English 

Curriculum

Through the passing on of the accumulated knowledge, culture and wisdom of previous generations to the next, we aim to develop crucial skills and empower aspirational students with a love of learning, an understanding of wider society, and the importance of their place within it.

‘Language is power, life and the instrument of culture, the instrument of domination and liberation.’ – Angela Carter

‘Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savour their songs.’ – Nelson Mandela

Aims of the English Faculty

Part of our purpose is to create socially aware citizens in line with the core principles that embody the ethos of Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School. This will be reflected in an enriching curriculum content with emphasis on topics linked to social justice plus the natural world and sustainability, and time for pupils to reflect on these issues and consider the actions they themselves might take.

For students to be able to reflect and act upon the above issues with sensitivity and empathy, we need to ensure they are equipped with a deep understanding of values, relationships, morality and identity. Through studying a rich and challenging selection of fiction and non-fiction texts under six crucial umbrella terms, we aim for students to explore complex issues regarding the self and society, evaluating key themes and their significance across a range of contexts and cultures, and applying this learning to their own lives and the impact they may have in their lifetime on shaping our world.

Our aim is for students to:

  • Articulate their knowledge, learning and ideas with passion and clarity, both verbally and in writing
  • Understand the power of language in shaping meanings
  • Acquire an awareness of the wealth of knowledge reading provides (spiritually, morally, socially and culturally)
  • Develop a desire for the pursuit of knowledge through reading and discussion with others
  • Demonstrate high standards of literacy and have access to a wide and ambitious vocabulary
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage and the culture that underpins it and make relevant links and connections to their own societies, cultures and experiences.

English Big Ideas

English Sequences

Facilities

The English Faculty has its own suite of rooms in E block, together with further accommodation in A Block. Classrooms are well equipped with ICT facilities such as projectors and multimedia equipment.

The Faculty is well resourced for texts at all Key Stages and resources are regularly reviewed and updated, making use of recommendations from staff and students.

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 builds on the skills already developed in primary schools. During these three years, students are given a wide range of experience in all aspects of English, covering the full spectrum of National Curriculum requirements.

Organisation
Classes are taught in mixed ability groups in Years 7, 8 and 9. Work is differentiated and personalized to ensure that students are both challenged and supported in their work. This ensures that they are able to make progress at all levels.

Year 7

Students will cover a range of units including the study of classic world literature; the study of Shakespeare and extracts from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’; Orwell’s classic novel ‘Animal Farm’; poetry focusing on relationships; and a detailed introduction to Biblical stories as well as writing from Ancient Greece and Rome. We also work on the development of a variety of skills such as descriptive and creative writing, writing to express an opinion and spoken language opportunities.

Assessment will involve pieces marked for reading and writing as well as some spoken language assessments. Students will also have regular literacy and spelling work.

Year 8

Students will cover the study of 19th Century short stories which will also lead into their own creative writing; a Shakespeare play from the comedies; a modern novel; non-fiction work on the theme of Power & Conflict; and a poetry unit exploring sonnets and Romanticism.

Assessment will involve pieces marked for reading and writing as well as some spoken language assessments. Students will also have regular literacy and spelling work.

Year 9

Students work on transitional units in order to prepare them for GCSE. Over the course of the year they will cover the study of seminal world literature; war poetry over time; a play by Shakespeare; a spoken language assessment; a modern drama text; and the study of 19th Century literature and context.

Assessment will involve pieces marked for reading and writing as well as some speaking and listening assessments. Students will also have regular literacy and spelling work.

Year 7 Sequence

Year 7 Overview

Year 8 Sequence

Year 8 Overview

Year 9 Sequence

Year 9 Overview

Key Stage 4

Organisation
At GCSE students are taught in mixed ability classes where the work is personalized and differentiated according to need. It is expected that all students will be entered for both English Language and English Literature.

