Autumn 1 and 2 - Literature Through the Ages

Key Question: What does it mean to be human?
Students will study the ways language and style have changed from the medieval period through to the modern day. Whilst examining the impact of contexts on writers (the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, the emergence of psychoanalysis, for example), they will see that the human condition has barely changed. Through the texts and extracts chosen, students will explore representations of fear, loss, and anger. They will be introduced to literary allusions, techniques such as bathos, pathos and be able to explore the influence of philosophers such as Aristotle on our understanding of ‘tragedy’. Students will study an extract from ‘The Nun’s Priest’s Tale’ (Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales) Shakespeare’s Hamlet within the context of the Renaissance, revolution and the Romantic poets (including the work of Blake, Coleridge and Percy Shelley), Dickens’ David Copperfield and experimentation, reinvention and the place of women in Modern Literature (Virginia Woolf).
Assessment: Students will complete a knowledge based assessment part way through December.


Autumn 2 and Spring 1 - Grammar

Key Question: Why is grammar so powerful?
Mastery knowledge of grammar, including word classes, clauses and sentence construction. It will give them the ability to modify their language for effect and purpose. In addition to embedding valuable grammar knowledge, the scheme also will nurture the imagination of our students, requiring them to engage with a wealth of descriptive texts written by a range of expert writers. Over the course of the unit, students will create their own detailed descriptions of imaginary worlds.
Assessment: Students will complete a piece of descriptive writing showcasing their understanding and application of powerful grammar.


Spring 1 – Spring 2 - Dracula (the play and extracts from Stoker’s text)

Key Question: How is the exploitation of the powerless by the powerful represented and challenged?
Gothic fiction and the sub-genre of vampire literature.
Students will explore attitudes to women, social class, and the ‘other’ (that which is foreign, unlike ourselves, which is seen as threatening to our values). The examination of the perception of mental illness and attitudes to technology and scientific progress will also allow students to evaluate how problems which are considered highly contemporary have in fact been with us longer than we think. Alongside this, the ideas around forbidden desires (including sexual desire) and repression/restriction of these ideas will be discussed.


Spring 2 – Summer 1 – Representation and Media: News in the Modern World

Key Question: What are newspapers for?
This unit should ensure that all students understand that newspapers (whether hard copies or online) are products made by group of people with a particular point of view and geared towards particular audiences. It should help them to evaluate the media texts they encounter in everyday life and to have an understanding that these texts are not generally ‘neutral’ but have particular biases and represent people and ideas according to their beliefs (eg political biases). They should learn the differences between different types of newspapers (broadsheet & tabloid, local & national, free & paid for) and the relationships they have with their readers. All of this will enable them to compare and evaluate articles and to analyse how ideas and specific groups of people are represented. The unit should ensure students are able to analyse and evaluate different sections within a newspaper and to understand the difference in conventions between a news article, editorial, opinion article, review, letter to the editor. Understanding these different genres of writing should enable them to write their own opinion piece.
Assessment: Students will write their own opinion piece.


Summer 1 – Summer 2 - Poems from Different Cultures

Key Question: What does culture mean?
The purpose of the unit is to introduce, recap and extend pupils' knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of poetry. The poems have been selected from a variety of poets from different cultures with the unit based around the themes of culture, identity and how these change and adapt through migration (‘Island Man’, ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ and ‘Hurricane Hits England’) Students will gain additional knowledge on how to write analytically about poems as well as techniques to successfully compare poems. Students will explore how poetry can be used as a form of social and political protest; they will examine cultures in chaos or crisis, studying contexts such as Abacha’s regime in Nigeria through the 1990s (‘Not My Business’), racism and segregation in America in the 1930s (‘Strange Fruit’) and poverty across the world (‘Blessing’ and ‘Two Scavengers in a Truck’. Many issues explored in this collection of poetry pave the way for a deep understanding of power and powerlessness in society (‘Half Caste’).
Assessment: Students will write a comparison of two poems from the selection of poems studied.