Porthcawl Comprehensive School / Ysgol Gyfun Porthcawl

English

News from the English Department

Pupil Grouping September 2017

Key Stage 3

Year 7 mixed ability groups
Year 8 mixed ability groups
Year 9 mixed ability groups

(Common assessments and programmes of study for all KS3 groups)

Key Stage 4

Year 10 all pupils will follow an English Language only pathway.

Please note that the new GCSE Language examination is untiered. The traditional 'higher' and 'foundation' tiers have been replaced with one common paper for all. Therefore, all GCSE pupils will sit the same Language paper. They can achieve grades A*,A,B,C,D,E,F,G,U. Grades A*-G = pass at GCSE. U = fail / unclassified. A grade C or higher is often favoured by employers, colleges and is usually the requirement for sixth form entry.

Year 11 Literature classes will consist of a top band of 60 pupils who achieved the highest UMS scores in the GCSE Language examinations this summer. Remaining pupils who passed GCSE Language will be taught in one of four literature classes.

Information regarding resit options to follow.

Mrs R Mahoney

Key Stage 3

The new courses at Key Stage 3 have been designed to build our pupils' skills in preparation for the radical change in style of the new GCSE from 2017. Pupils follow the English National Curriculum through their termly schemes of work and all assessments mirror the types of tasks set for GCSE Language and Literature papers. These also reflect the international PISA tests.

Year 7, 8 and 9 will complete a range of assessments over the year (in Writing, Reading and Oracy). Schemes of work will follow a theme-based approach and this year's key themes are:

Year 7

  • Autumn Term 1

    Pupils will study a wide range of poetry and song lyrics to introduce them to terminology that they will use throughout their school career. They will undertake the writing of songs or poetry also.

  • Autumn Term 2 / Spring Term 1

    Pupils will study 'Wonder', a book which introduces them to many current topics including the treatment of those with disfigurements. This is a Triple Literacy project; activities will take place later in the year in French and German on this book.

  • Spring Term 2 - NRT Preparation

    The NRT tests mirror the GCSE Language exam closely. For this reason, we thoroughly prepare our pupils for them by dedicating a half term to teaching the question types and the best ways to approach them.

  • Summer Term 1 - Superhuman

    Pupils will be studying our planet, human behaviour and exploring a dystopian future. Pupils will create their own description of a dystopian setting.

  • Summer Term 2 - C.S.I. Scientific and Digital Literacy Project

    This is a Crime Scene Investigation project. It is a Scientific Literacy Collaborative Project where pupils will be solving a ‘murder' that has taken place on school grounds. The suspects are shockingly familiar to the pupils!

All pupils will have a reading booklet to monitor their reading. All pupils will have spelling tests and complete regular writing and proofreading tasks.

Ways in which parents can help:

  1. Ensure pupils are completing H/W tasks.
  2. Encourage reading at home - novels, newspapers, magazines ... a variety is the key.
  3. Check over pupils' homework in all subjects and talk over any weaknesses in general literacy with them.

Exams will be set during exam week.

Year 8

Schemes of work will follow a theme-based approach and this year's key themes and core assessments for Year 8 are:

  • Autumn Term - GOTHIC
    • Writing: News Report on ‘The Woman in Black'
    • Reading: Reading Assessment – gothic texts
    • Oracy: Pair task - ghosts
  • Spring Term - DYSTOPIA
    • Writing: Narrative. Writing Dystopian Opening Chapter
    • Reading: Delirium Passage Analysis
    • Oracy: Individual Presentation
  • Summer Term - WAR
    • Writing: Letter linked to ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas'
    • Reading: Mock National Reading Test
    • Oracy: Project based learning. ‘Dragons' Den'

Ways in which parents can help:

  1. Ensure pupils are completing H/W tasks.
  2. Encourage reading at home - novels, newspapers, magazines ... a variety is the key.
  3. Check over pupils' homework in all subjects and talk over any weaknesses in general literacy with them.

Exams will be set during exam week.

Year 9

Schemes of work will follow a theme-based approach and this year's key themes and core assessments for Year 9s are:

  • Autumn Term - POSSIBLE FUTURES THEME
    • Writing: Exposition Essay
    • Reading: Assessed Synthesis to SHARK texts
    • Oracy: Group Task
  • Spring Term - ROMEO & JULIET/TEENAGE ANGST
    • Writing: Letter
    • Reading: GCSE Reading Approaches
    • Oracy: Pair task on 'Gangs' text
  • Summer Term - Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
    • Writing: Argumentation Essay
    • Reading: GCSE-style test
    • Oracy: Charity pitch, individual presentation

Ways in which parents can help:

  1. Ensure that pupils prepare for assessments and spelling tests.
  2. Encourage reading of a range of material - novels, non-fiction, magazines and newspapers.
  3. Check though homework in all subjects and help correct errors in general literacy.

Useful Websites

  1. BBC Learning
  2. Dyslexia Parent

Exams will be set during exam week.

