Welcome to the English / Drama Department

Meet Our Staff

  • Miss E Griffiths (Head of Department)
  • Mrs S Wills (2nd in Department)
  • Mr G Daly (KS4 Co-ordinator)
  • Mrs H Lally (KS5 Co-ordinator)
  • Mr K McCormick (Head of Drama)
  • Miss H Mangan (Literacy Co-ordinator)
  • Miss C Roberts
  • Mrs J Brown
  • Mr J Scott
  • Miss H Mercer
  • Miss S Fahy

Teaching Assistants

  • Mrs C Elder
  • Mrs C Doran

Aims and Objectives of the Department

  • Our fundamental aim as a department is to embolden our students' love of literature and writing in an inspirational and dynamic way.
  • We centralise around our departmental ethos, "Inspire, Enthuse and Achieve," to ensure we promote positive and reflective experiences of learning in this vital subject.
  • We are fortunate to have 11 members of teaching staff and 2 teaching assistants within the department, all of whom embrace the subject with the passion and enthusiasm it requires to enable students' to flourish in this curriculum area.
  • Our aim is to give students individual targets, dependent on their ability and support them through the course of the academic year in achieving this. Each half term we will formally assess our students and review their progress.
  • The department runs a personalised intervention programme, to enable all students to make their expected progress in this subject.

Key Stage 3

  • At KS3 we have a wide selection of literature in place to encourage students’ love of reading, which we explore in depth as well as exploring the varied literary heritage of the novel.  Students acquire a breath of competent skills in understanding grammar, as well as learning to adapt their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences in written format and spoken English.
  • At KS3, students undertake 6 units throughout the course of the academic year.  Three units focus on reading in depth and developing the skills in interpreting and analysing texts such as: prose, poetry and plays and three units focus around the varying writing styles and analysis.  Embedded throughout the course of the programmes of study are the conventions of spoken language and applying grammar skills effectively and accurately.

The selection of texts studied at KS3 are as follows:
Year 7

  • Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
  • Our Day Out by Willy Russell
  • White Poppies by Sue Saunders
  • Stone Cold by Robert Swindells

Year 8

  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Key Stage 3 - Most Able

  • We try to provide students who have been identified as ‘Most able’ with a number of enrichment opportunities, including: master classes, theatre trips and performances by visiting production companies. We have introduced the, ‘Literacy Scholarship Programme’ from Year 7 to further support our students love and passion of literature.

Key Stage 4

  • At KS4, our students follow both AQA English Language and English Literature Specifications.  The two GCSE’s enables our students to study a wide range of Literature in depth by exploring writers’ ideas and attitudes, as well as analysing aspects of language and structure.  Under the current specifications the weighting of the examination is 100% for GCSE English Language and Literature. Speaking and Listening is still assessed; although it no longer contributes towards the overall GCSE grade.

At Key Stage 4, students will have already been equipped with the skills expected to cope with the demands of GCSE.

AQA English Language GCSE

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AQA English Literature GCSE

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Key Stage 4 - Most Able

  • We try to provide students who have been identified as ‘Most able’ with a number of enrichment opportunities, including: master classes, theatre trips and performances by visiting production companies. We have introduced the, ‘Literacy Scholarship Programme’ from Year 7 to further support our students love and passion of literature.

Upper Attainers

  • Once our upper cohort begins in KS3, we believe they have received the breadth and challenge to cope with the demands of GCSE. Therefore, our approach at this level is to stretch them further through: targeted individual intervention by means of a teaching mentor, booster sessions and revision skills during form time.   We also provide them extensive reading lists to further their adulation of reading, as well as encouraging the students to enter local and national writing competition.

Key Stage 5

  • At KS5, students study English Literature at AS level and A2 level. At AS level, students explore aspects of narrative in the form of four texts, which involves close analysis and comparative skills in an examination format. Students also undertake a coursework element to the course, in studying the dramatic genre of comedy in texts, with specific regard to one Shakespeare play.
  • At A2 level, students study a wide range of texts and are expected to compare aspects of gothic genre across the texts studied in an examination. Students also undertake a coursework element, which is studying three texts including one pre-released anthology of critical material. Students are expected to apply skills on comparison and of a critical form.

