English and English Literature

As a core subject, English is of central importance in the curriculum because of its vital role as the medium for teaching and learning in all other subjects. It is also vital in the preparation of all pupils for the wide range of linguistic demands made by adult life and employment. Our aim in the English Department is twofold: to equip pupils with the linguistic skills necessary for adult life and to foster a love of literature.

SPECIFIC AIMS OF THE DEPARTMENT

The English Department aims to:

  • promote a life-long love of reading;
  • give pupils an insight into their own and others’ lives through Language, Literature and Media texts;
  • develop pupils’ ability to express themselves clearly, logically, creatively and confidently;
  • introduce pupils to a range of literary texts and genres;
  • empower pupils to take charge of their own lives by making their command of both spoken and written language more effective; and
  • provide pupils with opportunities for self-expression and creativity through creative writing, critical writing, public speaking and debating.

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 3 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 3, pupils explore language through a range of challenging and engaging texts from each genre: Poetry, Prose, Drama and Media. Pupils experiment with different forms of writing for different audiences and different purposes and explore the powerful role of the Media in modern society.

At Key Stage 3, English is delivered over six lessons per fortnight.

In Year 8 and Year 9, pupils complete five Continuous Monitoring tasks throughout the year addressing the three areas of attainment: Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening. Year 8 and Year 9 pupils also complete a Summer Test in English. The assessment of the cross-curricular skill of Communication is on-going through English at Key Stage 3.

In Year 10, pupils are awarded an overall Level in Communication based on a portfolio of four assessed pieces of work: two Reading, two Writing (one of which is delivered through History or Religion) and two internally assessed Speaking and Listening tasks. Year 10 pupils also complete a Summer Test in English.

In the teaching of English at Key Stage 3, pupils are given opportunities to bring set texts to life through the use of a range of Drama Strategies. ICT is also incorporated into the learning and teaching process in a purposeful manner. At Key Stage 3, teaching strategies include colour-coding, chunking, mind-mapping, target-setting, big picture, role-play, paired work, plenaries, group discussion and peer assessment. Teaching strategies ensure that learning is active and that pupils have opportunities to develop Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities.

YEAR 8 CURRICULUM

In Year 8, pupils study the following topics:

  • Unit One: Myself (Includes Speech Writing and Letter Writing)
  • Unit Two: Christmas Around The World
  • Unit Three: 'Holes' by Louis Sachar
  • Unit Four: Narrative Poetry
  • Unit Five: Media and Moving Image
  • Unit Six: SPG

YEAR 9 CURRICULUM

In Year 9, pupils study the following topics:

  • Unit One: 'Private Peaceful' by  Micheal Morpurgo 
  • Unit Two: The Poetry of Seamus Heaney
  • Unit Three: 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' by William Shakespeare
  • Unit Four: What Makes a Good Short Story?
  • Unit Five: Media (Reading Multi-Modal Texts)

YEAR 10 CURRICULUM

In Year 10, pupils study the following topics:

  • Unit One: Speech Writing
  • Unit Two: 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' by John Boyne
  • Unit Three: Reading Non-Fiction (Comprehension)
  • Unit Four: Spoken Language
  • Unit Five: 'Romeo and Juliet' by William Shakespeare
  • Unit Six: Unseen Poetry 
  • Unit Seven: Class Magazine

Year 10 Communication Portfolio (Reading and Writing Tasks)

The Year 10 Communication Portfolio is made up of the following tasks:

  • Task 1: Writing a Speech: (Based on a chosen issue)
  • Task 2: Reading Comprehension (based on John Boyne's The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas) 
  • Task 3: Delivery through History or Religion
  • Task 4: Reading Non-Fiction (comprehension)

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 4 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 4, the English Department offers English Language and English Literature at GCSE Level. The study of both subjects is compulsory for all pupils. Pupils follow the CCEA specification for both English Language and English Literature. English Language and English Literature are delivered over eight lessons per fortnight.

GCSE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Unit 1: Personal Writing and Multi-Modal Texts (20%)

In this unit, pupils are required to complete two sections: Section A and Section B. Section A requires pupils to demonstrate writing skills in a piece of personal writing. There is a single task which requires pupils to produce a written response. Section B comprises two multi-modal texts, allowing pupils to demonstrate functional reading skills. The texts are followed by tasks that ask them to compare these stimulus materials, respond and present interpretations.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Pupils will have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit.

Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 2: Reading Non-Fiction and Functional Writing (20%)

In this unit, pupils are required to complete two sections: Section A and Section B. Section A requires pupils to demonstrate functional writing skills. There is a single task which requires pupils to express their views on a given topic. Section B comprises functional reading. It includes one or more tasks on the reading and interpretation of a previously unseen non-fiction text.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Pupils will have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 3: Speaking and Listening – Controlled Assessment (20%)

In this unit, pupils will be assessed in three activities: an extended individual presentation, a role-play and a group discussion.

Throughout the course, pupils will complete six Speaking and Listening activities. The final mark for this unit will be based on each pupil’s best three assessments.

This unit is assessed in the form of Controlled Assessment. Assessment of this unit will take place throughout Year 11 and Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

Unit 4: Studying Spoken and Written Language and Writing Creatively - Controlled Assessment (40%)

In this unit, pupils are required to produce three written responses:

  • The Study of Written Language (15%)
  • The Study of Spoken Language (15%)
  • Writing Creatively (10%)

This unit is assessed in the form of Controlled Assessment. Pupils will have a total of 5 hours to complete the three assessments for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place throughout Year 11. Pupils’ work in this unit will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

GCSE ENGLISH LITERATURE

Unit 1: The Study of a Prose Text (25%)

  • Set Text: 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck

This unit aims to give pupils the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to respond critically and imaginatively to a prose text. In this unit, there is a choice of two questions: pupils are required to answer one question.

This unit is assessed in the form of a closed-book written examination. Pupils will have 1 hour to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 11. Pupils’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 2: The Study Of Drama and Poetry (50%)

  • Set Texts: 'Blood Brothers' by Willy Russell and The Poetry of Seamus Heaney and Thomas Hardy (CCEA Poetry Anthology)

This unit aims to give pupils the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to respond critically and imaginatively to a drama text, a poetry anthology and an unseen poem. In this unit, pupils are required to write one essay on 'Blood Brothers' by Willy Russell (20%), one essay on the poetry of Seamus Heaney and Thomas Hardy (20%), and produce a critical response to an Unseen Poem (10%).

This unit is assessed in the form of an open-book written examination. Pupils will have 2 hours to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 3: The Study Of Linked Texts – Controlled Assessment (25%)

This unit gives pupils the opportunity to complete a study of texts linked by a theme or narrative feature. In this unit, pupils are required to produce two written pieces based on linked texts: Part A and Part B.

This unit is assessed in the form of Controlled Assessment. Pupils will have 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place during Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 5 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 5, the English Department offers English Literature at AS and A2 Level. Students follow the CCEA specification. At AS and A2 Level, English Literature is delivered over eleven lessons per fortnight.

At AS Level, students must successfully complete two modules. A further two modules must be successfully completed at A2 Level.

AS ENGLISH LITERATURE

Unit 1: The Study of Shakespeare and the Study of a Twentieth Century Dramatist (40%)

  • Set Texts: 'As You Like It' by William Shakespeare and both 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'The Glass Menagerie' by Tennessee Williams.

This unit aims to introduce students to a detailed study of one Shakespeare play and the contexts in which it was written. It also aims to give students the opportunity to compare and contrast two texts by an individual dramatist, affording them the opportunity to reflect creatively on aspects of this writer’s work.

In this unit, students are required to complete two assignments: one is a response to Shakespeare’s 'As You Like It' and one is a response to two plays by Tennessee Williams: 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'The Glass Menagerie'.

This unit is assessed in the form of written coursework. Assessment of this unit will take place in Term One of Year 13. Pupils’ work in this unit will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

Unit 2: The Study of Poetry Written after 1800 and The Study of Prose 1800 - 1945 (60%)

  • Set Texts: 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Poetry of Yeats and Kavanagh (CCEA Anthology)

This unit aims to give students the opportunity to compare and contrast two poets and to communicate effectively their knowledge and understanding of a prose text in context.

In this unit, students are required to produce two essays in exam conditions: one in response to poetry and one in response to a prose text.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 2 hours to complete the assessment for this unit.

Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

A2 ENGLISH LITERATURE

Unit 3: The Study of Poetry 1300 - 1800 and Drama (50%)

  • Set Texts: 'The Rape of the Lock' by Alexander Pope, 'King Lear' by William Shakespeare and 'The Burial at Thebes' by Seamus Heaney

This unit aims to give students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of a poetry text and compare and contrast two prose texts. In this unit, students are required to respond to an extract from 'The Rape of the Lock' by analysing poetic methods and to produce a comparative essay on 'King Lear' and 'The Burial at Thebes' focusing on dramatic methods.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 2 hours to complete the assessment for this unit.

Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 4: The Study Of Prose – Theme Based (50%)

  • Set Texts: 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte, 'Wide Sargasso Sea' by Jean Rhys and 'The Illusionist' by Jennifer Johnston

In this unit, students are required to analyse and evaluate a given extract from 'The Illusionist' and show detailed understanding of two novels on a given theme. The novels are 'Jane Eyre' and 'Wide Sargasso Sea'. The theme is Women in Society.  Students are expected to show contextual knowledge and make relevant comparisons between the novels.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 2 hours to complete the assessment for this unit.

Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Extra-Curricular Provision

The English Department contributes extensively to the school’s extra-curricular provision. Extra-curricular activities include:

  • Rotary Young Leaders of the Future
  • Soroptimist Public Speaking Competition (Key Stage 5)
  • Road Safety Public Speaking (Key Stage 3)
  • Public Speaking Gold Award (Key Stage 4)
  • Northern Ireland Young Journalist of the Year Competition (Key Stage 4)
  • Bar Mock Trial
  • External Debating Competitions
  • Internal Inter-Class Debating Competition (Key Stage 3)
  • Young Writers of the Future Creative Writing Competition (Key Stage 3)
  • TES Senior Creative Writing Competition
  • Creative Writing Club
  • Senior Book Club/Reading Group
  • Junior Book Club/Reading Group
  • The Film Club
  • Theatre Trips
  • MLP Library Trips
  • Visiting Authors
  • Theatre Workshops
  • School Musicals
  • Cultural Visits and Trips

CAREERS INFORMATION

  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Teaching (Primary and Secondary)
  • Public Relations
  • Author
  • Broadcasting
  • Copywriting

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