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English

Our primary aim as English teachers at St. Gregory’s is to foster a challenging and rewarding learning environment which seeks to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping our students with a strong command of the spoken and written word together with a love of literature.

The English Department is very well resourced with 9 specialist classrooms, each fitted with an interactive whiteboard. We also have a fully resourced computer suite.

 key stage 3 overview

At key stage 3 students follow a course designed to effectively deliver the National Curriculum.

Students will read whole books, for pleasure as independent readers but also as critical readers.  They will study whole books in depth and compare whole texts.  

Students will be taught to write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length. They will learn to consolidate and build on their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary and use Standard English effectively. The skills of planning, drafting, editing and proofreading are embedded in the teaching of writing.

Students will learn how to speak confidently and effectively, using Standard English in a range of formal and informal contexts, including classroom discussions, short speeches, presentations, debates as well as improvising, rehearsing and performing play scripts and poetry.

Students have 6 English lessons across 2 weeks and are regularly assessed in Reading, Writing and in Spoken English.

Homework is set weekly and will often include: preparation for assessments, work related to set texts, wider reading and practice examination style questions.

 year 7

Students have 6 English lessons across 2 weeks and are regularly assessed in Reading, Writing and in Spoken English.

Homework is set weekly and will often include: preparation for assessments, work related to set texts, wider reading and practice examination style questions.

The English Curriculum:

To ensure effective transition from KS2 and to implement the National Curriculum, the curriculum is organised into the following units of work:

  • Creative writing
  • Literary heritage including  works by Charles Dickens and William Blake   
  • Writing to argue and persuade
  • Poetry analysis, comparison and writing
  • Reading a play by Shakespeare
  • Reading a 19th century novel
  • Reading contemporary prose

Literary texts studied include:

  • Novels by Charles Dickens and Poetry by William Blake
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • A wide range of modern and literary heritage writers and poets
  • A range of contemporary fiction

Enrichment and Interventions

We offer many enrichment and intervention activities to support learning in English which include:

  • After school revision and catch-up sessions
  • In school workshops delivered by arts and theatre groups
  • Poetry and Writing Competitions
  • Trip to museums and theatres
  • Book Clubs
  • Homework Clubs
  • Scrabble Club

 year 8

Students have 6 English lessons across 2 weeks and are regularly assessed in Reading, Writing and in Spoken English.

Homework is set weekly and will often include: preparation for assessments, work related to set texts, wider reading and practice examination style questions.

The English Curriculum:

To ensure effective progress across Key stage 3 and to implement the National Curriculum, the curriculum is organised into units of work:

  • A wide selection of seminal world literature: prose, poetry and non-fiction
  • Creative writing
  • A wide range of modern and literary heritage writers and poets
  • Writing to argue, persuade and inform
  • Poetry analysis, comparison and writing
  • Reading a Shakespeare play
  • Reading contemporary prose

Literary texts studied include:

  • Seminal world literature, including work by James Berry and Brian Patten
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • A wide range of modern and literary heritage writers and poets
  • A range of contemporary fiction

Enrichment and Intervention

We offer many enrichment and intervention activities to support learning in English which include:

  • After school revision and catch-up sessions
  • In school workshops delivered by arts and theatre groups
  • Poetry and Writing Competitions
  • Trip to museums and theatres
  • Book Clubs
  • Homework Clubs
  • Scrabble Club

 year 9

Students have 7 English lessons across 2 weeks and are regularly assessed in reading writing and Speaking and Listening. At the end of the year they are assessed in both English language and English Literature.

Homework is set weekly and will often include: preparation for assessments, work related to set texts, wider reading and practice examination style questions.

