"There can be no more important subject than English. It is at the heart of our culture and literacy skills are crucial to pupils’ learning for all subjects."
Sir Michael Wilshaw (OFSTED Chief Inspector - January 2012)
'Best English Results Award 2017'
Vision Statement: We aim to develop the key concepts both within the English curriculum and through cross-curricular opportunities, as offered by literacy across the curriculum and St. Joseph’s 'Activity Days.'
Key Stage 3 English at St. Joseph’s Catholic College
Key Stage 3 English is the first step in a crucial learning journey for our students. We ensure that the new, reformed GCSE curriculum is well reflected in our Key Stage 3 schemes of work. We operate an assessment system that reflects the key strands from the GCSE examination criteria and helps to hone skills in reading, writing and spoken language. We aim to develop students' engagement in the subject, their enjoyment of reading and writing and improve their oracy skills, which are so important in later life. Independent thought, creativity and originality are at the heart of our lessons.
Term 1: Diagnostic Reading and Writing Skills; Spy Fiction
Term 2: Non Fiction Writing
Term 3: Dickensian Extravaganza
Terms 4 and 5: Shakespeare’s The Tempest
Term 6: Treasure Island
Library lessons: group readers, ILC skills and the Accelerated Reader programme.
Term 1: Gothic Horror
Term 2: Nature Poetry
Term 3: Non-Fiction
Terms 4 and 5: Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
Term 6: Introduction to The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Term 1: Classic 19TH Century Writer study
Term 2: Creative Writing
Term 3: Modern Novel: Of Mice and Men
Term 4: Non-Fiction and Transactional Writing
Term 5: Conflict Poetry
Term 6: Shakespeare’s Macbeth
English GCSE at St Joseph’s
Key Stage 4 English GCSE has never been more exciting and innovative than it is now. The new curriculum aims to engender a deeper, more critical learning experience. Whilst you are here at St. Joseph’s, it is our aim to foster a lifelong love of reading and writing with our varied range of units and to enable you to become a confident literary critic. You will be able to develop your skills to insightfully analyse and evaluate a breadth of texts spanning from the 19th Century until today, as well as becoming a creative wordsmith, developing a whole host of writing skills from article writing to creative prose. We will prepare you for two GCSE qualifications: Edexcel English Language and English Literature. Both of these qualifications are taken at the end of the two year course, Year 11, and comprise of 100% examination. A Spoken Language assessment is taken in Year 10 to validate the English Language GCSE.
During Year 10, students experience and develop expertise in a range of skills. Topics covered include: study and analysis of Post-1914 British Drama or Fiction (An Inspector Calls); 19th Century Fiction (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde or A Christmas Carol) ; Shakespeare (Macbeth); Spoken Language, 20th and 21st Century non-fiction texts and development of both imaginative and transactional writing skills for specific purposes and audiences.
The changes to the curriculum mean that student grades have changed from the traditional A*-U to a new grading system of 1-9, whereby 9 is the top grade (equivalent to A**) and 1 the bottom (equivalent to a U grade). Grade 4 will equate to a low grade C, whilst grade 5 will equate to a higher grade C/lower grade B. In addition, both English Language and English Literature will consist of 100% examination: both qualifications are made up of two separate papers per qualification.
In both Key Stage 3 and 4, students will have two class books: one is a note-taking book, and the other, a progress book. The note-taking book will comprise of class notes, research or revision notes. These books will be monitored by teachers, but not formally marked. The progress book will be formally marked and include any extended writing or analysis, assessments, student responses, mock examinations and assessment for learning work. Parents are encouraged to read and respond to teachers’ marking in students’ purple progress books.
Although the College will provide texts for in-class study of the GCSE texts, students are encouraged to purchase their own copies of the Literature examination texts (namely An Inspector Calls, Macbeth, A Christmas Carol or The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde) and are given a free copy of the Edexcel Poetry Anthology (in Year 11). It is advisable that students either purchase the texts through St. Joseph’s, or from an external source, so that they can annotate and revise independently from these texts. Students who unable to purchase texts will be given copies free of charge. It is vital that students keep their annotated copies of the texts over the two year course so that they can refer back to and revise from these resources. Independence has never been more critical than it is now, and students are reminded that the more rigorous examinations in English Language and English Literature do demand that students are highly independent in their note-taking, revision, reading and homework. There can be no doubt that these examinations ultimately reward students who are diligent, committed, self-motivated and independent learners.
‘An Inspector Calls’ by J B Priestley.
‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ by Robert Louis Stevenson.
‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.
‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare.