At KS5, students will undertake 6/8 periods of English Literature per week. Over the course of the two years the components are divided as follows:

AS

Subject content

Core content:

Options:

Assessments

Paper 1: Literary genres: drama

What's assessed
Choice of two options
Option 1A: Aspects of tragedy
Option 1B: Aspects of comedy
Study of one Shakespeare play and one further drama text

Assessed

  • written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • closed book
  • 50 marks
  • 50% of AS level

Questions
Section A: one passage-based question on a Shakespeare text (25 marks)
Section B: one essay question on a drama set text (25 marks)

Paper 2: Literary genres: prose and poetry

What's assessed
Choice of two options
Option 2A: Aspects of tragedy
Option 2B: Aspects of comedy
Study of one prose text and one poetry text

Assessed

  • written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • open book
  • 50 marks
  • 50% of AS level

Questions
Section A: one essay question on poetry set text (25 marks)
Section B: one essay question on prose set text (25 marks)

A-level

Subject content
Core content:

Options:

Assessments

Paper 1: Literary genres

What's assessed
Choice of two options
Option 1A: Aspects of tragedy
Option 1B: Aspects of comedy
Study of three texts: one Shakespeare text; a second drama text and one further text, of which one must be written pre-1900

Assessed

  • written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • closed book
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A-level

Paper 2: Texts and genres

What's assessed
Choice of two options
Option 2A: Elements of crime writing
Option 2B: Elements of political and social protest writing
Study of three texts: one post-2000 prose text; one poetry and one further text, one of which must be written pre-1900
Examination will include an unseen passage.

Assessed

  • written exam: 3 hours
  • open book
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A-level

Questions
Section A: one compulsory question on an unseen passage (25 marks)
Section B: one essay question on set text (25 marks)
Section C: one essay question which connects two texts (25 marks)

Non-exam assessment: Theory and independence

What's assessed
Study of two texts: one poetry and one prose text, informed by study of the Critical Anthology
Two essays of 1250–1500 words, each responding to a different text and linking to a different aspect of the Critical anthology
One essay can be re-creative. The re-creative piece will be accompanied by a commentary.

Assessed

  • 50 marks
  • 20% of A-level
  • assessed by teachers
  • moderated by AQA

Homework / After School

  • Homework is set rigorously each week, using Doddle or in the form of Homework projects. Weekly spellings are also incorporated into the homework package.
  • We offer after school revision support and booster classes for KS4 students who are working towards their examinations. We also offer some creative and dynamic after school provision for our KS3 cohort through the Literacy Scholarship Programme.

Motivational Activities

  • Extra-Curricular activities form a crucial part of the curriculum, which includes a film club at lunchtimes to enable students to critically explore moving media. We also now undertake a Reading Week each year, to enthuse students' love of reading in a unique and creative manner. Also, throughout the course of the year we undertake a range of Educational trips, which fit purposefully into our curriculum.

Weblinks

GCSE Pod

www.gcsepod.com
Pupils should also make use of GCSEPOD and all past papers are on FROG for pupils to access.


BBC Bitesize

www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize
BBC Bitesize is also excellent for the English GCSE.


Drama - Key Stage 4

Coursework 60% - Two of the following options:

  • Devised thematic work for performance to an audience - Acting
  • Theatre in Education presentation - Improvisation

Each option is assessed through 50% practical work (preparatory work and end-product) and 10% response to the process of development.

Written Paper 40% - 2 hours (Internally assessed and externally moderated.)

  • A choice of any two questions based on the following sections: A. Set plays - a choice from six.
  • B. Response to live productions seen during the course. Externally set and marked.

Drama - Key Stage 5

AS Units

  • Unit 1 - Exploration of drama and theatre 'Exploration Notes' and practical work assessed by the teacher and externally moderated.
  • Unit 2 - Text in performance I Externally assessed 30-60 minute directed performance.
  • Unit 3 - Text in context I 2 hour written paper.

AS2 Units

  • Unit 4 - Devising Internally assessed 'Structured Record' and video recording of the performance.
  • Unit 5 - (synoptic) Text in performance II Externally assessed 15-30 minute student-directed performance.
  • Unit 6 (synoptic) - Text in context II Externally assessed 2 hours 30 min written paper and 'Research Folder'.