English

Curriculum Intent

Blenheim English Department aims to provide a curriculum that enables students to approach the study of literature through the lens of historicism, encouraging the independent study of a range of texts within a shared context, giving logic and meaning to the way that texts are grouped for study.

This unifying approach facilitates the inclusion of a range of wider reading, thus extending students’ experience and appreciation of literature.

In Language and Literature students engage creatively and independently with a variety of spoken, written and multi-modal texts. Designed with a focus on the integration of language and literature, these specifications enable students to see how linguistic and literary methods are related and to explore these links in their work.

Offering clear progression from GCSE, these courses allow students to build on the skills and knowledge already gained and prepare for their next steps.

The variety of assessment styles used, such as passage-based questions, unseen material, single text questions, multiple-text questions, open- and closed-book approaches allows students to develop a wide range of skills, such as the ability to read critically, analyse, evaluate and undertake independent research which are valuable for both further study and future employment.

English teachers at Blenheim believe that English is vital for communicating with others in school and in the wider world, and is fundamental to learning in all curriculum subjects. In studying English, teachers promote the development of skills in speaking; listening, reading and writing that students will need to participate in society and employment. Students learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others confidently and effectively.

We also believe that Literature in English is rich and influential. It reflects the experiences of people from many countries and times and contributes to our sense of cultural identity. We encourage students to learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts, gaining access to the pleasure and world of knowledge that reading offers.

Studying the patterns, structures, origins and conventions of English helps students understand how language works. Through the application of this understanding, students can choose and adapt what they say and write in different situations, as well as appreciate and interpret the choices made by other writers and speakers.

We aim to develop such skills through the provision of a progressive curriculum that is engaging, stimulating and builds on these skills cumulatively through planned modules that enable students to achieve of their best.
 

Facilities

  • The Department is centrally located in its own suite of rooms
  • Each room is fitted with an interactive white board, networked computer and projector
  • The department has its own team room with networked computers and a printer
  • There is a `follow you` photocopier/printer located centrally in the English corridor linked to the network
  • The department has a shared area on the computer network where schemes of work and electronic resources are stored.
  • The department has a range of text and media resources
  • The department has use of a well-resourced Library, where students regular reading lessons
  • The department has access to computer rooms and makes regular use of iPads throughout lessons.

School Trips

A number of school visits are arranged throughout the course of the year for all key stages. Theatre trips, and in house performances are some of the exciting opportunities.

Useful Links

https://app.bedrocklearning.org/

www.GCSEpod.com

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ks3bitesize/

www.sparknotes.com

A level English Literature

Course Outline

A-Level English Literature introduces students to a wide range of texts from across 
the literary canon. The curriculum fosters a love of reading and provides them with 
the skills to apply critical readings as well as historical and cultural contexts to a 
range of different genres of texts. Pupils will be expected to show a willingness to 
read independently and engage in wider reading. Lessons include debate and discussions and students are encouraged to voice their ideas and opinions. The course is ideal for anyone who enjoys critically and imaginatively engaging with texts.


A level English Literature

A level students sit two exams for English Literature. Their first exam Love Through the Ages comprises Shakespeare’s Othello; a comparison of pre-1900 poetry with Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca; and a comparison of two unseen poems. In their second exam Texts in Modern Contexts 1945-Present, students explore a range of Literature from 1945 to the present day for which they study Feminine Gospels, a collection of poetry by Carol Ann Duffy; a comparison of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire with Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Pupils will also need to respond to an unseen extract from the contemporary period. At the end of Year 12 and the beginning of Year 13 students write their coursework: an independent study and comparison of two literary texts on a topic of their choosing.

Link to course specification

The skills students develop:

The specification will enable candidates to:

  • Express themselves powerfully and imaginatively;
  • Engage critically with a range of texts;
  • Create and write sophisticated arguments in response to texts;
  • Apply multiple interpretations and critical readings to texts;
  • Develop and apply contextual references to their arguments;
  • Use reading skills to develop their written work;
  • Explore a wide range plays, poetry and prose across time

Assessment 

Exam (3 hrs)

Love through the ages

40% of the

qualification

Exam (2.5 hrs)

Texts in shared contexts

40% of the

qualification

Non exam 

assessment

Independent critical study: texts across time

20% of the

qualification

Enrichment Opportunities

Students are encouraged to participate in trips to the theatre, study days at universities and a reading group to support independent learning and reading for their wider reading ad study of literature beyond course set texts.

The team run a number of additional revision sessions for students to come and develop their English skills in a more informal context.  

Progression

English Literature is well-respected as a course which develops skills in arguing a case, developing independent thinking and preparing students for becoming sophisticated communicators. The reading, research, essay writing and analytical skills developed through the course support a wide range of university courses. English is good for any job that involves communication, writing and/or literary knowledge. These include: advertising, marketing, writing and journalism, law, consultancy, business, teaching, performing arts, academia, government, linguistics, foreign languages, media and design. Careers in the sciences, engineering, technology and maths also need more English than you think. Writing proposals, academic papers & articles and communicating with others is key to getting funding for projects. 

A level English Literature and Language

Course Details

The two year course focuses on the study of literature and linguistics from both the past and the present, covering a range of poetry, prose and drama. 

A Level students sit two exams for A Level Language and Literature. 

Paper 1: Telling Stories focuses on how stories are presented; how language choices shape representations of worlds and perspectives and why people tell stories. For this paper, students study an AQA Anthology of texts on Paris; Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones; and poetry by Robert Browning.

Paper 2: Exploring Conflict students study F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Tennessee William’s A Street Car Named Desire. At the end of Year 12 and the beginning of Year 13 students complete their coursework in which they undertake a personal investigation that explores a specific technique or theme in both literary and non-literary discourse.

Link to course specification

The skills students develop:

The specification will enable candidates to:

  • Express themselves powerfully and imaginatively;
  • Engage critically with a range of texts;
  • Create and write sophisticated arguments in response to texts;
  • Apply multiple interpretations and critical readings to texts;
  • Develop and apply contextual references to their arguments;
  • Use reading skills to develop their written work;
  • Explore a wider range of fiction and nonfiction texts

Assessment

Exam board - AQA

Exam (3 hrs)

Telling Stories. Open book only for section C

40% of the

qualification

Exam (2.5 hrs)

Exploring Conflict. Open book exam.

40% of the

qualification

Non exam assessment

2500 word independent critical study

20% of the

qualification

Enrichment opportunities

This takes the form of reading, guided research, collecting data, analysing texts using specific linguistic methods and composing original pieces to prepare for coursework. Trips will be offered to university lectures and the theatre as suitable opportunity arises. Students are expected to work independently and read widely around the topics they are studying. There is a KS5 reading group that runs after school and supports wider reading

Progression

The reading, research, essay writing and analytical skills developed through the course support a wide range of university courses. English is good for any job that involves communication, writing and/or literary knowledge. Employment opportunities include: advertising, marketing, writing and journalism, law, consultancy, business, teaching, performing arts, academia, government, linguistics, foreign languages, media and design. Careers in the sciences, engineering, technology and maths also need competent English skills. Writing proposals, academic papers & articles and communicating with others is key to acquiring funding for projects and reaching people with your work

 

Bronze School Mental Health Award