English and Media
At Shevington High School, we aim to stimulate lasting pupil curiosity, interest and enjoyment in English and Media as well to provide all pupils with the literacy skills that they will require for their future success. We work tirelessly to create an atmosphere where pupils wish to learn. This in turn will enable each pupil to achieve the highest possible level of achievement.
We work hard to develop and sustain in pupils the habit of reading and encourage pupils to value reading for pleasure and as an important skill for life. We ensure that we introduce pupils to a wide range of materials including the work of classic British authors. We also aim to lead by example in order that pupils develop a range of interpersonal qualities such as politeness, perseverance, initiative, confidence and independence.
We offer opportunities for pupils to work independently and as part of a team in varied activities. In addition to this, we aim to ensure that the skills developed in English and Media contribute to the development of core skills and build on pupils understanding of the role they play as British Citizens in society.
All lessons are taught by a well-established specialist team of teachers, the majority of which are delivered in a suite of classrooms within the English faculty. We also have our own dedicated teaching assistant who supports those pupils with additional learning needs.
We pride ourselves on the examination results achieved by pupils, and the levels of progress made during their time at the school, especially since a good grasp of English and Literacy are so important in equipping pupils for the future.
In addition to our curriculum, we offer additional extra-curricular activities. Reading Lions meet in morning registration to develop reading skills. The library is staffed by pupil librarians at break and dinner time where pupils can go to read or do homework. Each year we enter the ‘Youth Speaks’ competition and to date we have had very successful teams. We also run a number of theatre trips to see performances related to the texts we study. In addition, we have enjoyed visits from several theatre groups including ‘Tiny Giants’ who have performed ‘A Christmas Carol’ and Manchester Actors who perform both ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘Macbeth’ this year. We also work closely with many of our feeder primary schools and our pupils enjoy the opportunity to support the work of younger pupils when they visit us for special literacy themed days.
In Year 7, pupils build on the skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening that they have developed in primary school. We aim to help pupils to progress, regardless of their starting point, challenging the most able, but also providing targeted intervention for those who have perhaps not made the progress desired during their primary years. This includes 4 lessons a week, one of which is based in the library to promote reading for pleasure. Pupils track their reading progress using the Accelerated Reading Programme and we also have a number of reading programmes that use ICT to allow access from home. The scheme of work follows a wide range of topic areas from novels, poetry and plays to informative writing, giving presentations and media topics.
In Year 8, pupils follow a similar scheme of work as in Year 7, building on the skills and understanding developed in their first year. They continue to have some lessons in the library to continue to foster a love for reading. Throughout the KS3 curriculum, we support pupils to build the skills required for their GCSE studies.
In Year 9, pupils begin their GCSE course. Since the GCSE exam is now 100% examination, pupils must work hard to develop their reading and writing skills as well as develop enhanced ability to perform to the best of their ability in examination conditions. The GCSE course includes both English Language and Literature and involves studying and analysing a range of texts from a range of literary periods. Pupils are also taught to develop their ability to write in a range of different forms in a sophisticated way. Pupils begin to study two of their set GCSE texts: Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and Conan-Doyle’s ‘A Sign of Four.’
In Year 10, pupils continue to follow their GCSE course. We aim to have covered all elements of the course by the end of Year 10. During this year, pupils build on the skills developed in previous years, study their set texts in detail including the introduction of Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers’ and an anthology of poetry. The course involves studying whole literary texts in depth, studying non-fiction and a variety of different writing styles. Students will be awarded with the new dual award GCSE (Grades 9-1) at the end of Year 11. (AQA Examination Board)
Students in Year 11 will be the first cohort to take the new GCSE examination. This will be graded from 9-1. Pupils will spend Year 11 completing the final aspects of the course, especially some of the poetry. Most of the texts and skills will have been taught in Year 9 and Year 10. A lot of time will be spent revising and working on examination technique to prepare pupils for their 100% examination course.
This course is made up of 2 examination papers. One paper focusses on modern fiction and the other on non-fiction texts including some pre-twentieth century non-fiction. Pupils also have to write their own descriptions, stories and non-fiction writing. The examination tests pupils’ reading and writing skills. In addition pupils’ ability to use Spoken English is examined as they give a formal presentation which is recorded on video for the exam board. For this aspect of the course, pupils receive either ‘Pass,’ ‘Merit’ or ‘Distinction.’
This course is also made up of 2 examination papers. One paper concentrates on modern texts and poetry – this includes an anthology of poems and the study of Blood Brothers. Pupils have to answer essay style questions about the texts that they have studied and some unseen poems. They do not have copies of the texts in the exam and will need to know their texts really well to be successful.
Getting Ready for GCSEs
It is always a great advantage if students equip themselves for their GCSE courses by getting their own copies of the set texts for GCSE English and English Literature. Having your own copy will mean you can make your notes straight onto your own book if you wish and will improve your ability to revise at home. Revision guides are also available through the school Cash Office. Y9 and Y10 pupils will need ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Blood Brothers’ and ‘A Sign of Four’. We have offered pupils the opportunity to buy these books at a discounted rate through school.
GCSE Media Studies
This course is available as an option and is a very successful course in school with pupils achieving highly. The course is made up of two units. There is an external written exam which focuses on the study of a set media topic which students know about in advance and prepare for in class. This year it is News and News Websites. This is worth 40% of the final qualification. Pupils also complete 3 controlled assessments; two written assignments and a practical project where they produce a professional media product of their choice, for example; a short film, or the opening sequence for a TV programme, a magazine or their own website. For pupils studying Media Studies in Year 9, we are awaiting information about the new specifications, therefore pupils are studying a broad range of Media skills in their current lessons.
AQA English Language and Literature (Y9, Y10 and Y11)
WJEC Media Studies. Y11 only
GCSE Media Studies – Y9 – Specification to be confirmed after publication of the new GCSE
Exam/Controlled Assessment Dates
GCSE English/English Lang/Literature external exam opportunities May/June only of Y11.
GCSE Media Studies: June only of Y11.
Media Controlled Assessments: Throughout the course. To be completed by February half term of Y11.