What you will learn in KS3
At KS3, students encounter a range of texts, both contemporary and traditional. KS3 English combines the study of prose, poetry, drama and media and also challenges the students to develop their speaking and listening skills, delivering speeches and participating in discussions. Students develop their ability to write for a range of purposes and learn how to write with technical accuracy.
Every half term, students are formally assessed against national criteria, building up a folder of Key Pieces of Work. In these assessments, students are encouraged to become more independent and are challenged to develop their own creative opinions and interpretations. These assessments reflect the requirements of GCSE exams and prepare students for the demands of KS4 controlled assessments.
We encourage students to read at home and promote reading as an activity by regularly taking students down to our library.
What you will learn in KS4
Years ten and eleven are focused on the GCSE exams. The exam board we sit is the Welsh Joint Education Committee and the final mark for the two GCSEs awarded is based on a controlled assessment folder and a set of final exams. The assessment covers Shakespeare, pre-1914 poetry, pre-1914 prose, and work from other cultures. In addition students will complete a piece of creative writing and a piece of transactional/persuasive writing.
Most of the controlled assessment is completed in year ten with year eleven focusing on the texts used in the final exams. Students will read a selection of poetry, prose and drama from a range of periods. In addition they will learn the reading and writing skills vital to succeed in their exams, ensuring that they achieve the highest possible grades in both their English Language and English Literature GCSEs.
Key Stage 4 at Loxford has just had one of its most successful years ever! In order to maintain this success we have developed brand new schemes of work which both enrich and develop the academic ability of our students. Every student at the end of year eleven sits both GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature; giving students the opportunity to gain two GCSEs.
The GCSE course covers a wide range of topics and texts, from Shakespeare’s Macbeth to the study of how spoken language has developed in the United Kingdom, as well as literary heritage poetry and modern novels written by authors such as Nick Hornby and Owen Shears. At Loxford we not only aim to provide the skills essential to academic prowess and professional success, we also give students the opportunity to put those skills into practice, whether through drama based activities, creative writing or public speaking.
What you will learn in KS5
At Key Stage 5, Students can choose to follow the OCR examination board’s English Literature course, or AQA’s combined Language & Literature course (option B).
English Literature (OCR)
In year 12, students have two coursework tasks and one exam, sat in June. The coursework covers a range of modern literature. Students have to analyse an extract of a novel in detail for one of the coursework assignments. For the other, they must study two texts linked by theme, and explore how similar issues and concepts are presented in the two texts. There are no ‘set texts’ for the coursework assignments and in recent years text choices have ranged from Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’, to Tennessee Williams’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, to Chuck Palahniuk’s ‘Fight Club’.
For the exam module, students study a collection of poetry by a key poet and a major novel published between 1800 and 1945. Last year the students studied the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Grey.
In year 13, students write an extended coursework essay comparing three different texts covering both poetry and prose. Texts can be linked by theme, style or period. In the coming year, students will study either “The Virgin Suicides” by Jeffery Eugenides, a collection of Sylvia Plath’s poetry and Angela Carter’s short story collection ‘The Bloody Chamber’ or Franz Kafka’s short stories, a collection of T.S. Eliot’s poetry and Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”. For the examination in June, students study a range of drama and poetry written before 1800, including a play by Shakespeare. This year students will study “King Lear” by Shakespeare, “The Rivals” by Sheridan and Chaucer’s “The Wife of Bath’s Tale”English Language & Literature (AQA)
In year 12, students complete two coursework assignments and have an examination in June. The coursework involves comparing two extracts from literary texts, and a creative writing assignment. In previous years text pairings have included J.K Rowlings’ ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ with Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ with Tim Butcher’s ‘Blood River.’ For the examination, students study an anthology of spoken and written texts linked by the theme of food, which offers them the opportunity to consider the three literary genres and a range of non-literary texts. The anthology texts allow the students to consider the development of language and style over time.
In year 13, students complete a coursework folder of ‘transformed texts’, together with commentaries which explain their linguistic choices and their effects. In the coming year, students will produce text transformations of “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Chaucer’s “Prologue to the Canterbury Tales”. For examination, students study a prescribed play, which will be compared and contrasted with an unseen text in the exam. In the coming year they will be studying “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett.