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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 Students who have already reached secure level 5 for writing will be withdrawn for a gifted and talented creative writing programme.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 the Times Spelling Bee.
Study at Home for KS3
Building reading and writing skills:
KS3 English Essential Terms (CGP)
KS3 English Literacy Strategy Book 1 (levels 4-5), Book 2 (levels 5-6) and Book 3 (levels 6-8)
KS3 English Complete Revision and Practice (CGP)
We can order CGP books for you at greatly reduced prices.
The Times Spelling Bee: Spell like a champion (Collins)
The Times Spelling Bee School Dictionary (Collins)
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
Year 9 is a transition year for students to build on the skills they have developed in years 7 and 8 and prepare to begin their English Literature GCSE in year 10. We aim to develop their conceptual and critical thinking and their ability to independently plan and write essays and creative pieces. Their work will be assessed using GCSE marking criteria, rather than levels, and there is a mock English Language exam at the end of the year.
In year 10, students study for their English Literature GCSE, for which they will take two exams at the end of the year. They study two modern literary texts, the ‘Relationships’ cluster of poems in the ‘Moon on the Tides’ poetry anthology and learn to respond confidently to an unseen poem. Students also complete their first controlled assessment, a linked study of a Shakespeare play with another text from the literary heritage, which is worth 25% of the final grade. After the exams, they begin preparation for their English Language course.
In year 11, students complete four controlled assessments which are worth 40% of their English Language grade: an essay on a literary text, two pieces of creative writing and a study of spoken language. Students are prepared for each topic, but must write their essays in exam conditions in the classroom. This work is marked and students cannot redraft the same task.
Students will also work towards developing their speaking and listening skills in presenting, listening, discussing and role-playing, as well as their ability to analyse and write their own non-fiction texts successfully. The English Language exam, worth 60% of the final grade, is taken at the end of year 11.
English revision club runs once a week throughout the year and is open to year 10 and year 11. Topics vary and are delivered by a range of teachers, so we encourage students to come and extend their learning or catch up on any topics they have missed. We also run revision in February half term and the Easter holidays.
A half termly book club runs for year 11 students who want to take English A level, to help develop their wider reading and analytical skills.
Study at Home for KS4
GCSE AQA Understanding Non-Fiction Texts Study Guide Higher or Foundation
GCSE AQA Understanding Non-Fiction Texts Workbook Higher or Foundation
GCSE AQA Producing Non-Fiction Texts and Creative Writing Study Guide Higher or Foundation
GCSE AQA Producing Non-Fiction Texts and Creative Writing Workbook Higher or Foundation
We can order CGP books for you at greatly reduced prices.
GCSE AQA Anthology Study Guide (Relationships) Higher or Foundation
GCSE AQA Anthology Poetry Workbook (Relationships) Higher or Foundation
GCSE English AQA Unseen Poetry Study & Exam Practice Book Higher or Foundation
GCSE English Text Guide – Of Mice and Men, An Inspector Calls, To Kill A Mockingbird – depending upon which texts they are studying
Buy your own copies of your set texts (this will depend on your class): Of Mice and Men, Purple Hibiscus, DNA, Martyn Pig, An Inspector Calls, To Kill A Mockingbird.
Year 9 students worked with the charity English PEN to write letters to students in Sierra Leone. Some of their work can be found on the website http://www.englishpen.org/wish-you-were-here/
Terms & holidays
Throughout Year 7 we have been encouraged to be resilient. We have to had to do challenges from a booklet and set ourselves goals which have really tested our resilience and improved it. Some of us didn't know what resilience was and others thought it would be easier to give up. But soon...