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Key Stage 3

The study of English Literature at Stroud High will encourage you to transform your imagination, transport you into new worlds and introduce you to extraordinary people who you would never meet in your day-to-day experiences. These amazing people might be from the past, from the present or from the future… but, one thing is certain, they will teach you important lessons about independence, choice and consequence, how to live, how to love and how to accept difference. By the end of your time in Key Stage 3 you will have developed your creative thinking, your analytical mind and your powers of communication building resilience, confidence and mastery of your skills. Our aim is that you access a creative curriculum whilst ensuring competency in grammar and a true passion for reading and writing in range of forms for diverse audiences.

In Year 7: You will: meet an Arctic adventurer and sail upon his ship discovering new land; share secrets with an unwanted Chinese daughter who longs to be free; explore magical woodlands with a mischievous fairy named Puck; solve challenges in teams to uncover issues in the Amazon Jungle; and take a tour with a marvellous man called Dickens meeting his friends and enemies from our literary past.

In Year 8: You will: continue to encounter awe-inspiring people from History and take a journey through 21st Century Parliament; help solve a murder mystery when an Inspector Calls; time travel to ancient Greece meeting Gods from Olympia, philosophers and scholars; decode archaic languages such as Anglo Saxon and meet an influential man named Chaucer; experience the supernatural and witness a crime in a Scottish castle; and delve into the Georgian world of Austen learning about the etiquette of the day and changing female roles.

In Year 9: You will: embark upon a tour of influential literary texts from the Shakespearean tragedy of two star crossed lovers to the revolutionary poetry of the Romantics; sail the seas to America and wander the lonely roads of Soledad to visit Steinbeck’s Migrant ranch; endure a world of witchcraft and lies in Miller’s Salam; and then to India, South Africa and across the globe for a taste of contemporary poetry.  

This challenging three year course has been designed to allow you to grow as an English student, refine your skills, nurture your independence and broaden your mind ready for scholarship at Key Stage 4.

Click on the button below to access KS3 English Resources 


Key Stage 4

English Language and Literature

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. - William Butler Yeats

KS4 Year 10 Sitting Examination in 2017

In year 10: You will build on and hone the skills you have developed in KS3, applying these skills to three challenging, rewarding and exciting texts in a year of literary scholarship.  

You will start by reading Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, an oft underrated ‘comedy’ whose themes are as relevant today as they ever were.  These include the position of women in society, the difference between appearance and reality and the nature of masculinity.  Hero and Claudio are in love and getting married, but Don John the Bastard has other ideas and a plan to ruin things for them.  Meanwhile, Beatrice and Benedick hate each other, but Don Pedro of Aragon has other ideas and a plan to bring them together.  How will it all end?  Throughout the reading of the play, you will develop your ability to closely analyse textual detail and link it to its social and historical contexts.

Next, you will be stranded on a deserted island after the plane evacuating you from the nuclear war in England.  In Lord of the Flies, a plane load of public school boys are stranded on an island.  Things start well, with a clear leadership structure and social structure, but one boy’s obsession with hunting the pigs that live on the island, and his use of war paint to hide his face, soon lead to the tenuous society they have created falling apart.  You will witness the darkness of man’s heart laid bare and learn to appreciate how Golding’s complex and descriptive prose style enables him to deftly explore these themes.

Finally, you will follow the dramatic life of Jane Eyre as she struggles to find a place for herself in the world which matches her abilities and qualities as a woman.  Starting as an orphan living with her horrible Aunt and cousins, we will see her travel to the terrible conditions of Lowood school, act as a governess for the troubled but attractive Lord Rochester and almost perish on the moors at night.  Find out how it will all end for her, all the while mastering the art of writing a literary essay.

You will also develop your ability to write descriptively and analyse non-fiction texts, both to prepare you for examinations in Year 11 and to help inform your interpretations of the literature texts.  As well as all of this, a series of poems on the theme of power and conflict will be woven throughout the year, drawing on themes in the texts and allowing you to further explore your ideas about the main texts. By the end of the year, you will be a fully-fledged English GCSE student, who is able to “write as a reader and read as a writer”.

In Year 11: You will begin applying the knowledge and skills you have developed in Year 10 to more specific exam skills.  The year is split into sections, each one dealing with a different element of the exams you will sit at the end of the year.  These are: Literature Paper 1 Section A (Shakespeare –Much Ado About Nothing) and Section B (19th century novel –Jane Eyre); Literature Paper 2 Section A (Modern texts –Lord of the Flies), Section B (Poetry –Power and Conflict) and Section C (Unseen Poetry); Language Paper 1 Section A (Analysing an unseen extract) and Section B (Descriptive or narrative writing); Language Paper 2 Section A (Analysing the viewpoint of writers) and Section B (Writing to express a point of view).

