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Charles Darwin School


Course Overview

English is a core subject, studied by all students in Year 7 to Year 11 and chosen by a substantial number of Sixth Form students.

In Years 7-11, English is broken down into three areas: Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening. As a skills-based subject that is central to all human interaction, we place a high value on English at Charles Darwin School. English staff are passionate about their subject and work hard to create thoughtful, considerate, creative, analytical, articulate students with a love of Literature. With over 100 students who have chosen to carry on with English in the Sixth Form, we’ve clearly succeeded in passing on that passion.

Key Stage 3
All students have weekly literacy and reading lessons, as well as following half-termly ‘topics’ through which English skills are reinforced and developed.
Year 7 topics include: poetry (both modern and from the literary canon); advertising and media language; creative writing and story telling; ‘real’ writing and novels and Pre-1914 literature studies.
Year 8 topics include: persuasive and campaign writing; novels; The Diary of Anne Frank; poetry from other cultures; The history of English, a Shakespeare play and analytical approaches to Pre-1914 literature.

Key Stage 4
All students study for two GCSEs which are English Language GCSE and English Literature. 
Our current Year 11 are studying the Cambridge iGCSE for Language and the Edexcel iGCSE for Literature.

  • The Cambridge Language iGCSE is 40% coursework, 20% speaking and listening coursework and 40% exam.
  • The Edexcel Literature iGCSE is 100% examination. Students study “Romeo and Juliet”, “Of Mice and Men” and an anthology of poetry.

Our current Year 9 and 10s are studying the new 1-9 GCSE and the exam board is OCR for both language and literature. Students study a range of plays, novels and poetry for literature as well as a wide range of non-fiction materials. 

Key Stage 5
A level courses offered in English are English Literature AS and A2 (with OCR) and Communication and Culture Studies AS and A2 (with AQA). Both have a high take up and great results!

Why choose the subject? 

  • It’s the key to all human interaction
  • It’s essential for most jobs/careers
  • It will help you develop key skills in essay writing, structuring and analysis which you can use in other subjects/areas.
  • A grade of B or above in English is required for English Literature As or full A level; a grade C is required for Communication and Culture AS and A2.
  • And finally, because a love of literature will give you a wealth of joy and insight for life!

Common Questions 

Q.  When do I study English?
A.  From Year 7 to Year 11 and into Sixth Form if you wish

Q.  How many English lessons will I have a week?
A.  Four in Key Stage 3; Five in Key Stage 4 and 5

Q.  How many GCSEs will I study for in Key Stage 4?
A.  Two separate GCSEs: English Language and English Literature

Who will teach me? 

Ms Roberts, Miss Foy,  Mrs Holloway, Miss Hurding, Mrs Lamb, Mr Nunn, Miss Ollier, Mrs Pitt, Mrs Mote, Miss Brazier or Mr Waller

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