English

The English department at Chapel-en-le-frith High School is dynamic, innovative and inspirational. The team of highly experienced specialist teachers consistently deliver GCSE results that are well above the national average. Chapel-en-le-Frith High School is a reading school. All students read every week as part of their homework. We use tutor time to promote reading for both staff and students and the SPAG of the week activity raises the profile of literacy across the school. We celebrate literacy in its widest sense through involvement in regular whole school activities and events such as World Book Day and National Poetry Day.

Our aims

  • To enable students to develop excellent communication skills and standards of literacy.
  • To encourage students to speak with clarity and confidence, in an appropriate register, in a range of contexts.
  • To encourage students to listen with sensitivity and perception.
  • To enable students to write accurately and clearly, for a range of purposes.
  • To provide access to a range of texts from the literary canon and opportunity for students to study these in depth.
  • To introduce students to high quality contemporary fiction.
  • To encourage independent reading and reading habits which will last a lifetime.
  • To encourage students to read media texts intelligently and critically, with an awareness of the power of language.
  • To provide students with the appropriate terminology to enable them to discuss the effects of language.

Students are taught in ability classes in years 8 to 11. In year 7 most students are taught in mixed ability classes, with some students studying additional English in place of modern languages.

Curriculum Content

Years 7 to 9
Year 7 Topics include:

  • Reading: ‘Frankenstein’ (play version);’Millions’; ‘Sherlock Holmes’; ‘The Man with the Yellow Face’; Poetry; ‘The Tempest’. Students will respond, in an essay style, to questions on these texts.
  • Writing fiction: Character description; Opening of a story
  • Writing non-fiction: Informal and formal letter writing.

Students will also complete a variety of speaking tasks, based on the topics studied, including a formal presentation to the class.

Year 8 Topics include:

  • Reading: ‘Oliver Twist’/’Sykes and Nancy’; War Poetry; ‘Sound of Thunder’; a range of non-fiction ‘survival’ texts.  Students will respond, in an essay style, to questions on these texts, similar to GCSE tasks.
  • Writing fiction: Opening chapter; Description
  • Writing non-fiction: Formal letter; Speech; Lively article; Review.

Students will also complete a variety of speaking tasks, based on the topics studied, including a formal speech.

Year 9
  • Reading: ‘Of Mice and Men’; ‘Much Ado About Nothing’; Selection of multi-cultural poetry; a selection of short stories based on the ‘unexpected’; Blood Brothers’. Students will respond, in an essay style, to questions on these texts.
  • Writing fiction: Description or action and setting; Opening of a story
  • Writing non-fiction: Speech; Lively article.

Students will also complete a variety of speaking tasks, based on the topics studied, including a formal speech to the class.

Years 10 and 11

The vast majority of students follow GCSE courses in English Language and English Literature, obtaining two separate GCSEs.

Qualification GCSE English Language
Board AQA
Syllabus number 8700
Website link www.aqa.org.uk/8700
Assessment details Two external examinations:
Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing.
This exam is 1 hour 45 minutes long and makes up 50% of the GCSE. It contains 4 questions on the reading of one fiction text and one extended writing task.
Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives.
This exam is also 1hour 45 minutes long and makes up 50% of the GCSE.
The reading section has 4 question based on two linked texts and the writing section has one extended non-fiction writing task.
Non-examination assessment details Spoken Language
This will take the form of a presentation.
The assessment is set and marked by the class teacher.
It has a separate endorsement and does not contribute to the GCSE grade.
Recommended coursebook GCSE AQA English Language Revision Guide – Grade 1-9 course.
ISBN 9788 1 78294 369 3
CGP also offer several revision and study books which focus on improving spelling, punctuation and grammar. These are all available at www.cgpbooks.co.uk and some are available on Amazon.
Qualification GCSE English Literature
Board AQA
Syllabus number 8702
Website link www.aqa.org.uk/8702
Assessment details There are two external exams:
Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel (‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’) This exam is 1 hour 45 minutes long and makes up 40% of the GCSE.
Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry (‘An Inspector Calls’ or ‘Blood Brothers’, one cluster of the AQA Anthology and the comparison of two unseen poems) This exam makes up 60% of the GCSE.
Recommended coursebooks It is useful for students to have their own copies of texts studied, for annotation and revision.
‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Blood Brothers’ or ‘An Inspector Calls’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’.
(Poetry anthologies are supplied by the exam board.)

Extra-curricular activities

The department believes firmly that students should be given opportunities outside the classroom, especially when studying a performance text. To this end, we run regular theatre trips. We also regularly run a debating society, which not only supports students’ language techniques, but gives them an opportunity to explore current political issues. Members of the department also work with students, out of lesson time, to produce a school newspaper. This gives students real-life experience of writing for a specific audience, editing and general journalistic duties.

Throughout the year, we organise visiting authors and poets to come and work with our students and some such sessions have resulted in publication of students’ work. This gives our students a tremendous sense of achievement, allowing them to write for a real audience and with a real purpose.

As an enthusiastic and dynamic department, we become involved in various activities throughout the year. These include dressing up as famous literary characters for World Book Day, celebrating National Poetry Day and participating in a monthly book club and the Carnegie Award.

Ofsted Outstanding School
Peak 11
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