KS4 English (literature and language)
In order to be resilient and succeed in the wider world, English students at Ashton Park School will be enthusiastic, empathetic and critical readers; creative, convincing and accurate writers; articulate, confident and engaging speakers.
At KS4, we build on our KS3 curriculum to prepare students to succeed in their GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. Throughout these interleaved courses, as well as developing the skills and knowledge detailed below, students are encouraged to expand their own love of reading; their ability to engage with, critique and interpret a range of texts; and to prepare for A Level Literature (or complementary further studies) so they can engage actively and meaningfully in their wider communities beyond school.
How is the course examined?
GCSE English Language
Paper 1 - Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (1 hour 45 minutes, 80 marks, 50%)
Paper 2 - Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (1 hour 45 minutes, 80 marks, 50%)
Non-Examined Assessment (NEA)
You will also complete a presentation to assess your speaking and listening skills on a topic of your choice. Students are awarded a Pass, Merit or Distinction for this task.
GCSE English Literature
Paper 1 - Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel (1 hour 45 minutes, 64 marks, 40%)
Paper 2 - Modern Texts and Poetry (2 hours 15 minutes, 96 marks, 60%)
How is the course structured?
|Year 10||Year 11|
Terms 1 and 2
Literature: Lord of the Flies
Language: Paper 1 Q1-3
Terms 3 and 4
Literature: Jekyll and Hyde
Language: Paper 1 Q4
Terms 5 and 6
Literature: Romeo and Juliet or Macbeth
Language: Paper 1 Q5 (creative writing)
Literature: 15 poems from the “Power and Conflict” cluster will be taught over the course of the year.
Language: During Year 10, you will also complete your spoken language presentation (NEA), presenting on a topic of your choice and responding to questions and feedback.
Terms 1 & 2
Language: Paper 1 Revision
Literature: Revision (Shakespeare and “Lord of the Flies”)
Terms 3 & 4
Language: Paper 2
Literature: Revision (“Jekyll and Hyde”; Power and Conflict Poetry; Unseen Poetry)
Specific revision of language and literature content and skills tailored to individual students and classes.
Why is the course sequenced this way?
In Year 10, we focus on introducing students to both English Literature and English Language and intentionally cover the majority of the Literature course content. We interleave our two subjects so students are able to make progress in both Language and Literature, and also are able to identify that the skills for analysing fiction texts for English Language (Paper 1) are inherently practised in the skills developed when approaching our Literature texts.
In Year 11, students will prepare for Language Paper 2 with an explicit focus on exam skills, having already been exposed to non-fiction and transactional writing across the Year 10 curriculum and throughout KS3. Students will consolidate their knowledge and practise the application of the knowledge and skills from Year 10, improving their own learning by revisiting the targets set to allow them to demonstrate their understanding, analysis and evaluation of their Literature texts and Language skills.
How will I be assessed during the course?
Students’ knowledge of and confidence with the core skills and content will be checked and developed in every lesson through discussion and questioning and throughout the term by live marking and specific feedback on classwork and homework.
Formal assessments provide students with the opportunity to implement the skills and knowledge they have developed during each unit of the course by responding to GCSE-style questions and papers. The assessments are aligned with the unit being delivered, and ensure students have opportunities to practise - and receive feedback on - both Literature and Language tasks, using GCSE mark schemes, models and feedback sheets. Assessments are completed in lessons, enabling teachers to provide support and guidance as students develop their confidence in becoming critical and empathetic readers, and creative and convincing writers.
During Year 10, students will also complete their NEA Spoken Language Presentation: they will choose a topic about which they feel passionately and present to a small group to persuade, inform and engage their audience. They will listen to questions and respond to demonstrate their understanding of their chosen topic and their command of Standard English as articulate, confident and engaging speakers. Students are awarded a Pass, Merit or Distinction for this task.
In Year 11, students will sit four mock exams to provide an authentic experience of their GCSEs, ensuring students develop independence, secure effective revision strategies, gain confidence in a pressured environment, and act as a guide to secure success.
What is the best way to revise?
In order for students to achieve their potential, revision is built into lessons and Home Learning from the beginning of Year 10. Over the course of the Year 10 and Year 11, students will use tracking pages, well-organised class notes, and specific resources to create their own revision guides in their exercise books. These guides contain all the core knowledge for each unit, and also provide students with exemplars and targets from their own responses to ensure students have a secure understanding of the knowledge and skills required. These exercise books are therefore the most valuable revision resource for all students.
- Students’ English teachers will recommend specific sites, activities, videos and wider reading to offer appropriately challenging and supportive additional resources
- Reading widely throughout KS4 is also an excellent way to develop the skills required for the exam; exposure to a range of effective non-fiction and fiction texts helps to prepare students for their GCSE exams;
- Regular discussion with family and friends consolidates core knowledge and improves knowledge retention;
- Students can purchase CGP revision guides and Flipsco revision cards from ParentPay;
- Seneca Learning provides a range of quizzes;
- For Literature, watching appropriate adaptations of the core texts often supports students in remembering plot, character and theme.