English Literature and Language
Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and birthplace to both Franz Kafka, one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, and Václav Havel, writer, dramatist and political leader.
Winning international acclaim with his first full-length play, ‘The Garden Party’ in 1963, Václav Havel later became famous for his out-spoken political views. After being banned from the theatre following the suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968, Havel was imprisoned on multiple occasions, the longest being four years. As a passionate supporter of non-violent resistance, he became a leading figure in the Velvet Revolution of 1989, the end to Communism in Czechoslovakia, and elected to power as the first President of the Czech Republic. Havel has written numerous plays, books and essays and stands as a figure whose written word has been instrumental in political change and a peaceful rise to power.
With English being the universal language for travel and international business, Prague is also a major centre in training native English speakers to teach English as a Foreign Language. With more than 10 schools across the city, thousands travel from across Europe to Prague to gain TEFL and TESOL qualifications.
At Henry Beaufort School, Prague is home to English. With a modern building providing six large and light classrooms each with interactive whiteboards and projectors, Prague is filled with a huge collection of reading materials and an ICT suite of thirty computers.
We pride ourselves on having a five year curriculum map in English that ensures the skills learnt in year 7 and 8 feed directly into the GCSE syllabus for both English Literature and English Language.
Year 7 and 8
Year 7 and 8 are comprised of a variety of creative and imaginative language and literature modules. There are 6 modules in each year and these alternate between a language and a literature focus. Regarding the study of literature, students are given the opportunity to explore a range of novels and poetry during their first two years at Henry Beaufort. This begins with a study of ‘Iqbal’ in year 7, a novel based on the true story of one child labourer’s brave fight for justice in Pakistan. As well as a focus on narrative, it is important that our students learn to question and critique the cultural, moral and social themes when exploring a novel or poem and develop their own opinions and attitudes on the issues discussed- often through lively debate! Other literary modules in year 7 and 8 involve ‘A Glance at the Gothic’ and ‘Dickensian Dramas’ which allow students to explore extracts from influential novels from the eighteenth and nineteenth century and discover the historical and social issues of the time. Students are also introduced to a breadth of Shakespeare’s plays through the Shakespeare carousel in year 7 and a study of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in year 8.
The study of English language in year 7 and 8 is approached through a series of exciting modules that revolve around non-literary sources. Students in year 8 take part in a module called ‘News Desk’ where they not only explore a variety of print and television media but also create their own newspapers and news broadcasts using the IT suites as part of the BBC News Report project. Students also explore inspirational speeches from the last century, learning to critique and analyse the techniques used in these speeches, as well as studying a variety of travel writing that encompasses writers from a variety of different cultures.
Y9, 10 and 11
English is a core subject at GCSE and all students gain two qualifications by the end of Year 11: GCSE English and GCSE English Literature.
We begin the study of the GCSE Literature syllabus in year 9 to allow students the opportunity to spend an extended period of time exploring their GCSE texts: a 19th century novel, a modern novel, the study of a Shakespearean play and the poetry anthology. Two of these texts are covered during their first year on the GCSE course in year 9. We change our texts regularly depending on the character and ability of the class, however, the 19th century texts we have studied so far are: Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’, R. L Stevenson’s ‘The strange case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’ and Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’. The modern novel we are currently studying is Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies and our Shakespeare play is ‘Macbeth’. Throughout the study of the literature texts, students are expected to read with insight and engagement and relate texts to their social, cultural and historical contexts. Students are also taught to understand literary traditions and to evaluate how writers use linguistic and structural devices to achieve their effects.
The skills for the Language papers are introduced in year 7 and 8 and further developed into years 9-11. Students are given the opportunity to explore a range of literary and non-literary texts and develop their ability to interpret, analyse, compare and evaluate these texts in relation to the skills required at GCSE level. Students are also taught how to write for a range of purposes, learning how to develop, construct and compose ideas to communicate meaning to specific audiences.
Suggested Revision Guides and Workbooks
AQA ENGLISH LANGUAGE – exams 2017 onwards
GENERAL REVISION AND PRACTICE:
- AQA GCSE English Language and English Literature All-in-One Revision and Practice (Collins GCSE Revision and Practice - New Curriculum) – by Collins GCSE collection
- REVISE AQA GCSE English Language Revision Workbook: For the 9-1 Exams (REVISE AQA GCSE English 2015) – by Jonathan Morgan and David Grant
- New Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar for GCSE Complete Study & Practice – by CGP Books
AQA ENGLISH LITERATURE – exams 2017 onwards
- Macbeth – Shakespeare
- Lord of the Flies – William Golding
- Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Any of the York Notes revision guides and/or workbooks are useful. (CGP books tend to be a little over-focused on plot, in my opinion, while Spark Notes are more for A level study.)
We are studying two approaches to poetry:
- An anthology of poetry – called ‘Power and Conflict’
- Unseen poetry
ANTHOLOGY POETRY revision:
- AQA GCSE Poetry Anthology: Power and Conflict Revision Guide (Collins GCSE Revision and Practice - New Curriculum) – by Collins GCSE collection
- AQA Poetry Anthology - Power and Conflict: York Notes for GCSE (9-1) – by Beth Kemp
- New GCSE English Literature AQA Poetry Guide: Power & Conflict Anthology - for the Grade 9-1 Course – by CGP Books
- New GCSE English Literature AQA Unseen Poetry Guide - for the Grade 9-1 Course – by CGP Books