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, National Poetry Day and Carnegie Shadowing.

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 that 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. Some students, in years 7 to 9, study additional English in place of modern languages.

Curriculum Content

Years 7 to 9
Year 7

Topics include:

Reading: ‘Frankenstein’ (play version);’Millions’; ‘Sherlock Holmes’; Poetry; ‘The Tempest’. Students will respond, in an essay style, to questions on these texts. Writing fiction: Description of a place, linking to Sherlock Holmes; Opening of a story.
Writing non-fiction: Informal and formal letter writing; Lively Article.

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; a range of dystopian texts; 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 of place, linking to war poetry.
Writing non-fiction: Formal letter; speech; leaflet.

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 articles, linking to teenagers and current themes.

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.
1 hour 45 minutes
80 marks (4 questions and 1 extended writing task)
50% of the GCSE.

Paper 2:Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives.
1 hour 45 minutes long
80 marks (4 questions, based on two linked texts, and 1 extended non-fiction writing task)
50% of the GCSE.

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 (‘Romeo and Juliet’)
19th Century Novel (‘A Christmas Carol’)
1 hour 45 minutes
64 marks
40% of the GCSE.
Paper 2:
Modern Texts (‘An Inspector Calls’ or ‘Blood Brothers’)
Poetry (One cluster of the AQA Anthology)
Unseen Poetry
2 hours 15 minutes
96 marks
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 run a debating society, which not only supports students’ language development, 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 celebrating World Book Day and National Poetry Day; raising money through Readathon and participating in the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards.

Peak 11
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