The English Department

The English Department at Sir Thomas Boughey Academy is a dedicated and talented team of teachers who are devoted to ensuring that students enjoy and achieve to the best of their ability.

We aim to equip our students with the skills and attitudes that will enrich their understanding and experience of the subject, whilst preparing them for their final Year 11 examinations.

Our rich and varied curriculum is designed to cultivate curious and creative students who share our passion for the subject and perform effectively in their exams.


Key Stage 3 overview

Transition and Induction Phase (Year 7 & 8):

Programme of study

Students have 8 x 1 hour English lessons each fortnight.

Assessment and homework

In years 7 & 8, students will be set one piece of homework each week, which will be linked to the scheme of work being studied. Show My Homework will be used to set homework.

Year 7

Unit One – Telling Tales
We begin Year 7 with an exploration of narrative structures in stories, allegory, myth, legends and fairy tales. As human beings we are hardwired for narrative – students explore our love of stories and the power that literature has as a force for social change and political commentary.
Unit Two – Exploring the Gothic
An exploration of the Gothic genre. Gothic fiction, which reached the height of its popularity in the late 18th to mid-19th centuries, was a genre of fiction that focused on the darker, irrational and more terrifying aspects of life. This unit studies and explores Gothic conventions that have remained popular and are still found in novels, music and film today
Unit Three – Disturbed Voices
Students investigate the role and impact of the unreliable narrator in a range of Literature texts including poetry and prose. Students explore the role of narrative voice in their own creative texts.
Unit Four – Journeys of Discovery
In the unit ‘Journeys of Discovery’, students study a range of forms of travel writing, including literary non-fiction, blog and advertisement. Students also study the codes and conventions of the detective genre exploring our fascination with crime and solving the mystery.
Unit Five – Imagining the Future
An exploration of Dystopian Fiction.  Dystopian fiction focuses on dark futures where corruption and oppression preside over frightening worlds . This unit studies and explores conventions of that have remained popular and are in many found in novels and film today

 

Year 8

Unit One – The Struggle for Survival

We begin Year 8 with reading John Steinbeck’s classic Of Mice and Men and learning how the author presents marginalised people and their ‘Struggle for Survival’. We then explore this theme in the context of the wilderness, looking at how writers depict our attempt to live in hostile and difficult environments. Studying a range of fiction and non-fiction extracts.

Unit Two – Outsiders

Students continue their Year 8  journey by reading literature that explores life on the ‘outside’ of power and privilege. A study of those who do not belong and how society treats the outsider.

Unit Three – Belonging

Students study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts that explore the human need to “Belong.” The unit explores the role of the story in how we reflect on our life experiences and define our identity.

Unit Four – Shakespeare’s World

An introduction to the Bard’s brilliance through an exploration of Shakespeare’s characterisation and social commentary. Students explore Shakespeare’s critical understanding of the human condition.

Unit Five – Transformations

In Transformations students study a range of texts focusing on change, illusion and reality- including extracts from Shakespeare’s plays which explore reality and illusion.


Key Stage 4 overview

Students begin their GCSEs in English Language and English Literature in Year 9. We follow the AQA specifications in both Language and Literature.

GCSE English Language Examination Board: AQA Course Specification: 8700.

What is GCSE English Language all about?

GCSE English Language will develop your reading and writing skills. You will read a range of texts written between the 19thcentury to the 21st century and covering a range of themes and genres. You will develop your writing so that you can write in a range of different styles and purposes as well as for different audiences.

Course structure:

You will study a range of extracts from texts on different topics and themes to develop your knowledge about how writers use language and structure to influence and interest their audiences. These extracts will be from both fiction and non-fiction texts written from 1800 to the present day. You will have the opportunity develop your creative writing in a wide range of styles for a range of different purposes and audiences. You will build upon the techniques you already know from Key Stage 3 so that you are able to express your views in a way that will achieve the maximum amount of impact on your audience.

How will I be assessed?

There are two written examinations for English Language, there are no tiers of entry for this subject. At the end of the course, candidates will be awarded a grade from 1 to 9. Grade 9 is highest grade.
Paper 1 – Explorations in creative reading and writing: 1 hour 45 min exam. 80 marks. 50% of GCSE. Section A Reading (40 marks 25% of GCSE) 4 questions about extracts you have read. Section B Writing (descriptive or narrative) (40 marks 25% of GCSE) 1 extended creative answer.

Paper 2 – Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives: 1 hour 45 mins exam. 80 marks. 50% of GCSE. Section A Reading (40 marks 25% of GCSE) 4 questions about a fiction extract and literary non-fiction extract you have read. Section B Writing – writing to present a viewpoint (40 marks 25% of GCSE) 1 extended creative answer.

Spoken Language – will also be tested by your teacher. For this element of your course you will receive a Spoken Language endorsement which will not count towards your GCSE grade. For this element of the course you will be assessed on how you present, respond to questions/feedback and your use of standard English.

