In Year 7, our central theme is Conflict. We begin with an adventure novel, Treasure Island by R.L. Stevenson, and follow this with another more modern adventure novel, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken. An anthology of conflict texts follows the novels with our main text being a diary, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. This is followed by a poetry anthology examining conflict in warfare primarily and then our Shakespeare text for this year is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We finish the year with a modern adventure novel The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.
In Year 8 our central theme is Social Justice. We begin the year reading excerpts from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This is followed by Shakespeare’s Richard III. 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. This is followed by a selection of Dystopian short stories. In our final term, we explore an anthology of Social Justice poetry and finish with the satire Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw.
In Year 9 our central theme is Relationships and Identity. We begin the year with The Crucible by Arthur Miller and follow this with a series of short stories that explore 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. This is followed by a series of short stories, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. The final term is a focus on a poetry anthology exploring a variety of relationships and we finish with Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet.
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 KS4, students will be given GCSE grades each half term based on practice GCSE questions completed in class. At the end of each term, Year 10 students sit a practice Literature exam on the text they have studied with their Year 10 exams in the summer term. Year 11 have two sets of mock GCSE exams, in November and in March.
We often run trips to Cambridge Arts Theatre to support our students’ study of texts.
Our debating club helps students form arguments and counter arguments orally in preparation for their written work.
Our book clubs held in our library encourage reading and particularly, a reading of diverse voices.
Good employers, sixth form colleges and universities understand and appreciate the skills students acquire when studying English Literature. They seek students who can analyse and understand information and can read perceptively; students who can think independently, make balanced judgements about people and the society in which they lived, and produce well written arguments based on textual evidence. These are all transferable skills learnt in English Literature.
Some possible careers include: teaching; journalism; law; social work; the media (e.g. TV / Radio); the military; security services; police and politics and medicine.
BBC Bitesize for AQA English Literature texts
Mr Bruff - English teacher YouTuber with short videos to support text study
If in London, the tour at The Globe Theatre is great for widening students' knowledge of Shakespeare or pay a visit to the Dickens Museum
More locally, going to the Cambridge Arts Theatre is a fantastic way to encourage children to engage with literary texts. Shakespeare in the Park is also a cheap and fun way to see Shakespeare productions performed by college students during the summer months.