The English Department’s Vision Statement:
For every student, we foster a love of learning; we promote curiosity; we broaden horizons.
We have high expectations of ourselves and every one of our students. We offer an exciting and inspiring curriculum so all students can be stretched to achieve their full potential. The English Department has a positive atmosphere where students want to learn and want to achieve. Students are encouraged to own their own learning journey and we actively promote a love of reading both within and beyond the classroom. Across our curriculum, we include a wide range of literary and non-literary texts to enhance students’ cultural capital and develop their independent thinking. The key purpose of English at Queen Katharine Academy is to ensure that our students can use language, both spoken and written, with assurance, eloquence and precision.
Key Stage 3
In the first half term, students study ‘Adventure’ and how this theme is portrayed in fiction and non-fiction.
In the second half term, students study ‘Identity’, considering their own and that of others through a range of texts.
Students also read and discuss Private Peaceful during this term, with a focus on enjoying the reading experience, thinking about themes and characters and making predictions.
In the first half term, students explore ‘Science Fiction’ looking at a range of texts from different eras.
In the second half term, students look at ‘Travellers’ Tales’ – a travel writing unit which includes texts from a broad variety of travel writers with a broad variety of experiences in different places.
In this term, students also read and enjoy a ‘Childhood Poetry’ anthology.
In the first half term, students complete a unit that looks at the news. They look at who and what makes the news and how language is used to influence our views of the world.
In the second half term, students focus on spoken language, looking at accent and attitudes. They also look at how language has changed over time and how it is represented in literature.
To complement this work, students read selection of short stories, again with a focus on reading for pleasure and fostering a love of text.
In the first half term, students look at mystery writing, including some real life mysteries.
In the second half term, students look at ‘Words of War’ and explore how poetry helps us understand the impact of war.
With a focus on reading for pleasure, this term students read and consider ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’.
For the first half term, students study ‘Appearance and Reality’, focusing on how writers explore the differences between appearance and reality for dramatic effect.
In the second half term, students look at technology and consider its role in life and whether or not it is always beneficial. Students develop a range of skills in doing this, including persuasion, analysis and summary.
The reading for pleasure focus this term is ‘War and Fantasy’ poetry.
In the first half of this term, students look at charities and how they encourage people to support them in a range of ways. Much of this work looks at issues affecting students and the world around them and students have the opportunity to research, plan and present a case for a charity of their choice.
In the second half term, students look at ‘The power of communication’ and why words have power and influence. They look at advertising and speeches, as well as developing their own skills with words.
Alongside these units, students read ‘Of Mice and Men’ – a classic novella. The focus is again reading for pleasure and discussion of the issues raised by the text.
For the first half term, students look at horror fiction. They focus on how language is used to create spooky atmospheres and settings, as well as developing characters.
For the second half term, the theme is ‘relationships’ and how these are presented in literature.
Alongside this, students read ‘The Hunger Games’. This is very much with an emphasis on reading for pleasure.
For the first half term, students look at the theme of ‘Difference’ and how this is explored through different types of text and through art.
For the second half term, students study a unit based on ‘Choices’. They consider how text can influence the choices they make as well as the kinds of things that they may face every day.
Throughout this term, students enjoy an ‘Identity’ anthology, which looks at a range of poems, short stories, songs and magazine articles. The focus is reading for pleasure and developing cultural capital.
In the first half term, students study a unit based on ‘Business’. This involves looking at how language is used to persuade, pitch and promote and students complete a presentation in a Dragons’ Den type scenario.
In the second half term, students complete a unit that explores how technology affects how we communicate. This includes looking at expressing a viewpoint and adapting language for audience and purpose.
Throughout this term, students will read ‘Romeo and Juliet’. The focus will be enjoying the play and discussing the ideas it explores. Promoting an appreciation of Shakespeare’s work will provide an important foundation for their GCSE studies.
Key Stage 4
In the first half term, students develop their language skills, focusing on spelling and grammar and the manipulation of different sentence types for effect.
In the second half term, students develop their understanding of a range of literary forms.
The Literature focus for the term is ‘An Inspector Calls’.
In the first half term, students develop skills of information retrieval, inference, synthesis and comparison.
In the second half term, focus moves to close and detailed language analysis.
The Literature focus for the term is ‘Macbeth’.
In the first half term, students look at the impact of context upon writing.
In the second half term, students develop critical evaluation skills.
The Literature focus for the term is the poetry anthology, specifically the Power and Conflict cluster.
Students will also sit a mock exam during the second half term
The first half term focuses on how different viewpoints are presented in a range of non-fiction texts.
The second half term revisits and deepens students’ language analysis skills.
The Literature focus for the term is ‘Jekyll and Hyde’.
Students will also sit a mock exam in November.
In the first half term, students revise their writing skills, both writing to express a point of view and writing creatively. Students also revise ‘An Inspector Calls’.
In the second half term, students continue to develop their writing skills and revise ‘Macbeth’.
Students will also sit a mock exam at the beginning of the second half term.
In the Summer Term, students will revise as appropriate ahead of the external examinations, with a focus, though not exclusively, on the poetry.
GCSE English Language Specification http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700
GCSE English Literature Specification http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-literature-8702
Key Stage 5
Anyone who has not achieved a grade 4 in English Language will carry on studying the course and sitting the exam until at least a grade 4 is achieved. Students follow the AQA GCSE English Language specification (as above).
Students can study AS and A Level English Language and English Literature (B) which are both AQA specifications.
The relevant specifications and assessment overviews are as follows:
AS and A Level English Language http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/as-and-a-level/english-language-7701-7702
AS and A Level English Literature B http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/as-and-a-level/english-literature-b-7716-7717
Curriculum contact: Michelle.Stratton@qka.education or Jane.Driver@qka.education for all enquiries, or Bernadette Kirby Bernadette.firstname.lastname@example.org if your enquiry relates specifically to AS or A Level English Literature.
Subject Leader : Michelle Stratton
Second In Department : Josephine de Garis
English Teachers : Joanne Hammond, Rowena Wiseman, Holly Mulberry, Katya Gibbs, Bernadette Kirby, Josephine de Garis, Michelle O'Neill, Natalie Sim, Jeffrene Francis-Williams, Michelle Stratton.