The English Department have seven spacious classrooms that have all been equipped with interactive white boards and a range of reading materials to support all students.
We have high expectations in English and aim for every student to achieve above and beyond their minimum expected progress. The team is at the forefront of raising standards at Ash Green School; with a dynamic and committed group of experienced staff, who deliver a programme that is innovative and creative.
At KS3 students study a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts and practice writing for a variety of purposes.
In Year 7, students begin the year exploring autobiographies and non-fiction writing using extracts from Roald Dahl’s tales of childhood: Boy. Moving on, they explore the fairy-tale genre looking at how some of their favourite fairy-tales from childhood can be inverted to create some fascinating twisted tales. Students also read a selection of prose and poetry as part of their learning as well as developing their own creative writing skills in both fiction and non-fiction writing. Towards the end of Year 7 students have a taste of Shakespeare’s plays to give them a balanced experience of both Language and Literature.
Throughout Year 8 students also study poetry, prose and drama and practise responding to these different genres in ways that show an understanding of the writer’s craft. Students begin the year exploring World War 1 poetry developing their ability to analyse and compare poems. Students also explore the gothic literature genre, reading famous gothic tales and exploring the conventions of a gothic text before writing their own. In line with Holocaust Memorial Day in January, students spend time exploring holocaust texts and take part in activities with Holocaust survivors. Later in the year, students explore a play written by Shakespeare, and showcase their learning to students from other year groups.
Literacy remains a key area for all students to focus on as the demands of the new curriculum show a clearer focus on: spelling, punctuation and grammar.
All students in Year 7 are this year beginning the reading programme: Accelerated Reader, designed to rapidly increase the progress students make in their reading, with weekly lessons centred around developing independent reading skills.
Homework is used to develop students’ independent learning and the team within English regularly use Show My Homework as a tool to communicate to students and parents the weekly expectations for homework tasks.
Exam Board: OCR
English offer two GCSE subjects, English Language and English Literature.
What will students study and what skills will they develop?
You will follow an integrated course leading to two separate GCSE qualifications:
KS4 will require a considerable amount of reading; therefore, students spend Year 9 familiarising themselves with a wide variety of texts and skills required to prepare them for fully beginning their GCSE in Year 10.
Years 10 and 11
Students develop their reading and writing skills, focusing heavily on non-fiction and media texts both from current writing as well as responding to 19th century non-fiction texts. Students will develop their own writing skills for a variety of different purposes, including writing to argue and persuade and writing to describe and inform. Speaking and listening are very important. Students will learn the rules of formal debate, take part in presentations including role-play and contribute ideas to group discussion.
Students are required to read and respond to a variety of poems, plays and novels. At Ash Green School, students must study one pre-twentieth century text with all students reading and exploring H.G. Wells’s ‘The War of the Worlds’. In addition, students study a modern play or prose from a choice of ‘An Inspector Calls’, ‘DNA’ or ‘Animal Farm’. Also students explore a Shakespeare play, Macbeth. Many of these texts are connected by the theme of conflict. This include the poetry students study as part of their GCSE English Literature where they explore a variety of 19th and 20th Century poems from the OCR Poetry Anthology linked by the theme of conflict. In their final exams, students will be assessed on their ability to respond to the texts they have studied in class as well as unseen texts to fully test their reading skills.
Exam Board: OCR
Qualification: A Level English Literature / English Language
The Year 12 syllabus focuses on teaching students four key skills: writing coherent, well-constructed arguments; analysing the language, structure and form of texts to a sophisticated level; making thorough, in depth comparisons between texts using critical theory, and understanding the importance of contextual factors to evaluate the literature we study.
The Year 13 syllabus builds on skills acquired in Year 12, specifically the construction of coherent arguments, critical analysis and comparison of texts, alongside evaluation of their context and differing interpretations. For coursework, students have focused on a collection of literature under a connecting theme of their choice.
Students have two exams in A Level English Literature. In component 1, students analyse Twelfth Night or Coriolanus for the Shakespeare section, the selected poetry of Samuel-Taylor Coleridge and The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster. Each part of the exam requires a thorough understanding of the texts, their contexts and a range of academic interpretations. For component 2, students explore the Gothic Literature genre applying what they learn about the language, style and structure of this genre to an unseen text. They also complete a comparative response to a question on Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
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