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ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

 

Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly - they'll go through anything. You read and you're pierced.
--Aldous HuxleyBrave New World

Contact

Head of English: Ms C. Parkinson - parkinsonc@harpergreen.net 

Subject overview

 

In the English department, we believe in the power of words.  We want our students to leave Harper Green School with an excellent control of the English language, whether they are speaking, listening, reading or writing.  We teach both English Language and English Literature through set texts, and all students are given access to a broad range of writers, including canonical novelists, poets and playwrights. Throughout both Key Stage 3 and 4, students will build upon the skills developed in primary school.

Speaking and Listening

Students are encouraged to make plenty of contributions in lessons, to listen carefully to the ideas of others, and to critically reflect upon contributions. We explicitly teach learners the appropriate ways to talk and listen in different contexts.

Reading  

Students are encouraged to read regularly at home, and to learn to enjoy a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books. We actively teach reading strategies, and for students with reading ages that are below their chronological age, we tailor in-class support to ensure that everyone is able to access rich and challenging material.

Writing 

Learners will become increasingly competent in using language for deliberate effect to interest a reader. They learn to critically evaluate, proof-read, and redraft their work, reflecting on others’ suggestions. They will develop their own clear style as a writer, which we will teach them to employ across a range of contexts.

 Key Stage 3 English Language and Literature overview

  We follow the National Curriculum for English at Key Stage 3. 

We read whole texts (rather than extracts), because we firmly believe that it is important for students to experience and enjoy books in their entirety. In our schemes of work, we include high quality novels, short stories, poems and plays with a wide coverage of genres, historical periods, forms and authors.

Year 7

 Year 7 sees students building upon their primary education with challenging literature from Dickens, Shakespeare, Blake, and Tennyson, alongside more modern writers like Phoebe Hesketh, Langston Hughes, Richard Kell, and Carl Sandburg.

We are currently following the Ark English Mastery curriculum. We adopted this curriculum model in September 2021 because like us, Ark believe that it is through the pursuit of knowledge and study of the stories that have shaped the world that our learners will truly master English. 

 

Half Term 1 and 2

Half Term 3 and 4

Half Term 5

Half Term 6

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Poetry: William Blake and Alfred Lord Tennyson, Phoebe Hesketh, Langston Hughes, Richard Kell, Carl Sandburg and others

Voices and Choices:

 Ancient Tales

 

 

Knowledge:

  • Life in Victorian London;
  • Victorian Crime;
  • the form of the novel;
  • Bill Sykes,
  • Fagin,
  • The Artful Dodger,
  • Oliver;
  • morality

 

Skills: 

Reading:

  • Inference
  • Comprehension
  • Analysis

 

Writing:

  • Composing a topic sentence
  • The subject
  • Subject/verb agreement
  • The past simple tense

 

Speaking:

  • Discussing ideas.
  • Debating.
  • Reading aloud.
  • Responding to questions.

Knowledge:

  • Life in Elizabethan England;
  • life in ancient Athens; Shakespeare’s life;
  • the four lovers;
  • the love potion;
  • Elizabethan family relationships;
  • the form of a play 

 

Skills: 

Reading:

  • Inference
  • Comprehension
  • Analysis

 

Writing:

  • Using evidence
  • Pronoun ambiguity
  • Prepositional phrases
  • Run-on sentences
  • Punctuating speech
  • Narrative structures

 

Speaking:

  • Discussing ideas.
  • Debating.
  • Reading aloud.
  • Responding to questions.

Knowledge:

  • Poetic structure;
  • use of metaphor;
  • poetic forms

 

Skills: 

Reading:

  • Inference
  • Comprehension
  • Analysis.

 

Writing:

  • Writing about unseen texts
  • Temporal clauses
  • Paragraphing
  • Avoiding fragments

 

Speaking:

  • Discussing ideas.
  • Debating.
  • Reading aloud.

Knowledge:

  • What Ancient Tales are;
  • the oral story tradition;
  • what the morals of stories are;
  • ‘The Cheetah’s Whisker’;
  • ‘Hansel and Gretel’;
  • ‘Two Dinners’;
  • ‘The Giant’s Causeway’;
  • ‘The Wicked King’;
  • ‘1001 Nights’

 

Skills: 

Reading:

  • Inference
  • Comprehension
  • Analysis.

 

Writing:

  • Writing about unseen texts
  • Temporal clauses
  • Paragraphing
  • Avoiding fragments

 

Speaking:

  • Speaking clearly involves speaking at an appropriate volume, pace and enunciating your words.

  •  Using hand gestures when speaking.

  •  Using emphasis when reading aloud.

Assessment:

  • Learning checkpoints and retrieval quizzes throughout the half term.
  • Examination in December 2021.

Assessment:

  • Learning checkpoints and retrieval quizzes throughout the half term.
  • Examination in March 2022.

