KS4 English

English at Key Stage 4 Core
Outline of course and examples of learning outcomes:

English is one of the core subjects at GCSE level and must be studied by all pupils. It is the gateway to all learning and we, at New Horizons, aim to give students the tools they need, not only in terms of everyday literacy, but also in the hope of developing independent and active readers. The GCSE course in KS4 runs over two years (10 and 11) and culminates in examinations in English Language at the end of year 11. During these two years, pupils will study a wide range of topics and subjects, drawing on a variety of text types and visual media, in order to ensure that they develop a fully rounded understanding of the English language. We hope to enable pupils to:

  • read a wide range of texts, fluently and with good understanding
  • read critically, and use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
  • write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
  • use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately
  • acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language

Learning Organisation

This is a two year course comprising years 10 and 11. Pupils in year 10 will usually receive three fifty minute lessons per week, while year 11 students have this number increased to four, as they will generally sit exams at the end of this year. Each term students will study a new unit of work. Designed to prepare pupils for exams, engage them in topical issues and build literacy skills these units are reviewed annually. Pupils will be regularly assessed over the course of the two years and will then be expected to sit their GCSE exams at the end of year 11.

Examination Organisation

Pupils in year 11 are currently completing the  new specification AQA GCSE course, which . This specification is designed to be taken over two years with all assessments taken at the end of the course The source for the reading questions will be a literature fiction text. It will be drawn from either the 20th or 21st century. Its genre will be prose fiction. It will include extracts from novels and short stories and focus on openings, endings, narrative perspectives and points of view, narrative or descriptive passages, character, atmospheric descriptions and other appropriate narrative and descriptive approaches.

As a stimulus for students’ own writing, there will be a choice of scenario, written prompt or visual image that is related to the topic of the reading text in section A. The scenario sets out a context for writing with a designated audience, purpose and form that will differ to those specified on Paper 2.

Assessment Organisation

In KS4 the class teacher assesses pupils at the end of every term. They are then given a number, in line with the new grading system. The teacher and pupil will then set targets for the pupil to achieve in order to make progress and improve their grade during the following term. This process ensures that the pupils understand their own levels/grades and what they need to do to improve thus encouraging pupils to take an active role in their learning.

Students may follow this with a wide range of options. An English qualification is essential for most college/university places. It is also looked upon favorably when applying for a job or an apprenticeship. Pupils can carry on with the subject itself at A level and at university level, or use it as a springboard to help them to achieve in other areas, such as arts or the sciences.

Associated employment – many employers demand a 4/5 at GCSE English as a prerequisite for employment.

Key Stage  Curriculum
Year 10 Macbeth W A Christmas carol R Writing non-fiction W Town and country R Fight for freedom  W A brief history of poetry R
Year 11 Reading :Paper 1 Writing: viewpoints and perspectives Reading :Paper 2:

writers viewpoints and perspectives

Writing to describe/writing Exam Practice and preparation sample questions