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 pride ourselves on the examination results achieved by pupils, 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. IDL sessions take place 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 ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ ‘An Inspector Calls’ and a presentation based on the ‘Power and Conflict’ poetry. In 2019, we also organized a PGL revision weekend where Y11 students revised as well as enjoyed a range of outdoor activities. 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 alternately in the library and an IT room to promote reading for pleasure and to provide a workshop base for SAIL learning. 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 and SAIL workshops to develop independent skills. Throughout the KS3 curriculum, we support pupils to build the skills required for their GCSE studies.
In Year 9, pupils begin their GCSE course whilst continuing to develop the skills and knowledge developed in KS3. 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 some of their set GCSE texts: Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and The ‘Power and Conflict’ anthology.
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’ or Priestley’s Inspector Calls and Conan Doyle’s Sign of Four. 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 dual award GCSE (Grades 9-1) at the end of Year 11. (AQA Examination Board)
In Year 11, pupils will spend time completing the final aspects of the course as well as refining their knowledge and skills through targeted revision. 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. Pupils are encouraged to attend revision sessions and to use GCSE pod and Seneca Learning to enhance their revision.
ALL STUDENTS SHOULD REGULARLY CHECK GCSE POD
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’ or ‘An Inspector Calls’. 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. The other paper assesses students’ knowledge of a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘The Sign of Four.’
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’ or ‘Inspector Calls’ (depending on their teaching group) 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. The course is made up of three units. There are 2 external written exams which focuses on the study of a set media texts, topics and media theory. These exams are worth 70% of the final qualification. Pupils also complete a practical assessment; tasks for this are set by the exam board but it might include a task like designing and making a poster and DVD cover for a particular genre of film. The exam board in Eduqas.
AQA English Language and Literature
Eduqas Media Studies – Y10 and Y11 only.
Exam/Practical Assessment Dates
GCSE English/English Lang/Literature external exam opportunities May/June of Y11.
GCSE Media Studies: May/June of Y11.
Media Practical Unit 3 Assessments: Summer Term Y10.
Spoken English Endorsement – During Y9 or Y10.