In each of our six terms, one half term is dedicated to examining nonfiction to expose our students to the kind of texts they would encounter in the nonfiction part of the English Language GCSE exam. In Year 7, our central theme is Conflict. Our third half term unit explores an anthology of conflict texts with our main text being a diary, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
In Year 8 our central theme is Social Justice. In the third half term, we explore a range of texts on the Social Justice theme using I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai as our anchor text holding all these ideas together.
In Year 9 our central theme is Relationships and Identity. In the third term, we study an anthology around the theme with We should all be feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as our anchor text.
As well as this focus, there is opportunity in all of our units for students to write in different forms: to practise their transactional writing (writing in order to exact change from their reader) and their creative writing too.
Students are assessed in class regularly with live marking and use of the visualiser. Every two weeks, the class receives some Whole Class Feedback where a teacher assesses students’ work and reports common misconceptions to the class displaying model pieces of work. Students then get the chance to improve work submitted using this feedback.
Each academic year, Year 7 to Year 9 students will sit mid term exams and end of year exams.
As well as whole class feedback, at Key Stage 4, students will be given GCSE grades each half term based on practice GCSE questions completed in class. Year 10 exams take place in the summer term where students sit GCSE papers. Year 11 have two sets of mock GCSE exams, in November and in March.
Debating is a fantastic way to learn how to form arguments and respond to other arguments; Trumpington offers a debating club for all year groups on Friday after school. Creative writing is also available as a weekly club for students to practise their creative writing skills in poetry or prose form.
Good employers, sixth form colleges and universities understand and appreciate the skills students acquire when studying English Language. They seek students who can speak confidently and can listen perceptively, read, analyse and understand information; students who can think independently, make balanced judgements; and students who can write accurately and clearly. These are transferable skills to most subjects.
Some possible careers include: teaching; journalism; law; social work; the media (e.g. TV / Radio); the military; security services; police and politics and medicine.
The websites below are great sources for opinion articles on current affairs:
Comment is Free on The Guardian
Voices in The Independent
Reading is the single most important way to prepare for English Language GCSE. Reading a range of fiction and non-fiction is the best way to succeed in this subject. English teachers will be able to advise of books in our library that can supplement this course. Students will read at least six books a year as part of our 30 minute daily ‘now read’ lessons too.