“Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart.”
The English department at Tudor Grange Samworth Academy is focused on exposing our students to a wide range of quality literature, authors and contexts relating to the historical and the modern. We endeavour to give our students the opportunities to analyse, infer and critique in their essay writing, in order to prepare them for a future in academia and a firm understanding of ways in which to interpret the world around them.
We place a great deal of importance on creative and non-fiction writing, with plentiful opportunities provided to students to practise and refine a range of forms, purposes and linguistic techniques within their lessons and assessments. We also support the significance of writing through a supplementary Cultural Literacy unit which is completed weekly at years 7, 8 and 9. This unit exposes students to a broad range of different types of creative and non-fiction tasks, allowing them to explore their craft as burgeoning writers.
The English team at TGSA are dedicated to the study of literature and writing, and we use our collective expertise and knowledge as a department to support our students to success.
All KS3 students are taught English four times a week whilst KS4 have an extra hour over the course of two weeks, with additional intervention time if needed.
What learners need to be successful:
The study of English develops students’ skills in reading, writing, and verbal communication.
To be successful when studying English, students need to develop an objective, open-minded approach to the texts they are studying, considering the context of their creation and their own contexts as a reader in the 21st century. Students need to be fearless in their willingness to experiment with their own craft as a writer, and take advantage of the many opportunities available to them to establish a varied and exciting voice in both creative and non-fiction writing.
Students should consistently reflect on their class work as well as assessments, considering their progress and identifying areas for improvement, as well as improving clear strengths.
Students should expect to communicate not only through the written word but verbally too, engaging in class discussions with teachers and peers, allowing a wealth of contexts and experiences to help develop and shape them as speakers.
Students should come to lessons with correct equipment and prepared to listen and to work hard.
What pupils will learn:
In Year 7, the curriculum offered in English paves the way for students to get a broad, rich and varied taste of literature and language. Students begin in term one with a study of the well-known novel by John Boyne, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, allowing them to develop their contextual knowledge of WWII alongside their knowledge of literature. In term two, students begin an exciting and ever-relevant to the world we live in topic ‘Poetry and Media’. They finish the year by being acquainted with the bard, in a close textual study of Shakespeare’s play and infamous Leicester link, Richard III.
|Term 1||The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas|
|Term 2||Poetry and Media|
|Term 3||Richard III|
In Year 8, the curriculum offered in English builds on those critical foundations laid in year 7, with some challenging and exhilarating units to begin shaping students into critical readers and writers. Students begin in term one with an engaging and relevant topic ‘Dystopian Fiction’ exploring extracts from texts such as The Handmaid’s Tale and 1984. They then delve deep into the study of 19th century literature in ‘Sherlock Holmes’ which enables them to explore the crime genre and its links with the Victorian era. Students will then finish their year with a vital and contextually rich play by Arthur Miller, The Crucible.
|Term 1||Dystopian Fiction|
|Term 2||Sherlock Holmes|
|Term 3||The Crucible|
In Year 9, the curriculum offered in English includes a range of literature and language which moulds students in their role as critical readers and creative writers. The texts and topics explored are thought-provoking and allow for ample discussion and exploration of opinion. Students begin in term one by diving straight into 19th century fiction with a study of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, allowing them to draw on their knowledge of the Victorian era from Term 2 in Year 8 while also exploring literary phenomena such as the Gothic and the concept of the sublime. Term two builds on the foundation laid in Year 7 with a critical analysis of Shakespeare’s Othello, whereby students will strengthen their knowledge of the Elizabethan era and discuss the relevance of Shakespeare to the 21st century with a focus on prejudice and racism. The year culminates in an exploration of ‘Poetry Through the Ages’ allowing students to see the study of literature from its very beginnings with texts such as Beowulf to its place in contemporary society with modern poets such as Carol Ann Duffy and Simon Armitage.
|Term 3||Poetry Through the Ages|
In Year 10, students focus on harnessing the wealth of skill and knowledge acquired through their balanced diet of language and literature throughout KS3, ready to utilise them in their GCSE study. Year 10 kicks off the beginning of students’ GCSE preparation by focusing on components from Literature Paper 1 & 2, and Language Paper 1. Students begin their GCSE study in term one with a focus on Literature Paper 1, starting with Shakespeare’s Macbeth, followed by Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. In term two students return to study Language Paper 1, focusing on honing their creative reading and writing skills. In term three, students finish Year 10 with components from Literature Paper 2 ‘Power and Conflict Poetry’, studying a range of poets from William Blake to Ted Hughes, and a collection of ‘Unseen Poetry’.
