We believe English unlocks the door of opportunity for our students. We want to inspire a love of English within every student by introducing them to an exciting range of writers, texts, cultures and ways of thinking. We will teach students ‘the best that has been thought and said’ in order to develop their knowledge of English language and literature, and hone their own creative and critical voice in response. We are committed to ensuring that every student leaves RHS with the essential qualifications and communication skills needed for future success - and a knowledge and appreciation of English language and literature that will stay with them for life.
Schemes of Learning
We have re-planned our schemes of learning in both Key Stage Three and Four (Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11) to reflect the demands of the new GCSE (first exams in summer 2017). This includes a greater focus on fiction and non-fiction from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, a strong emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar, and a development of contextual understanding of texts.
KEY STAGE THREE – Years 7, 8 and 9
Autumn Term: AUTOBIOGRAPHIES & FAMOUS SPEECHES
Students firstly study autobiographies and write their own, focusing on narrative sequencing and authorial voice. They then progress to studying famous political speeches and writing their own persuasive speech to perform to the class.
Assessments: Autobiography (writing), Persuasive speech (writing, speaking & listening)
Christmas reading: Catherine Forde’s Fat Boy Swim
Spring Term: FAT BOY SWIM; MYTHS, LEGENDS & FAIRYTALES
Students start the term by exploring reading skills and learning how to write analytically, based on extracts from Catherine Forde’s ‘Fat Boy Swim’ which they will have read over the holidays. They progress to studying a range of myths, legends and fairy tales, both original texts and abridged adaptations (for example those by Anthony Horowitz). Students will write analytical essays about these texts and write their own creative myth, legend or fairy tale.
Assessments: Analytical writing about texts (reading) & creative (narrative) writing
Easter reading: Abridged versions of ‘The Tempest’ and/or ‘Frankenstein’
Summer Term: THE TEMPEST & ‘FRANKENSTEIN’
Students are introduced to the world of Shakespeare and the Globe to establish understanding of Elizabethan and Jacobean context. They move on to study Shakespeare’s language through his last play, ‘The Tempest’. At the end of the year, students study Philip Pullman’s adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic novel ‘Frankenstein’, learning about dramatic form and structure, and writing and presenting their own persuasive speech relating to the issues in the play.
Assessments: Creative Writing (narrative and persuasive), speech
Summer Reading: Gothic anthology eg. The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy: And Other Stories (Tim Burton, illustrated)
Autumn Term: GOTHIC GENRE STUDY
Students spend the first half term reading a range of Gothic texts, immersing themselves in the Gothic world and analysing the form, structure and language of Gothic literature. After half term, they develop their own Gothic short story and read it back in performance to the whole class.
Assessments: Analytical writing about fiction and non-fiction texts (Reading), creative (narrative) writing
Christmas reading: Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ (abridged)
Spring Term: LONDON THROUGH THE PAGES, DICKENS & WAR POETRY
Students explore a range of texts linked to London, ranging from the 19th century to the present day. They develop their analytical writing about both poetry and prose texts. This links to the following scheme which is an introduction to poetry about war and conflict. They will be studying a ‘Conflict Poetry’ cluster as part of their GCSE, so this scheme introduces key authors, poems and ideas.
Assessments: Analytical writing about fiction and non-fiction texts, poetry and prose (Reading). Writing own poetry to perform (Writing & Speaking/listening)
Easter Reading: Private Peaceful / Boy in the Striped Pyjamas / Anne Frank’s Diary
Summer Term: EXPLORING WRITER’S VIEWPOINTS
Students are introduced to the novel ‘Chinese Cinderella’, developing their knowledge of world history and cultures, while also developing their analytical writing skills. This segues into a reading unit focused on non-fiction and a writing unit focused on developing high level grammar skills.
Assessments: Analytical writing about fiction and non-fiction texts (reading), creative (narrative and persuasive) writing.
Summer Reading: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Autumn Term: EXPLORING WRITER’S VIEWPOINTS
Students study the Australian text and film ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’, exploring Britain’s colonial history as a basis for a variety of creative writing tasks. After half term, students read the classic American novel ‘Of Mice and Men’, exploring 20th century history and context alongside the language, form and structure of this famous novella.
Assessments: Analytical writing about texts (Reading), creative writing (narrative and persuasive)
Christmas reading: Dystopian fiction eg. The Girl with all the Gifts
Spring Term: DYSTOPIAN GENRE STUDY
Students start the term by studying Animal Farm, then moving on to explore a range of dystopian texts and studying writers’ techniques, language, form and structure in order to produce their own piece of dystopian writing.