 

Assessment:

  •  Learning checkpoints and retrieval quizzes throughout the half term.
  • Examination in summer (date TBC)

Year 8 

Year 8 is an important year in students’ development as they are asked to handle increasingly challenging texts and ideas.

They read their second Shakespeare play, building on their understanding of Jacobean theatre with one of the great tragedies, Romeo and Juliet. They are able to apply the knowledge gained through their Year 7 work on A Midsummer Night's Dream and deepen it as they engage with the differences between the genres. 

In the Year 8 curriculum, we ask pupils to work with texts that explore "big" ideas about society through literary study of Orwell's classic Animal Farm. They will experiment with writing in the style of the author through the "alternative ending" piece, in which they will embed their knowledge of impactful structural features. 

Half Term 1

Half Term 2

Half Term 3

Half Term 4

Half Term 5

Half Term 6

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Poetry: Identity Poetry - Johan Agard, Imtiaz Dharker, Benjamin Zephaniah, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Dean Atta, Robert Frost, Rudyard Kipling and others.

 Descriptive Writing

Knowledge:

  •  The Prologue;
  • foreshadowing;
  • the form of a tragedy;
  • AC Bradley’s lectures on Shakespearean character;
  • the sonnet form;
  • social class;
  • patriarchy.

 

Skills:

Reading:

  • Inference Comprehension
  • Analysis.

 

Writing:

  • Characterisation in narrative writing

 

Speaking:

  • Discussing ideas.
  • Reading aloud.
  • Responding to questions.

Knowledge:

  •  Allegory;
  • Capitalism vs communism;
  • the Russian Revolution;
  • irony and corruption

 

Skills:

Reading:

  • Inference
  • Comprehension
  • Analysis.

 

Writing:

  • Using cyclical structures
  • Withholding information in a narrative
  • Flashbacks and foreshadowing

 

 

Knowledge:

  •  Structure,
  • poetic devices,
  • use of metaphor and poetic forms.
  • Post-colonialism;
  • Emigration;
  • Racial segregation;
  • Apartheid; 
  • Windrush  generation; 

 

Skills:

Reading:

  • Comparison Inference
  • Analysis.

 

Writing:

  • Using vocabulary and adverbial phrases to craft an effective persona.

 

 

Knowledge:

  •  Sentence construction;
  • conventions of descriptive writing;
  • use of figurative language;
  • structural features. 

 

Skills: 

Writing:

  • Create imitation of grammatically complex sentence structures
  • Revision of sing cyclical structures.

 

 

Assessment:

  • Learning checkpoints and retrieval quizzes throughout the half term.

 

 

Assessment:

  • Learning checkpoints and retrieval quizzes throughout the half term.
  • Examination in January 2022.

Assessment: 

  • Learning checkpoints and retrieval quizzes throughout the half term.

 

Assessment: 

  • Learning checkpoints and retrieval quizzes throughout the half term.
  • Examination in June.

 

 

 

 

Year 9

 

 In Year 9, students being term 1 by continuing to deepen their understanding of literary traditions and genres. Building upon the elements of previously-enjoyed Victorian literature like Oliver Twist, students explore the more subtle philosophical questions posed by Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. Students are subsequently able to flex their creative muscles by creating a piece in the gothic tradition,  building on the skills work from previous years.

Students' appreciation of the works of Shakespeare deepens through their study of another tragedy, building upon their work on Romeo and Juliet in Year 8. Using their study of Othello as a springboard, they are able to explore complex ideas around female subordination, race, and masculinity, which will culminate in a rhetorical exercise.

The identity poetry work in Year 8 is picked up and deepened in the exploration of The Human Condition, which prepares students for the challenging "Voices and Choice" unit in Term 3. 

 

Half Term 1

Half Term 2

Half Term 3

Half Term 4

Half Term 5

Half Term 6

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Othello by William Shakespeare

Poetry: The Human Condition - ‘Paradise Lost’, ‘The Road Not Taken’, ‘Night Mail’, ‘The Canterbury Tales’. Poets studied include John Milton, Geoffrey Chaucer, W.H. Auden, Grace Nichols, Wallace Willis

Allusions; non-fiction reading.

Knowledge:

  •  The form of the gothic novel;
  • the human condition;
  • the Victorian double and duplicity;
  • the class system;
  • vanity explored through the story of Narcissus.

 

 

Skills:

Reading:

  • Inference
  • Comprehension
  • Analysis.

 

Writing

  • Crafting sentences
  • Use of vocabulary to create effects
  • Revision of using figurative language

 

 

Speaking:

  • Discussing ideas.
  • Debating.
  • Reading aloud.
  • Responding to questions.