English Language:

Skills required for the new GCSE are embedded into all schemes of work and the curriculum is organised into units of work:

  • Reading Poetry –comparative and unseen
  • Creative writing in different genres
  • Writing to argue and persuade
  • Reading historical and contemporary non-fiction texts
  • Reading contemporary and pre 20th century prose

Literary texts studied include:

  • 19th century short stories including works written by Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Conan Doyle and Thomas Hardy
  • 20th century short stories including works written by Nadine Gordimer, Raymond Carver, Doris Lessing and Guy de Maupassant 
  • Of Mice and Men
  • An Inspector Calls
  • A range of contemporary and pre 20th century poetry

Enrichment and Intervention

We offer many enrichment and intervention activities to support learning in English which include:

  • After school revision and catch-up sessions
  • In school workshops delivered by arts and theatre groups
  • Poetry and Writing Competitions
  • Trip to museums and theatres
  • Book Clubs
  • Homework Clubs

 key stage 4 overview

At key stage 4 students follow a course designed to effectively deliver the National Curriculum

Students will be taught how to read and appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage. They will also learn to understand and critically evaluate texts. Students will be taught how to seek evidence in the text to support a point of view as well as to analyse and evaluate the impact of a writer’s choice of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural features- making critical comparisons as well as informed personal responses.

Students will learn to write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length for pleasure and information by adapting their writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences. They will be taught how to select and organise ideas, facts and key points and how to cite evidence, details and quotation effectively. Students will learn how to select and use judiciously vocabulary, grammar, form, and structural and organisational features, including rhetorical devices, to reflect audience, purpose and context, and using Standard English where appropriate. Students will also be taught how to make notes and to draft as well as to revise, edit and proof-read, reflecting on and restructuring their writing, and amending its grammar and vocabulary to improve coherence, consistency, clarity and overall effectiveness while paying attention to the accuracy and effectiveness of grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Pupils will be taught to speak confidently, audibly and effectively using Standard English. They will also learn to work effectively in groups, listen to and build on the contributions of others as well as learning to Improvise, rehearse and perform play scripts and poetry.

 year 10

Students have 9 English lessons across 2 weeks and are regularly assessed in reading, writing and the study of literary texts.

Students will sit two un-tiered examination papers in each subject at the end of their two year course. Also they will be assessed in Spoken English through a formal presentation.

Homework is set weekly and will often include: preparation for assessments, work related to set texts, wider reading and practice examination style questions.

English Language:

Skills required for the new GCSE are embedded into all schemes of work and the curriculum is organised into units of work:

  • Reading Poetry –comparative and unseen
  • Creative writing in different genres
  • Writing to argue and persuade
  • Reading historical and contemporary non-fiction texts
  • Reading contemporary and pre 20th century prose

Literary texts studied include:

  • Macbeth
  • The Sign of Four
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • An Inspector Calls
  • An anthology of contemporary and pre 20th century Short Stories
  • A range of contemporary and pre 20th century poetry

Enrichment and Intervention

We offer many enrichment and intervention activities to support learning in English which include:

  • After school revision and catch-up sessions
  • In school workshops delivered by arts and theatre groups
  • Poetry and Writing Competitions
  • Trip to museums and theatres
  • Book Clubs
  • Homework Clubs

 year 11

Students have 9 English lessons across 2 weeks and are regularly assessed in reading, writing and the study of literary texts.

Students will sit two un-tiered examination papers in each subject at the end of their two year course. Also they will be assessed in Spoken English through a formal presentation.

Homework is set weekly and will often include: preparation for assessments, work related to set texts, wider reading and practice examination style questions.

English Language:

Skills required for the new GCSE are embedded into all schemes of work and the curriculum is organised into units of work:

  • Reading Poetry –comparative and unseen
  • Creative writing in different genres
  • Writing to argue and persuade
  • Reading historical and contemporary non-fiction texts
  • Reading contemporary and pre 20th century prose

Literary texts studied include:

  • Macbeth
  • The Sign of Four
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • An Inspector Calls
  • An anthology of contemporary and pre 20th century Short Stories
  • A range of contemporary and pre 20th century poetry

Enrichment and Intervention

We offer many enrichment and intervention activities to support learning in English which include:

  • After school revision and catch-up sessions
  • In school workshops delivered by arts and theatre groups
  • Poetry and Writing Competitions
  • Trip to museums and theatres
  • Book Clubs
  • Homework Clubs

 KEY STAGE 5 OVERVIEW

At Key stage 5, Students can choose to continue the study of English Literature and Media Studies is another popular subject which students may choose as an option at A level.

