English & Humanities

KS3 English

KS3 English

In September your son will be joining us to start his Key Stage 3 studies in English and begin a two year English programme of study to prepare him for his GCSE studies.

Programme of study

Progress

In English, your son’s progress will be carefully monitored to ensure he is making expected, or above expected rates of progress. If your son requires additional support, we will utilise a range of intervention strategies to ensure that he is able to meet his potential by the end of Year 7. We will also run an English club once a week during a lunch time, supported by our Key Stage 4 ambassadors and prefects where students can receive extra guidance with any aspects of English that they would like to develop.

Lessons        

Your son will have English three times a week where we place an emphasis on exploring a range of themes and ideas to enable our students to develop the skills required when tackling challenging texts. We also foster engagement through the use of creative writing, debate and drama in the classroom.

Support        

It is important to us that your son feels supported in his studies throughout his time at St Birinus. To assist him with his studies he will have the following available to him:

  • A detailed syllabus at the beginning of each year, providing useful information about topics studied, key texts and skills covered throughout the year
  • Revision guides, set texts and workbooks (available at a small cost)
  • A range of extra-curricular opportunities, including mock trial, the debating society, book club, and theatre trips.

Assessment and Progression

Class groups:

Your son will be taught in his tutor group until the end of the first term to enable him to settle into English. After this point, he will be in a mixed ability class based on his Key Stage 2 SATS and his teacher’s assessment.

Assessment:

There will be one to two formative assessments during each term, mirroring the style of question that your son will experience in Key Stage 4.

 

Contact:

 

Miss Hannah Rabey

Head of English

hrabey@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

 

Mr Sam Elliott

Second in English

selliott@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

 

Miss Julia Gibb

Key Stage Three Coordinator

jgibb@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

KS3 Geography

Geography in Year 7 and Year 8

The introduction to Geography at Key Stage 3 provides an engaging framework of physical and human Geography to enable students to develop an appreciation for the subject whilst providing practical skills that allow for an understanding of the course’s requirements at GCSE.

Course outline

The course is divided into 6 topic areas covered over Year 7 and Year 8.

Year 7 – Skills, Human and Physical.

We will cover:

  • Zombies / Map Skills: An engaging way of incorporating this key Geographical requirement
  • Sustainability: What this concept means and how this can be practically achieved? You’ll have a chance to assess the sustainability of the school and suggest ways we can improve things here!
  • Weather Hazards: Ever wondered how a tropical storm forms? In this module you’ll find out all about it.
  • Urbanisation: What are the challenges in urban areas in rich and poor countries?
  • Ecosystems: What are the challenges facing the ecosystems of the world and what can we do to ensure they are protected?

     

Year 8 – Analysis and evaluation of Human and Physical Geography

We will cover:

  • Rivers: This topic focuses on physical and human processes – we’ll look at river formations as well as the causes and effects of flooding.
  • Issue Evaluation: Should a new reservoir be built near our town? We’ll consider all the stakeholder views and come to a conclusion and whether or not it should go ahead
  • Tectonics: How do earthquakes and volcanoes form? How do they effect people? What can we do to ensure that as many people are kept as safe as possible? We’ll explore these key questions looking at case study examples from around the world.
  • Development: What are the reasons some countries are much richer than others? How can we tackle this inequality?  We’ll investigate these issues looking at countries from around the globe.
  • Globalisation: As the world becomes increasingly interconnected what challenges and opportunities does this create? Do global brands like Nike and McDonalds help or hinder this situation? A really up to date and interesting module to answer some of these big issues.

KS3 History

Key Stage Three History

This course provides a framework that allows students to explore an extensive period of History that involves both the modern and medieval world. This provides both a thematic study for the development of Medicine but also an appreciation for the events that have shaped the world in which we live.

 

Course outline

The Course is constructed with the aim of developing both student knowledge and historical skills across the two year period, alongside fostering enthusiasm and passion for the subject.

Year 7

Terms 1-2- Skills Development, Norman Conquest

Terms 3-4- Tudors, The Mid-Tudor Crisis

Terms 5-6- Stuarts, The English Civil War

 

Year 8

Terms 1-2- The Industrial Revolution and Empire

Terms 3-4- The First World War

Terms 5-6- The Second World War and Genocide

 

Key Skills:

  • Content Acquisition
  • Causation
  • Significance
  • Interpretations
  • Source Analysis
  • Chronological Thinking
  • Essay writing
  • Debating

Assessment and Progression

Grading system:

CAR Marking- Comment, Action, Response.

1-9 (9 is highest)

 

Assessment:

A combination of mid topic and end of topic, in class assessments.

One formal end of year assessment in Term 5.

 

Extra-Curricular:

Year 7- House Castle Competition

Year 8- House Trench building Competition

 

Contact:

Mr Gregory

bgregory@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

Miss Froud-Davis

Mfroud-davi@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

GCSE English Language

The course will enable students of all abilities to develop the skills they need to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts covering the 19th, 20th and 21st century time periods as well as to write clearly, coherently and accurately using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures.

Course outline

The course is divided into 3 key sections that address different skills; reading, writing and spoken language. This course will develop students to:

  • read a wide range of texts, fluently and with good understanding
  • read critically, and use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
  • write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
  • use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately
  • acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.

     

     

    Paper 1 – Explorations in creative reading and writing (50% of the GCSE)

    Section A – Reading: one literature fiction text

    Section B – Writing: descriptive or narrative writing

    Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

     

    Paper 2 – Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (50% of the GCSE)

    Section A – Reading: one non-fiction and one literary non-fiction text

    Section B – Writing: writing to present a viewpoint

    Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

     

    Non-examination Assessment (0% of the GCSE – separate endorsement)

     

  • presenting
  • responding to questions and feedback
  • use of Standard English

 

Assessment and Progression

Examination Board:  

AQA

 

Grading system:

1-9 (9 is highest)

 

Assessment:

2 final examinations

1 non examined assessment

 

Paper 1 – Explorations in creative reading and writing. 1hr 45 minutes

 

Paper 2 – Writers’ viewoints and perspectives. 1hr 45 minutes

 

Non examined assessment – separate endorsement.

 

Exam questions are a mix of multiple-choice, short and long answers.

 

Progression to Post-16:

A-Level English Language, A Level English Literature, A Level English Language and Literature.

 

Future career links:

Journalism

Teaching

Publishing

Librarian

Public Relations

 

Contact:

Ms Hopkins

jhopkins@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

Ms Rabey

hrabey@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

Mr Elliott

selliott@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

GCSE English Literature

Course outline

This course will develop students to:

  • read a wide range of classic literature fluently and with good understanding, and make connections across their reading
  • read in depth, critically and evaluatively, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often
  • appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage
  • write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using Standard English
  • acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including the grammatical terminology and other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they read.

 

Paper 1 – Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel (40% of the GCSE)

 

Section A - Shakespeare: students will answer one question on Macbeth by William Shakespeare. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole.

 

Section B - The 19th-century novel: students will answer one question on The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole.

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

 

Paper 2 – Modern texts and poetry (60% of the GCSE)

Section A – Reading: one non-fiction and one literary non-fiction text

Section B – Writing: writing to present a viewpoint

 

Section A Modern texts: students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley.

 

Section B Poetry: students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster: Power and Conflict.

 

Section C Unseen poetry: Students will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.

Written exam: 2 hours 15 minutes

 

Assessment and Progression

Examination Board:  

AQA

 

Grading system:

1-9 (9 is highest)

 

Assessment:

2 final examinations

 

Paper 1 – Shakespeare and the 19th –century novel. 1hr 45 minutes

 

Paper 2 – Modern texts and poetry. 2hrs 15 minutes

 

 

Exam questions are all long answers.

 

Progression to Post-16:

A-Level English Language, A Level English Literature, A Level English Language and Literature, A Level Drama, A Level Theatre Studies.

 

Future career links:

Journalism

Teaching

Publishing

Librarian

Public Relations

Law

 

Contact:

Ms Hopkins

jhopkins@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

Ms Rabey

hrabey@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

Mr Elliott

selliott@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

GCSE Geography

This exciting course is based on a balanced framework of physical and human geography. It enables students to investigate the link between the two main themes, and approach and examine the battles between the man-made and natural world.

Course outline

The course is divided into 3 key sections, each of which is examined in at the end of Year 11.

 

Unit 1 – Living with the Physical Environment. (35% of the GCSE)

This unit explores the influences of and challenges as a result of the Physical Environment, we will cover:

  • The Challenge of Natural Hazards – Volcanoes & Earthquakes, Tropical Storms, Climate Change and a review of how the weather of the UK is becoming more extreme.
  • The Living World – How some the world’s different ecosystems (Tropical Rainforests & Hot Deserts) have been created, how plants, animals and people have adapted to and use their environments.
  • The Physical Landscape of the UK – how the shape of the UK has been created by water – exploring in detail the work of the rivers and seas on the landscape.

 

Unit 2 – The Challenge of the Human Environment (35% of the GCSE)

This unit explores how humans have created the built world around us, exploring the benefits, challenges and issues this has led to, including:

  • Urban issues and challenges – with over half the world living in cities and towns we examine the challenges and opportunities this can create.
  • The changing economic world – how has industry grown? How do countries develop over time? What does the future hold and what does this mean for future generations?
  • The challenge of resource management – with over 7 billion people on the planet, how do we manage our precious resources?

 

Unit 3 – Geographical applications (30% of the GCSE)

This unit includes the requirement to participate in 2 separate field-trips to investigate parts of our course – we currently visit Bristol (in Year 9) and Swanage (in Year 10).

         

Assessment and Progression

Examination Board:  

AQA

 

Grading system:

1-9 (9 is highest)

 

Assessment:

3 final examinations

 

Paper 1 – Living with the Physical Environment. 1hr 30 minutes

 

Paper 2 – The Challenge of the Human Environment.

1hr 30 minutes

 

Paper 3 – Geographical applications.

1hr 15 minutes

 

Exam questions are a mix of multiple-choice, short and long answers.

 

Progression to Post-16:

A-Level Geography.

 

Future career links:

Cartography

Town planning

Civil Engineering

Business Analyst

Energy Management.

 

Contact:

Ms Loosley

aloosley@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

GCSE History

This course provides a framework that allows students to explore an extensive period of History that involves both the modern and medieval world. This provides both a thematic study for the development of Medicine but also an appreciation for the events that have shaped the world in which we live.

Course outline

The course is divided into four sections of equal value, each of which is examined in at the end of Year 11.

Paper 1: Understanding the modern world. (50% of the GCSE)

What’s assessed?

In Section A there is a choice of four period studies, each with a focus on two key developments in a country’s history over at least a 50 year period.

In Section B there is a choice of five wider world depth studies. These focus on international conflict and tension.

How it’s assessed. 

  • Written exam. 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • 84 marks (including 4 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar.
  • 50% of GCSE

Paper 2: Shaping the Nation. (50% of the GCSE)

What’s assessed?

In Section A there is a choice of three thematic studies, which look at key developments in Britain over a long period.

  • This will be the Health and the People C1000 to the present.

In Section B there is a choice of four British depth studies incorporating the study of a specific historic environment.

How it’s assessed. 

  • Written exam. 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • 84 marks (including 4 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar.
  • 50% of GCSE

 

Assessment and Progression

Examination Board:  

AQA

Grading system:

1-9 (9 is highest)

Assessment:

2 final examinations

Paper 1 – Understanding the modern world.

1hr 45 minutes

Paper 2 – The Challenge of the Human Environment.

1hr 45 minutes

Exam questions are a mix of Source based questions, short and long answers.

Progression to Post-16:

A-Level History.

Future career links:

Journalism.

Law.

Media.

Current Affairs.

 

Contact:

Mr Gregory

bgregory@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

Miss Froud-Davis

Mfroud-davi@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

GCSE Media Studies

GCSE Media Studies offers you an interactive and engaging course that aims to broaden your mind. You’ll cover all aspects of media including language, representations, industries and audiences, giving you both an overall and in-depth understanding of how media represents the world.

Course outline

The course is divided into 3 key sections, each of which is examined at the end of Year 11, although the NEA is completed during year 10 and 11.

 

Unit 1 (35% of the GCSE)

Section A – Media Language and Media Representations.

Questions in this section can test any two of the following forms:

  • magazines
  • advertising and marketing
  • newspapers
  • online, social and participatory media and video games.

Section B - Media Industries and Media Audiences.

Questions in this section can test any two of the following forms:

  • radio
  • music video
  • newspapers
  • online, social and participatory media and video games
  • film (industries only).

 

Unit 2 (35% of the GCSE)

Section A will be based on a screening from an extract of one of the television Close Study Products and can test any area of the theoretical framework.

 

Section B will be based on either newspapers or online, social and participatory media and video games and can test any area of the framework.

 

Unit 3 – Non-examination Assessment (30% of the GCSE)

This unit involves creating a media product based on one of five briefs set by AQA. It tests:

  • Application of knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework.
  • Ability to create media products.

Assessment and Progression

Examination Board:  

AQA

 

Grading system:

1-9 (9 is highest)

 

Assessment:

2 final examinations

Non-exam assessment: creating a media product

 

Paper 1 –Media Language and Representations. Media Audiences and Industries.  1hr 30 minutes

 

Paper 2 – Analysing unseen texts

1hr 30 minutes

 

NEA – choice of one of five annually changing briefs, set by AQA.

 

Exam questions are a mix of multiple-choice, short and long answers.

 

Progression to Post-16:

A-Level Film or Media Studies.

 

Future career links:

TV or Film production

Journalism

Marketing

 

Contact:

Ms Carter Tabasso

scartertabasso@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

Back to Top