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The English department at Upper Batley High School consists of 4 dedicated members of staff whose aim is to achieve the highest possible standards for all of our learners. We are a forward- thinking department who strive to ensure that our curriculum offers a rich and diverse range of learning experiences both at KS3 and KS4. Our curriculum is designed especially to engage and support the achievement of boys by equipping them with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

Outline of Course Content

The department uses the AQA exam board and all learners will study for 2 GCSEs; English Language and English Literature. Learners are assessed entirely through written examinations taken at the end of the course. There are no tiers of entry so all learners will sit the same exam and will be awarded in grades 1-9, a grade 5 being the equivalent to a grade C and a grade 9 being the highest award.

Course Breakdown

For English Language, key areas of study are Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing  and Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives. There are 2 exams, both are 1 hour and 45mins long and worth 50% of the final mark. The exams consist  of short and long form questions and extended writing questions. For English Literature, key areas of study are Shakespeare and the 19th Century novel and Modern Drama and Poetry. There are 2 exams; The Shakespeare and 19th Century novel paper is 1 hour and 45 minutes long and the learner is required to write in detail about an extract from the text and then to write about the text as a whole. The Modern Drama and Poetry paper is 2 hours and 15 minutes long and requires the learner to answer an essay question on the drama text, a comparative question on the poetry anthology cluster, a question on an unseen poem and a question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.

Extracurricular and Enrichment Opportunities

The department runs theatre trips to see the GCSE set texts in  performance and learners have enjoyed productions of Of Mice and Men and Blood Brothers.

The department also encourages learners to take part in national writing , poetry and literacy competitions such as The Poetry Games and Spelling Bee.

After school and holiday revision and catch-up sessions are run throughout the year.

Other Details

Useful revision websites are BBC GCSE Bitesize revision and

Recommended Revision Guides: CGP AQA English Revision Guide/Workbook, CGP GCSE English.

Writing, Skills, CGP GCSE Literature Text Guides.