 YEAR 12

AS LEVEL

The English Department offers two AS Level qualifications: English Literature and Media Studies.

AS Level English Literature

Students follow the new AQA Specification B for English Literature. The new AS course consists of a single unit (Literary Genres) assessed by two external examinations. Each exam paper is worth up to 50% of the AS level qualification.

Paper 1 – Aspects of Tragedy: Drama involves the study of two plays, one of which must have been written by Shakespeare. The second text is likely to be a play written more recently. For example, current options include Shakespeare’s Othello or King Lear, alongside Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Students are expected to comment in detail on the dramatic methods of each writer and explore how each playwright draws on aspects of tragedy in their work. Assessment is by a 1 hour 30 minutes closed-book examination comprised of two questions worth a total of 50 marks.

Paper 2 – Aspects of Tragedy: Prose and Poetry requires students to study one poetry text and one novel, with a particular focus on the genre of tragedy. The two texts selected for study this year are Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles and a wide-ranging anthology of poetry selected by AQA. Assessment is by a 1 hour 30 minutes open-book examination, consisting of two questions worth a total of 50 marks.

Overview

During the course of their year of study, AS students will be steadily introduced to the conventions of the tragic genre and begin to evaluate their effects. There will be a strong focus on critical literary skills, contexts of production and reception, and on interpretations by other critics and readers. The texts studied and the work undertaken at AS Level overlap with many of the requirements of the A Level specification, so students who do well at AS will be well positioned to continue their study of English Literature in Year 13.

At AS Level there are nine lessons over a two-week period, with homework set weekly. Students are expected to spend five hours per week studying outside of lessons, either reading, writing essays, responding to questions set by the teacher or preparing for presentations. Work is regularly assessed and students are given constructive feedback in order to help them progress. Students' private study is also monitored, through regular folder-checks and ongoing discussion.

This is a demanding course which requires students to read attentively and to engage with challenging texts. Students will develop their ability to analyse and evaluate texts both verbally and in writing. We encourage them to be passionate readers with a genuine love and appreciation of literature.

The course is currently taught by Mrs McCafferty and Mrs Sharma.

Intervention, Revision and Enrichment

The English Department runs a weekly after-school support and intervention session for AS level students, as well as some Saturday-morning revision sessions. We also offer English-related enrichment activities, including a book group and a creative writing workshop. In addition, the department organises various trips, revision lectures and author visits throughout the year.

 

AS Level Media Studies

Students follow the AQA Media Studies Specification. The A2 course is currently divided into two units split between internally assessed coursework (50%) and an externally assessed examination (50%).

Unit 1 –Investigating Media involves the investigation of the media by applying media concepts to a range of media products in order to understand how meanings are created. In investigating media production and reception, students will investigate individual texts across the media platforms of broadcasting, e–media and print. Students will also study a cross-media topic. Assessment is by a two-hour paper.              

Unit 2 –Creating Media requires students to produce two linked media artefacts together with pre-production materials and an evaluation. The unit is assessed internally and moderated externally.

Overview

During the course of their two years of study, students will be steadily introduced to media theories and begin to evaluate how various contexts and media debates impact on the contemporary media landscape. There will be a strong focus on research, production, analysis and evaluation.

At AS level there are nine lessons over a two-week period, with homework set weekly. Students are expected to spend five hours per week studying outside of lessons. Work is regularly assessed and students are given constructive feedback in order to help them progress.  Students' private study is also monitored, through regular folder-checks and ongoing discussion.

This is a challenging course which requires students to steadily develop their critical autonomy in their reading of a wide range of media texts. Students will also develop an understanding of relevant cultural factors as well as the impact of globalisation on media audiences and institutions.

The course is currently taught by Miss Foley-Gilling and Ms Lane. 

Intervention, Revision and Enrichment

AS level Media Studies students can avail of a weekly after-school support and intervention session, as well as some Saturday-morning revision sessions. In addition, the department organises revision lectures at various times throughout the year.

 YEAR 13

A LEVEL

The English Department offers two A Level qualifications: English Literature and Media Studies.