Key Stage 4

English GCSE

All pupils study English Language and English Literature at KS4. Skills are assessed in terms of Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, so you will be offered a breadth of experiences in these areas to enable you to develop these essential skills throughout Years 10 and 11.

You will be helped to develop your spoken and written English and you will be encouraged to read widely.

Assessment – GCSE

English Language
  • 2 x 2 hour exams
  • 2 x controlled assessments
GCSE English Literature
  • 2 x 2 hour exams
  • 1 x controlled assessment

You will study a range of poetry, plays and novels in depth for your literature exam and a whole range of interesting, challenging texts for your language study. There is also a firm focus upon spoken language.

Most successful GCSE pupils will receive two separate awards; one for English Language and one for English Literature.

English is a core subject, studied by all students in Key Stage 4. If you have any questions, see your English teacher.

GCSE English Parents' Guide

Key Stage 5

English Language and Literature

Course Details

Qualification Level: AS & A Level
Awarding Body: WJEC
QAN Ref. No. - AS Level: 601/5404/4
QAN Ref. No. - A Level: 601/5388/X


Course Content

This exciting course encourages students to develop their interest and enjoyment of English as they engage creatively and critically with a wide range of texts. Pupils will learn how language choices shape meaning and will understand the significance of contextual factors in the production and reception of texts. The course will not only enhance students' appreciation of other people's writing, but will also help them to write more effectively and accurately for a wide variety of purposes.


Assessment Procedure

AS Level

Unit 1 Comparative Analysis and Creative Writing (Closed book)
Written examination: 2 hours - 20% of qualification

  • One question requiring a comparative analysis of a poem from the anthology (pre 1914) and an unseen text.
  • One creative writing question. (One writing "spoken language" task and a commentary).

Unit 2 Drama and Non-Literary Study (Open book, clean copy)
Written examination: 2 hours - 20% of qualification

  • Post 1900 drama, e.g. Tennessee Williams 'A Streetcar Named Desire' or 'Shakespeare in Love' Norman & Stoppard.
  • Non-Literary text study e.g. prose text, e.g. 'Once in a House on Fire' Andrea Ashworth.

A Level

Unit 3 Shakespeare (exam)
e.g. King Lear or Othello.

Unit 4 Prose Studying (exam)
e.g. 'The Color Purple' (Walker), or 'Great Expectations' (Dickens), or 'The Handmaid's Tale' (Atwood).

Unit 5 Genre Study and Related Creative Writing
e.g. Gothic fiction, dystopia, war/conflict etc.


Entry Requirements

C Grade or higher in both English Language and English Literature at GCSE. An interest in language and literature is crucial. Robust GCSE grades and a willingness to read widely.


Progression

Good skills in English allow access to a wide range of careers in English, the Arts, Media and Social Sciences etc. Career opportunities include journalism, broadcasting, communications management, teaching, law and many others.



English Literature

Course Details

Qualification Level: AS & A Level
Awarding Body: WJEC
QAN Ref. No. - AS Level: 601/5405/6
QAN Ref. No. - A Level: 601/5389/1


Course Content

This course is for those who have a genuine passion for reading and engaging with texts written by some of the best creative minds of the literary world. It provides you with an introduction to the discipline of advanced literary studies and presents opportunities for reading widely and for making creative and informed responses to each of the major literary genres of poetry, prose and drama. Class discussion is lively and enjoyable and you will be studying, in some detail, the language and style of a range of interesting texts, as well as the contextual factors which shaped the writing of them.


Assessment Procedure

AS Unit 1 Prose and Drama (closed-book)
  • One extract question and one essay, from a choice of two based on a prose text e.g. Jane Eyre
  • One essay question from a choice of two based on the study of a play e.g. Doctor Faustus
AS Unit 2 Poetry Post-1900 (open-book, clean copy)
  • One question based on a critical analysis of a poem which will have been studied as part of your prescribed set texts e.g. Duffy's 'Mean Time' and Larkin's 'Whitsun Weddings'
  • One question requiring a comparison of the two poets studied for the course

A2 Unit 3 Poetry pre-1900 and Unseen Poetry (open-book, clean copy)
  • One extract and one essay question based on the study of a selected pre 1900 poet e.g. John Donne
  • One essay question on a selection of unseen poems
A2 Unit 4 Shakespeare (closed-book)
  • One essay and one extract question on a selected Shakespeare text e.g. King Lear
A2 Unit 5 Prose Study (Non-exam assessment: 2500-3500 word assignment)
  • 2500-3500 word assignment based on the reading of two prose texts by different authors, one published pre-2000 and the other published post-2000.

Entry Requirements

B Grade or higher in both Language and Literature at GCSE. An interest in reading is crucial, as well as the ability to write clearly and thoughtfully at length in response to what you have read.


Progression

This specification extends GCSE Literature studies in breadth and depth, further developing learners' ability to analyse, evaluate and make connections. In so doing, this specification provides a suitable foundation for the study of English literature or a related area through a range of higher education courses, progression to the next level of vocational qualifications or employment. In addition, this specification provides a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study for learners who do not progress to further study in this subject.

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