry from 1789 to the present day, collated in the WJEC Eduqas Poetry Anthology.

In the first question, students will be asked to write about a specified poem. In the second question, students will be asked to write about a second poem of their choice, chosen from the anthology and compare it to the first.

 

EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT (Written paper) – Component 2: Post 1914 Prose / Drama, 19th Century Prose and Unseen Poetry (2 hours 30 minutes, 60% of qualification)

Section A (20%) - Post 1914 Prose / Drama

Students will study one of the following texts: ‘Lord of the Flies’; ‘The Woman in Black’; ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night’ (the play); ‘An Inspector Calls’; or ‘Blood Brothers’.

Assessment will be through a source based response, testing students’ knowledge and understanding of their set text.

Section B (20%) -  19th Century Prose

Students will study one of the following texts: ‘A Christmas Carol’; ‘War of the Worlds’; ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’.

Assessment will be through a source based response, testing students’ knowledge and understanding of their set text.

Section C (20%) – Unseen Poetry

Students will be asked to consider two unseen poems from the 20th or 21st century.

In the first questions, students will be asked to write a previously unseen poem. In the second question, they will be asked to write about a second unseen poem and compare it to the first.

 

Year 10/11 teaching group organisation:

English is taught to pupils of similar ability in sets. 

In-class assessment:

Students' progress is tested by regular assessments.  Each assessment focuses on a specific GCSE skill: reading or writing.  Assessment marks are recorded and are used to inform teaching and learning across KS4.  Students have opportunities to work in timed conditions in class but they also have the Year 10 and 11 Mock examinations in order to experience working in exam conditions in the Hall/Gym.  Teachers and pupils review this exam work and pupils are assisted in the writing of meaningful targets to help them to achieve their GCSE target grades.

 

KS4 Extended writing and homework projects

In order to prepare students for extended writing in their end of course examinations, each half term, students will research current and challenging topics and issues and learn how to adapt this information to match the purpose, audience and text type of a task.

These will include:

  • Leaflets
  • Web pages
  • Reviews
  • Speeches
  • Letters
  • Reports
  • Debates
  • Narratives

For most students, English homework is set on a weekly basis.  This varied work will mostly link to these projects and will include: research; comprehension work; generating ideas; planning extended writing; essay writing; and exam revision.