Welcome to the English Department at St Cuthbert’s.
English Language and English Literature are taught by a passionate and enthusiastic team here at St Cuthbert’s. We are dedicated to delivering engaging lessons which challenge and support children of all ages and ability.
Key Stage 3
The curriculum provided at KS3 is fundamental to the transition to KS4: the skills, ideas and expertise gained in Year 7 and 8 are designed to prepare students directly for GCSE English Language and Literature. Students will learn how to explore a range of different texts, using analytical skills and perceptive responses. They will also learn how to craft engaging writing using style, form, and voice for specific purposes and audiences.
In Year 7 students study three main topics, in which they will develop their analytical reading, essay writing and creative writing skills. The three topics covered are:
Magic and Fairytale. This includes reading a range of fairytales by The Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault and Hans Christian Anderson; reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and developing Descriptive Writing using the voice of a fairytale character.
WW1 Literature: Students will study a range of pre WW1 Propaganda Literature and non-fiction, which they will then contrast with a series of a range of post WW1 Literature and non-fiction, including the novel Private Peaceful.
Animals. Students will study a range of poetry and nonfiction sources all centered on the theme of Animals. Students will also be developing their Persuasive Writing Skills, engaging with different opinions.
In Year 8 students will again study three main topics, in which they will develop their analytical reading, essay writing and creative writing skills. The three topics covered are:
Race. Students will study a range of Literature and non-fiction exploring Racism and Race throughout the last century, including the novels Refugee Boy or Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry.
Law and Order. Students will explore a range of Crime and Detective Fiction, including; Sherlock Holmes stories and Tales of the Unexpected, eventually writing their own pieces of Creative Writing.
Evil and Dark Magic. Students will explore a range of Literature, non-fiction and documentaries exploring the views of evil and magic since the 16th Century, including; The Tempest, Witch Child, Daemonologie and Harry Potter, eventually writing their own pieces of Persuasive Writing linked to this theme.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 students will study two GCSEs using the AQA specification: English Language and English Literature.
The GCSE will develop the skills embedded in KS3. The new GCSEs are highly demanding and place a large emphasis on memorising texts and being able to cope under tight time constraints. At St Cuthbert’s we have a well-designed curriculum of spiral and mastery which supports students as they develop their own strategies for Revision. We teach skills in Year 7 to 10 and then revisit texts and skills in Year 11 to ensure that students are well prepared for their four exams in Year 11.
For English Language, students will cover a range of reading and writing skills, including analysis of language and structure and critical evaluation. Students will be required to be able to write in different forms and purposes, whilst demonstrating accuracy and clarity.
Paper 1- Explorations in Creative Writing and Reading
Section A: Reading- based on one Literature fiction text.
Section B: Writing- descriptive or narrative writing.
Written exam assessment- 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Paper 2- Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives
Section A: Reading- one non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text.
Section B: Writing- persuasive writing.
Written exam assessment- 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Non examination Assessment- Spoken Language
Whilst studying for their English Literature GCSE, students will explore the play ‘Macbeth’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’ or ‘Frankenstein’ to complete Paper 1 requirements. For Paper 2, students will explore a Modern Novel (usually ‘An Inspector Calls’) and an anthology of poetry based on Power and Conflict. Students will then be expected to answer a section on Unseen Poetry, to demonstrate analytical skills.
Paper 1- Shakespeare and the 19th Century
Section A Shakespeare: students will answer one question on their play of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole.
Section B The 19th-century novel: students will answer one question on their novel of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole.
Written exam 1 hour and 45 minutes
Paper 2- Modern Texts and Poetry
Section A Modern texts: students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text.
Section B Poetry: students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster.
Section C Unseen poetry: Students will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.
Written exam 2 hours 15 minutes
How the subject prepares students for life
The English Curriculum at St Cuthbert’s will provide students with the essential learning skills of literacy and the ability to communicate well in a range of ways.
We strive to encourage our students to be creative and resourceful thinkers, where they are able to solve problems. English students have enquiring minds and are able to think for themselves to process information, reason, question and evaluate.
They understand how they learn and learn from their mistakes be able to learn independently and with others. It is taught how to know about big ideas and events that shape our world, whilst enjoy learning.
The English Department hope to motivate students to achieve the best they can now and in the future.