At Key Stage 3 we encourage our students to build on their skills acquired at Key Stage 2, while preparing them for the range of skills that they need to succeed at Key Stage 4. We have a strong focus on embedding and reinforcing literacy skills in all of our lessons. We strongly believe in the importance of written accuracy and the impact that this can have, not only on their GCSE assessments, but also in life outside school.
Our students at Key Stage 3 continue to develop their reading skills to prepare them for their GCSEs and life outside of school. All KS3 students visit the school library at least once a week in one of their English lessons to follow the successful Accelerated Reading programme.
In English, we celebrate and promote reading books and teach a range of popular texts at KS3, including:
We also teach a range of engaging Drama texts including:
In Year 7 and Year 8 our students develop their creative and transactional writing skills and learn the key features and conventions of a range of text types including narrative stories, descriptions, letters, articles, speeches, leaflets, reports and reviews.
We have a strong focus on developing Literacy skills at Outwood Academy Shafton. There are four main strategies we employ to encourage students to improve their written accuracy, including:
Each year group has a specific literacy focus each half term, which is frequently embedded and reinforced in our English lessons.
GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature
All of our students begin their GCSE studies in Year 9 and work towards two GCSE qualifications: English Language and English Literature.
All of our students are following the new Eduqas GCSE specifications for both English Language and English Literature.
English Language: Summary of Assessment
Component 1: 20th Century Literature Reading and Creative Prose Writing (1 hour 45 minutes)
Component 1 is a written examination worth 40% of the overall qualification. In Section A, students will respond to an extract from a fiction text. In Section B the students will plan and write their own piece of narrative writing:
Section A (20%) – Reading – 1 hour
This tests the students’ understanding of one prose extract (about 60-100 lines) of Literature from the 20th century assessed through a range of structured questions.
Section B (20%) – Prose Writing – 45 minutes
This consists of one creative writing task selected from a choice of four titles.
Component 2: 19th and 21st Century Non-Fiction Reading and Transactional/Persuasive Writing (2 hours)
Component 2 is a written examination worth 60% of the overall qualification. In Section A, students will respond to two non-fiction texts. In Section B, they will plan and produce two pieces of transactional writing.
Section A (30%) – Reading – 1 hour
This tests the students’ understanding of two extracts (about 900-1200 words in total) of high-quality non-fiction writing, one from the 19th century, the other from the 21st century, assessed through a range of structured questions.
Section B (30%) – Writing – 1 hour
This section consists of two compulsory transactional/persuasive writing tasks.
Component 3: Spoken Language
This is a non-exam assessment and involves one individual presentation or speech, including responses to questions and feedback. Achievement in Spoken Language will be reported as part of the qualification, but it will not form part of the final mark and grade. Students will be graded with a Pass, Merit or Distinction.
English Literature: Summary of Assessment
Component 1: Shakespeare and Poetry (2 hours)
Component 1 is a written examination worth 40% of the overall qualification.
Section A (20%) Shakespeare
All of our students are studying Romeo and Juliet for this section of the qualification. It consists of one extract question and one essay question based on the reading and understanding of a Shakespeare text.
Section B (20%) Poetry from 1789 to the present day
This section consists of two questions based on poems from the WJEC Eduqas Poetry Anthology, one of which involves comparison.
Component 2: Post-1914 Prose/Drama, 19th Century Prose and Unseen Poetry (2 hours and 30 minutes)
This is also a written examination worth 60% of the overall qualification.
Section A (20%) Post-1914 Prose/Drama
Our students are all studying Blood Brothers by Willy Russell. This has proved to be a very popular texts amongst our students.
Section B (20%) 19th Century Prose
Our students are all studying A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens for this section of the examination.
Section C (20%) Unseen Poetry from the 20th/21st Century
This final section consists of two questions on unseen poems, one of which involves comparison.