English

 

 

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Subject Leader: Mr C Collins 

Subject Leader Email Address: christopher.collins@swale.at

 

Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about.

BENJAMIN LEE WHORF

Subject overview:

One of life’s most important skills is the ability to effectively communicate with those closest to us and the wider world. The studying of English is vital to the development of those skills. Exploring our world and humanity through the study of English provides insight into who we are and how we have built nurturing and interconnected communities which allow us, as individuals, to thrive.

Focusing on a range of reading and writing skills and the importance of accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar are central to students’ studies and help to prepare them for life beyond education.

Year 7

Students are introduced to a wide range of literature which explores a broad set of issues relevant to the modern world. Students are also provided with a foundation in literary heritage, where they are introduced to elements of the canon of English literature.They will learn how genre impacts a piece of writing and how to make inferences and analyse texts to support their understanding.

Students are also taught how to approach different styles of writing, from descriptive to non-fiction. The focus will be on utilising a range of effective and appropriate language devices and features, as well as being taught how to accurately use punctuation and grammar to ensure writing is clear and purposeful

Year 8

Students are taught how to analyse and explain particular methods a writer has used to add greater depth and meaning to their work, exploring the way writers use language for specific audiences and purposes. They will be able to debate a range of issues associated with those purposes in the curriculum texts, supporting the formation of their own independent opinions and ideas. They will gain an understanding of how not only genre but also context can impact a piece of writing, and they will be confident discussing and exploring  pre-nineteenth century texts. Students will develop skills in using structured paragraphs and supporting their ideas with quotations and by explaining the writer’s methods. Over the course of the year, students will feel confident approaching a range of different non-fiction texts and understanding a range of different viewpoints, such as those expressed in letters, articles and speeches

Year 9

Students are given the opportunity to develop their analytical skills and will begin to confidently make links between their analysis and a text’s context. They will be beginning to form these links into ideas about the writer’s message. Students will develop these skills and be confident with planning and writing essays about characters and themes in the text, including expressing an argument and their personal interpretation. They will be confident at writing narratives and descriptions to express a clear, well-thought-through viewpoint on a range of issues. Students will be able to use a range of methods and rhetorical devices – both structural and linguistic – to express these viewpoints in both written and verbal responses. Students will be able to verbally debate a range of issues and confidently argue their point as well as be able to formulate extended verbal answers and deliver these confidently. They will also be able to use more challenging punctuation accurately and for effect.

Year 10

Students in Year 10 begin to explore their specific exam texts from different genres in greater depth. They will have the opportunity to engage with Shakespearean texts and 19th century fictional writing as well as modern drama and a range of poetry from the last three centuries. Students will build on the skills introduced at Key Stage 3, allowing for greater depth of analysis and understanding of writers’ intentions and purposes. This affords students the opportunity to track particular themes throughout a text while also focusing on character development, providing an insight into the impact of contextual factors and writers’ purposes.

Students are introduced to GCSE Language skills, exploring a range of unseen texts, both fiction and non-fiction. They will focus on specific aspects of language and structure, while also assessing writers’ viewpoints and perspectives and the manner through which they are communicated.

Part of the GCSE Language specification also asks students to produce their own fiction and non-fiction writing, utilising a range of appropriate language features, accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar, and to be comfortable in producing a range of different forms of writing.

 

 

 

Year 11

The study of English Literature and Language in Year 11 compounds the skills introduced and developed in Years 7-10. Students will be provided with opportunities throughout the year to complete mock exams and practice questions, helping to prepare them for their real exams.

The completion of prescribed texts in Year 10 allows for greater scope and time to explore the intended purposes of texts and hone skills in producing analytical essays which accurately and succinctly convey students’ own ideas and opinions. 

Students are introduced to a variety of unseen texts mirroring the genres studied in order to develop independent analytical skills. Revision skills and approaches are further developed to support independent learning.

A further component to the GCSE qualification is Spoken Language. Students will be expected to produce a five minute presentation, independently researched and written, which will be recorded. This allows for further development of writing skills, as well as verbal communication skills, ensuring the development of clarity of expression and discussion of complex ideas and topics.

Why study this course?

English involves reading, thinking, and writing critically and creatively. It is diverse and can lead to a wide range of careers in various sectors and industries. Attaining a Grade 4 at GCSE for either English Language or Literature will allow students to access most Level 3 courses at the next stage of their education.

What does this course lead on to?

The skills and attributes associated with the study of English are transferable and important to most, if not all, careers and professions. The list below details some which are more specifically related to particular English skills.

English Specific Careers:

Academic collation, research, lecturing, writing

Career opportunities:

Editorial work

Education

Lexicographer

Linguist

Journalism and media

Publishing and copywriting

Public relations

Public services - police, medical, health and social care, etc.

Social media management

Web content managers

Writer

 

 

 

Sixth Form

The study of English Literature at A level supports students in developing a number of subject-specific as well as transferable skills by encouraging in-depth, critical and contextual thinking in response to a range of literary works. Students will be required to familiarise themselves with subject knowledge from plays, novels and poems emerging from distinct genres and spanning across many centuries. With this comprehensive exploration of characters and themes will come the awareness of how traditions and culture have shaped literature over the years. In addition to focussing on Aspects of Tragedy and Elements of Crime Writing, students will also study literary criticism and theory and apply some of the ideas they have learned to texts of their own choosing.

This is a two year linear course and is assessed as follows:

Two written examinations (80% of total marks)

Two extended essays (20% of total marks)

Why study this course?

The skills gained through the study of English Literature are immeasurable. A level study will broaden students’ knowledge, not only of a wide range of texts, but also of history, culture, human relationships and philosophy.Throughout the two year course students will be trained to be more perceptive in their reading skills in order to develop their powers of critical, analytical and evaluative thinking, enabling them to carry out research independently. Students will also learn to become more proficient and sophisticated in their writing.

What does this course lead on to?

All universities see English Literature A level as a major asset to any course, in particular history, psychology, sociology, drama and law, as it shows that students are academically able, well-read, and capable writers. The skills and attributes associated with the study of English are transferable and important to most, if not all, careers and professions. The list below details some which are more specifically related to particular English skills.

English Specific Careers:

Academic collation, research, lecturing, writing

Career opportunities:

Editorial work 

Education

Lexicographer 

Linguist

Journalism and media

Publishing and copywriting

Public relations

Public services - police, medical, health and social care, etc.

Social media management

Web content manager

Writer