English

Head of Department:

Miss L Green

Subject Overview:

The English Department at New Line Learning Academy strives for excellence in all aspects, from student experience to classroom practice. The team consists of enthusiastic, hard-working and dedicated staff, who aim to help every child to reach their full potential; we are committed to ensuring that students leave us with a developed skill set, and a sense of pride in what they have achieved in the subject.

In English, we aim to deliver an outstanding programme of study for every student, in every year group; we believe that this develops our students into independent and creative learners, and provides them with a working ethos which will allow them to flourish in any future endeavour.

We aspire to ensure that every learner:

  • becomes a creative and driven individual, who is supported in making excellent progress in the subject;
  • has a heightened cultural awareness, which they can apply to non-educational environments;
  • has the ability to communicate effectively (both verbally and in written forms), and can collaborate with a range of individuals to achieve a desired outcome.

The department covers a diverse range of texts and skills in each year group, in order to supply students with a programme of study which challenges, inspires and motivates them.

Key Stage 3 

Key Stage 3 Overview: 

The sets which students are placed in at KS3 are informed by KS2 data and baseline testing which takes place upon their entry. At KS3, students will partake in a minimum of four hours of English a week. They are assessed fortnightly on the skills they are developing during lessons, in order to provide a rigorous assessment model, in addition to a well-informed view of how students are progressing.

Fundamental to the progression of students’ skills is the curriculum which the department deliver to them. In order to best prepare students for the demands of the GCSE programme of study in KS4, we take an ambitious approach with our chosen texts at KS3, meaning that students will be exposed to challenging reading material from the time that they join us. We aim to foster a love of both reading and writing in the students, through using innovative and creative teaching methods.

Year 7:

Over the course of Year 7, students will engage in the study of a variety of texts, whilst developing their reading, writing and communicative skills, through their interaction with both themed and text-based units of work. Beginning their journey in English, students will study the concept of heroes and villains, creating their perfect hero and villain, informed by the study of these archetypal characters over time. As the year progresses, students will complete the study of 21st century whole texts, explore extracts from challenging texts ranging from Shakespeare to Dickens, and create their own novella. Each unit of work is carefully chosen; tasks will develop the skills embedded in the primary curriculum, whilst encompassing skills which students will need to develop prior to their entry into KS4. Students will encounter a range of reading and writing tasks, with an aim to develop: reading for meaning and inference, the close analysis of a writer’s techniques, and narrative and transnational writing skills. Accompanying each unit of work will be a home learning project, with students choosing from a range of tasks which they will then collate and hand in at the end of the term. These tasks will build upon the knowledge and skill-sets acquired across the year. 

Year 8:

In Year 8, we aim to provide the students with the foundations to excel in all aspects when they are met with the challenging content of the GCSE examinations. Moving into Year 8, students will engage with units of work which further establish the skills acquired in the previous year. The students will begin the year with a challenging Gothic unit of work, creating their own Gothic narratives, and studying extracts from famous Victorian literary figures. As the year progresses, students will partake in the study of challenging whole texts found in the GCSE examinations- such as A Christmas Carol and Romeo and Juliet- in order that they are well-equipped with a knowledge of themes, contexts and characterisation, ready to embark upon their study in KS4. Students will develop their communicative skills when they become chat show hosts, and interview the Montagues and the Capulets on their longstanding feud. The year also involves the development of the more challenging aspects of reading, such as comparative work and evaluation. Home learning will involve students engaging with a range of chosen tasks, linked to the studied unit of work, and creating a final project to be handed in at the end of each term.

Year 9:

Upon their entry into Year 9, students at New Line Learning Academy will begin their study of the GCSE content. A holistic approach is applied to the teaching of this year group; the outcome being that students will have encountered all of the texts which appear in their English Literature GCSE, whilst also progressing with the skills necessary for the English Language GCSE through their study of these texts. Students will build upon their prior skill set, whilst further exploring key texts such as Romeo and Juliet, Journey’s End and Conflict Poetry. Through much of the GCSE content being engaged with in this year, it allows for students to have a thorough and in depth knowledge of key texts by the time they reach Year 11; thereby increasing their preparedness and confidence with the examinations. In order to continue to nurture an enjoyment of reading, students will study texts through a range of methods, with the inclusion of dramatic readings, and spoken language presentations.

Assessment at Key Stage 3:

Students in KS3 will be summatively assessed on a fortnightly basis. Students will complete an assessment based on the key skills which they have been taught leading up to the assessment date. They will then receive timely, focused feedback from the classroom teacher, which identifies their strengths and areas for development. Students will then engage in a redrafting session, which allows them to hone their skills and use the feedback provided to them to further develop. The assessment outcomes are used to inform each report cycle, allowing caregivers the assurance that each child’s progress is being closely monitored.

Key Stage 4 

Key Stage 4 Overview:

The Key Stage 4 programme of study at New Line Learning Academy entails the in-depth deconstruction of all key texts which feature in the GCSE examinations, (with students already having a firm knowledge-base of specified texts) and the revisiting of key skills and exam techniques. Students are carefully set in each year, meaning that they can be appropriately challenged and prepared for their examinations by their teacher. The curriculum focuses on the new linear 9-1 examinations as prescribed by the government.

Years 10 and 11:

Students follow the Edexcel GCSE syllabus for both English Literature and English Language. The course content is as follows:

GCSE Language

Paper 1: Fiction and Imaginative Writing

  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • The paper is worth 40% of the English Language GCSE.
  • Students will receive one 19th century fiction extract with four reading questions.
  • Students will complete one imaginative writing task.
  • Skills will involve: retrieving information, identifying devices employed by a writer, explaining and analysing a text, evaluating a text, and writing for purpose.

Paper 2: Non-Fiction and Transactional Writing

  • 2 hours long.
  • The paper is worth 60% of the English Language GCSE.
  • Students will receive two non-fiction extracts with seven reading questions.
  • Students will complete one transactional writing task. This will be based upon advising, informing, or persuading.
  • Skills will involve: retrieving information, identifying devices employed by a writer, explaining and analysing a text, evaluating a text, comparing texts and writing for purpose.

GCSE Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and and Post-1914 Literature

  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Section A: Romeo and Juliet: Students will complete an analysis of an extract from the play, and then answer a question based on the rest of the text.
  • Section B: Journey’s End: Students will answer a question based on the whole text.

Paper 2: 19th-century Novel and Poetry since 1789

  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Section A: A Christmas Carol: Students will complete an analysis of an extract from the play, and then answer a question based on the rest of the text.
  • Section B: Conflict Poetry and Unseen Poetry: Students will complete an analytical comparison of two seen poems from the Conflict section of the poetry anthology and the an analytical comparison of two unseen poems

Assessment at Key Stage 4:

Students will be summatively assessed every fortnight using exam questions linked to the topic of study in each term. Once fully prepared, students will them sit a prepublic exam, which can be used to inform further teaching prior to the GCSE examinations. Students will then receive timely, focused feedback from the classroom teacher, which identifies their strengths and areas for development. Students will then engage in a redrafting session, which allows them to hone their skills and use the feedback provided to them to further develop in each assessed area.