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Our English curriculum is designed to create a life-long love of both Literature and Language

Carefully crafted with progression in mind, Westfield girls will get to explore a wide range of texts and contexts that will underpin their success not just in English, but across the curriculum. This focus on progression is reflected in our most recent examination results:

100% A*-A in A-Level Language

100% A* in A-Level Literature

100% 9-5 in with 63% 9-7 in GCSE Language

100% 9-5 with 53% 9-7 in GCSE Literature

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 – 9)

Key Stage 3 is the foundation for your English studies in Senior House and you will be taught the twin subjects of Language and Literature in a combined way. The programme of study has been specifically designed to prepare you for the challenges of GCSE and we endeavour to improve your skills and encourage your confidence, allowing each and every one of you to reach your potential.

Upper 3 starts with a unit called ‘Walking Tour Guides’ which not only focuses on the creation of non-fiction but also serves to familiarise you with day-to-day life in Senior House. The year continues with ‘Dahl’s Short Stories,’ ‘Skellig,’ and ‘Our Day Out’ and ‘Getting to Know Poetry.’

In Lower 4, your work on ‘Gothic Fiction,’ ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas,’ ‘Poetry from Other Cultures’ and Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ will help enhance your appreciation of a wide range of writing. In addition to this, ‘Learning about Language’ considers the diversity of English through the exploration of language history and language change over time.

Your learning in Upper 4 is all about ensuring a smooth transition to the next stage of your English education. Studying ‘Approaches to Poetry,’ ‘Of Mice and Men,’ ‘Shakespeare’s Stagecraft’ and ‘Transactional Writing’ will develop your skills even further and focus you fully on the objectives of the GCSEs.

 

 

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Key Stage 4 (Years 10 – 11)

We follow the Edexcel Language GCSE and the AQA Literature GCSE and, directly connecting to the previous programme of learning, Key Stage 4 starts with the study of an increased variety of transactional styles, including blogs and guides.

Having focused on how language choice is impacted by chosen form, you will analyse this through the study of modern drama. ‘An Inspector Calls’ introduces a range of more sophisticated terminology associated with the study of drama with a sharpened focus on the significance of atmosphere.

Through your modern drama study, you will be increasingly aware of how atmosphere and character can be effectively created through linguistic and structural choices. You will be taught a variety of ways to approach, understand and analyse a range of 19th century non-fiction which will also support you as we move on to the Literature poetry anthology. Here, you will draw on previously developed skills of comparison to discover informed and insightful connections between both heritage and contemporary poetry.

Next, the narrative writing section of the Language GCSE will allow you to use figurative approaches seen in the poetry in your own creative pieces, in order to effectively engage the reader. Figurative language is also key to approaching Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ You will be able to recall your previous study of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and ‘Shakespeare’s Stagecraft’ in order to support your learning here.

The challenges of Shakespeare’s Early Modern English and the approaches you take to engage with his language will be used again for the study of Stevenson’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde.’ The language is dense and the narrative is multi-layered which is why this Literature component is covered last.

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Key Stage 5 (Years 12 – 13)

We are proud to offer both Language and Literature at A-Level and are equally proud of how successful our Sixth Form students are.

OCR English Language A-Level is ideal for students who are openminded, curious, observant and keen to question the world around them. During the course, students will develop their skills of linguistic analysis to carefully consider a range of texts and issues which relate to the way language functions in the modern world.

We will examine the various levels on which language itself can create and challenge sexism, maintain and undermine power and represent the world around us in ways we have never even realised. You will also have the chance to explore speech, writing and everything in between as we consider the earliest utterances of infant children, the modern media’s grip on our perceptions and how English developed from the days of the Anglo-Saxons and became the language of LOLs and emojis.

Edexcel English Literature A-Level aims to develop your ability to write accurately, analyse effectively, explore and compare contexts and evaluate critical viewpoints. Whilst text choice can vary depending on your interests, we currently teach Shakespeare’s ‘Othello,’ Williams’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire,’ Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein,’ the poetry of Christina Rosetti and a range of modern poetry.

Both Language and Literature involve a coursework component which, given our personalised approach to teaching, is entirely driven by your passions and interests.

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