Assessments: Analytical writing about dystopian fiction, Creative writing (narrative)
Easter Reading: Dystopian fiction: Exodus
Summer Term: ROMEO AND JULIET, SONNETS & TITANIC
Returning to Shakespeare, students study the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, followed by the study of Shakespearean sonnets and a range of other unseen poetry. Rounding off the Key Stage is a speaking and listening unit based on the film ‘Titanic’ in which the students perform monologues in character.
Assessments: Analytical writing about drama, performing a monologue
Summer Reading: Gothic /Victorian short story anthology (leading in to Jekyll & Hyde)
KEY STAGE FOUR: Years 10 & 11
Year 10 and Year 11 students sit the AQA exam board for both English Language and English Literature GCSEs.
Year 9s going into Year 10 should read fiction from the KS3 reading list.
Year 10s going in to Year 11 should reread An Inspector Calls, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and the poetry from the Conflict and Power cluster of their anthology.
YEAR 10 and Year 11
Year 10 and Year 11 will be preparing for their exams in both English Language and Literature.
- There is no Controlled Assessment or coursework element in either English Language or Literature: the course is examined by terminal exam.
- There are two English Language exam papers and two English Literature exam papers
- Speaking and Listening is assessed separately but does not count towards the GCSE grade.
English Language Exam:
- PAPER 1: Explorations in creative reading and writing (1h 45 – 50% of GCSE)
- Section A: Reading – one literature fiction text x 4 questions text (25%)
- Section B: Writing – descriptive or narrative writing x 1 question (%25)
- PAPER 2: Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives (1h45 - 50% of GCSE).
- Section A: Reading one non-fiction text AND one literary non-fiction text x 4 Qs (25%)
- Section B: Writing – writing to present a viewpoint x 1 question (25%)
- Spoken Language as a separate endorsement.
English Literature Exam:
PAPER 1 (1h45) - Shakespeare and the 19th century novel. Closed book exam (40%)
Section A: Shakespeare x 1 question, no choice. Writing in detail about an extract from the play and then about the play as a whole.
We have chosen to study Macbeth
Section B: The 19th Century Novel x 1 question no choice. Writing in detail about an extract from the novel and then about the novel as a whole
We have chosen to study The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
PAPER 2 (2h15) - Modern texts and poetry since 1789. Closed book exam (60%)
Section A – Modern Texts: essay on Post-1914 British play
We have chosen to study An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley
Section B – Poetry
Students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster (comparison). There is no choice of question on each cluster.
We have chosen to study the Conflict/Power poetry cluster.
YEAR 10 – Schemes of learning
AN INSPECTOR CALLS (Literature Paper 2)
JEKYLL & HYDE (Literature Paper 1)
LITERARY FICTION FROM 19TH – 21ST CENTURY (Language Paper 1)
CREATIVE WRITING: descriptive & narrative (Language Paper 1)
‘CONFLICT POETRY’ ANTHOLOGY (Literature Paper 2)
UNSEEN POETRY (Literature Paper 2)
REVISION & MOCK EXAM
YEAR 11 – Schemes of learning
MACBETH (Literature Paper 1)
READING (Language Paper 2)
CREATIVE WRITING: writing to present a viewpoint (Language Paper 2
REVISION & TERMINAL EXAMS
KEY STAGE FIVE – Years 12 and 13
Students follow AQA English Language.
Paper 1: Textual Variations and Representations
40% of A-level, 2 ½ hour exam
Students study a range of texts and consider approaches to analysing texts. The exam also looks at how children develop language.
Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change
40% of A-level, 2 ½ hour exam
Students study language diversity, considering accents, dialects and how men and women use language differently. They also consider how and why language has changed over time
Students follow Eduqas English Literature A Level.
Component one: Poetry
• 30% of A Level
• 2 hour exam
Section A: Poetry Pre-1900 (open-book, clean copy)
One two-part question based on the reading of one pre-1900 poetry text from a prescribed list.
Section B: Poetry Post-1900 (open-book, clean copy)
One question from a choice of two based on the reading of two post-1900 poetry texts from a prescribed list.
Component two: Drama
• 30% of A Level
• 2 hour exam
Section A: Shakespeare (closed-book)
One two-part question based on the reading of one Shakespeare play from a prescribed list.
Section B: Drama (closed-book)
One question from a choice of two based on the reading of a pair of plays: one pre-1900 and one post-1900, from a prescribed list.
Component three: Unseen Texts
Section A: Unseen Prose - 2 hour exam
One question from a choice of two, analysing an unseen passage of prose, taken from one of two prescribed periods for study.
Section B: Unseen Poetry
One question from a choice of two, analysing an unseen poem or poetry extract.
Component four: Coursework
20% of A Level
One 2500-3500 word assignment based on the reading of two prose texts from different periods, one pre-2000 and one post- 2000, nominated by the centre.