Name your favourite book or TV programme. Think of a line from a poem or a slogan from an advert that has always stuck in your mind. Imagine that character from a play or a film that was brought to life so vividly that you could not help feeling love, hate or another emotion towards them. It would be surprising if you were unable to: great writing – whether it is prose, poetry or for performance on the stage or the screen – is remembered with passion and passed on from generation to generation to cherish.
Now, how about imagining that you could do the same? All right, you might not be the next Dickens, Shelley or Keats, but – as that list proves – great writing inspires further writing and the development of talents. If you try to increase your creative and technical ability, anything could happen. And that, alongside enabling you to enjoy the works of others, is what we – your English and Media teachers at BCHS – strive to help you do.
All students in the school study English to GCSE. In years 7 and 8, students build upon their learning from primary school and continue to develop their reading, writing and speaking and listening skills. The use of Guidance and Progress Logs and ongoing formative assessment enable students and their teachers to understand how and why they are progressing in certain areas and highlight the ones that need more attention.
Year 9 is used as a transition year in which students are prepared for the demands of the GCSE course. For example, all assessments will be taken under the same exam conditions as they currently are at GCSE level and more sophisticated interpretative and creative skills are introduced alongside more advanced texts.
In Years 10 and 11, all students study GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. For English Language and English Literature, assessment is through examinations which focus on the same reading and writing skills that students were developing in previous years. Students study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, write in a variety of styles to suit specific purposes and reflects and explores the ways literature has shaped our culture. For GCSE English Literature, students will study a play by Shakespeare, a 19th Century text, a modern text (either a play or a novel) and Poetry from the AQA Anthology.
At A Level, students can study either English Language and Literature or English Literature. Assessment is through coursework and examinations, with a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts being studied.
Media Studies in year 9 is a foundation year for the OCR GCSE. Each half term a different medium is taught, from film and advertising to new media. Each unit studied is accompanied by a practical task and students save their work on their own websites. A wide range of skills is developed to suit all abilities and interests.
At GCSE, work on individual and group productions is begun, as well as controlled assessments. Students create productions from a wide range of media available worth 60% of their final GCSE and prepare for a textual analysis of film and television exam worth 40% of their final mark.
At A level, students analyse media texts in depth and find out more about how they are produced. At AS, students study TV drama and the film industry for their exam and at A2 the exam consists of production reflections and Media Collective Identity. Both foundation and advanced production portfolios focus on video. The exam is worth 50% of the final mark and the group productions make up the remaining 50%.
Both in the Foundation Portfolio and Advanced Portfolio units, there is plenty of hands-on experience and some quite sophisticated skills with equipment and post-production software are developed. All A level production work is submitted on a website. Students also show evidence of planning, reflection and evaluation to accompany the practical work and are encouraged to “read” media texts in analytical and creative ways throughout the course.
Students state a preference for which language (French or Spanish) they would like to learn before starting at BCHS. In years 7 and 8, students cover a range of topic areas from personal description to town and holidays and develop their reading, writing,speaking, listening and translation skills. The use of ongoing formative assessment enable students and their teachers to understand how and why they are progressing in certain areas and highlight the ones that need more attention.
Year 9 is used as a transition year in which students are prepared for the demands of the GCSE course. For example, all assessments will be taken under the same exam conditions as they currently are at GCSE level and students are introduced to specific elements of the speaking exam that they are expected to undertake at the end of KS4.
As of 2016, in Year 10 students will begin the new linear languages qualification where they will be formally assessed at the end of year 11. These assessments are weighted equally and focus on the 4 key skill areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. In year 10 students will complete formal and informal mock exams to prepare them for their exams at the end of Year 11. They will continue to build on the skills that they studied in Year 9 but will be expected to express and understand longer and more complex passages.
In Year 11, assessment is through four pieces of controlled assessment (two speaking and two writing) worth 60% of their final grade.Some of this controlled assessment will have been completed in year 10. The final exams will be in listening and reading making up the final 40% of their grade. Students will use lesson time and homework to prepare for the controlled assessments whilst also devoting some lesson time to preparing them for the final exam. Once controlled assessments have been completed students will focus solely on building vocabulary and developing the listening and reading skills that they need.
At A Level, students can study either Spanish or French. Assessment is through examinations, with students being expected to discuss current affairs, film and literature.
- Christine Williams (CWS) - Director of Learning Literacy
- Peter Anstee (PAE) - Teacher of English and Media
- Joan Bower (JBR) - Teacher of Spanish
- Alex Gunn (AGN) - Teacher of English
- Constance Hayes (CHS) - Teacher of English
- Ania Kwolek (AKK) - Teacher of English
- Lauren Mayhew (LMW) - Lead Teacher Media
- Grainne Hallahan (GHN) - Lead Teacher Key Stage 4 English
- Caroline Marie (CME) - Teacher of French
- Fanita Parsons (FPS) - Teacher of Spanish
- June Pernel (JPL) - Teacher of English
- Lara Miles (LMS) - Lead Teacher Key Stage 3 English
- Mark Wright (MWT) - Assistant Headteacher Key Stage 3
- Pete Anstee (PAE) - Lead Teacher Global Perspectives