English Language at Key Stage 3

In English, Year 7 provides a strong foundation for necessary GCSE skills; this is achieved through a variety of mediums: initially they explore the notion of identity through poetry and novel extracts. During the autumn term, students will also study a novel and later in the year a play. Students will also experiment with narrative viewpoint through the genre of fairy tales. Our final programme of learning is called ‘School Across the Ages' and provides students the opportunity to explore context through both poetry and novels. Year 8 builds on the important GCSE skills learnt in Year 7. Students study the genre of Gothic Horror, a novel and a play. During spring term, students explore poetry across the ages focusing on the theme of love, followed by the Shakespeare play: The Tempest.

GCSE in English Language and Literature

This subject is compulsory for all students.

Why study this subject?

English is a compulsory subject at KS4 and an essential element of the new English Baccalaureate. The skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are of vital importance for a student’s future. Not only are they essential in most careers, but they also underpin successful study in all subjects at all levels. The study of English and English Literature develops critical and analytical reading and listening, and equips young people with accurate and expressive communication skills. Proficiency as a reader and writer can add immeasurably to an individual’s general quality of life.

What will I learn?

Studying English Language and Literature, you will develop your written and spoken language skills. You will also read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts that cover the English language in a variety of forms. As a result, you will achieve a qualification that is highly valued in any pathway you choose. How will I be taught? GCSE is taught in a similar format to KS3, through a range of engaging and exciting lessons. Teachers in the English department aim to support, encourage and embolden all students to ensure they achieve their potential.

How will I be assessed?

The English department prides itself in providing regular, rigorous assessment and feedback. Assessments are carried out at regular intervals throughout the year and are in a similar style to the terminal exam taking place at the end of Year 11.

What qualifications will I get at the end of the course?

At the end of the course you will receive two GCSEs, one in English Language and one in English Literature.

What can this qualification lead to afterwards?

English can lead to a range of further qualifications, careers or training courses, and is often a required element of any job or further study. The key functional skills you will obtain in GCSE English will help you in any walk of life.

Post-16 Progression

English Literature A-Level is a widely respected A-Level and is listed as one of the most sought after subjects for Universities by the Russell Group. The course will introduce you to aspects of narrative, using novels, plays and poetry to show how narratives are created by authors and the different ways in which readers can respond. Throughout the English Literature course you will be introduced to a wide variety of texts, some of which will be of your own choosing. You will be also introduced to different ways of reading texts for study and to critical ideas which you will learn to apply to literary texts.

How much homework will I have to do?

Extended study plays an important role in GCSE English Language and Literature. Homework will be set once a week; however you are also expected to develop skills and carry out your own research independently.

Where can I find out more about this qualification?

For more information about this course, please see Mr Jones.


King Edward VI Academy Trust Birmingham is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered number 10654935. Registered office: Foundation Office, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, B15 2UD. Academy tel: 0121 464 4428.

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