English at Helenswood
Faculty: Mr C Richards
Faculty: Miss P Proctor
teaching of English at Helenswood has one aim: to achieve excellence at all
levels. The English Faculty is focused on ensuring that every student is
equipped with the literacy skills and knowledge needed to achieve to the very
best of their ability. Over each of the two Key Stages, your daughter will be
taught how to develop her grammatical and analytical skills, widen her reading
skills and strategies and will learn to be an independent thinker and
researcher. By the time your daughter completes her GCSEs, we hope to have
created a love of English and English Literature within her which will see her
apply to study the subject at AS Level at Parkwood.
are consistently proud of our results at all three Key Stages. In the academic
year 2011 – 2012, our Year 9 students achieved excellent results, with 85% of
students obtaining a Level 5 or above, 22% of whom achieved a level 7 and 5% of
whom achieved a level 8. At GCSE level, 78% of students left with a grade A* -
C in English and we are proud of the fact that this is our highest ever result
for Language at Helenswood. For English Literature, 68% of students achieved a
grade A* - C. Finally, we continued our 100% pass rate at A2 Level and 90% of
students left with a grade A*-C with two students leaving with an A*. These are
standards we are determined to continue, and we look forward to congratulating
your daughter when she receives her well-deserved grades.
the classroom, our students can expect to learn English through a variety of
means. As a faculty we utilise a range of teaching styles, including peer work
and assessment, group work, drama, speaking and listening tasks, extended
writing and analysis, creative writing and ICT to name but a few. We believe
that successful learning can only be achieved through aiming our lessons, and
therefore the activities completed within them, at the needs of each student
within a class.
Stage 3 English
Within English at Key Stage 3 students are given
the opportunity to access a creative, engaging and enjoyable curriculum. They
will learn a broad range of skills within the three different elements:
reading, writing and speaking & listening. We will equip them with the
tools to develop their abilities in all three of these aspects of English, thus
enabling them to become effective and successful communicators with their peers
and within society.
Students will cover a broad range of topics each
year including: poetry, creative writing, Shakespeare and media, alongside many
more. All of these topics will be taught in an active and engaging way to
enable students to develop and enhance their skills within the subject.
Students’ learning within KS3 will ensure they receive the best possible
grounding in preparation for KS4 and beyond. Students’ learning within KS3
English will enable them to become proficient in all aspects of communication,
ensuring they stand the best possible chance of succeeding within the wider
Language and English Literature
At Upper School we personalise the curriculum to
ensure students achieve the best possible grades in the English qualifications
needed for their academic and professional progression. Students in K and L
bands study for two English GCSE qualifications – English Language and English
Literature. Students in M band study a single award in GCSE English. Each
qualification will incorporate external assessments (exams) and controlled
assessments (coursework completed under exam conditions). Students need to
achieve a grade A* - C in either GCSE English Language or GCSE English, so all
students have the opportunity at Helenswood to achieve qualifications essential
for their future.
2010 brought with it major changes to the structure
of the GCSEs. For English, the biggest change is the removal of coursework. Due
to the increase in plagiarism across the country, coursework has been replaced
by Controlled Assessments. Under
the new rules for Controlled Assessments, students are to study a range of
different texts and writing skills before completing assessed work under exam
conditions. This means that they will be allowed a limited amount of guidance
in the assessment but will not be allowed to rewrite a piece of assessed
work. Because of this, your daughter
will need to ensure that she is focused and working to the best of her ability
if she is to achieve well within the assessments as there will be no
opportunity to improve a piece of work later in the course. The exam board has
also stipulated how much time we are allowed to spend in the teaching of each
Controlled Assessment, meaning that learning will be at a quick pace.
The English Language and English Literature GCSEs
will consist of the following work:
English Language (60% of GCSE):
- Studying Written Language: Reading and response to a text;
- Using Language: One piece of Creative Writing and one piece of Descriptive
- Spoken Language: Three Speaking and Listening tasks;
- Studying Spoken Language: Studying the spoken language of others.
English (60% of GCSE):
two extended responses – one to a text from a different culture and another
comparing a Shakespeare play with poetry.
two creative responses – one in the 1st person narrative and the
other in the 3rd person narrative.
English Literature (25% of GCSE):
- Poetry and Drama: Comparing a Shakespeare play with poetry.
English/English Language (40% of GCSE):
- Written Paper 1: Reading of non-fiction texts;
- Written paper 2: Two writing tasks.
English Literature (75% of GCSE)
- Exam 1: Part 1: Study of a novel from a
Part 2: Comparison of two unseen poems;
- Exam 2: Study of a drama text;
Study of a novel.
access the specifications for Year 10 and Year 11, please follow the links
Year 10 –
Year 10 –
Year 11 –
Year 11 –
Texts at Key
Year 10 you daughter will be studying the following:
Shakespeare text with a selection of poetry from the exam board anthology.
Written Language: ‘Of
Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck.
year 11, depending on her class, your daughter will be studying the following:
K Band: ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by
Jane Austen and ‘A View from the Bridge’ by Miller;
L Band: ‘Heroes’ by Cormier and
either ‘Hobson’s Choice’ by Brighouse or ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B.Priestley;
you or your daughter require any further information or support at any level of
their English studies at Helenswood, please contact your daughter’s classroom
teacher or Mr Richards (Upper School) or Miss Proctor (Lower School).