KS4 Year 11 Sitting Examination 2016

Over the Summer Term you will have voyaged to the remote island of ‘Lord of the Flies’ and your reading experience would have bloomed when reading the post-colonial text ‘The Purple Hibiscus’; you should also have experienced the pleasures of extreme reading which you have recorded photographically for the whole world to see. This superb preparation will place you perfectly for the year ahead where knowing your Literature texts is essential. The academic year may feel like jungle that must be cut through, but rescue is at hand. The year starts with continued study of ‘The Purple Hibiscus’  for English Language controlled assessment, which will fire up your enthusiasm; you will undertake a range of speaking and listening tasks as part of the course in which you will present, discuss and perform in order to show leadership; you will then have climbed to the top of the mountain and start to study a range of non-fiction in preparation for your Mock Examination. This test of endurance will include: English Language Paper 1 and a separate examination of English Literature Paper 2. Whether you wither or bloom like candle buds, this experience is constructive and you will be given excellent feedback to help you succeed in the actual examination. At this point you will encounter ‘Lord of the Flies’ where many of you will have an epiphany that this the last text you will study. From there on you will revise for the rest of the course and  in August a boat will take you to another land of promise, where you can study a new landscape of literary study which is dynamic, demanding and scholarly.

Click on the button below to access GCSE English Resources 


Key Stage 5

Year 12 English Literature A Level and AS Level  (Edexcel) (From 2015)

Year 1: Whether you are looking to deepen your understanding of literature or achieve mastery, an academic approach is essential to your success. Much of literature study in universities is based on writers whose reputation is locked in stone vaults it may seem. In this course the poetry studied in the first term is very much living and breathing; the writing studied was written in the last decade and touches upon where poetry is now and where the English language is in the twenty-first century. AS and A Level students study an Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry for this part of the course. The ‘Other Drama’ is equally provocative. Students study the modern gothic ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and examine its unique language, stagecraft and context. The rest of the course is preparation for the Prose paper and the current choice of text is Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ and EM Forster’s ‘A Passage To India’. The year ends with preparation for the course, which is a comparison of two texts.

Year 2: The A Level course allows students to deepen their knowledge of critical viewpoints; social and historical context and mastery of the skills of literary analysis. Students will study Keats, as an example of Pre-twentieth century Romantic poetry, and Shakespeare’s problem play ‘Measure for Measure’ . They will also prepare their independent study for coursework and learn how to analyse contemporary unseen poetry.

English Literature (WJEC) (Legacy specification)

The A Level course allows students to deepen their knowledge of critical viewpoints; social and historical context and mastery of the skills of literary analysis. Students should have prepared for their coursework essay over the summer and the first weeks of the course is offering the support to engage with this topic and investigate and submit ideas for further fascinating research. The rest of the course explores the social, literary and historical aspects of William Blake alongside a wide array of unseen poetry texts from a different cultural period. Students also study ‘Measure for Measure’ and the ‘Duchess of Malfi’. In both units of the course, students gain mastery and applications of different critical perspectives.

English Language and Literature (AQA) (From 2015)

Year 1: Students in the course learn the rudiments of combined literary and linguistic study. You enter the ‘imagined world’ of Margaret Atwood and study the dystopian and challenging novel ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ with its sophisticated literary structure on the narrative viewpoint. Students also study one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century: Seamus Heaney and examine a master of the ‘Poetic Voice’. The second part of the course examines non- fiction and covers the theme of Paris and invites students to use their own craft and skill to re-create new texts and then analyse their outcomes.

Year 2: The year allows consolidation and challenge, but also mastery of the approaches discovered in the first year.  Intelligent and comprehensive reading becomes the bedrock of analysis using different relevant approaches and also facilitates skilful and sensitive choices of language to emerge in their own original compositions. You will study in a unit entitled ‘Writing about Society’ a modern novel entitled ‘The Kite Runner’ and explore the techniques of the writer and then use this as inspiration for a re-creation task and commentary.  In the unit ‘Dramatic Encounters’ students study the modern gothic drama ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. Students are also expected to independently explore and compare non-fiction and fictional texts as part of their coursework.

English Language and Literature (AQA) (Legacy specification Examined 2016)

Year 13 (2015-16): Students will begin the year by choosing their texts for comparison and planning for their independent study. They will read extensively from the set sections of Cupcakes and Kalashnikov’s and compose their own original and unique pieces of writing based on the requirements of  purpose and audience. Students will further develop their critical vocabulary and learn to apply these skills to deconstruct and analyse a range of  text features from spoken and written modes.

Click on the button below to access KS5 English Resources



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