English is so much more than a subject at school; it is the foundation of how students are going to develop and thrive in the modern world. At Amery Hill, we aim to give students a positive experience of English through:
- speaking skills: preparing them for many difference purposes and for many different audiences
- their reading of the classics, new texts and in all genres
- the development of their writing in different forms, for a myriad of reasons with specific outcomes.
Students at Amery Hill follow the KS3 curriculum map between Years 7 and 8. KS3 provision ensures that students experience all genres of English in multi-modal forms. We assess and test work for either: speaking, reading or writing every term. All assessed work is kept in a folder and all marks and comments are recorded in a student friendly format in the front of their exercise books. These lessons account for three out of their four lessons each week.
For the fourth lesson of the week, students also follow a separate programme, conducted in fortnightly library lessons, which aim to broaden and deepen their reading diet and skills. Then on alternate weeks, Year 7 students follow a separate literacy programme designed to teach specific literacy skills and Year 8 students have the opportunity to write their own novel.
Year 9 bridges key stages 3 and 4, and we offer Year 9 a pre-GCSE course: the skills and expectations for GCSE taught more explicitly, the texts are of GCSE quality and the marks are on the GCSE scale. We find that this is a safe and supportive environment in which to prepare students for the two vital years of their GCSE English Language and English Literature courses.
GCSE provision is provided by AQA for English Literature and Edexcel for English Language. These reformed exams place an emphasis on wider reading and the integration of a cultural knowledge into the analysis of texts. At the end of these courses students will be awarded a grade 1 – 9, with 9 being the highest.
During the course of the two years the students will study for the Literature GCSE: Shakespeare’s Macbeth, 19th and 20th century poetry, a 19th century novel, and a modern text or play. For the language GCSE they will focus on the ability to: understand, analyse, compare and critique unseen texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries; they will also be expected to write for creative and transactional purposes.
Students will also be expected to create and film a presentation on one of their texts for study. In Year 10, the students will work with our local primary schools, teaching them about life in the 19th century – this is preparation for their study of their 19th century texts and helps them to maintain links with their primary schools.
Finally for KS3 and KS4, we teach “Let’s Think in English”; these lessons have been proven to dramatically accelerate cognitive ability, engage with metacognition and enhance students’ capabilities for independent learning.