Key Stage 4

What you will study:

KS4 students will begin their GCSEs in English Language and English Literature. Your child will complete both of their GCSE courses at the end of Year 11. You will receive regular feedback on your child's progress via the classroom teacher's marking and the school reports. You will have the opportunity to discuss your child's progress in English during our Year 10 and Year 11 Parent's Evenings. Following government changes to education, under the new legislation students will receive a GCSE grade numbered 1-9. Grade 1 will be the lowest grade and roughly equivalent to a current GCSE G grade. Grades 8 and 9 will be the highest grades and roughly equivalent to a current GCSE A** grade.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

Students will cover all of the topics and texts listed during the course of their two year study at KS4.

GCSE English Language GCSE English Literature
  • Paper 1, Section A: Narrative and Descriptive Writing from 19th - 21st century
  • Paper 2, Section A: Narrative and Persuasive Writing from 19th – 21st century
  • Paper 1 & 2, Section B: Descriptive and Persuasive extended writing
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Power and Conflict Poetry
  • Unseen Poetry
  • An Inspector Calls or Blood Brothers
  • Macbeth
  • * All English Literature exams are CLOSED BOOK: students are NOT allowed copies of the texts in the exam but are still expected to make cross-text links.

Key Stage 4 Assessment

At the beginning of Year 10 students are provided with an aspirational target grades for English Language and English Literature based on their end of KS2 data and current FFT data. These target grades are recorded inside the front covers of their exercise books; at the beginning of a new scheme of work students are required to set themselves two new attainment targets based on prior learning and teacher feedback. All students should know the grades they aspire to and SMART targets to improve their individual attainment at both GCSE courses. Students' reports will provide feedback on students' progress towards those targets.

As the exam board's band descriptors for the grades have been widened - meaning that students must demonstrate more technical and analytical skills in order to achieve their target grade - students are more rigorously assessed than ever before.

Students are continually assessed and monitored by their classroom teachers and their progress is tracked by the Key Stage 4 Coordinator. Assessment takes place continually and in a range of formats; students will complete a range of summative and formative assessments over the duration of their English Language and English Literature courses. In Year 10, students will sit three mock examinations and in Y11 students will sit six mock examinations to further prepare them for the examination environment, expectations of the papers and working in timed conditions.

The marking of assessment tasks and mock examinations are moderated by the Key Stage 4 Co-ordinator and members of the department in-line with guidance from the AQA Examination Board. All teachers have to record their marks on the KS4 tracking sheet which enables the Key Stage 4 Coordinator to track progress across the year groups and to identify individual strengths and weaknesses. Students of all abilities who are at risk of underachieving will be allocated a five week bespoke intervention package to improve a particular skill set.

Key Stage 4 Homework

How often is homework set? What types of homework tasks are set? How does homework consolidate learning?
Homework is set once per week and is expected to take 1-2 hours to complete.
  • Key terminology spellings and definition tests
  • Independent reading
  • Research tasks
  • Inference tasks
  • Timed essays
  • In Year 10 homework is directly linked to encouraging students' engagement with the outcomes of their GCSE courses.
  • In Year 11 homework is directly linked to revising and preparing for their GCSE exams.