English & Classics

Year 7

Students have English for four lessons a week and are taught in mixed ability tutor groups with appropriate support and differentiation for both the less and more able.

Lessons are fast paced and engaging; teachers use a variety of techniques based on the latest educational thinking to ensure challenge and engagement. Pair and group work encourage students to develop their confidence and reflection on learning and understanding the criteria for success are regular features of lessons. Grammar is taught mainly through short activities at the start of lessons.

Students in Year 7 will be involved in a transition unit called ‘Moving Up’, which ensures students are prepared for the challenges of Secondary School, exploring Gothic Literature, enjoying and responding to a wide range of poetry and investigating how the English language has changed over time. Students also read shared texts (the class reader) to extend and develop their reading skills. During each unit, students are assessed and given targets that clearly explain how they can improve their work and what skills they need to focus on.

Speaking and Listening lessons take place once a week. We aim to develop students’ confidence and ability to speak to a group of people, and to talk and discuss issues as part of a team. We follow the Philosophy for Children programme, which encourages the formulation and discussion of enquiry questions, as a tool to promote thinking skills.

We also encourage our students to read outside of the classroom with the Reading Challenge; each year students can gain bronze, silver, gold or platinum awards.

Year 8

Year 8 students remain in mixed ability groupings but are given the opportunity to work with a range of students as they are no longer in tutor groups. Differentiation continues to be a feature of all lessons, with each student being supported and challenged in order to reach their individual potential.

Both bands follow the same curriculum; grammar and language work continue to be taught explicitly, and students continue to practise drafting and rewriting skills. Throughout the year, students are assessed to National Curriculum standards on work covering the three attainment targets of Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening, each of which is equally important. These assessments provide students with clear targets explaining how to progress. Students read at least one novel or other text in class during the year, and we continue to encourage students to read independently.

Units covered are as follows: Greek Myths, A Christmas Carol, Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), a Media and Journalism unit and Protest poetry.

Year 9

Year 9 students continue to be taught in mixed ability sets apart from the highest achievers who are taught in an A band; a variety of data is used to create the groups including Teacher Assessment, Spelling Age, Reading Age, Verbal CATs scores and Test Results. Differentiation continues to be a feature of all lessons, with each student being supported and challenged in order to reach their individual potential.

Both bands follow the same curriculum which has been carefully planned to support students with their transition into GCSE. Students read at least one novel or other text in class during the year, and we continue to encourage students to read independently. They will study a variety of other topics, including: Romeo and Juliet; World War One Poetry; Victorian Ghost Stories and News, Truth and Bias in a Non Fiction unit. Throughout the year, students are assessed to National Curriculum standards on work covering the three attainment targets of Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening. These assessments provide students with clear targets explaining how to progress.


Examination Board: AQA

Courses Description

English Language and English Literature are two GCSE courses which must be taken together. Controlled Assessments take place over the two year course. Three examinations are sat; one for English Language and two for English Literature.

During the courses, students will develop their reading, writing and speaking and listening skills.  They will read a number of texts, including a Shakespeare play, some of which will be externally examined.  It is very important that students continue to develop their reading skills by reading for pleasure as well.  Students will write for a range of audiences and purposes, and will make presentations and participate in group work and role-play.

How Students Are Grouped

All students study both courses whichever groups they are in and all grades up to A* can be obtained in all groups.

Students in English are broadly banded by ability. A range of information is used to make decisions regarding where each student is best placed. We use reading ages, CAT scores, teacher recommendation and prior attainment (across all three assessment areas – reading, writing and speaking and listening).

In each half of the year group we have two A band groups which targets A*/A and four mixed ability B band groups which target A to C grades. We constantly review where a student is placed and, if it is appropriate, they may move between groups.

Teaching and Learning

Students will be expected to be active participants and contribute their ideas; preparation for Controlled Assessments, which will take 16 hours of lesson time over the course, will be an essential feature and students will be expected to work independently at home to prepare for these.  Completing homework will therefore be essential.  Students will continue to work in pairs and groups on a regular basis.




Unit 1: Understanding and producing Non-fiction texts. External exam worth 60% of GCSE

Unit 3:  Understanding spoken and written texts and writing creatively. 40% of GCSE. Assessed through controlled assessment.