A2 English Literature

Students follow AQA Specification B for English Literature. The new A level course consists of three units which are assessed by two external examinations as well as a non-exam assessment component which is assessed by teachers.

Paper 1 – Literary Genres /Aspects of Tragedy involves the revision of the study of two plays and a prose text studied in the AS course. At present these texts are Shakespeare’s King Lear, alongside Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Students are expected to comment in detail on the dramatic methods of each writer and explore how each writer draws on aspects of tragedy in their work. Assessment is by a 2 hour 30 minutes closed-book examination comprised of three questions worth a total of 75 marks- 40% of A-level.

Paper 2- Elements of crime writing involves the study of 3 literary texts: Kate Atkinson’s When Will There Be Good News? Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock and a selection of poetry by George Crabbe, Robert Browning and Oscar Wilde. Students are expected to explore how crime drives these narratives and to consider the many ways in which elements of crime are fundamentally important to the way these texts are structured. Assessment is by a 3 hour open -book examination comprised of three questions worth a total of 75 marks- 40% of A-level.

 

Non-exam assessment: Theory and independence involves the writing of two essays of 1,250 – 1,500 words on a poetry and prose text -clearly informed by the study of a Critical Anthology. Each essay will be a response to a different text and will link to a different aspect of the anthology. Both essays will be assessed by teachers, moderated by AQA and are worth a total of 50 marks- 20% of A-level.

At A2 Level there are nine lessons over a two-week period with homework set weekly. Students are expected to spend six hours per week studying outside of lessons, either reading, writing essays, responding to questions set by the teacher or preparing for presentations. Work is regularly assessed and students are given constructive feedback in order to help them progress. Students' private study is also monitored, through regular folder-checks and ongoing discussion.

This is a demanding course which requires students to read attentively and to engage with challenging texts. Students will develop their ability to analyse and evaluate texts both verbally and in writing. We encourage them to be passionate readers with a genuine love and appreciation of literature.

The course is currently taught by, Ms Lane and Ms Shanahan.

 Intervention, Revision and Enrichment

The English Department runs a weekly after-school support and intervention session for A level students, as well as some Saturday-morning revision sessions. We also offer English-related enrichment activities, including a book group and a creative writing workshop. In addition, the department organises various theatre trips, revision lectures and author visits throughout the year.

 

A2 Media Studies

Students follow the AQA Media Studies Specification. The A2 course is currently divided into two units split between internally assessed coursework (50%) and an externally assessed examination (50%).

Unit 3 –Critical Perspectives is a synoptic unit which allows students to demonstrate their holistic understanding of Media Studies. Also it will encourage student to demonstrate their understanding of wider political, social and economic contexts as well as contemporary media issues and debates.  Students will study a pre-set topic. Assessment is by a two-hour and fifteen-minute examination.

Unit 4 –Media Research and production is a synoptic unit which enables students to build on their production skills from unit 1 while developing evident and clear links between the two assessment elements.

Assessment is by a 2000 word individual investigation and a linked production artefact which demonstrates significant autonomy and understanding of media codes and conventions in their chosen platform. The production may be submitted in a number of formats-video, print, website or podcast.

Overview

During the course of their two years of study, students will be steadily introduced to media theories and begin to evaluate how various contexts and media debates impact on the contemporary media landscape. There will be a strong focus on research, production, analysis and evaluation.

At A level there are nine lessons over a two-week period, with homework set weekly. Students are expected to spend five hours per week studying outside of lessons. Work is regularly assessed and students are given constructive feedback in order to help them progress.  Students' private study is also monitored, through regular folder-checks and ongoing discussion.

This is a challenging course which requires students to steadily develop their critical autonomy in their reading of a wide range of media texts. Students will also develop an understanding of relevant cultural factors as well as the impact of globalisation on media audiences and institutions.

The course is currently taught by Miss Foley-Gilling and Ms Lane. 

Intervention, Revision and Enrichment

A level Media Studies students can avail of a weekly after-school support and intervention session, as well as some Saturday-morning revision sessions. In addition, the department organises revision lectures at various times throughout the year.