Literacy

22.05.2013022

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, media and languages 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 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 Year 10 all students study GCSE English Literature, also covering the skills required for the GCSE English Language.  Assessment is through examinations which focus on the same analytical and writing skills that students were developing in previous years.  Students in year 10 will take their GCSE English Literature exam in the  summer term.

In year 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 and Film Studies

Film Studies in year 9 is part of the new specification from EDUQAS. Each half term a different aspect and area of film is taught, in relation to a variety of case studies from historical productions to contemporary and global pieces.  Each component studied is accompanied by a practical task to link to a real life working environment. A wide range of skills is developed to suit all abilities and interests.

In year 10 GCSE Film Studies students work on individual productions is begun as their controlled assessments which counts for 30% of their overall mark. This then links into the core areas of study to prepare all students for a textual analysis of diverse selected scenes from film and exploring the history behind this area within the world of the Media industry. The two component examination is worth 70% of their final mark.

In year 11 GCSE Media Studies, students produce coursework around the topics of Magazines, Film Promotion and Advertising and Marketing areas of the industry. This equates to 60% of their overall mark. The examination for this academic year is based on TV Drama and this is the last year for this AQA specification with the final assessment in July 2018.

In Year 12 we study A level Film with EDUQAS, students are able to build upon their understanding of a range of film texts and case studies to go in depth and find out more about how they are produced. All A level production work is submitted on a website using the most up to date Adobe Software and Final Cut Pro for the final individual film productions. Students also show evidence of planning, reflection and evaluation to accompany the practical work and are encouraged to “read” a wide range of texts in analytical and creative ways throughout the course.

At Year 13 we study OCR 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%. In Advanced Portfolio units, there is plenty of hands-on experience and some quite sophisticated skills with equipment and post-production software are developed. 

Languages

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.

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.