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Reading Girls' School

Reading Girls' School

English

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face.  It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy.

Edward P. Morgan

Head of Department/faculty: Mr Adam Shea

Introduction to course

Students will follow the English National Curriculum at both KS3 and KS4. We offer a varied, engaging and challenging curriculum to students regardless of ability. We aim to foster a love of reading, a curiosity for the world through literature, and to develop both students’ literacy and creativity: essential skills for all students as life-long learners. English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.

Subject content KS3

During KS3, students will build on knowledge gained in KS2, and receive a grounding in the skills required for KS4 study.  They will learn:

  • How to understand, interpret and respond to a range of 19th, 20th and 21st Century fiction and non-fiction texts
  • To critically analyse two Shakespeare plays
  • To critically analyse contemporary novels
  • Analyse a range of poetry both contemporary and across time from various cultures
  • To write accurately for a range of purposes and audiences in a variety of forms, including both imaginatively and for transactional purposes
  • To speak and present for a variety of purposes and audiences using effective presentation skills

Typical texts studied at KS3 include:

  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (John Boyne)
  • Private Peaceful (Michael Morpurgo)
  • Macbeth (Shakespeare)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare)
  • Extracts from various 19th Century and contemporary novels such as Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist and George Orwell’s 1984

Subject content KS4

In KS4, pupils will consolidate and refine the skills learnt at KS3. Pupils will study for two GCSE qualifications in the subject: GCSE English Literature and GCSE English Language.

For GCSE English Literature, students will study: a piece of modern prose/drama, a collection of poetry past and present, unseen poetry, a 19th Century novel and a Shakespeare play.  Typical text choices for GCSE include:

  • An Inspector Calls (J.B Priestley)
  • A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare)

For GCSE English Language, students will learn to: read and understand 19th Century fiction as well as analysing and evaluating them; read and understand 20th and 21st Century non-fiction extracts as well as analysing, evaluating and comparing them with one another; write imaginatively, creatively, and in a range of forms for transactional purposes using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures accurately and to achieve effects on their readers. They will also be required to deliver a spoken language presentation which will involve both group and individual presentations, debates and question and answer sessions.

Exam board KS4: We follow the AQA 9-1 Specification for GCSE English Literature and the Edexcel 9-1 Specification for GCSE English Language

Typical lesson activities:

English lessons are often filled with fun and engaging activities including group readings, drama workshops, hot seating, research activities, individual and group presentations and debates, question and answer sessions, focussed writing sessions, creative writing workshops and reading comprehension tasks

 

Contact details for any questions: ashea@readinggirlsschool.net