Unit 2: Speaking and listening. Assessed throughout the two years. Assessment appears on the GCSE certificate as a separate number out of 5.



 Unit 1:   Exploring Modern Texts.  External Exam 40% of GCSE

 Unit 2:   Poetry across Time.  External Exam 35% of GCSE

 Unit 3:   The Significance of Shakespeare and the English Literary Heritage.

 Controlled Assessment.  25% of the GCSE.

 Further information about the courses can be obtained from the English Department.  Alternatively, the AQA website contains full details of both courses.

 English Language and Literature AS Level

Students are taught in a mixed ability group for AQA Specification B by two teachers.  Emphasis is put on discussion and students are expected to contribute ideas, developing their critical thinking. Students are set regular assignments, usually in the form of essays. A practice examination is sat in February. The two modules taught are:

·         Module 1 (the exam module): Introduction to Language and Literature Study. Study of poetry, prose and drama, fiction and non-fiction texts focuses on an Anthology entitled “Food, Glorious Food”.  In the exam students will answer one question on the Anthology and clean copies will be provided for exam purposes. The other question will be set on unseen material for comment and analysis and related to the theme of the Anthology.

 Module 2 (the coursework module): In “Themes in Language and Literature” students study two texts by different authors, with a shared focus on a particular theme and examine how language has changed over time as exemplified in the texts being studied. Students produce two pieces of coursework on these texts, one of which is recreative.

English Literature AS Level

Students are taught in a mixed ability group for AQA Specification B by two teachers. Discussion of many different literary genres and regular written work of different types are central features of the course and help students to develop their own ideas and opinions in the analysis of the set texts. Practice examinations are held in February. The two modules are:

·         Module 1(the exam module): Aspects of Narrative – Two novels and two different poets are studied in detail and clean copies of these texts are provided for use in the examination where two questions are answered.

·         Module 2 (the coursework module): Dramatic Genres – Two texts from the comedy genre and from different literary periods will be studied, one of which will be a Shakespeare play. Two pieces of coursework will be produced, one of which can be recreative.

English Language AS Level

Students are taught in a mixed ability group for AQA Specification B by two teachers. Emphasis in teaching is on discussion and written assignments based on analysis of many different types of written and spoken texts. Practice examinations are set in February. The two AS modules are:

·         Module 1(the exam module): Categorising Texts – several short texts are set for detailed comment and language analysis and three different language topics (Gender, Power and Technology) are also studied and students will answer on one of these.

·         Module 2 (the coursework module): Creating Texts – students produce two pieces in two different genres and for two different audiences and each is accompanied by a commentary.

English Language and Literature A Level

Students continue to be taught in a mixed ability group. Lively discussions in class ensure that students continue to develop their critical faculties. They are encouraged to understand and utilise the assessment criteria for the various modules. Practice examinations are held in February. The modules to complete the A Level are:

·         Module 3 (the exam module): Talk in Life and Literature – Students study a literary work within the dramatic genre for Section A and transcripts of natural speech and extracts from plays or novels for Section B.

·         Module 4 (the coursework module): Text Transformation – Students transform their two chosen texts from one genre to another, then produce two critical commentaries on the texts and the process of producing their two transformations.

English Literature A Level

Students continue to be taught in a mixed ability group. Discussion and regular written tasks enhance their skills in literary analysis and their grasp of different interpretations and contexts. Careful attention is paid to the Assessment Objectives and their relationship to the different A2 modules. Practice examinations are held in February. The two modules are:

·         Module 3 (the exam module): Texts and Genres – Three texts are studied within the genre of either Gothic or Pastoral.  These can be novels, poetry or drama.  Students cannot take texts into the examination where they answer two questions on the elements of the set genre in the texts they have studied.

·         Module 4 (the coursework module): Further and Independent Reading – Students prepare two pieces of coursework.  The first is a comparative study of two literary works, the other an application of ideas from a Critical Anthology to a text of their choice.  The coursework gives the students an opportunity to develop and use their wider reading.

