KS4 now starts in year 9 to make sure that the students are very well prepared for their GCSEs.  All students will be entered for both English Language and English Literature and so will receive two grades for English.  Both subjects have two exams.  The exams are difficult but easy to predict.  There are always the same questions in the English Language exams so students can prepare well for them by completing past papers and reading lots of source material.  The hardest thing about the language exam is the timing so students should practise a lot of timed questions at home.  The literature exam involves studying three full texts and a number of poems.  Students must know the texts very well and also learn quotes since all the exams are closed book.

Year 9

 For the whole first term, year 9 students study the skills they will need for the English Language papers 1 and 2.  They learn how to read different types of fiction and non-fiction texts and begin to analyse how the writers use language and structure to achieve their purpose and reach their audience.  They will also work on creative writing and opinion writing in their first term.  In the spring term we will read the excellent ‘A View from the Bridge’ by Arthur Miller.  This used to be on the GCSE specification so is a challenging text and will help the students practise how to approach modern drama texts which they will have to in the real GCSE.  Spring finishes with an opinion writing scheme of work which will also use 19th century texts. In the summer students will look at poetry again, including some of the poems that will be seen in the GCSE exam.  The final, short scheme of work will involve reading Gothic literature extracts.

Year 10

Students will start by studying the GCSE examined text, An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley.  Students will be assessed by answering model GCSE questions that will test knowledge of characters, themes, context and author’s craft.  As with every other literature text, students will have to learn quotes since they will not be allowed the text in the exam. Students will then move onto Language Paper 2 practice, analysing non-fiction texts and writing to argue, persuade and explain.  In spring, students will move onto Language Paper 1 practice, analysing fiction texts and writing creatively.  For the summer term, students will study Macbeth which is another literature examined text.

Year 11

The year starts with students reading Jekyll and Hyde (an examined literature text).  This is a short but complex 19th century novel.  The language can be difficult but the themes and characters are engaging.  Students will have to learn quotes.  In the second half of term, students will practice Language paper 1 and 2 skills.  In spring, students will study the final literature text – the conflict poetry anthology.  This involves the study of 12 poems and unseen poetry.  Like all other literature texts, students will have to learn quotes and will tested on their ability to analyse author’s craft, context and themes.  The rest of the year will be dedicated to revision of language skills and literature tests, ready for the exams in late May / early June.