Department information:

Year 7:

Students in Year 7 are presented with a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, with all students studying Shakespeare, a modern novel, poetry and a wide range of media and non-fiction texts. Lessons will also focus on consolidating grammar and sentence writing skills.

Some students will also be selected to follow a booster Literacy programme where they will consolidate phonics and reading skills.

All students follow the Accelerated Reader programme and are expected to read independently up to five times a week. This reading will be tracked and monitored by the class teacher. The department is lucky to be supported by the school librarian in the teaching of reading, and all students have the opportunity to visit the library not only in lessons but also during their social time.

Year 8:

In Year 8 students are presented with an in depth study of a play by Shakespeare, poetry, a novel and a genre study. Students will develop their non-fiction writing skills in a unit which focuses on quality literary non-fiction.

All students will continue with the reading programme begun in Year 7.

Year 9:

In Year 9 Lessons are divided into Language and Literature.

IN language students follow a course that develops the skills learnt in Years 7 and 8, and prepares them for the rigour of GCSE.

In the introduction to Literature course, students will develop an interest in Literature from a range of times and genres. The course focuses on acquiring the skills and vocabulary to enjoy and analyse a range of historical and literary fiction. Students will study extracts from a range of authors allowing them to develop understanding of character and setting.

Years 10-11:

All students in Year 10 will follow the AQA GCSE courses in English Language and English Literature.

In Language lessons students will be taught to critically evaluate texts and to make comparisons between writers. Students will also be expected to produce their own fiction and non-fiction texts in a range of genres.

In Literature students will study prose, poetry and drama texts as selected by the class teacher in line with examination board requirements.

Students in Year 10 are preparing for a course which is 100% examination based.

Post 16:

The English Department offers a range of courses at post 16. These include:

A and AS Level English Language

A and AS Level English Literature

GCSE English

Functional skills English levels 1 and 2

Useful revision websites The BBC Bitesize website is always useful for all students with a range of clips, quizzes and activities for both Language and Literature revision

Geoff Barton is a hugely successful English teacher and head teacher. He also writes text books for many exam boards. He publishes many of his lesson resources on his website, some of which you will find very useful.

A revision website built and maintained by an English teacher.

A revision website built around quizzes for students.

For students who have an Apple device at home:

The Revise series by Paul Gibson has a series of paid for and free(with adverts) English revision apps on texts such as Romeo and Juliet, Of Mice and Men, An Inspector Calls and Lord of the Flies.

Other useful tips for exam preparation

In English and English Language, the first paper requires students to read two lengthy articles. The exam board take these articles from a range of sources but usually at least one article from a broadsheet newspaper.

Often students will struggle with accessing the text in these articles because it can be quite complex language. Reading quality newspapers perhaps once a week, will help students get used to the tone and vocabulary needed.

We would suggest that once a week, your child selects an article from a newspaper such as The Guardian and summarises the content of the article and the writer’s tone and point of view.

English Revision
Nando’s Homework Menu
GCSE Revision Documents
A-Level Revision Documents

John Smeaton Academy is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538)
and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.