English Language A Level

Students continue to be taught in a mixed ability group. Regular discussion and written assignments further enhance the students’ linguistic knowledge and analytical approaches. The Assessment Objectives continue as a focus. Practice examinations are set in February. The two modules are:

 Module 3 (the exam module): Language Development – This exam module tests all the skills and knowledge gained through the course and is divided into 2 sections: Language Acquisition and Language Change.

 Module 4 (the coursework module): Language Investigation – Students collect their own data for analysis, using particular linguistic frameworks. As well as producing a report on their findings in the form of the Language Investigation, the students also create a Media text which adapts some of the ideas of their study for a non-specialist audience.



Examination Board: WJEC

Course Description:

The two year course in GCSE Film Studies is designed to allow students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how films communicate meanings, engage audiences and generate personal responses. Students will explore, respond to and evaluate a range of films and topics including pre-production and production work.

There are two examinations: Paper 1 – Exploring Film Form which focuses on a set genre and tests knowledge and understanding of film language, industry awareness and audience issues and Paper 2 – Film Outside Hollywood which examines representation, narratives, themes and issues in film.

Coursework is worth 50% of the marks and includes a micro-analysis of a film with a detailed overview of production, distribution and exhibition, as well as creating a pitch, pre-production and production for an imaginary film. Students are expected to be able to evaluate their film-based product and demonstrate planning, research, creative and technical skills throughout the course.

Teaching styles:

In GCSE Film lessons, students are expected to work co-operatively in groups as well as independently throughout the course. Small group discussion and debate is encouraged and students will be expected to share their individual thoughts and reactions to a wide variety of films, including films made outside Hollywood and in other languages. There are opportunities for practical production coursework and students will be introduced to the Mac computers in the Media Suite, digital camera equipment and software for video editing using Adobe Premiere. In practical terms, the expectation is that students will read around the subject, organise filming and work hard to meet all internal and external deadlines. Outside of timetabled lessons, students will be expected to work independently and off their own initiative in terms of additional reading and research.


Two examination papers both sat at the end of Year 11 making up a total of 50%.  Coursework is also worth a total of 50%.


Film is taught in mixed ability groups.



Examining Board: WJEC

Course description:

Cinema is a little over a hundred years old and has been described as the major art form of the century. If your interest in film extends beyond casual and recreational viewing and you are curious about how films are made and how they communicate to their audience, then a course in film studies could be for you.

You would study film as a medium, as an art form and as a social and economic institution. This is an increasingly popular subject with more and more students taking on the challenges of raising film to the level of serious academic study. It looks at the history, business, theory and practice of film-making from the early days of the Lumière Brothers in the 1890s to the present day. The course will develop your analytical skills as well as your artistic appreciation of a major art form. You will study World Cinema as well as a wider range of film genres than most students are used to. In the past two years, trips have been organised to relevant places of interest, including New York and Los Angeles.

Film is an ideal subject to take alongside English Language or Literature courses, as similar analytical skills are required.

Type of Assessment:

At AS level, students study two units.

FM1: Exploring Film Form comprises coursework (40%)

FM2: British & American Film 2 hr30 min examination (60%)

The coursework unit will expect an analysis of the micro-features of a chosen film extract (1500 words) as well as to produce a creative project (film extract or short film) of your own and to complete a reflective analysis based on work completed.

FM2 is an external examination where students have the opportunity to explore Producers and Audiences and topics in British Film, such as production companies or British identity. Also, there is a section on American film where students will compare two films, in terms of both content and context. In the past, students have compared The Wizard of Oz with Star Wars and The Searchers with Unforgiven. Many more combinations could also be considered.

 At A2 level, students study two units:

FM3: Film Research & Creative Projects (coursework)

FM4: Varieties of Film Experience; Issues & Debates (2hr 45min exam)

 Here students will have the opportunity to research and discuss many of the issues surrounding film. In recent years topics have included: the impact of World Cinema; the role of women in film; surrealism in cinema; and issues surrounding spectatorship. Prominent films have included Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’, “Se7en” (David Fincher) and ‘Eraserhead’ (David Lynch). Please do be aware that some of the films viewed will carry an 18 certificate. However, these are carefully chosen to support the course – several are set specifically by the exam board.

