The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.

Oliver Wendall Holmes (1809-1894) American author and poet

As well as encouraging a love of reading, English at Durham Johnston aims to create analytical and perceptive young people. There is a strong emphasis on basic skills, but also a drive towards creativity and independence of thought.  We strive to balance: reading, writing and speaking and listening skills, to provide a rich and enjoyable experience for the pupils.

Key Stage 3

 

 

Year

TOPIC

7

In Year 7 pupils study units of work focussed on reading and writing skills, as follows:


Term 1

Writing:  pupils will begin with a short writing unit, where they will produce a piece of writing to describe an island or portal for the fantasy genre.  

Reading:  pupils will study a text (novel or play) with a focus on characters and themes.  
The last week of this term is our annual Readathon for Year 7 and Year 8.  All pupils are invited to bring in their own novels and will have a week of reading lessons, as well as discussing and sharing a love of literature.  

Term 2

Speaking and Listening:  we dedicate the first half term to our Public Speaking Unit.  Pupils will be taught persuasive techniques and look at a range of persuasive speeches, before writing their own persuasive speech on a topic of their choice and delivering it to the class.  After this, 10 pupils go into our annual Public Speaking Competition.  

Reading: pupils will analyse and discuss non-fiction texts, looking at how writers use language.  The focus will be on writer perspectives in newspaper articles and editorials.  

Writing:  pupils will recap writing skills and look at techniques to argue and persuade.   Pupils will write their own article/editorial.  

Term 3

Reading:  pupils will study types of poetry, romantic poetry and poetry writing.  

Writing:  pupils will end with a short writing unit, where they will look at utopian and dystopian writing.  

8

In Year 8 pupils study units of work focussed on reading and writing skills, as follows:


Term 1

Reading:  all pupils will study ‘Journey’s End’, along with war poetry.  

Writing:  pupils study a short descriptive writing unit, in order to produce a piece of writing to describe a picture.
The last week of this term is our annual Readathon for Year 7 and Year 8.  All pupils will be invited to bring in their own novels and will have a week of reading lessons, as well as discussing and sharing a love of literature.  

Term 2

Speaking and Listening:  we dedicate the first half term to our Public Speaking Unit.  Pupils will be taught persuasive techniques and look at a range of persuasive speeches, before writing their own persuasive speech on a topic of their choice and delivering it to the class.  After this, 10 pupils go into our annual Public Speaking Competition.  

Reading:  pupils will study a Shakespeare play with a focus on characters and themes.  

Term 3

Writing:  pupils will look at letters and diary entries.  They will then produce their own from a very specific perspective.  

Reading:  pupils will also study a range of poetry and look at how poetic devices are used for effect, as well as comparing poetry.  

9

Term 1:

Reading:  Pupils will study ‘Frankenstein’ and unseen poetry.

Writing:  pupils will begin with a short writing unit, in order to produce a piece of writing linked to either a title or an image.  

Term 2

Speaking and Listening and Writing:  Pupils will be taught persuasive techniques and look at a range of persuasive speeches, before writing their own persuasive speech on a topic of their choice and delivering it to the class

Reading:  pupils will study Macbeth with a focus on characters and themes.  

Term 3

Reading:   as well as a short reading unit, pupils will study poetry by Armitage and Duffy, with a focus on comparative poetry. 

Writing:  pupils will complete a creative writing unit and write their own story on a crime and punishment theme.  

 

GCSE English at Durham Johnston School

AQA GCSE English Language 
http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700

 

AQA GCSE English Literature
http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-literature-8702 

 

AQA Step up to English - for those needing more support before studying GCSE English Language
https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/elc/step-up-to-english-5970

 

Summary of the key content

Year 10 Topics

Detail

English Literature Paper 2: Modern Text

Study of either ‘Lord of the Flies’, ‘Animal Farm’, ‘Blood Brothers’ or ‘An Inspector Calls’.  Students analyse the characters, relationships, themes, setting, writers’ methods and contexts in preparation for the exam.

