English Literature is studied separately to English Language across KS3 and KS4, as we believe it is an important subject in its own right.
In Year 7, students are introduced to the history of English Literature and encouraged to learn the social and historical contexts of key texts, such as The Canterbury Tales and epic poetry from Western Europe. The study of a Shakespeare text in full is tied in with the Drama curriculum and our performance in the Shakespeare Schools Festival. Students go on to learn how to analyse language and structure using Medieval and Renaissance poetry. The Summer term is dedicated to consolidating skills learned over the year using a contemporary reader. The core skills of location, inference and analysis are the focus for this foundation year.
In year 8, students build upon and develop their understanding of literature, engaging with a greater range of more challenging texts.
Students begin the year by further developing their analytical skills, through an exploration of poetry from around the world, considering how contextual factors influence the both the production and reception of a given text. Throughout this unit, students are encouraged to utilise cross-curricular links drawing on their knowledge from history, geography and religious studies, considering the different life experiences of the poets. Then, after Christmas, students commence their most challenging unit to date: a study of pre-19th century literature, in preparation for their English GCSE, where they will have to study a pre-19th century text. Students will study ‘A Christmas Carol’, which is itself a GCSE text, allowing students to benefit from a greater challenge in terms of structure, vocabulary and content. Following this, students will study a play by Arthur Miller, exploring the different format as well as the subject matter raised by the text. Then, towards the end of the year, students will study the multi-award winning text by Mark Haddon ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’.