In Year 10 all students build on the skills developed in KS3 as they embark on a two year course leading to separate qualifications in GCSE English Language, English Literature. Students are also awarded a Spoken Language accreditation as part of their study of the English Language course.
In ENGLISH LANGUAGE, students are examined at the end of the course on their response to literary and non-fiction texts, as well as their ability to write in a variety of styles, both imaginative and transactional. Students are required to show their understanding of writers’ aims and methods, as well as their knowledge of English Grammar and then to employ some of these methods and correct grammar in their own writing. We feel that in order to be successful writers, our students need to view themselves as such. Students in KS4 have once weekly ‘Developing Writing’ lessons. Here, as in Key Stage 3, a wide range of ‘mentor texts’ are used to inspire students’ own writing. By the end of the key stage, we feel that our pupils should have a full understanding of the range of literary styles, devices and structures that are available to them and to be able to utilise these as they move forward in both their academic and professional lives.
The ENGLISH LITERATURE course requires pupils to show their skills of comparison, analysis, evaluation and awareness of context. In order to achieve this, pupils study three texts for examination, including a play by Shakespeare, as well as a selection of theme-based poetry from an anthology produced by the exam board. The department strives to ensure our students are thoughtful and critical readers of texts with the ability to put forward their own interpretations and evaluate those of others; their classmates, teachers and academics included. Continuing on from the department’s work in KS3 where we have sought to diversify the range of literature that students are taught, in 2021-22 we will be taking part in Edexcel’s Lit in Colour project.
Students’ ability to articulate their views verbally continues to be an essential part of the KS4 course. As students’ develop the sophistication of their ideas we continue to support them in their ability to articulate these clearly and confidently through extended class discussion, group work and individual presentations. At the end of the course, students are assessed on their public speaking skills through their delivery of a speech.