Information about English Language & English Literature.
Contact head of subject for further information.
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go!Dr Seuss
Developing and embedding a love of reading is a major drive for the English Department at Birkdale High school. Students are exposed to a range of challenging, engaging and varied texts throughout their studies of English. Students empathise with the plight of Oliver in 'Oliver Twist,' gasp in horror at 'The Woman in Black' and despair at the injustices inflicted upon Katniss in 'The Hunger Games.'
Coupled with this passion for reading, we also value the importance of our students being able to express themselves articulately in writing. We believe that students should be able to write creatively to express themselves as well as to functionally communicate in the modern, ever-changing world in which we live. Being able to write accurately and succinctly is just as much of a skill as developing ideas in detail – we ensure both of these are developed.
You will find all staff listed in the about page
Our Foundation Stage curriculum is mapped to build on from the new, more demanding KS2 curriculum as well as develop the skills required for the new GCSE Assessment Objectives. We aim to challenge, motivate and inspire our students by studying a range of themed units incorporating a range of quality fiction and non-fiction. We aim to build familiarity and confidence in relation to the key skills that are required for study at GCSE. Each unit at Foundation Stage is assessed through both a baseline and summative assessment. This enables students to make good progress in relation to personalised targets.
At Foundation Stage, students have a weekly timetabled lesson in the newly refurbished, purposeful and stimulating library. In these lessons students develop their vocabulary through direct instruction of ambitious vocabulary choices which are thematically linked to the unit of study. Students then complete independent reading in accordance with the Accelerated Reading programme, taking quizzes on the books to prove understanding and develop their skills of comprehension.
Our high aspirations of all students allows them to thrive within the English Department and succeed as articulate members of our school community.
All students from the current Y9 onwards will follow the AQA GCSE English Language (8700) and Literature syllabus (8702). Students have 8 lessons a fortnight to prepare for these examinations. AQA English Language and Literature GCSE is 100% external examination. Students will be graded on a numerical scale from 9-1.
GCSE English Language has two papers which are 1hour 45 minutes in length. Each paper has two sections, A and B, and consists of 4 reading questions and 1 writing question.
Section A of Paper 1 will always assess students' ability to respond to a piece of literature prose fiction (either novels or short stories) selected from either the 20th or 21st centuries. Section B on paper 1 will use the reading source from section A as a stimulus for a piece of writing – either narrative or descriptive.
Section A of Paper 2 will assess students' ability to respond to two extracts of non-fiction and literary non-fiction texts, covering the 19th century and then either the 20th or 21st century depending on the time period of the resource used in Paper 1. Again, in section B of Paper 2 students will use the reading source as a stimulus for writing. They will be asked to produce a discursive style response that reflect on their reading and offer their own person viewpoint on the matter.
GCSE English Literature has two papers. Paper 1 is 1 hour 45 minutes in length and Paper 2 is 2 hours 15 minutes in length. Paper 1 has 2 Sections, Shakespeare (Macbeth) and The 19th-century novel (A Christmas Carol).
Section A of Paper 1 will always assess students' ability to respond to a Shakespearean text (Macbeth). There will be 1 extract based question but students will be required to explore the text as a whole within their response. Section B on paper 1 will always assess students' ability to respond to a 19th-century novel (A Christmas Carol). There will be 1 extract based question but students will be required to explore the text as a whole within their response.
Paper 2 is the longer paper and has three sections, Modern texts, Poetry and Unseen poetry. Section A on Paper 2 will always assess students' ability to respond to a Modern text (Blood Brothers). There will be 1 extract based question but students will be required to explore the text as a whole within their response. Section B will ask students to complete one comparative question based on poems from their chosen anthology cluster. Finally, section C will assess students' ability to respond to unseen poetry. There will be two different aspects to this question- the first asks them to respond to a single poem and the second to make comparisons between the original poem and a second unseen poem.