Faculty Mission Statement
The faculty will strive to ensure that the learning environment in English & Media is positive, supportive and purposeful. All pupils will be encouraged to meet their full potential and achieve their very best grades. We aim to impart an ability to analyse and create texts, whilst instilling a keen sense of creativity and imagination.
In years 7, 8 and 9 our aim is to develop the reading, writing and speaking and listening skills needed to succeed in English. The focus throughout KS3 is on creativity and developing a passion for the subject which, alongside the skills developed, will support pupils when they come to the start of their GCSE course. This is done through a variety of engaging texts, from the 16th to the 21st cenury. The topics studied in each year are as follows;
Year 7 – In year 7 pupils explore autobiographical writing, media and advertising, creative writing a Shakespeare play; The Tempest, a variety of fun and engaging poetry by poets such as Benjamin Zephaniah and novels such as Journey to Jo’Burg, Millions and Groosham Grange.
Year 8 – In year 8 pupils are introduced to 19th century literature through poetry and short stories. They develop their own writing skills by writing creatively in a murder mystery style and read poems from other cultures. They read adventure novels such as Stormbreaker or Jimmy Coates, historically informative novels such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and study a Shakespeare play; Macbeth.
Year 9 – In year 9 pupils study war poetry with a strong focus on WW1 poets such as Wilfred Owen. They look more closely at media and non-fiction texts such as newspaper articles and websites and develop their writing for purpose skills, such as to persuade and to argue. They study dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games, classic texts such as Frankenstein and a Shakespeare play; Romeo and Juliet.
The vast majority of pupils at Burnage will take the following GCSEs:
GCSE English Language (AQA)
GCSE English Literature (AQA)
However, due to changes in the exam specification current year 11 (exams in 2015/16) will follow a different course to year 10 (exams from 2016/17).
Year 10 (exams from 2016/17)
English Language is assessed by two exams taken at the end of Year 11. There are no longer any controlled assessment for this course.
Explorations in creative reading and writing; 50% of GCSE grade
Writer’s viewpoints and perspectives; 50% of GCSE grade
Both examinations have a reading and a writing section. The reading sections of both papers test how well pupils can understand and interpret fiction and non-fiction texts, from the 19th century to the present day. The writing sections of both papers test how well pupils can write effectively for a particular purpose and audience, how well they can structure their ideas and the accuracy of their writing.
English Literature is assessed by two exams taken at the end of Year 11. There is no longer any controlled assessment for this course.
Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel; 40% of the GCSE Grade
Pupils will study two texts in preparation for this exam; Macbeth (Shakespeare) and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (19th-century novel). They will be reading, interpreting and analysing the themes, characters and language in the whole texts.
Modern texts and poetry; 60% of the GCSE grade
Pupils will study a modern play called DNA and a ‘conflict’ themed anthology of poems. They will build their analysis skills so that they are able to interpret and explain their impressions of an ‘unseen’ poem in this exam.
Year 11 (exams in 2015/2016)
English Language is assessed through controlled assessment (40%) and one exam taken at the end of year 11 (60%).
Understanding spoken and written texts and writing creatively
Understanding and producing non-fiction texts (Exam)
This exam has a reading and writing section. The reading section test how well pupils can understand and interpret three 21st Century non-fiction texts. The writing section tests how well students can write effectively for a particular purpose and audience, how well they can structure their ideas and the accuracy of their writing.
English Literature is assessed through controlled assessment (25%) and two exams taken at the end of Year 11 (75%).
Literary heritage; 25% of the overall grade (Controlled assessment)
Understanding Modern texts; 40% of the GCSE grade (Exam)
Students will study two texts for this exam: Of Mice and Men (text from other cultures) and DNA (modern text). They will be reading, interpreting and analysing the themes, characters and language of these texts. In the case of the text from other cultures, they will be asked to demonstrate their awareness of the social and historical context in which the text is set.
Poetry across time; 35% of the GCSE grade (Exam)
Pupils will study a collection of ‘conflict’ themed anthology poems. The exam will ask them to compare how attitudes towards conflict are shown between two of these poems. This exam will also ask them to answer a question on an unseen poem which will test their analysis skills.
Ms E Brown – Joint Head English Faculty
Ms C MacIntyre – English Teacher
Mr M Spann – English Teacher
Ms L Guisasola – English KS4 Coordinator
Ms S Graham – English Teacher / Gifted and Talented Coordinator
Mr C Lewis – English Teacher
Ms E Meyer – Head of Milner Literacy Initiative
Ms A Pearson – English Teacher / SEN Coordinator
Mr M Philips – English Teacher
Ms H Carter – English Teacher / Assistant Headteacher