In year 9, students will study texts from a variety of literary genres and historical periods, analysing the ways in which writers write. Each class will study a Shakespeare play, a novel, a range of non-fiction and fiction writing and poetry. Class work will include group work, discussion and debate as well as written work. Writing activities may include the writing of letters, diaries, speeches, empathetic responses, analytical responses and creative writing. Students will develop their reading skills though the analysis of a range of texts, comprehension tasks and reviews. Grammar will be taught and engaged with in context, so that pupils understand the rules and systems that create the English Language. Students will also participate in library lessons once a fortnight to broaden their classroom experience. They will read, write, discuss and research based on what they study in the classroom. The year 9 course prepares students for the challenges of the AQA GCSE course by encouraging independent, critical thought. Our aim is for students to be effective readers, writers and communicators.
KS4 English: English Language and English Literature
Across years 10 and 11, students will work towards two examinations for English Language. These are ‘Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing’ and ‘Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives’. To prepare for the reading sections of the papers, students will read and analyse a range of literary fiction and non-fiction extracts from the 19th century to the present day. For the writing sections, students will practise writing in a variety of forms and styles. There will be a continued emphasis on accuracy and grammar, in addition to developing the ways in which students craft their language for different audiences and purposes. Creative writing in lessons takes many forms and students are encouraged to use their imagination and take risks in what they write.
The Spoken Language element of English Language is a separate endorsement. Students will have the opportunity to research a topic of their choice and create a presentation to deliver to an audience. This aspect is taught with the overarching theme of identity and protest in mind so that pupils have an engaged sense of their place in the world and how they can affect it. This is a chance for students to express their opinions, develop their confidence and improve their polemic writing.
Alongside the study of English Language, students will prepare for two English Literature examinations: ‘Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th century novel’ and ‘Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry’. Students will study four set texts and a range of unseen poems. The study time in lessons will be complemented by independent study and reading at home. Students will learn through discussion, group work, presentations, reading and writing. All students will be given the opportunity to explore character, form, genre and style. The discursive nature of the subject will give students a platform to engage with the literature and express their personal opinions. In order to do this effectively, students are expected to consider writers’ methods and the contexts that may have influenced a text’s creation.
As far as possible, the skills for the assessment objectives and the subjects are approached holistically so that students can make the best possible progress in both English Literature and English Language. We use a variety of texts and editions to engage all students in lessons depending on their ability. For some students, there is the option to take AQA’s ‘Step up to English’ qualification.
English Literature A Level - AQA
English Language & Literature A Level – AQA
The LitBoost is a podcast for GCSE and A level literature students. Three staff at Redborne Upper School engage in debates about the texts you have studied - it is great for trying to introduce some higher level analysis into your interpretations of the text - and we try and have a laugh too!