Key Stage 4
At KS4, our students refine the skills that they have developed as part of their KS3 units in order that they can experience the level of GCSE success that enables them to confidently take the next steps in their academic career. All students will be given the opportunity to study both English Language and English Literature at GCSE. They will sit these examinations at the end of Year 11 in both subjects as this gives them time to develop and mature as students of English through greater reflection and experience.
From the Gothic description of crimes on the streets of nineteenth-century London, to a 1940s dinner party with an uninvited guest, via a tale of power, conflict and the supernatural in medieval Scotland: during Key Stage Four English lessons, your child will visit a range of new, sometimes familiar, often challenging, destinations and ideas as they make their journey through the GCSE Literature and Language courses at Poynton High School
GCSE English Language (AQA)
Success in the study of language must also be based in practical purpose and whilst GCSE reading activities allow our students to broaden their ideas and vocabulary, writing activities give students further opportunities to develop the imaginative, creative and functional skills valued by employers and higher education institutions. In undertaking the English Language course, students will learn to succeed in the production of a wide range of written texts including: short stories and descriptions, articles, letters, speeches, leaflets and essays.
Our lessons also incorporate speaking and listening activities designed to support development of the social interaction and team-building skills so necessary to success at college, university or within the workplace and the wider world.
Our expectations of students, like our standards of success, are high. All students come to GCSE with the ability to succeed academically and we encourage our students to attain their potential through a range of teaching and learning activities coupled with regular assessment and feedback.
GCSE English Literature (AQA)
The English Literature course allows students to encounter the classic literature of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Y11), J.B. Priestley’s play An Inspector Calls (Y9 and 10) and William Shakespeare’s Macbeth (Y10). These texts have been chosen as classic texts in the canon and they encourage students to address universal themes and ideas.
In addition to novels and plays, students will also experience a range of contemporary and heritage poetry from their own anthology in order to develop an appreciation of poetic voices as diverse and captivating as William Blake, Wilfred Owen, Carol Ann Duffy, Imtiaz Dharker and John Agard.
Our GCSE English Literature lessons are a natural extension of the rich experience of texts and writers that our students have encountered at Key Stage Three. The GCSE texts are each chosen as a catalyst for discussion and to allow our students the opportunity to draw connections between plots, characters and themes across their reading experience and explore the relevance of the writers’ ideas to our modern day lives.
Students at Poynton High School enjoy their English studies in Year 10 and 11 and just a glance at the numbers of young people who continue with their study of English Language and Literature to A level is evidence of the enriching and exciting experiences offered to students at the GCSE stage.