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English Language & Literature
Recommended reading : Click here for reading list
KS3 and KS4
English is a popular and successful subject at EGA. We aim to develop students as confident and creative readers, writers and speakers, as well as widening their cultural knowledge and experiences.
The department is well resourced with a wide range of texts, interactive whiteboards in all classrooms, laptops, digital cameras, DVDs, audio books and computer programmes which are all used to support effective teaching and learning.
Homework is integral to success in English. It allows students to apply their skills, extend their knowledge and develop their ability to think independently and take responsibility for their own learning. Homework is set every week but tasks will vary. Students may be set creative writing, spelling practice, essay planning, essay writing, research, skills worksheets or revision.
We also encourage students to read as widely as possible at home, as this is the foundation of success in all aspects of English. Suggested reading lists are available.
In year 7 and 8, students follow a wide curriculum which is planned in order for progression. They will study novels, poetry, drama, short stories, non-fiction and media texts, as well as learning about the evolution of the English language and Greek mythology.
For at least the first term of year 7, students will have weekly ‘Power writing’ sessions, which will build on primary school ‘Big writing’ sessions. Students who have already reached secure level 5 for writing will be withdrawn for a gifted and talented creative writing programme.
Securing literacy skills are a key priority in these years and there will also be explicit work on spelling rules, parts of speech, grammar rules, sentence types and punctuation, as well as on improving handwriting.
At the end of every unit of work, students complete an assessment. This is marked in detail with comments on their strengths, targets for development and a level for reading, writing or speaking and listening. All these assessments are stored in their personal evidence folders and used to track their progress across the key stage.
Enrichment activities on offer include a day trip to the Globe theatre for every year 7, author visits, participating in the Pop Up reading festival, the BBC News school report competition, projects with the Dickens’ House Museum, entry into creative writing competitions and visits to the National Library.
We can order CGP books for you at greatly reduced prices.
Some recommended fiction authors:
Philip Pullman, William Nicholson, Anne Cassidy, Stephanie Meyer, Malorie Blackman, Louis Sachar, Meg Rosoff, Alex Shearer, Jerry Spinelli, J K Rowling, Darren Shan, Anthony Horowitz, Celia Rees, Marcus Sedgwick, Louise Rennison, Kevin Brooks
English at Key Stage 4
English and English Literature GCSEs
We use the AQA exam board for both of these subjects.
An emphasis on reading.
Requirements for the new GCSE English and English Literature means students must have a developed vocabulary and be able to access a variety of texts in the exam. It is vital that students are reading constantly to develop these skills. In Year 10, students will be given novels to read depending on their reading age which is tested in Year 9.
Please encourage your daughter to read quality novels and newspaper articles daily.
These are the recommended novels for Year 10 students:
Reading Age 8 plus
1. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aitiken.
2. Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders.
3. Once by Maurice Gleitzman.
4. Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson.
5. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.
6. Truckers by Terry Pratchett.
Reading Age 11 plus
1. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman.
2. Forever by Judy Blume.
3. Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy.
4. The Giver by Lois Lowry.
5. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
6. The Kite Rider by Geradine McCaughrean
Reading Age 13 plus
1. Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.
2. The Chrysalids by John Wyndham.
3. I am David by Anne Holm.
4. A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly.
5. The Village by the Sea by Anita Desai.
6. Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet.
Reading Age 16 plus
1. Hard Times by Charles Dickens.
2. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.
3. The Scapegoat by Daphne Du Maurier.
4. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
5. The Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea.
6. The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger.
Overview of Key Stage 4 English
GCSE English and GCSE English Literature are studied together over two years in Year 10 and Year 11. There is no coursework as both subjects are assessed through four exams taken in Summer of Year 11, resulting in 100% of the grades awarded. Students will sit mock exams in preparation throughout the course.
In Year 10, students study Animal Farm, poetry, extract-based work and Macbeth. Students require their own copies of Animal Farm (available through the English Faculty) as they need to return to their notes in preparation for their exams in Year 11.
In Year 11, students will study Jane Eyre or another 19th century text, revise work and ensure they are fully prepared for their four exams in the summer.
Subject: English Language – Taken in Year 11
What is English Language?
English Language GCSE allows you to demonstrate your ability to use English in real life contexts, when reading, writing and speaking and listening. You will study a variety of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. These will include literature and literary non-fiction as well as other quality writing such as reviews and journalism. You will sit two exams in Year 11 and these will account for 100% of your GCSE English grade. To achieve well in English Language, reading a variety of texts must become an every day habit.
What skills will I develop?
English Language GCSE will ensure you can read fluently and write effectively. You will be able to demonstrate a confident control of Standard English and write grammatically correct sentences, using figurative language and analysing texts. You will learn how to read for precise meaning by understanding the way writers craft their use of language. You will also be able to respond to texts, precisely selecting material to illustrate your points in your response as well as writing your own thoughtfully crafted fiction and non-fiction for the exams.
I will also get the opportunity to:
- Develop your critical reading and comprehension skills
- Evaluate of a writer’s choice of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural features
- Produce clear and coherent text and write for impact
- Presenting information and ideas to your class and respond to spoken language
Subject: English Literature – Taken in Year 11
What is English Literature?
The emphasis on your approach to English Literature should be “it’s all about ideas”. Literature allows you to explore a variety of texts, from poetry to Shakespeare, 19th Century to modern texts. You will develop your analytical skills with extract-based texts and one complete Shakespeare play. There is no coursework for English Literature; you will sit two closed-book exams at the end of year 11 alongside your English Language course. These will make up 100% of your English Literature GCSE.
What skills will I develop?
You will develop and apply your skills in literal and inferential comprehension. That is, understanding a word, phrase or sentence in context; exploring aspects of plot, characterisation, events and settings. Your critical reading will also be developed, giving you the tools to support a point of view by referring to evidence in the texts and to evaluate of a writer’s choice of vocabulary, grammatical and structural features. You will also compare texts with respect to the above features of being a fully literate consumer of texts.
I will also get the opportunity to:
- Study a Shakespeare play in its entirety
- Learn how to respond to unseen poems with confidence
- Learn how to compare two poems in preparation for my exam
We recommend this Collins text book to help at home. It can be purchased for £4 through the English Office.
Terms & holidays
EGA has been recognised by the Incorporated Society of Musicians for the high proportion of students who achieve an A*-C grade in GCSE music, compared to national averages, which puts EGA in the top 649 schools nationally.