In Year 7, teachers aim to inspire a love of literature by introducing students to a range of literary fiction and non-fiction styles, encouraging them to develop independence and precision in their reading and writing skills. Our chosen novel is ‘The Hobbit’ and this is studied alongside Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ as well as a collection of poetry from various time periods. All students take part in the Accelerated Reader programme, carrying out a range of persuasive and descriptive writing tasks and embedding key skills needed at GCSE level.
In Year 8, students continue to read widely across a range of genres, considering the use of language and organisational features in the novel ‘Animal Farm’, a poetry collection and Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’. Year 8 groups are also introduced to a range of non-fiction texts, developing technical skills in analysis and securing the generic features of a range of written styles.
In Year 9, students continue to read and interpret a wide range of challenging texts, including classic literature and extended non-fiction, from different eras. They begin their study of key examination texts for GCSE such as ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Macbeth’ and the AQA poetry anthology, making critical comparisons and referring to contexts, themes, characterisation and style. They further develop their descriptive and narrative writing skills, ensuring a high level of accuracy, variety and precision in the use of vocabulary, punctuation and sentence structures.
Year 10 and Year 11
In English language lessons, students consolidate their knowledge of writing styles, using a wide range of linguistic and organisational features to meet the needs of different audiences and purposes, and refining their use of vocabulary, punctuation and sentence structures. They are encouraged to express their own point of view in a range of written and spoken activities.
In English literature lessons, students begin their study of ‘An Inspector Calls’ and further explore their Shakespeare, Dickens and poetry set texts and various contexts. Students also develop skills in analysing unseen poetry.
During the AS year, in an integrated language and literature course, students learn about the ways in which views and perspectives are shaped and used in a variety of narratives. They explore representation in literary fiction and in an anthology of texts linked by the theme of Paris, as well as analysing the poetry and perspective of Robert Browning. Students also explore point of view and genre in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’.
Drawing both on their everyday experiences of storytelling in different modes, and on published texts, students learn how language choices help to shape the representations of place and different perspectives.
Students also produce re-creative work that seeks to find an absent or underplayed perspective in the original text and write a critical reflection on the processes and outcomes involved in re-creative work.
In Year 13 students consolidate their understanding of the Paris anthology, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and the Browning poetry, also exploring the role of the individual in society and conflict in drama via analytical and creative study of ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘Othello’.
Finally, students are required to make active connections between a literary text and some non-literary material in an independent investigation. The connections must be based either on a chosen theme or on the idea that particular linguistic strategies and features may occur in the different types of material.
All aspects of the sixth form programme of study are underpinned by engagement with linguistic and literary concepts and terminology, and students are assessed throughout by a range of reading, writing and spoken language activities, developing effective communication skills for the world of employment.