GCSE English Literature Examination Board: AQA Course Specification: 8702.

What is GCSE English Literature all about?

GCSE English Literature will develop your reading and analysis skills. You will read a variety of texts by many different authors from different time periods. Texts include Macbeth by William Shakespeare, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley. You will also study a collection of poetry on the theme of Power and Conflict and learn how to analyse unseen poems.

How will I be assessed?

There are two written examinations for English Literature. There are no tiers of entry for this subject. At the end of the course, candidates will be awarded a grade from 1 to 9. Grade 9 is highest grade.

Paper 1 Shakespeare and the 19th century novel: 1 hour 45 min exam. 64 marks 40% of GCSE Section A Shakespeare: one question on Macbeth. Section B The 19th-century novel: one question on A Christmas Caro by Charles Dickens.

Paper 2 Modern texts and poetry: 2 hour 15 min exam. 96 marks. 60% of GCSE Section A Modern texts: one essay question on An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley. Section B Poetry: compare two poems on the theme of power and conflict. Section C Unseen poetry: Analyse an unseen poem and compare it to another unseen poem.

Year 9

Unit One – Visionaries

Visionaries investigates ‘People with Big Ideas’, considering how language can be used powerfully in both the spoken and written form to convey thoughts and generate change, as well as reading the work of the Romantic Poets.

Unit Two – Subversion and Rebellion

We continue Year 9 reading George Orwell’s classic Animal Farm and learn how a range of authors use stories to explore subversion and rebellion in society. Students study the importance of the context of the text and how readers respond to texts at different levels.

Unit Three – Power and Privilege

“All power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely” Students study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts to explore the impact of use and abuse of power and privilege.

Unit Four – Diverse Voices

In the Diverse Voices unit students read literature from different cultures and traditions, as well as prose that explores life on the ‘outside’ of power and privilege.

Unit Five – Voices of War

We end Year 9 with an exploration of how humans respond to war. This unit explores the different perspectives of war through a study of non-fiction, poetry and prose.

 

Year 10

Unit One – The Supernatural

 ‘The Supernatural’ combines ghost stories, fairy-tales, myths and legends from the ancient world alongside contemporary urban legends. We ask how a writer can compel, frighten and speculate.

Unit Two – The Power of Nature

Students study a range of poems, prose extracts and non-fiction writing which explore the powerful forces of mother nature and the insignificance of human beings in the face of nature’s power.

Unit Three – The Search for Identity

Students study a range of poems, prose extracts and non-fiction writing which explore human beings search for identity.

Unit Four – The Social Condition

Through a range of extracts students learn how authors present social issues. We then explore this theme in the context of An Inspector Calls and A Christmas Carol, looking at how these writers depict our attempt to live in challenging and difficult circumstances.

 

Year 11

Unit One -The Power to Change

Students study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts that explore mental health and resilience. The unit explores the power within ourselves to change and define our identity.

Unit Two- Power and Conflict

Through a range of extracts of fiction, non-fiction and poetry students explore the central power and conflicts of the human condition. What gives some power over others? What causes conflict?

Unit Three -Revision and Exam Skills

Students study a range of resources to help them to refine their informed critical responses to literary texts and the way writers present their ideas. The revision unit enables students to make links between a variety of written texts and the contexts which have shaped them.


Curriculum map

Please CLICK HERE for the English curriculum map 2019/20.


Assessment and homework at KS4

In years 9,10 and 11, students will be set homework each week, which will be linked to the scheme of work being studied. Show My Homework will be used to set homework.


How can parents support their child and STBA?

We are a forward-looking department, keen to engage in new concepts and ideas that will help and encourage students flourish in their learning. Our department thrives on team-work both with staff, students and parents alike. Relationships are built on mutual respect and a united sense of vision for future success. Below you will find a list of revision resources to help support your child’s learning journey outside of the classroom.


Revision resources

Revision materials for GCSE English Language and English Literature can be found on:

  • BBC GCSE Bitesize
  • YouTube Revision Videos (Mr Bruff / Mr Salles)
  • SMHW contains support material for Homework task
  • Seneca Learning

Websites:


Set texts for English Literature

We encourage all GCSE students to have their own copies of the set texts so that they can annotate these during study to aid later revision.

The ISBN numbers are as follows:

  • Macbeth – ISBN 978-0-19-832400-3
  • A Christmas Carol – ISBN 978-1-407143-64-4
  • An Inspector Calls – ISBN 978-0-435232-82-5

Alternatively electronic copies of both Macbeth and A Christmas Carol are available to download for free. PDFs available on SMHW.

Copies of the poems in the Conflict and Power poetry collection are provided by the school but there are also annotated versions of each poem available to download from the school SMHW site.


Teaching staff

Email links: