The English Department aims to help pupils nurture and develop an understanding of the English language and an appreciation of English Literature. Students are actively encouraged to analyse, interpret, evaluate and invent in a supportive and stimulating environment.
Pupils are given the opportunity to talk and listen in pairs, groups and in front of the whole class. They may be given the chance to express an opinion, do role – play, discuss ideas and comment on what they have read, viewed and heard. They will be expected to listen to others and perhaps respond to what they have heard.
They read a range of novels, plays, poems and non – fiction. Some of this is silent reading, perhaps for homework. They have the opportunity to read aloud to others and to the class. They are given the chance to talk about what they have read, write in response to it and answer questions.
In class pupils are given a range of writing tasks for different audiences, including stories, diaries, poems, plays, poetry, speeches and letters. They may get their work published in the Downshire News or the school Magazine.
Pupils follow the CCEA Syllabus
The Course: 3 main areas of study
These three areas cover all aspects of English reading, comprehension, creative writing, poetry, prose, drama, functional / practical written skills and oral communication.
They read, experience and respond to a wide variety of literature from various eras and cultures.
Three main areas of study: Poetry / Prose / Drama.
Pupils will follow the AQA GCSE Media Studies course. This course aims to develop a critical understanding of the role of the mass media in society, to encourage pupils to develop knowledge of the industrial and commercial nature of media production and also give the ability to analyse the media. Pupils will also have to develop their own production skills during the 2 year course.
Written Examination: 1 hour 30 minute examination under supervision 40%
Task 1 Knowledge and Understanding
Task 2 Research, Planning and Presentation. Production and Evaluation
Range of Study: will include some of the following:
Television, radio, film, newspapers, magazines, comics, game shows, animated cartoons, soap operas, pop music, video, Desk-top publishing, computer-base technology.
The course is made up of two areas: the written paper and practical work.
The written paper is 1hour and 30 minutes long and is worth 40% of the overall grade. The paper comprises of three sections:
The practical work is worth 60% of the overall grade.
Candidates are required to present practical work for two controlled assessment options. Each option will comprise of the process of understanding of skills development and a final presentation.
The module options covered are: Acting, Improvisation and Theatre in Education.
The texts to be studied will be: The Crucible (Arthur Miller) & Blood Brothers (W.Russell)
This is an active course of study and requires confident communication skills.
In recent years the mass media have become an important focus for exploration by students in an increasingly media saturated world.
This course offers students a framework through which they can study the distinctive contributions which the mass media make to their understanding and enjoyment of the world in which they live.
Through a variety of approaches to the changing media environment, students will develop a critical and analytical approach to the range of media texts as well as the media institutions which create and circulate them. This will include attention to the textual characteristics of the forms of output and representation to be found in those media texts.
Students will further explore the kinds of relationships the texts propose with audiences through a range of research, pre-production and production activities. The framework will be further extended by directing attention to the deeper study of the selected media industries and to the changes and debates surrounding the deployment, expansion and impact of media technologies such as the Internet and the growth of digital media within an international context.
MS1 Media Representations and Responses (25%)
Three compulsory questions, including one question on unseen audio-visual or printbased material (interactive media will be presented as print-based).
MS2 Media Production Processes (25%)
Three components: one pre-production ; one production which develops from the
pre-production; and one report on the production process
MS3 Media Investigation & Production (25%)
Three components: a written investigation into media text(s) based on one or more of the key media concepts – genre, narrative and/or representation ; a media production ; and an evaluation of how the production is informed by the investigative research .
MS4 Media – Text, Industry and Audience (25%)
Three questions (30 marks per question).
Candidates must answer each question on a different media industry.