English

English is a core subject and all students at Thorns continue to study English in Year 10 and 11, leading to the award of two GCSEs in English Language and English Literature.

  • English Language

    The world is built of words. Whether our students are Tweeting, emailing, reading Dickens or writing letters in high flying jobs, we want them to leave the English Department sensitive to the power of words.

    We want them to be readers; readers who experiment, who are not frightened of poems, or confused by newspapers. We want them to enjoy reading, but also be to technically skilled, and able to write essays which get to the heart of texts and explain their ideas clearly to examiners.

    We want them to be writers; powerful writers who can make their emotions leap off the page and manipulate their reader’s feelings with their words, writers who can express complicated ideas in professional, clear English, ready for the modern job market, and, most of all, students who can see the life-long power of being a good writer who enjoys experimenting with words.

    We want them to be confident citizens of the modern world, who speak their minds and have something to say. We want to empower them be able to discuss, argue, persuade and deliver speeches to a range of audiences.

    We believe all students should take Language and Literature at GCSE and, as part of this challenge, we have built a rigorous, challenging and supportive curriculum to help them take the next steps on their learning journey.

    English Language

    A brand new GCSE, graded 9 to 1 rather than A*-G, split over two exam papers:

    • Paper 1, Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing; looks at how writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to engage the interest of readers.
    • Paper 2, Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives; looks at how different writers present a similar topic over time.

     

  • English Literature

    Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel

    What’s assessed:

    • Shakespeare
    • The 19th-century novel

     

    How it’s assessed:

    • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes • 64 marks
    • 40% of GCSE

     

    Questions:

    • Section A Shakespeare: students will answer one question on their play of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole.
    • Section B The 19th-century novel: students will answer one question on their novel of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole.

     

    Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry

    What’s assessed:

    • Modern texts
    • Poetry
    • Unseen poetry

     

    How it’s assessed:

    • Written exam: 2 hours 15 minutes • 96 marks
    • 60% of GCSE

     

    Questions

    • Section A Modern texts: students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text.
    • Section B The 19th-century novel: students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their chose
      anthology cluster.
    • Section C Unseen poetry: Students will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.