Knowledge:

  • Hierarchy,
  • social and political structures,
  • the form of a historical tragedy,
  • democracy and dictatorship,
  • Aristotle’s triad of rhetoric

 

Skills:

Reading:

  • Inference
  • Comprehension
  • Analysis.

 

Writing:

  • Use of rhetoric
  • Understanding persuasive devices
  • Delivery of a speech

 

Speaking:

  • Discussing ideas.
  • Debating.
  • Reading aloud.
  • Responding to questions.
  • Reading non-fiction with emphasis.

Knowledge:

  • Epic poetry,
  • poetic devices and extended metaphor.

 

Skills:

Reading:

  • Comparison
  • Inference
  • Analysis.

 

Writing:

  • Use of metaphors to create a vivid description

 

Speaking:

  • Discussing ideas.
  • Reading aloud.
  • Responding to questions.

 

Knowledge:

  •  The tradition of myths;
  • Cane and Abel;
  • Icarus;
  • Prometheus;
  • Damon and Pithius;
  • Pontius Pilot;
  • King Balthasar;
  • The Fates;
  • Hansel and Gretel.

 

Skills:

Reading Non-Fiction:

  • Comparison
  • Inference
  • Analysis.

 

Speaking:

  • Discussing ideas.
  • Reading aloud.
  • Responding to questions.

Assessment:

  • Learning checkpoints and retrieval quizzes throughout the half term.
  • Examination in January 2022

 

 

Assessment:

  • Learning checkpoints and retrieval quizzes throughout the half term.

 

      

Assessment:

  • Learning checkpoints and retrieval quizzes throughout the half term.
  • Examination in June 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Stage 4 English Language and Literature overview

We follow the AQA specifications for both English Language and English Literature. All students are entered for both GCSEs at the end of Year 11. 

Years 10 and 11 are spent developing skills in:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Listening

English Language

Students will be assessed through two papers, each assessing reading and writing in an integrated way. GCSE English Language will have an endorsed component, covering Spoken Language. This endorsement will be reported as a separate grade (PASS, MERIT, DISTINCTION, or not classified) and will not contribute to the result of the GCSE English Language qualification.

English Literature

Students will be assessed through two papers, each assessing understanding and analysis of a wide range of different texts and literary forms (novel, play and poetry).  Students will be expected to make links between the text and its context and there will be marks awarded, on each paper, for technical accuracy.

We study the set texts for Literature throughout both years, and place heavy emphasis on students revisiting and revising previously-learned content throughout the duration of the two year GCSE course.

 Please look at the AQA specification for more information about the English Language GCSE course content

 

Please look at the AQA specification for more information about the English Literature GCSE course content

Year 10

We structure our curriculum in a way whereby we teach the different specifications (Language and Literature) discretely. This allows students to focus on the specific skills that they need to develop within each separate qualification. 

Half Term 1

Half Term 2

Half Term 3

Half Term 4

Half Term 5

Half Term 6

An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

English Language. Paper 1 Section B

Unseen Poetry

English Language.  Paper 2, Section B

Power and Conflict poetry

Knowledge:

  • Socialism and capitalism - the class structure

  • 1912 vs 1945

  • Wealth, power, and influence
  • Blame and responsibility
  • Public versus private
  • Morality and legality
  • Gender roles

 

Skills:

 Reading:

  • Reading for meaning
  • Analysis
  • Understanding context

 

Writing:

  • Using a range of vocabulary and sentences
  • Accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • Writing topic sentences.

 

Knowledge:

  • the Gothic tradition - monsters and the supernatural
  • Good versus evil. 
  • Mental illness
  • Repression. 
  • Friendship and loyalty. 
  • Appearances and reputation. 
  • Curiosity. 

 

Skills: 

Reading:

  • Reading for meaning
  • Analysis
  • Understanding context

 

Writing:

  • Using a range of vocabulary and sentences
  • Accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • Writing topic sentences.

Knowledge: 

  • Non-liner structures.
  • Cyclical structure.
  • Withholding information.
  • Characterisation.
  • Settings.

 

Students will also revisit crafting a sentence using linguistic devices, using vocabulary appropriately, varying sentence types.

 

Skills:

Writing:

  • Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively

     

  • Organise information and ideas, using a range of structural and grammatical features

     

  • Using a range of vocabulary and sentences

  • Accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar 

Knowledge: 

  • Poetic structures.
  • Meaning 
  • Imagery
  • Language
  • Effect
  • Symbolism

 

Students will also be introduced to the idea of comparison. There will also be an opportunity to introduce some non-fiction to begin to compare.

 

Skills:

Reading:

  • Reading for meaning
  • Analysis
  • Understanding context
  • Comparing methods

 

 

Knowledge: 

  • Adopting a persona
  • Hooking a reader with an engaging opening
  • Cyclical structure
  • Writing with a particular tone

 

Students will also revisit crafting a sentence using rhetorical devices, using vocabulary appropriately, varying sentence types.

