At Westborough, we believe that English embraces the study of both language and literature. It allows pupils to demonstrate their ability in functional English; to investigate and analyse language and, to experiment and use language creatively. The literature element enables pupils to experience a range of literature with a wide variety of appeal drawn from contemporary and modern texts, texts from across the globe and texts which have had a significant influence on our English literary and cultural heritage.
In English, our aims are to ensure that pupils are taught to foster and enhance their language and communication through listening, talking, reading and writing; thus, increasing their awareness that language study is the key to successful integration in wider society. Furthermore, we enable pupils to develop an understanding and appreciation of the range and variety of purposes for which language can be used. As well as developing critical awareness, we aim to teach pupils to appreciate language for its own sake so that the link between structure and meaning can be understood and used. Also, they are taught to develop social competence and self-esteem through understanding and using language. Learning within an enjoyable, stimulating and safe learning environment is at the core of our aims, but our overall vision is to ensure pupils at Westborough are challenged to an appropriate level so that every pupil not only achieves, but exceeds their potential.
Key Stage 3
Across Key Stage 3, we aim to cover the groundwork which will prepare pupils for the further study of language and literature at GCSE. Pupils read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, including novels, short stories, poems and plays from a wide range of genres and historical periods. This also includes high quality works from pre 1914 and contemporary English literature, including two Shakespeare plays.
Programmes of study delivered in Year 7 include: narrative writing, the study of twenty-first century fiction texts such as ‘Wonder’ and ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’, as well as a selection of poetry (modern and English cultural heritage poets) and the Shakespeare play, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
With regards to Year 8, programmes of study include: narrative and descriptive writing; the study of a twenty-first century novel (‘A Monster Calls’); a selection of pre-twentieth century fiction (including Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley); the study of a selection of Romantic poetry as well as the preliminary study of the Shakespeare play, ‘Macbeth’ to assist in the preparation of GCSE.
Key Stage 4
During the course, learning focuses on two main areas: ‘Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing’ and ‘Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives’. In addition, pupils also study a unit called Spoken Language which will focus on the skills of presenting, responding to questions and feedback and using Standard English. With regards to the Reading section of the course, pupils learn how to analyse the ways in which writers use language and structure to create effects in a range of literary texts, as well as how to evaluate texts critically and compare writers’ ideas and perspectives.
For the Writing element, pupils earn how to communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively; to write for a specific audience and purpose or to take a viewpoint, as well as writing creatively.
During this course of study, learning focuses on two main areas: ‘Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel’ and ‘Modern Texts and Poetry’. The key texts pupils study in preparation for these units are ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens and ‘An Inspector Calls’ by JB Priestley. They also study a selection of poetry taken from the Relationships cluster of the AQA Anthology. In addition, pupils learn how to respond to unseen poetry and produce an effective comparative analysis.
By the end of both courses of study in Year 11, pupils are well equipped to pursue further education in language and literature either as a main topic or as an addition to other subjects.