Most students in Key Stage 4 will be entered for the AQA syllabus in English Language and English Literature (double GCSE), however some students will be entered for AQA English only. Double GCSE: The English Language and English Literature syllabus is a rigorous course that requires students to complete five Controlled Assessments in timed conditions throughout Year 10 and 11. Students will also sit three terminal examinations at the end of Year 11 examining skills they have developed over the two year course. Students study a range of texts that include: a play by Shakespeare; Modern prose or drama; Poetry; a text from the English Literary Heritage and a prose text from ‘Exploring Cultures’.
A large amount of independent reading is required from students who expect to be successful in this course. Single GCSE: Some students will be entered for the AQA English Only syllabus. This course is designed to maximise student learning as it allows students more time to complete Controlled Assessments and focuses on helping them to develop practical skills in English. The course is a combined course that covers English language and literature and students are required to study a range of texts that include: a play by Shakespeare; Poetry from the English Literary Heritage and a prose text from ‘Exploring Cultures’. Students will complete five Controlled Assessments in timed conditions throughout Year 10 and 11 and a terminal examination at the end of Year 11. Parents are able to read the specification for this course for Single and Double GCSE at www.aqa.org.uk. Controlled Assessments KS4 Controlled Assessments have replaced the previous system of Coursework and account for up to 50% of each individual GCSE.
Please see the attached Department Guidelines that indicate the expectations of both the Examining Board (AQA) and the English Department during Controlled Assessments. These assessments occur periodically throughout the two year course and are weighted according to the topic studied, please see the attached information that indicates the weighting of specific Controlled Assessments. Students will complete a range of class based and independent study activities to prepare them for their assessments. As per the instructions from AQA, specific tasks will be released to students approximately one week prior to the Controlled Assessment. Students are allowed to attend the session with notes, further information regarding how the AQA Notes page should be used for each individual assessment are attached. Texts KS4 A large component of the AQA GCSE English Only/English Literature/English Language syllabus is reading. Most students will be required to read five texts over the two year course. The English Department are able to provide students with clean Examination/Controlled Assessment Copies to use for their assessments. However, students are expected to purchase their own copies to study in class and at home. Text lists which vary according to which set your child is in, are available here, please ensure you purchase the correct texts using the ISBN numbers supplied as this will make it easier for your child in the examination and Controlled Assessments.
The English Department would welcome any donations of texts once students have completed their final GCSE examinations. A box will be available in both the English Department and at the final examination for those who have no further use for their texts. Marking / Assessment / Moderation
The KS4 Assessment Policy outlines the main procedures for marking in the English Department. Each teacher endeavours to give relevant and timely feedback to their classes, in line with the National Curriculum and the specific requirements of the examination board. Although student work is moderated throughout Year 10 and 11, grades may be subject to change by AQA once final moderation and examinations have taken place to ensure there is continuity of achievement between years. Homework / Independent Study At KS4 students are expected to complete 3 x 40 minutes of independent study over each two week cycle as per the school homework calendar. This work should be recorded in the school organiser.
As students no longer have to complete coursework drafts at home, there is a greater focus on completing writing tasks set by their teacher, independent research or developing reading skills. Did you know that many students claim that they read less than one hour per week? Few realise that 35% of their English Language and 100% of their English Literature GCSE’s rely on their ability to read fluently and comprehend vocabulary and meanings within texts. Students will be prompted to read the set texts (according to the Controlled Assessment calendar) however a large component of the English Language course is the reading of non-fiction texts (articles, newspaper features, brochures, webpages etc).
Please click here for guidance on how you can help your child develop their reading skills. Intervention Throughout KS4 your child’s individual progress is monitored very closely by their classroom teacher, the Key Stage Coordinator, Head of Department and Senior Management at key points during the two year course. Our goal is to ensure not just that your child meets or exceeds their target grade, but to foster an enjoyment of English that may carry on to further study of the subject. We aim to encourage our students to be confidant, reasonable and empathetic speakers and listeners, literate and accurate writers and perceptive readers. Did you know that more than 50% of students in the Sixth Form at AES study either English Literature; English Language and Literature or the International Baccalaureate? Further information regarding the English Department Intervention Policy can be found in the top right sidebar.
Able, Gifted and Talented Stretch and challenge is a key focus in the English Department. Teachers are encouraged to plan interesting and challenging lessons that are suited to the needs of their individual students and classes. Setting is used as a tool to ensure that all students are appropriately challenged in lessons, this includes the texts that they are expected to read for independent study.
In-line with the school homework policy individual English teachers are allowed to provide 3 x 40 minutes of independent study tasks per cycle for students to complete. If any student feels this is insufficient they should discuss ideas for further study with their English teacher. Additional reading is encouraged and ideas suggested in the KS4 stretch and challenge reading list.