English Literature Paper 2: Poetry

Study of 15 poems from the ‘Power and Conflict’ AQA anthology.  Students prepare to compare two poems from this anthology in the exam.  Students also study and compare unseen poetry.

English Language

Paper 1: Writing

Writing to describe and narrate.  Students develop their writing skills to produce successful descriptions of an event, or a short story under timed conditions in preparation for the exam. 

English Language

Paper 1: Reading

Students learn the format of the reading exam.  This involves reading an unseen prose extract and answering four questions to analyse the writer’s use of language, structure and perspective.

English Literature Paper 1: Shakespeare

Study of the whole play of ’Romeo and Juliet’.  Students analyse the characters, relationships, themes, setting, writer’s methods and contexts in preparation for the exam.

Spoken Language Assessment

Each student delivers a prepared speech to their class on a topic of their choice.  Students are awarded pass, merit or distinction for their speech. 

Year 11 Topics

 

English Literature Paper 1: 19thCentury Novel

Study of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens. Students analyse the characters, relationships, themes, setting, writer’s methods and contexts in preparation for the exam.

English Language

Paper 2: Reading

Students learn the format of the reading exam.  This involves reading two non-fiction extracts (one pre-1900) and answering four questions, to analyse and compare the writers’ use of language, structure and perspective.  

English Language Paper 2: Writing

Writing non-fiction.  Students develop their skills of non-fiction writing of different text types and produce responses in preparation for the exam. 

Revision

Both English Language Papers and English Literature papers are revised in preparation for the summer exams.

 

 

A’ Level English Literature at Durham Johnston School

At Durham Johnston we follow the AQA English Literature A Level Specification A:

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/english/specifications/AQA-7711-7712-SP-2015-V1-0.PDF

Summary of Content and Assessment

A’ Level

Paper One:

Study of three texts around the theme of love, including one Shakespeare play, one prose text and one poetry anthology.
Also, exploration of unseen poetry.

 

Paper Two:

Study of three texts around the theme of ‘Modern Times: Literature from 1945 to the present day’. One prose, one drama and one poetry text will be studied, alongside unseen prose extracts.

 

Non Examination Assessment:

A comparison of two texts of the student’s choice. One must be pre-1900.

 

Assessment

Paper One: Love Through the Ages

3 hours

40% of A Level

Paper Two: Modern Times: Literature from 1945 to the present day

2 hours 30 mins

40% of A Level

Non Examination Assessment

2500 words

20% of A Level

A Level  English Language at Durham Johnston School

Link to the AS/A -level English Language

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/as-and-a-level/english-language-7701-7702

Summary of Content and Assessment

AS /Year 12 A Level

A Level

Paper 1 Language and the Individual:

Analysis of the representations and meanings in two different texts and a comparison question.

 

Paper 1 Language, the Individual and Society:
Analysis of two different texts from different times and a comparison between the two, plus a discursive essay on children's language development.

Paper 2  Language Varieties:

An essay question based on a topic such as gender, occupation, accent and dialect or sociolect, plus a directed writing task based on one of the topics.

Paper 2 Language Diversity and Change: 
An evaluative essay on language diversity or change.
Followed by analysis of two texts about a topic linked to the study of diversity and change plus a directed writing task linked to the same topic and the ideas in the texts.

 

 

 

 

Non Examination Assessment:

a language investigation plus a piece of original writing

and commentary.

 

Assessment

 

Assessment

Paper 1 Language and the Individual

Worth 50% of AS        1 hour 30 minutes

Paper 1 Language, the Individual and Society

Worth 40% of the A Level        2 hours and 30 minutes

Paper 2  Language Varieties

Worth 50% of AS       1 hour 30 minutes    

 

Paper 2 Language Diversity and Change:

Worth 40% of the A Level          2 hours and 30 minutes

 

NEA component

Worth 20% of A Level