 

Skills:

 

Writing:

  • Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively

     

  • Organise information and ideas, using a range of structural and grammatical features

     

  • Use a range of vocabulary and sentences

  • Accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar 

Knowledge: 

  • The power of nature/identity and conflict
  • Prejudice
  • Colonisation
  • Immigration
  • The troubles in Northern Ireland 1960s-1990s
  • Life in the trenches
  • The French Revolution
  • Gender inequality in mid 1800s
  • Romanticism
  • The Japanese Empire
  •  Afghanistan conflict
  • Crimean war 

 

 

Skills:

Reading:

  • Reading for meaning
  • Analysis
  • Understanding context

Assessment:

Formative:

Students will complete 4 essays on key characters and themes.

 

Whole class feedback will be provided on 2 of these essays and one will be peer assessed.

 

Feedback will address misconceptions and students will apply this to their next essay.

 

Students will self/peer assess their responses by using comparative marking strategies utilising pre-prepared models.

 

 

 

Assessment:

Formative:

Students will complete 4 essays on key characters and themes. Whole class feedback will be provided on these essays and one will be self-assessed.

Summative (December):

Students will sit an exam in December on An Inspector Calls and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (English Literature Paper 1 Section B and Paper 2 Section A).

These will be teacher marked and graded.

Assessment:

Students will complete two pieces of creative writing. These will be:

1 piece of descriptive writing (whole class feedback)

1 piece of narrative writing (whole class feedback)

 

 

Assessment:

Students will complete two essays.

 

The first will be analysis of a single unseen poem.

The second will be a comparison of the writers’ methods used in two unseen poems.

Assessment:

Formative:

Students will complete 2 non-fiction writing tasks. One will be self-assessed and students will be given whole-class feedback on both these essays.

 

Summative (May):

Students will be assessed on  the following:

Retrieval questions on An Inspector Calls and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Two Unseen poetry exam questions 

Paper 1, section A: choice of descriptive or narrative task.

 

Students will also complete their speaking and listening assessment, in the form of a formal presentation. Topics will be selected by individual students.

Assessment:

Formative:

Students will complete two comparative essays. One will be peer-assessed and students will be given whole-class feedback on both these essays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 11

We structure our curriculum in a way whereby we teach the different specifications (Language and Literature) discretely. This allows students to focus on the specific skills that they need to develop within each separate qualification. Once we have taught a text in full, we expect students to revise it throughout the remainder of their time in KS4. We will support this with regular quizzing and low-stakes tests, as well as by including previously taught content in lessons and formalised assessments.

Half Term 1

Half Term 2

Half Term 3

Half Term 4 onwards

English Language:

Paper 1 Section A

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

English Language:

Paper 2 Section A

The remainder of Year 11 is given over to revision, in order to allow class teachers to tailor their teaching before their class’s GCSE examinations.

Knowledge:

  • Language features.
  • Structural features.
  • The form of a novel.

  

Skills: 

Reading:

  • Reading for meaning
  • Inference
  • Analysis

 

Writing:

  • Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively
  • Organise information and ideas, using a range of structural and grammatical features

  •  

    Using a range of vocabulary and sentences

  •  

    Accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • Accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • Writing topic sentences.

Knowledge:

  • Conventions of a tragedy
  • The role of women in Jacobean society
  • Witchcraft/the supernatural.
  • Hubris
  • Ambition
  • The power of guilt.
  • Character development.
  • Fate and free will.
  • Good and evil.

  

Skills: 

Reading:

  • Reading for meaning
  • Analysis
  • Understanding context

 

Writing:

  • Using a range of vocabulary and sentences
  • Accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar

Knowledge:

  • Language features.
  • Persuasive/rhetorical devices.
  • Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives.

  

Skills: 

Reading:

  • Reading for meaning
  • Analysis
  • Comparison

 

Writing:

  • Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively

  •  

    Organise information and ideas, using a range of structural and grammatical features

  •  

    Using a range of vocabulary and sentences

  •  

    Accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar

Assessment:

Formative Assessment – Whole class feedback for all:

Q1 – Retrieving explicit information from a text,

Q2 – Language analysis

Q3 – Structure analysis.

Q4 – Evaluation

Summative (November):

Paper 1 English Language and Paper 2 English Literature

 

 

Assessment:

Formative Assessment – Students will write 3 or 4 essays on key characters or themes.

 

Assessment:

Formative Assessment – Whole class feedback for all:

Q1 – Retrieving implicit and explicit information from a text,

Q2 – Synthesis / summary of two texts.

Q3 – Language analysis.

Q4 – Comparison of writers’ viewpoints and perspectives.

 

Summative Assessment - Paper 2 English Language and Paper 1 English Literature.