We provide opportunities for students to excel as individuals through enjoying lessons and being challenged intellectually.
We recognise that students need to understand texts before they analyse them, and we believe that a good understanding of texts follows from an enjoyment of texts.
The curriculum is designed to support students by providing them explicitly with cultural capital and tier two – as well as tier three – vocabulary.
Key Stage Three
At Gosford Hill School we believe that Key Stage Three English should provide students with an enjoyable and challenging curriculum. To this end we have devised units of learning that enable students to encounter engaging texts and to develop personal, individual responses to them.
Our aim is that all students will be able to read for meaning effectively and will continue to read for enjoyment in the future. We want our students to enjoy being creative in their writing and to maintain fluency when writing at length. We provide opportunities for students to speak confidently and to listen generously in lessons.
Students in Year Seven and Year Eight follow the Accelerated Reader programme. This has increased our students’ reading ages and has embedded a love of reading across the school.
Key Stage Four
At Key Stage Four we have a curriculum that prioritises an enjoyment of texts; rigorous analysis and disciplinary knowledge follow in preparation for GCSE exams. We encircle English Literature texts with fiction and non-fiction extracts that provide students with both a range of knowledge and an experience of engaging topics, and prepare them for the resilience they require for their GCSE English Language exams.
We aim to enjoy the reading of texts before focusing on analysis; this includes continuing to provide opportunities to act out drama texts through our studies of Romeo and Juliet and An Inspector Calls. We encourage students to engage with the content of challenging, interesting texts, and to discuss them fully. This is our priority until Christmas of Year 11 and is supported by low stakes means of assessment to aid the retention of knowledge.
After Christmas, students focus on the disciplinary knowledge required to succeed in their GCSE exams. This disciplinary knowledge includes the planning and structuring of essay responses to English Literature exam questions.
We follow the AQA English Language and English Literature GCSE specifications (8700 and 8702).
Key Stage Five
English Language and Literature
Students will develop their understanding of how writers use language techniques and literary devices to craft their work and communicate ideas or issues. Students will also study the concept of ‘voice’ and how spoken voices are formed and how written voices are created in a wide range of literary, non-literary and digital texts.
The coursework component has been designed to provide students with invaluable opportunities to demonstrate their skills as writers, crafting their own original texts for different audiences and purposes. In exploring the various forms of writing and the ways different writers use linguistic and literary techniques in texts, students will acquire the knowledge and understanding required to produce original pieces of writing. This component permits students to pursue their own interests, applying the skills they have developed to investigate a topic they are interested in.
We follow the Edexcel English Language and Literature A Level specification (9EL0).
This specification approaches the reading and study of literature under the broad headings of genre and theory, encouraging the independent study of a range of texts within a shared context, giving logic and meaning to the way that texts are grouped for study. This unifying approach allows for a range of wider reading, thus extending students’ experience and appreciation of literature.
A rigorous engagement with challenging texts comes through discussion work and written work. In lessons we approach texts in a range of creative and analytical ways, but at the heart of our approach is discussion work. We encourage students to argue a case forcefully and to reap the rewards of intellectual debate.
We follow the AQA B English Literature A Level specification (7717).
Mr J Lee (Head of Faculty)
Miss D Yardley (Assistant Head of Faculty)
Miss L Clifton
Miss H Matthews
Miss E McCarthy
Miss V Miller
Mr H Ogilvie
Miss R Regan