English (Core)

Students will continue their progression up the KS3 curriculum when they reach year 9 at Sharnbrook.

Students immediately begin to build on the key skills that are necessary for their GCSEs. All students will undertake 5 assessments that are focused on developing GCSE skills, whether this is reading or writing; this will be regularly monitored to check students’ progression across the course of the year. In year 9 we use practice GCSE texts. In year 10 we start afresh, applying all the skills they learned in year 9 on their real GCSE literature texts. This means that students can bring a more mature understanding to their GCSE Literature books.

The focus for year 9 is on engagement, widening their knowledge of various texts and skills mastery. Students also invest time looking at study skills, which focus on a range of topics, from technical accuracy in grammar and punctuation to essay writing skills and exam technique.

Students will be studying the following across year 9:

  • Of Mice and Men (20th Century novel)
  • Crime and Horror in the 20th Century
  • A selection of War Poetry
  • AS Modern Dramatic Play
  • and developing their creative writing skills

Aims of the Course

• To develop a command of standard English spelling, syntax, grammar and punctuation.
• To express, sustain and develop ideas in writing with clarity, flair and originality.
• To read widely and independently with critical understanding, enjoyment and attention to detail.
• To speak and listen effectively in individual presentations, pair work, drama, group discussions and whole class debates.
• To become aware of the key skills needed for examinations, regularly practising these to improve examination performance skills.

Assessment in Year 11


• ENGLISH LANGUAGE - 100% external examination - Also, a speaking and listening assignment (assessed and awarded separately)

• ENGLISH LITERATURE - 100% external examination for all

Outline of the Course in years 10 and 11:

We believe that maturity in reading, writing and understanding is an essential element to success in English. Consequently, we start the GCSE texts for Literature in year 10. This approach has been very successful: our students have been able to tackle texts with more understanding and confidence.
Over the two years of GCSE (years 10 and 11), students will complete the following units of work:

• Extended reading of a Shakespeare play.
• Extended reading of a Nineteenth-Century novel.
• Preparation for the reading sections of the English Language exam, focusing on responding to literary fiction texts, literary non-fiction texts and non-fiction texts.
• Preparation for the writing section of the English Language exam, focusing on descriptive, narrative and transactional writing.
• Study of a modern prose or drama text.
• A study of 15 poems, connected by theme.
• Preparation for dealing with an unseen poem in the exam.

Study Implications/Requirements

Students will be set approximately 1-2 hours of homework per week (although this will vary according to needs), and will focus on consolidating skills taught in class and examination preparation. There are three speaking and listening assessments in addition to the external examinations, of which there are four. Homework can come in a variety of guises – note-taking; preparing a talk; reading a set text, poem or newspaper; research; private reading; planning for an extended piece of writing.

Deadlines will be set for the completion of practice exam responses and work must be handed in on time. As these exam responses show evidence of how the student is working towards their final exams, they MUST be completed to the BEST of the student’s ability, enabling the teachers to identify realistic targets for continual improvement.

Private reading – homework for 3 years!
The English department believes private reading is vital – it enhances all areas of English, as well as being enjoyable in its own right! The skills of reading also underpin effective learning in all areas of the curriculum. In order to support students and parents we have produced a highly accessible “Recommended Reading” list.
Extra-Curricular Activities

The English Department will try to organise visits to theatres to see productions which are associated with the syllabus, such as “Macbeth”, “An Inspector Calls”, “Blood Brothers”. Obviously, this will need to be approached within the current COVID context.

What can I do with an English qualification?

You will develop a wide range of spoken and written communication skills as well as improve your ability to work with others, to analyse and solve problems and to take charge of your own learning. You should also be able to develop your ICT capabilities. These are all important transferable skills that all employers look for.

A good grade at GCSE will help you to move on to an AS, A level or vocational A level course or a job of your choice.

If you enjoy GCSE English Literature or English Language, you might want to continue with either of these subjects, or study a related one such as Modern Foreign Languages or History.

For further information see
Ms Idziaszczyk

NB: this information is correct at time of publishing, we will respond to any further changes/interventions from the government and/or Ofqual.

English Reading KS3 assessment criteria
English Writing KS3 assessment criteria