It would also be helpful for students to purchase revision guides for the literary texts; although these are not available for purchase through the College, details of these guides are listed below:
Macbeth York Notes for GCSE 9-1 ISBN 9781447982203
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde York Notes for GCSE 9-1 ISBN 978-1447982180
A Christmas Carol York Notes for GCSE 9-1 ISBN 978-1447982128
An Inspector Calls York Notes for GCSE 9-1 ISBN 978-1447982166
You can find out more about the English Language and English Literature qualifications by accessing the Edexcel website:
In Year 11, these skills and topics are further established and re-visited, as well as comparative analysis of Conflict Poetry and exploration of ‘Unseen Poetry’. Intervention sessions are co-ordinated termly through our Lead Practitioner. Students are invited to attend these sessions. In addition, the English Department run scheduled after-school revision sessions for Year 11 students twice weekly from Term 3 (January), to which all students are invited. Historically, these have been very well attended and have proven very successful in further developing the skills needed for students to achieve their very best in these undoubtedly challenging examinations. Furthermore, the English Department also run crucial revision sessions in the style of ‘Walking Talking Mocks’ just before the examinations in May/June. These are run and delivered by the Head of Faculty and Lead Practitioner of English.
Year 11 2017 - 18
|Term 1 (6 ½ weeks)|
|English Literature Paper 2B||Poetry from the Edexcel Anthology – Conflict (6 weeks)|
|Assessment||Literature 2B Conflict Poetry: students answer one question from a choice of two that requires them to compare two poems from the Edexcel Anthology. One of the poems will be printed.|
|Term 2 (7 weeks)|
English Literature Paper 2B
|Unseen Poetry (2 weeks)|
|Assessment||Literature 2B Unseen Poetry: students answer one question comparing two previously unseen poems. (45 mins)|
|English Language Paper 1A||19th Century Fiction Extracts (2 weeks)|
|English Language Paper 1B||Imaginative Writing (2 weeks)|
Full Mock: Language Paper 1 (Unseen 19th Century Extracts/Transactional Writing) 1 hr 45
Full mock: Literature Paper 2 (19th Century novel/Conflict Poetry/Unseen Poetry) 2 hrs 15 mins
|Term 3 (6 weeks)|
|English Literature Paper 1A||Shakespeare: Macbeth (3 weeks)|
|English Language Paper 2A||Non-Fiction Reading (3 weeks)|
|Term 4 (5 ½ weeks)|
|English Literature Paper 1B||An Inspector Calls Revision (2 weeks)|
|English Language Paper 2B||Non-Fiction Transactional Writing (2 ½ weeks)|
Full Mock: Language Paper 2 (Non-Fiction and Transactional Writing) 2 hours 15 mins
Full Mock: Literature Paper 1 (Macbeth and An Inspector Calls) 1 hr 45 mins
|Term 5 (6 weeks)|
|English Literature Paper 2Ba||Conflict Poetry Revision (2 weeks)|
|English Literature Paper 2Bb||Unseen Poetry Revision (1 week)|
|Literature Paper 2A||Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde/A Christmas Carol Revision|
All students are encouraged to come along to our evening theatre trips. We also arrange for students in Year 10 and 11 to watch productions of their GCSE Literature texts – in 2016-17, for example, Year 10 watched productions of both Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Macbeth.
We are proud of our students' involvement in a range of College-based local and national competitions. These are often run in conjunction with our I.L.C (Independent Learning Centre). We enter a variety of competitions ranging from designing World Book day tokens to creative writing activities.
Year 10 2017 - 18
|Term 1 (6 ½ weeks)|
|English Literature Paper 1B||Post 1914 Prose or Play: An Inspector Calls|
|Assessment||Literature Paper 1B: students answer 1 essay question from a choice of two (50 mins)|
|Term 2 (7 weeks)|
English Language Paper 1
|19th Century Extracts and Imaginative Writing (6 weeks)|
|English Literature Paper 1A||Shakespeare: Macbeth (1 week)|
|Full Mock: Language Paper 1 (Unseen 19th Century Extracts/Transactional Writing) 1 hr 45|
|Term 3 (6 weeks)|
|English Literature Paper 1A||Shakespeare: Macbeth (6 weeks)|
|Assessment||Literature Paper 1A: students answer 2 questions, one based on an extract, one on the play as a whole (55 mins)|
|Term 4 (5 ½ weeks)|
|English Literature Paper 2A||Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or A Christmas Carol (51/2 weeks)|
|Assessment||Students answer 2 questions, one based on an extract, one on the novella as a whole (55 mins)|
|Term 5 (6 weeks)|
|English Literature Paper 2A||Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or A Christmas Carol (2 weeks)|
|English Literature Paper 2Bb/English Language Spoken Language||
Introduction to Spoken Language (1 week)
Unseen Poetry (1 week)
|English Language Paper 2||Non-Fiction and Transactional Writing (2 weeks)|
|Term 6 (7 1/2 weeks)|
|English Language Paper 2||Non-Fiction and Transactional Writing (4 weeks)|
|Full mock: English Language Paper 2 (Non-Fiction Reading and Transactional Writing) 2 hrs 15 mins (1 week)|
|English Language Spoken Language||English Language SL assessment (2 weeks)|