Miss L Evans
As a core subject, English lies at the heart of the curriculum. It develops pupils’ skills across all areas of personal and academic learning, ensuring that they have a broad and secure outlook on the world through the study of a wide range of literary and non-literary texts.
The English Department at St John Lloyd believes that learning should be entertaining, lively and fun. Our teaching attempts to reach as many pupils, and provide as much stimulus, as possible. It is regarded as a priority that we act as ambassadors for our subject, and teach with enthusiasm.
The overall aim of the English Department at our school is to develop the knowledge, understanding and ability of our pupils, to their full potential, by providing them with opportunities to develop the requirements of the English National Curriculum and the National Literacy Framework, within a broad and balanced approach to the teaching of oracy, reading and writing.
The English Department at St John Lloyd is comprised of four full-time members of staff and two Literacy support teachers. Miss Laura Evans is Head of the English Department and leads literacy development across the school. Mrs Elaine Griffiths, our school ALNco, teaches in the department and Mrs Christine Staphnill and Mr Ashley Richards also teach lessons to KS3 and 4 pupils. Mr Richards also delivers our Literacy intervention programme alongside Mrs Christine Evans and Ms Julia O’Keefe, providing Literacy support to students using the nationally recognised ‘Freshstart’ intervention package.
Our English lessons and units of work aim to ensure that students:
- read and write with confidence, enjoyment, fluency and understanding – orchestrating a range of independent strategies to self-monitor, evaluate and correct;
- develop an increasing working knowledge of Standard English;
- have an interest in words and their meanings, developing a growing working vocabulary in spoken and written forms;
- develop their powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical thinking
- are able to communicate effectively;
- understand a range of text types and genres and are able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the task or situation;
- grow in confidence as they develop their literacy skills;
- have a suitable technical vocabulary to explain their thinking, articulate responses and communicate effectively;
- gain access to all aspects of the curriculum diet;
- achieve recognised GCSE qualifications in English Language and/ or English Literature.
Key Stage 3 – (Years 7-9):
In their first three years at St John Lloyd, students refine and extend their oracy, reading and writing skills in termly units of work that lead into core assessment tasks. In Year 7 pupils begin with the ‘School Life’ unit and one of the first tasks in this programme of study challenges students to complete their own personal time capsule that will be opened in Year 11! This is always a popular and fun task to begin pupils’ English journey at St John Lloyd. As well as this unit, over the three years at Key Stage 3, pupils will study themes including ‘The Sea’, ‘Crime and Punishment and ‘Human Rights’ to name but a few of the topical and engaging new programmes of study in English and to complement their non-fiction studies, students will also read and study a range of fiction texts, including ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’, ‘Private Peaceful’, ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ and ‘Holes’.
During Key Stage 3, English studies focus heavily on PISA reading skills, which also support the preparation for the National Reading Tests each May, so that by the middle of Year 9, students are equipped to start their GCSE studies in English Language and/ or English Literature.
Key Stage 4 – (Years 10-11):
GCSE ENGLISH LANGUAGE:
GCSE English Language forms part of the compulsory core curriculum, and is therefore studied by all pupils. From September 2015, the GCSE English Language course will change and adopts a fresh, new structure and a summary of the skills involved, alongside their assessment, is provided below for parent and pupil guidance.
GCSE English Language will be assessed in the following ways:
- 80% external examination
- 20% non-examination assessment – externally verified oracy tasks
Speaking and Listening: Unit 1: (Non examination assessment)
Spoken English will be assessed by:
- An individual presentation – 10%
- A group discussion task – 10%
The Speaking and Listening aspect of the course is worth 20% of the final grade and has to be visually or orally recorded as a requirement of the examination course.
Examination units: Units 2 and 3:
Students will also be expected to sit two examination units in this subject. They require the following:
Unit 2 – Description, Narration and Exposition (40%) 2 hour exam:
Students will analyse a range of continuous and non-continuous descriptive, narrative and expositional text and respond to what they read in Section A of the paper. This part of the examination paper is worth 20% of pupils’ final grade and at the end of Section A there is also an editing task, which is one of the newest features of this revised curriculum, alongside PISA style question types, which also contribute to the modified specification from September 2015.
In Section B, which is also worth 20% of pupils’ final grade, students are required to complete a proofreading exercise and write a response to one of three styles of writing, being: description, narration or expositional. This examination is worth 40% of the final grade.
Unit 2 – Argumentation, Persuasion and Instructional (40%) 2 hour examination:
Students will analyse a range of continuous and non-continuous argumentation, persuasive and instructional text and respond to what they read in Section A of the paper. This part of the examination paper is worth 20% of pupils’ final grade and within Section A pupils will be required to respond to PISA style question types, which are a new feature of the modified specification from September 2015.
In Section B, which is also worth 20% of pupils’ final grade, students are required to complete two writing tasks – one argumentational and one persuasive, such as, for example: a letter, speech, report or review. This examination is also worth 40% of the final grade.
Control of spelling, punctuation and grammar is essential in both the written and oral components of this examination and pupils will be penalised quite heavily if written responses are not controlled effectively in this subject area.
GCSE English Literature
This is an additional course that we offer selected students. GCSE English Literature will earn candidates an extra, independent qualification and is taught in a combined manner within the KS4 GCSE English classes.
The English Literature course has also been modified for study from September 2015; 75% of the course is assessed through external examination units and 25% is gained from non-examination assessment related to study of a Shakespeare play and a series of Welsh-themed poems.
GCSE English Language is a tiered course, which means Higher Tier (A*-D grade) and Foundation Tier (C-G grade) are available for students. Pupils who study English Literature will be able to access a unitised approach to examinations.
GCSE English Literature: course outline
Students will be expected to sit two examination units and one non-examination assessment in this subject. They require the following:
Unit 1 – Prose and poetry Students will study a novel from a set text list, most likely to be that of ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck. They will analyse and respond to aspects of the text including, characters, themes and relationships. In addition to this, pupils will also complete an unseen poetry comparison within in this examination unit. This part of the course is worth 35% of the students’ final grade and is examined through a two-hour externally assessed examination.
Unit 2 – Drama and contemporary prose Students will study one play and one novel from the WJEC’s set text list. These will be ‘Heroes’ by Robert Cormier and ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J B Priestley. Pupils will also analyse and respond to aspects of the text in a similar fashion to that of Unit 1. This part of the course is worth 40% of the students’ final grade and is also assessed through a two-hour external examination in the May/ June of Year 11.
Unit 3 – Non – examination assessment: (25%) 4 hours in total
Pupils will be expected to produce two separate essay responses to:
- A generic task set by the WJEC on a Shakespeare play – contributing to 12.5% of pupils’ final grade;
- A generic task set by the WJEC on a series of poetry from the Library of Wales: anthology poetry 1900-2000. The essay response here must include comparison of at least two poems and also contributes to 12.5% of pupils’ final grade in English Literature.