Scheme of Work

 Key Stage 3

Key stage 3 is an exciting time for students starting at Maidstone Grammar School. Year 7 start with a challenging and invigorating unit of work on poetry, focusing on war poems such as: Dulce Et Decorum Est and Futility by Wilfred Owen. All the texts that the student's study are linked to the GCSE exam syllabus and students develop key high-level skills such as learning how to find and analyse effective quotations, evaluating key scenes and chapters and analysing and exploring key characters. Students undertake a wide range of creative writing tasks as well as GCSE – style mini-essays on character or themes in the text they have been studying. There are also lots of opportunities for students to engage in group work, creative display projects and high-level spoken presentations to the rest of the class.

Students in Years 7 and 8 explore a range of poetry, drama, Shakespeare, gothic and writing style units of work. Students develop and master key skills in preparation for their KS4 GCSE journey.


 Key Stage 4

Students study Edexcel English Language and Edexcel English Literature.

Students start to prepare for their GCSE in Year 9 and all of the texts studied are examined on the Edexcel GCSE syllabus. Students start Year 9 with an enjoyable yet demanding scheme of work on Susan Hill’s gothic novel The Woman in Black. This unit requires a high level of reading and analysis of key themes. Students are challenged as to whether they can feel any sympathy for the character of the ‘woman in black’ herself; students have to make decisions that make them question the difference between right and wrong. In lesson time students closely read chapters and engage in creative and non-fiction spring board writing based upon a key chapter such as a letter from the protagonist to his imaginary boss back in London. Students develop and strengthen their knowledge of GCSE literary terminology; a valuable requirement for success at GCSE level. Students spend the rest of the year developing their Shakespeare skills, poetry analysis awareness and 19th century literature.

By the end of the year students are well versed in high level skills needed to excel in English at GCSE including: how to analyse, how to evaluate, how to explore the effect of literary terminology in extracts and also how to write sophisticated creative and non-fiction pieces of writing.

Moving into Years 10 and 11 students alternate between Language and Literature skills. For Literature students study Macbeth, An Inspector Calls, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and 15 ‘Conflict’ poems from an anthology provided by the exam board; each student is issued with their own anthology. Students develop their narrative knowledge of the texts and develop key exam skills as well as writing exam responses. Students develop their contextual knowledge of Macbeth and An Inspector Calls which they are required to write about in their exams.

Students also study for two English Language exams. The first paper explores fiction and creative writing and the second explores non-fiction and transactional writing. Students develop and improve their skills and ability to extract information from 19th century texts and non-fiction extracts answering comprehension style questions.

There is no coursework component for GCSE, it is 100% exam and students are not permitted to take any of the studied texts into the exam.

Students also complete a Spoken Language component. Students deliver a presentation which is graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction. The component carries no percentage weighting to student’s final GCSE grades.

There are lots of opportunities for ‘Lunchtime Lectures’, intervention catch up and support for Level 8/9 grades.

 Key Stage 5

Students study English Literature a linear course covering aspects of prose, drama, poetry, Shakespeare and an independent coursework study.

In Year 12 students study A Streetcar Named Desire as their drama text and with their second class teacher spend the year comparing two novels from a thematic selection. Current choices include The Handmaid’s Tale and Frankenstein. These may be subject to change. Once students have completed the play element they then move on to study a cluster of modern poetry. In Year 13 students study a Shakespeare text, either Othello or King Lear, and work on their coursework in the autumn term. The final element is a poetry cluster based upon a movement or poet such as the Romantic poets or Christina Rossetti.

The coursework element is worth 20% of the A-Level grade and is an independent study of two texts. Students will consult their English teacher for advice on texts and titles.