English Years 9-11, GCSE

Steinbeck's Of Mice and MenThe study of English from Year 9-11 is both transactional and cultural: pupils learn to communicate fluently and to read widely.

The schemes of work and specifications entail examination of non-literary and media texts, drama, poetry and modern prose, as well as creative and transactional writing.

English classes are predominantly in bands. Following previous success, we have established the fact that flexibility is the key and that catering for each pupil is crucial, in order for them to achieve the very best.

The curriculum for English in Year 9 aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding;
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information;
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language;
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage;
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences;
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.

Everyone over the course of Year 9 should encounter a novel, a play and some poetry. There are also many opportunities for creative writing in a variety of forms. Many pieces are displayed within the department, or entered for school, regional and national competitions. The department also runs English related after school clubs, such a Debating and poetry discussion groups, and aims to organise theatre trips for the pupils, as well as to entertain and engage them with visiting authors and poets.

Course Structure: Years 10 & 11

The International GCSEs in English Language (A) & English Literature are linear qualifications and all papers must be taken at the end of the course of study. The Cambridge IGCSE (0900) Core paper is sat in the November of Year 11, with the possibility of retaking, or advancing to the Extended paper, in the May of Year 11.

All content features a relevant, updated and engaging selection of texts, ranging from British heritage to modern international. We have ensured that the set texts are engaging, popular and suitable for all learners, including a diverse range of authors and poets. The texts offered so far have included: the modern prose Of Mice and Men and Things Fall Apart; literary heritage texts Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice; and a modern drama An Inspector Calls.

Examination Boards

Pupils follow either the Edexcel academic qualification of English Language (A) IGCSE, from Pearson, or the Cambridge IGCSE (0900).

Candidates who follow the Cambridge IGCSE (0900) curriculum take the Core paper initially and, if successful, obtaining the maximum 5 grade, aim for grades 3 to 9, following the Extended curriculum.

Pupils also follow the Edexcel English Literature IGCSE syllabus. Teachers make a professional judgement and consider carefully which path suits which individual. There is regular contact with parents.

All encourage pupils to acquire the knowledge and skills they need for progression in study, work and life.

Form of Assessment

The assessment for the Edexcel International GCSEs is 60% external examination and 40% internal coursework. This is the case for both Language and Literature.

For the CIE (0900) exam, the coursework portfolio is worth 50 marks.

Where it leads

The aims of the syllabus are the same for all candidates; we wish to enable candidates to understand and respond to what they hear, read and experience, communicating accurately, appropriately, confidently and effectively.

English also complements other areas of study, for example, by developing skills of analysis, synthesis and the drawing of inferences. Overall, we wish to promote candidates’ personal development and an understanding of themselves and others.

All courses are excellent preparation for A Level study in English Literature, one of the Russell Group’s preferred subjects.

Much Ado About Nothing
Play: Much Ado About Nothing

Romeo and Juliet   An Inspector Calls
Plays: Romeo and Juliet and An Inspector Calls