Students will also be able to consolidate their production skills by researching and then producing a creative piece such as a short film, screenplay or an outline for a new documentary.

Teaching style:

The course involves students looking at film as well as their own viewing habits, in entirely new ways. There will be a lot of lively class debate and discussion where everyone is expected to get involved; as well as regularly set written work, be it note-taking, research or essays. Students are expected to develop and broaden their knowledge and skills independently as well as watch a range of films critically in their own time. The lessons will consist of a mixture of film extract analysis, whole class work, small group work as well as practical production work. St Bart’s has a well-equipped Media Suite with Mac computers and camera equipment to help to support delivery of this course. Students are expected to engage positively with every aspect of film development, from conception to video editing (using Adobe Premiere). Prior experience is not essential; prior enthusiasm is.


Latin Year 9

Beginners Latin starts in Year 9 and there is one lesson a week offered either during the lunch break or after school. Students start reading the Cambridge Latin Course Book I, which provides an introduction to the language for beginners. Stories from the book are read through in class, and the stories are used as a basis to study the relevant grammar and vocabulary, as well as different aspects of Roman culture. Online resources are also used in class. Students finish Book I by the end of the year, by which time they will be confident at translating simple Latin stories into English and will have learned about some aspects of Roman society, in particular daily life and information about the city of Pompeii.

Latin Year 10
The Year 10 group continues their study of the Cambridge Latin Course and builds on their knowledge of the language learned in Year 9. Books II and III of the Cambridge Latin Course are studied across the year during two lessons a week. Book II is set partly in the south of Britain and partly in Alexandria; book III is set in Britain, focusing on Bath and Chester. Language aspects include: infinitive and pluperfect of verbs, relative clauses, present participles (II); perfect participles, subordinate clauses with subjunctive verbs, ablative case of nouns (III). Roman society is studied alongside the language in preparation for the GCSE paper on Roman life. Learning and revision of the vocabulary and grammar set for GCSE are continuous, with tests, exercises and formal translations encouraging pupils to reflect on their learning.

Latin Year 11
Students continue to study the language using book IV and parts of book V of the Cambridge Latin Course. The language work includes: the passive voice and future tense of verbs, deponent verbs, the ablative absolute and indirect statement. Learning and revision of the set vocabulary and grammar are continuous. Study for the GCSE set verse or prose literature begins in Year 11, for which students must learn in detail a set amount of literature from 3 Roman authors. Currently students study extracts from Pliny, Suetonius and Livy; all of who write on prophecies and portents. Class discussion of the literature encourages individual interpretations, which are incorporated in the notes made to accompany translations of the texts; thorough learning of both translations and notes are required. Students also study or revise aspects of the GCSE set topics in Roman society and prepare in more detail for the Sources for Latin exam, which involves study of literature (in translation), inscriptions and archaeological evidence to learn about Roman life. A total of four examination papers are sat at the end of Year 11 (two language, one literature and one source-based) to make up the GCSE (OCR board).



 Classical Civilisation Year 12

 The course begins with an introduction to Ancient Greece through study of its mythological, religious and historical background. Homer’s Odyssey and Greek tragedy are then studied over the course of the year, and both modules are examined at the end of the year by OCR. Study of Homer’s Odyssey includes consideration of characters, narrative structure, epic style and social values; 14 of the 24 books of the poem (4-12 and 18-22) are set for detailed knowledge and analysis. Four tragedies are also studied from September to April: Aeschylus’s Agamemnon, Sophocles’ Ajax, Euripides’ Medea and Trojan Women. Character and structure are also studied in the tragedies as well as religious and moral ideas.


Classical Civilisation Year 13

The course begins in June with study of Greek architecture. This is part of the Greek Art and Architecture module which is studied throughout Year 13, and includes study of sculpture and vases as well as temples. The second module studied is Virgil and the World of the Hero, which involves study and comparison of Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid. Chapters 6, 18, 22 and 24 of Homer’s Iliad are set for detailed knowledge and analysis, as are chapters 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 of Virgil’s Aeneid. Some knowledge of Roman history, society and politics in the late first century B.C. is needed for the Aeneid. Both modules are examined at the end of the year by OCR.