|Half Term 1||Macbeth Literature Paper 1|
|Half Term 2||Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Literature Paper 1|
|Half Term 3||Language Paper 1 Reading|
|Half Term 4||Language Paper 1 Writing|
|Half Term 5||Poetry Power and Conflict Literature Paper 2|
|Half Term 6||Poetry Unseen Literature Paper 2|
In the final year of English study, students utilise all of the skills and knowledge acquired throughout KS3 and Year 10, and prepare for their GCSE examinations in the summer through finishing the course content, and then practising crucial skills such as exam technique and time management. Students begin term one by focusing on a component of Literature Paper 2, J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls. Following this unit is Language Paper 2 non-fiction study, focusing on skills essential in analysing and producing articles, letters, speeches, leaflets and essays. At this stage in the year, Year 11 have the opportunity to revisit and revise each key component in the exam, in the run up to their summer exams.
|Half Term 1||An Inspector Calls|
|Half Term 2||Language Paper 2|
|Half Term 3||Revision|
|Half Term 4||Revision|
|Half Term 5||Revision|
- Language Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading & Writing (1 hour 45 mins)
- Language Paper 2: Writer’s Viewpoints & Perspectives (1 hour 45 mins)
- Literature Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel (1 hour 45 mins)
- Romeo and Juliet
- A Christmas Carol
- Literature Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry (2 hours 15 mins)
- An Inspector Calls
- Power & Conflict Poetry
- Unseen Poetry
Skills taught in GCSE English Language:
- AO1: Identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas, select and synthesise evidence from different texts.
- AO2: Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their views.
- AO3: Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts.
- AO4: Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references.
- AO5: Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences. Organise information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features to support coherence and cohesion of texts.
- AO6: Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.
- AO7: Demonstrate presentation skills in a formal setting.
- AO8: Listen and respond appropriately to spoken language, including to questions and feedback on presentations.
- AO9: Use spoken Standard English effectively in speeches and presentations.
Skills taught in GCSE English Literature:
- AO1: Read, understand and respond to texts. Students should be able to:
- Maintain a critical style and develop an informed personal response.
- Use textual references, including quotations, to support and illustrate interpretations.
- AO2: Analyse the language, form and structure used by a writer to create meanings and effects, using relevant subject terminology where appropriate.
- AO3: Show understanding of the relationships between texts and the contexts in which they were written.
- AO4: Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.
How pupils’ learning will be assessed:
During each scheme of learning, students will have a learning checkpoint once a fortnight to check understanding and progress throughout the unit. After the learning checkpoint students will receive whole class feedback based on their work, and will answer a developmental question to help them to progress to the next stage of the learning.
At the end of each scheme of learning, students will complete a formal assessment on either reading or writing, receiving personalised feedback at the end of the unit with comments and a grade.
Year 10 and 11 students have regularly scheduled mock examinations throughout their study, in order to prepare them for their GCSEs.
Suggested Reading Lists
Click the links below for suggested reading lists for each school year:
LINK: Revision World
LINK: Mr Bruff’s English Revision Videos
Each year, our pupils are given the opportunity to take part in a variety of competitions.
Our biggest successes include our entries to the ‘Young Writers’ competition, which over 100 of our pupils’ stories and poems being published in an anthology called ‘Mission Catastrophe: Survival Sagas,’ and our contributions to a Poetry Competition called ‘Poetry Escape’.
We take every opportunity to offer pupils learning outside of the classroom. Recent extra-curricular activities include theatre trips, revision sessions in the school holidays, a trip to London for creative writing and a visit to the famous British Library.
How parents can help with their child’s learning
Parents are encouraged to read both fiction and non-fiction texts with their children on a regular basis. Ask your child questions about the text – what they can tell you about plot, feelings, and character and how they think the writer has achieved this. Explore texts together – you do not need to have all of the answers, showing an interest in what your child is reading will encourage them to explore further. Local libraries mean that reading is free, so joining the library is a really cost-effective way of supporting your child’s learning.
Visits to the following places make a great family day out and will also support in your child’s learning in English.
- Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, Southbank, London
- Stratford Upon Avon – Shakespeare’s birthplace
- The Royal Shakespeare Company
- Dickens Museum – London
- Roald Dahl Museum
- Haworth & Bronte country
- Theatre trips
- Harry Potter Studios