Year 9

In year 9, students will study the following:

Autumn Term:

Dystopias: Describing and Narrating – Exploration of the genre of dystopian fiction, exploring the conventions and contexts. Students will study a range of extracts to explore the development of the genre over time and experiment in their own writing. Key Assessment – Timed directed writing – describing and narrating.

Animal Farm: Studying the Novel Leadership- Study of a substantial prose text in full, exploring meanings, characterisation and context. Skills in close reading of extracts as well as exploring the significance of extracts in terms of the whole text will be developed. Key Assessment – Timed analysis questions on extracts from set text and unseen.

Spring Term:

Language & Power: Rhetoric – Study of the power of language to change the world, focusing on the political and the personal with a range of texts and extracts to inform students’ writing. Completion of presentations and Q&A on chosen topic. Key Assessment – Timed directed writing (argue and persuade) and GCSE Spoken Non-exam Assessed task practice.

Literary Reading: Villains in Literature – Study of the Shakespeare play Macbeth in terms of context, character and theme. Students study the whole play in conjunction with a range of texts and extracts presenting other arguably villainous characters. Key Assessment – Timed essay analysis of Macbeth & wider reading

Summer Term:

Strong Feelings: Knowledge of Poetic Forms – Developing knowledge and skills in exploring poetry across time, focusing particularly on key forms such as the sonnet, monologues and free verse. Studying key poems preparing for GCSE English Literature. Key Assessment – Timed essay and short answers analysing prepared and unseen poems.

Spoken Language Assessment – Researching, drafting and performing individual speeches for an audience on a topic of your choice. Key Assessment – GCSE Spoken Non-exam Assessed task.

End of Year Exam – Exam covering key elements of the course studied throughout the year.

Year 10 and 11
Course GCSE English Language, GCSE English Literature
Exam Board/Syllabus

English Language – AQA Syllabus 8700

English Literature – AQA Syllabus 8702

Grade Equivalences 9 to 1
Hours Taught (per cycle) 8 hours
Assessment Route

100% Examination and Separate Endorsement for Spoken Language

English Language – 2 written papers of 1 hr 45 mins each

English Literature – 2 written papers, one of 1 hr 45 mins and the other 2 hrs 15 mins

In Year 10 students will study the following:

Autumn Term:

1) 19th Century Novel (GCSE Literature Paper 1 Section B) – Study of 19th century prose text. ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ or ‘A Christmas Carol’.

(Assessment – Analysis of an extract from the set text – Closed book 50 minutes)

2) ‘Rich and Poor’: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (GCSE Language Paper 2) –

READING – Texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st century will be explored, around the theme of ‘Rich and Poor’ to complement the study of the 19th century novel. Writing from specific viewpoints from the 19th – 21st century including editorial, polemic speeches, campaign materials and political treatise is explored.

WRITING – Writing to argue and debate. Constructing texts for designated purposes and audiences and exploring methods and devices to construct effective arguments.

(Assessment – Analysis and comparison of texts – Unseen texts 1 hour)

Spring Term:
1) Shakespeare (GCSE Literature Paper 1 Section A) – Study of a Shakespeare play: Romeo and Juliet or The Merchant of Venice.

Exploration of the whole play will cover: plot development and structure; characterisation and theme; and relevant social and historical contexts. At GCSE, students will be expected to respond to a question on an extract taken from anywhere in the text, analysing the extract alone and in the context of the play as a whole.

The choice of text for each group is emailed to parents prior to study.

(Assessment – Exploration of an extract from the Shakespeare play – Prepared extract 55 minutes)

2) ‘Love and Conflict’: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (GCSE Language Paper 1) –

READING – Students explore and analyse fiction extracts in preparation for unseen extracts in examination from 20th century writing, though examples from both 19th and 21st century will be considered.

WRITING – Responding creatively to stimuli to inform writing to describe. Revision of techniques and experimentation with different features to engage.

(Assessment – GCSE Language Paper 1 Section A – Analysis and interpretation of texts. Unseen texts – 1 hour)

Summer Term:

1) Revision of topics for mock examinations – Shakespeare, 19th century novel and Paper 2 Language.

LITERATURE – Study of a set collections of poetry for which an anthology is provided by the exam board. Texts are connected by theme and explored in their own contexts and in conjunction with each other. Unseen skills are developed and interpreting skills are the key focus.

(Mock Exam – GCSE Literature Paper 1A and B – Shakespeare extract question – unprepared, 19th century prose extract question – unprepared – Closed book 1 hour 45 minutes)

(Mock Exam – GCSE Language Paper 2A and B – Full paper: Analysis and comparison of two unseen texts, linked by theme, followed by a related set writing task – argue/persuade. 1 hour 45 minutes)

2) Spoken Language – Non-exam assessed.

SPEAKING – Students plan, prepare and deliver individual presentations on a topic of their choice for this compulsory, non-exam assessed unit. Presentations must demonstrate the ability to listen and respond to questions and the use of standard English. Students will draw on their knowledge of conventions of speech-writing and debate.

(Assessment – Individual presentations and subsequent Q&A sessions: Pass, Merit or Distinction)


Poetry (Anthology): Power and Conflict – Remaining poems and unseen poetry.

Remaining GCSE Power and Conflict poems will be studied, exploring connections and comparisons, as well as the ability to interpret unseen poetry in examination conditions.

In Year 11 students will study the following:

Autumn Term:

1) Modern Texts and Shakespeare – Reading and exploring a modern (20th/21st century) set text. Analysis of the effects of writer’s choices and the influence of relevant contextual factors such as historical setting, biographical information and social and political developments.

The choice of text for each group is emailed to parents

2) Revision of Power and Conflict poetry and unseen skills.

(Mock Exam – GCSE Literature Paper 2A, B & C – Modern Text – Discursive essay, Poetry comparison, Unseen and comparison – Closed book 2 hours 15 minutes)

3) Explorations in Creative Reading & Writing

READING – Exploring and analysing fiction extracts in preparation for unseen extracts in the examination. Texts are likely to be taken from 20th century writing, although examples from both 19th and 21st century will be considered.

WRITING – Responding creatively to stimuli to inform writing to describe. Revision of techniques and experimentation with different features to engage.

(Mock Exam – GCSE Language Paper 1A & B – Unseen extract analysis, narrative and descriptive writing – 1 hour 45 minutes)

Spring and Summer Term:

Revision – content determined according to needs of students.

(Assessment – practice exam papers according to student need)

Additional Information

Teaching groups are set according to ability and prior attainment so that work can be carried out at a level most suited to the individual student. Our aim is for the students to enjoy their studies and to work at an appropriate pace. All students will follow the same curriculum. Student progress will be monitored over the course of the GCSE to ensure that they are appropriately challenged.


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