English Exam Information
We teach the new revised courses for first examinations in June 2018, in which assessments will be shown by numbers from 9-1, replacing the grading by letters A*-G that has operated previously. For Language it will be Specification A (code 4EA1), and for Literature code 4ET1.
Year 10: For English Language, there will be one externally assessed examination, worth 60%, including reading responses to a previously studied non-fiction text from the Anthology plus an unseen extract, and a piece of transactional writing. The rest (40%) will be internally assessed through Coursework involving an essay comparing two poetry or prose texts studied form the Anthology and a piece of imaginative writing. The formal assessment of Speaking and Listening will no longer count towards the total and so we are discontinuing this element in our internal assessment, though of course will still be using whole class, group and individual oral discussions to investigate and analyse within lessons, as we have always done.
For English Literature, there will likewise be one externally assessed examination, worth 60%, involving analytical writing on both an unseen poem and on a comparison of two previously studied poems from the Anthology, plus an essay on the set text of modern prose (likely to be either Of Mice and Men or To Kill a Mockingbird). The remaining 40% will be internally assessed through Coursework, requiring one essay response on a modern drama text (likely to be An Inspector Calls or A View from the Bridge) and another on a text from the Literary Heritage (most likely a Shakespeare play- we are likely to be choosing to study Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet).
Reading and Resources
Year 10: As with the previous specifications, wider reading, both of literary and non-fiction texts, will be of immense value to any student in the development of his or her abilities to respond intelligently to the range of texts in the course, especially with the increased amount of unseen material to be read and analysed. The Library is very well-stocked with books and magazines that can provide such breadth, in addition to what may readily be found through the internet. The Department and the Library issue lists of recommended texts.
Year 11: Wider reading is always actively encouraged, and lists of recommended novels are issued by the department or from the Library, but the main study focuses on one novel (this year either Of Mice and Men or To Kill Mockingbird), one play (either An Inspector Calls or A View from the Bridge) and a series of poems, literary prose and non-fiction extracts all taken from the Edexcel IGCSE Anthology. The Library contains a number of critical and biographical books relevant to these texts, in addition to what can be readily accessed through the internet.
We will study various linguistic frameworks (such as grammatical, graphological and semantic) and learn how to apply these to a very wide range of texts, both provided by the teacher and, for Coursework, chosen and researched by the individual student. This understanding will be used to inform and give rigour to the ways in which students themselves use language, both in class discussions and in the production of their own writing, creative and analytical.
The aim of the English Language course is to develop students’ interest in and enjoyment of English, through learning about its structures, functions, development and variations, and their ability to apply linguistic frameworks to a wide variety of texts, to investigate and research language use, and to express themselves with increasing confidence, accuracy and sophistication. We prepare students for two examinations at the end of the course: one worth 40% on Language, the Individual and Society, involving close analysis and comparison of texts and an essay exploring how young children’s knowledge of language develops; the other, also worth 40%, exploring Language Diversity and Change. The remaining 20% of assessment is comprised of Coursework, with one piece of creative writing plus analytical commentary, and a piece of Language Investigation research.
Reading and Resources
The Department and the Library have a wide selection of books on linguistics and related subjects, many of them written by the most prolific and accessible of experts in this field, David Crystal, any of whose works can be recommended for independent wider reading.
Exam Board: AQA
We explore together the chosen set texts plus other unseen materials and develop students’ skills at being able to analyse and compare texts and write cogently argued and effective literary essays. Many lessons will revolve around oral discussions sharing and arguing the class’s ideas and feelings in response to these texts.
The aim of the course is to develop students’ interest in and enjoyment of English Literature, through reading widely, critically and independently and thus to gain a wider sense of the scope of literary study. We prepare students in four components: drama (assessed in one examination worth 30%), including one play by Shakespeare plus one by another playwright drawn from those selected by the Exam Board; prose (in one exam worth 20%) comparing two prose texts linked by a chosen theme; poetry (in one exam worth 30%), including contemporary texts studied from the set collection Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry 2002-2011 and the work of a prescribed individual poet or poetic movement; and Coursework (worth the remaining 20%), which offers students a free choice to compare in a single 3000-word essay two texts not otherwise studied in the course.
Reading and Resources
At the end of Year 11, and again at the end of Year 12, we issue recommended wider reading lists to help guide students’ extension of their reading experience beyond just the set texts. The Department and Library have a wide range of critical and biographical texts to help support students’ independent study of works both set for examinations and possible choices for Coursework.
Exam Board: Edexcel