We are very fortunate to have an experienced team of English specialists here at De La Salle. Our aims are to develop a lifelong love and understanding of both Language and Literature. All of our students take both English Language and English Literature at GCSE.
Key Stage 3
Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 follow the Accelerated Reader program which uses technology to track progress in reading and encourages them to read more regularly and with greater ambition. Students receive prizes for the most words read and the most progress made!
In Years 7-9 students are taught in half-termly modules on a range of topics including Shakespeare, the modern novel, poetry, gothic fiction, transactional writing, pre-20th century prose, pre-20th century fiction, modern drama, media, film and the short story.
Students gain experience of key GCSE skills from the beginning of Year 7 and, assessments are carried out each half term. In Year 9, students begin study of GCSE-level texts. They are assessed using GCSE criteria.
What can I do to help my child be more successful?
Ensure that your child is reading every day on top of that which they do at school during DEAR-time (Drop Everything and Read) and DEAL-time (Drop Everything and Listen). This can be a mixture of fiction and non-fiction and will help to develop their skills not just in English, but across the full range of subjects studied at De La Salle. You can also work with your child on research homework and check through their work for basic errors. Playing word games such as crosswords and word-searches with your child can also be a mutually beneficial activity. Lastly, ask your child what they are currently reading or studying in English. A classic is a classic, so it is likely you have studied the same book!
Key Stage 4
Every student will word towards the GCSE (9-1) in both Language and Literature. We follow the Edexcel syllabus for both. GCSE assessment consists of two written exams for Language and two for Literature. There is a separate Spoken Language Endorsement that must also be completed and for which a Pass, Merit or Distinction. is awarded.
In English Language, students develop skills in analysis and the evaluation of fiction and non-fiction texts. They also work on their written communication in preparation for the composition of one of five identified transactional forms (review, speech, information text, formal letter and article) and a descriptive narrative.
In English Literature, we study a range of interesting texts including Romeo and Juliet, An Inspector Calls, A Christmas Carol and a range of modern and traditional poetry. Pupils will analyse language closely, compare texts and make links between great works of literature and the time and place in which they were written.
What can I do to help my child be successful?
Continue the good habits formed during Key Stage 3!
Read the texts that they are studying. Ask them questions and test them on their knowledge of content, character and quotation from the key texts. Share newspaper and magazine articles with them to keep them interested and engaged in the world around them. They are going to be asked to engage in challenging ideas and must have something to say about them. Furthermore, talk to them about why a piece of writing is successful; encourage them to evaluate the things that they see, hear and read. They must be able to recognise the bias in what is being presented to them in order to become successful readers and writers.