‘The limits of my language are the limits of my world.’
The words of Ludwig Wittgenstein
Head of Department: Ms B Whittleworth
In their study of English at Callington Community College our students are given the opportunity to stretch the limits of their worlds and broaden their horizons through a comprehensive and stimulating curriculum. Beyond the essential qualifications of GCSE English Language and English Literature, we endeavour to equip our young people with the skills required to be successful communicators; to have enquiring minds; to be active readers. Above all, to ignite a lifelong love of English.
Consisting of a team of specialist, enthusiastic and dedicated teachers, we deliver a curriculum that both challenges and supports our students to ensure they all make good progress and attain grades to reflect their academic endeavours.
Key Stage 3
Students are set on entry in their English classes, based on Primary standardised scores and teacher recommendation. The child is central to these decisions and we aim to accommodate individual needs in support of their wellbeing as they enter secondary education.
Students are timetabled to have 7 lessons per fortnight. Lessons follow schemes of learning that are designed to engage students in the subject of English and facilitate a smooth transition from KS2. Preparing them for the demands of GCSE, we conduct detailed studies of key literary figures, including the Romantic poet William Blake and Shakespeare, while also ensuring, through more thematically linked study, that students read and write a wide range of text types, both fiction and non-fiction. (Please see below for 2016/17 Study programme)
Home learning takes the form of half termly projects and/ or individual intervention, consolidation or extension activities set with purpose and meaning.
Assessments are designed to consolidate skills acquisition and enable them to move seamlessly into KS4.
During year 7 and 8, all students are enrolled on the Accelerated Reader programme ( Weblink). Students then have a rolling half hour across all subjects in which they are given the opportunity to read, or complete quizzes on completed books, for which there are prizes. Their English teacher monitors and supports the student with choices of book and individual reading preferences. There is at least one opportunity a fortnight to visit the library during lessons.
Key Stage 4
Students continue to be taught in ability groupings, but all students access the same curriculum, at the same level once they enter year 10. We teach to the Edexcel GCSE English Language and English Literature qualifications. Although the qualifications are the ultimate goal, differentiated lessons engage learners of all abilities in the social and historical contexts of the novel, plays and poetry we study for English Literature. Likewise, we teach through the contemporary contexts of the students when accessing complex extracts and transactional tasks required for English Language, making their experience of English relevant and interesting. Students are also given a range of extra-curricular opportunities ranging from theatre trips to creative writing competitions.
Assessment at key stage 4:
Formative assessments are conducted throughout years 9, 10 and 11 and inform SPR grades and progress targets. There are also summative assessments in the form of end of year examinations. In year 11, students will have two mock examinations: one in November and one in February.
Web links to KS4 specifications and exam boards:
Year 9 overview:
The year 9 curriculum is specifically designed to ensure students enter year 10 with a sound foundation to access complex texts and write with technical accuracy and flair. Ranging from creative writing to intensive grammar lessons, students build on the skills learnt during Key stage 3 and experiment imaginatively to become confident and creative writers. Reading of Literary Heritage texts is actively promoted through our year-long Classic reading challenge, and home learning is utilised to encourage wider reading of the contexts of writers and embed a knowledge and awareness of the English Literary Heritage. During this year, students will also complete their first reading of the GCSE Shakespeare play. (Please see below for 2016/17 study programme)
Year 10 overview:
Students commence year 10 with a skills based approach to the style of response required for the English Language exam at the end of year 11. These skills are transferable and once embedded, students are able to access the content of the specification, and respond to set texts, appropriately and with confidence.
During this year, they will also study the Edexcel poetry anthology, and complete their first readings of the English literature set texts. (Please see below for 2016/17 study programme)
Year 11 overview:
This academic year is dedicated to consolidating the key skills required for GCSE examination. All students are encouraged to complete second readings of the set texts and revision of key themes, characters and social/ historical contexts forms a large part of home learning. Lessons are skills based in that they cover the rubric of the examination papers and ensure students express their ideas in a way that clearly addresses assessment criteria. Intervention in the form of extra lunchtime sessions are individually identified and students are expected to attend any invitation in order to give them the best chances at exam success. (Please see below for 2016/17 study programme)
Useful weblinks for Key Stage 4 revision:
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde:
An Inspector Calls:
Key Stage 5
ENGLISH LITERATURE A LEVEL
“Why read literature? Because it enriches life in ways nothing else quite can. It makes us more human. And the better we learn to read it, the better it will do that.”
This AQA course offers a broad sweep of literary texts across the ages and has, at its core, a concern with the social and historical contexts in which literature is produced and received.
Students are encouraged to read widely and take an independent approach to their study. They are supported in this process through online resources such as google classroom where teachers post pre-reading tasks and the resources for their lessons. Lessons are taught in a seminar-style environment where discussion and interpretation are encouraged.
The majority of our literature students go on to university and literature offers a broad springboard to a range of subjects and disciplines including literature, history, journalism, law and creative writing.
Paper 1: Love through the Ages (40%)
The study of three texts:
- One Shakespeare text,
- One pre-1900 prose text
- A range of lovepoetry through the ages (from the 16th to the 19th century).
Students will discover how the presentation of love has changed over the years and the role historical context and literary movements have in shaping Shakespeare, prose and poetry. Students will also develop their analytical skills and their ability to apply literary terms and concepts.
Paper 2: Modern Times (literature from 1945 to the present) 40%
Students explore 3 texts (one poetry, one prose and one drama).
This paper explores both modern and contemporary literature’s engagement with some of the social, political, personal and literary issues which have helped to shape the latter half of the 20th century and the early decades of the 21st century.
Non-exam assessment 20%
Students produce a comparative critical study of two texts. Students will develop their own critical perspectives in this independent study.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE A LEVEL
“Words: so innocent and powerful as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”
Language is power and, at the root of this Edexcel course, is the study of how we use it in its everyday context. We study all types of texts – from the back of a crisp packet to a politician’s speech. Our students are fascinated by the interplay between the conditions in which a text is produced, the context in which it is received and the power relations involved.
They are supported on the path to becoming fully independent through the use of online resources such as google classroom where teachers post pre-reading tasks and the resources for their lessons. Lessons are taught in a seminar-style environment where discussion and interpretation are encouraged.
The majority of our English Language students go on to university and the course provides students with a skillset for a wide range of subjects and disciplines including law, journalism, education, foreign languages and creative writing
Component 1: Language variation 35%
- How language varies depending on contextual factors
- How language choices can create personal identities
- Language variation in English from c1550 to the present day.
Component 2: Child language 20%
- Spoken language acquisition and how children learn to write between the ages of 0 and 8
- The relationship between spoken language acquisition and literacy skills
- Appropriate theories of children’s language development.
Component 3: investigating language 25%
- Develop their own investigation skills
- Apply their knowledge of language terms and concepts
- Develop their own language specialism.
Component 4: Crafting language 20% (Non exam assessment)
- Demonstrate their skills as writers within their selected genre, crafting texts for different audiences and/or purposes
- Reflect on their research and writing in an accompanying commentary.