English is a core subject taught throughout Key Stage 3 up to GCSE, after which students are able to choose to continue with their studies at AS and A Level. The programmes of study are:
  • English (KS3)
  • English Language (KS4-5)
  • English Literature (KS4-5)

Being able to understand texts, manipulate language and express one’s self clearly are key skills in today’s changing world and as such the three strands of English, Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening are vitally important.  The English faculty at John Mason School aims to prepare students for life beyond school, encourage them to reach and exceed their academic potential whilst also stimulating an appreciation of literature.

We study a variety of novels, poems, films, plays, short stories and non-fiction texts in order to develop an understanding of different writers, texts and contexts as well as how these have changed over time.

In each year during KS3 students study at least one novel and are exposed to the works of a variety of poets. Two Shakespeare plays are studied during KS3. Discussion, debate, presentations and role plays are included in programmes of study to allow students to develop their ability to shape arguments and express themselves verbally.

There is a strong focus on reading, with fortnightly library lessons and use of Accelerated Reader programme which enables students to access increasingly challenging books at the right pace. Through such initiatives the English teachers gain a thorough knowledge of reading patterns of their students and are able to discuss guide and encourage their pupils.

Year 7 study the following units of work:

  • Writing to entertain
  • Writing to inform
  • Writing to protest

Each of the units span one term and include a variety of texts as well as opportunities for pupils to develop as writers.

Year 7 Recommended Reading List

Year 8 study the following units of work:

  • Blood Brothers by Willy Russell
  • Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare
  • Media advertising
  • Poetry on the theme of relationships
  • Gothic Fiction
  • Children’s fiction

Year 9 study the following units of work in preparation for GCSE English Literature and Language:

  • Narrative Writing
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley
  • Poetry from AQA anthology clusters “power and conflict”

Key Stage 4 English Syllabus: AQA

We follow the AQA syllabus for both English Language and English Literature both of which are 100% exam and assessed at the end of year 11. In addition pupils are examined in Speaking and listening, a compulsory element which is awarded a Pass, Merit or Distinction alongside GCSE grades.

The English Literature GCSE comprises of 2 exams. Paper 1 “Shakespeare and 19th century texts” paper 2 “Modern texts and Poetry”. Pupils study the following texts

  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louise Stephenson
  • An Inspector Calls by J. B Priestly
  • An anthology of poems on themes of power and conflict set by AQA.

The English Language exam also comprises two equally weighted papers. Paper 1 “Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing” examines pupils on both their reading and their writing skills with one unseen passage of text and writing task. Paper 2 “Writers viewpoints and perspectives” takes the same format with two unseen texts.

Director: Ms Sally Butler
Contact details: sally.butler@johnmason.oxon.sch.uk

Teachers in the Faculty: Ms Sally Butler (Director of English) Ms Chloe Phippen (Deputy Director of English/Director of Media) Mrs Claire Williams, Mrs Erica Robinson, Miss Alex Talbot, Mr Robert Reid and Ms Lucy Foster (Assistant Head Teacher).