GCSE Sequence

GCSE Sequence – Functional Skills AQA

Years 10 & 11

Students will follow the AQA English Language GCSE and AQA English Literature GCSE. These are both 100% examination assessments.

English Language
Students will prepare for two exam papers which are both worth 50% of the final GCSE. Paper 1 tests the reading of a literature fiction text and extended writing skills. Paper 2 tests the reading of non-fiction texts and extended writing skills. Students will also undertake a non-examination assessment which is a speaking and listening assessment.

Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing: External Exam – 1 hr 45 mins / 50% of GCSE / 80 marks

Section A – Reading
One literature fiction text
Four questions
40 marks
Section B – Writing
One extended writing question
40 marks
Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives: External Exam – 1 hr 45 mins / 50% of GCSE / 80 marks

Section A – Reading
One non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text
Four questions
40 marks
Section B – Writing
One extended writing question to express a viewpoint
40 marks
Spoken language: Non-examination assessment / Teacher Assessment

Presenting
Responding to questions and feedback
Use of Standard English


For English Literature
Students will prepare for two exam papers which are both worth 50% of the final GCSE. Paper 1 involves study of Shakespeare and the 19th century novel. Paper 2 tests the knowledge and understanding of a modern prose or drama text, poetry that has been studied as well as unseen poetry.

Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel: External Exam – 1 hr 30 mins / 40% of GCSE / 64 marks

Section A – Shakespeare
Write about an extract
Write about the whole play
Section B – 19th-century novel
Write about an extract
Write about the whole play
Modern texts and poetry: External Exam – 2 hrs 15 mins / 60% of GCSE / 64 marks

Section A – Modern texts
Write one essay from a choice of two questions
Section B – Poetry
Write a comparative essay on one named poem and one other from the anthology
Section C – Unseen poetry
Answer one question on an unseen poem
Answer one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem

Key Stage 5

Organisation
There are a number of ‘A’ level Literature and ‘A’ level English Language groups in Sixth Form with a wide range of students taking one or both subjects. Classes are taught by pairs of teachers for five hours per week.

Years 12 & 13

Students will follow the AQA English Language A Level, and AQA English Literature Specification B.

English Language
Students will study two components: ‘Language, the Individual and Society’ a two and a half hour exam paper which is worth 40% and ‘Language Diversity and Change’ a two and a half hour exam paper which is worth 40%. Students will also produce an investigation and a media text as coursework which is worth 20%.

English Literature
Students will study two components: ‘Literary Genres: Aspects of Tragedy or Comedy’ a two and a half hour closed book exam paper which is worth 40% and ‘Texts and Genres: Elements of Crime or Political Writing’ a two and a half hour open book exam paper which is worth 40%. Students will also produce two pieces of coursework which, combined, is worth 20%.

Extra curricular activities

The English Faculty offers a variety of extra-curricular enrichment activities.

Theatre trips: Arranged for students as and when appropriate productions arise
‘A’ Level Literature and Language: We offer opportunities for students to attend various study days at local universities. We also organise visits to conferences
Debating: When available and where time and interest permits, we run regular informal internal debates and take part in local competition.
Sponsored Readathon: Charity Fund Raising event for Year 7 students.
Buddy Readers: Supported reading for Year 7 and Year 8 students.
Film Club: Co-run by members of the English Faculty.
Writing competitions: We offer regular competitions through the year for all year groups.
World Book Day: Costume and character competition.
Harry Potter Night: A celebration of the books and films.

Teaching staff

Mrs R Allen
Ms R Benson
Ms A Bunten
Mrs S Compai
Ms J Gavin
Mrs S Glossop
Mrs R Houldsworth
Mr G Husband
Ms S Lingard (Curriculum Leader)
Mrs S Molloy
Mrs C Sanderson
Mr G Scrupps
Mrs C Tesseras
Mr I Vaughan
Miss L Watkin
Mrs E Watson
Miss N Yates

Click here to find out more about reading at DHFS

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