Ysgol Stanwell School

Archer Road, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 2XL


Head of Department
Mrs M Williams
Mrs K Chellingworth
Miss R Davies
Mrs R Fulton
Miss C Jones
Mrs L Jones
Miss E Knight
Mr J Laidlaw
Mrs H Light
Miss S Owen
Miss K Phillips
Mrs S Rogers
Mrs J Sheldon
Mrs H Thomas

All pupils in Key Stages 3 and 4 study English as a compulsory subject. The English Department consists of highly qualified full-time and part-time members of staff. Pupils follow the National Curriculum and sit two separate GCSEs in English and English Literature in Year 11.

The Department has an excellent record of examination success at GCSE and A Level which is a testament to the high quality teaching and learning that takes place throughout the key stages.

Key Stage 3

During Year 7 and 8, pupils will study a Shakespeare play, two novels, a selection of poetry and a pre-twentieth century text. Key skills in Literacy, ICT and Numeracy are developed and pupils study Welsh Literary heritage texts. This approach is continued throughout the key stages.

Key Stage 4

Year 9 and 10 pupils follow the new WJEC specifications for GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.

GCSE English Language

This course consists of two exams, worth a total of 60% of the overall mark, and a number of controlled assessments.  The course is assessed as follows:

  • Unit 1: (1hr 45 mins worth 30% of GCSE)
    • Section A 15% Reading of unseen prose by a major writer
    • Section B 15% One imaginative writing task
  • Unit 2: (1hr 45 mins examination worth 30% of GCSE)
    • Section A 15% Reading of instructional / explanatory / persuasive / media texts
    • Section B 15% One explanatory / persuasive writing task
  • Unit 3 20% Controlled Assessment
    • Reading and Writing
      • Reading: Instructional, explanatory, persuasive (10%)
      • Writing: Writing from a list of tasks specified by WJEC (10%)
  • Unit 4 20% Speaking and Listening
    • Two tasks, including real life uses and audiences. Assessment to focus on:
      • Presentation or talk, answering questions, in either a formal or informal situation (10%)
      • Group discussion that has a local community/workplace focus or topic where candidates have a role and sustain a point of view (10%)

Please find a copy of the WJEC’s document outlining the GCSE English Language course.

GCSE English Literature

This course consists of two exams, worth a total of 75% of the overall mark, and one controlled assessment. The course is assessed as follows:

  • Unit 1: 35% (2hrs)
    • Unit 1: Prose (different cultures) and poetry (contemporary)
      • Different Cultures Prose: Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck) OR To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee)
    • Section B 14% (COMPARATIVE STUDY) Contemporary:
      • Unseen poetry comparison, the preparation for which will include the study of at least fifteen contemporary poems
  • Unit 2a: 40% (2hours)
    • Unit 2a: Literary heritage drama and contemporary prose
    • English/Welsh/Irish Literary Heritage Drama: An Inspector Calls (Priestley)
    • Contemporary Prose: Heroes (Cormier) OR About a Boy (Hornby)
  • Unit 3 25% Controlled Assessment (LINKED TEXTS)
    • Unit 3: Poetry and drama (literary heritage)
    • English/Welsh/Irish literary heritage: Stipulated poetry from the WJEC GCSE poetry collection, and a play by Shakespeare (Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet or A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

More information about the GCSE English Literature can be found on WJEC’s website.

Current Year 10 (Award 2016)

Month Year 10 Year 11
September/October English Literature Unit 3: Controlled Assessment English Language: Unit 3 Controlled Assessments
November/December English Language Unit 4 Controlled Assessments and preparation for Unit 1 Mock exam English Language revision of Unit 1 and Unit 2
External Exam: January English Language Unit 1 and Unit 2 Exam
January/February English Language: Preparation for Unit 2 Mock exam English Literature Unit 2a: An Inspector Calls and About a Boy/Heroes
February/April English Literature Unit 1: Of Mice and Men/To Kill a Mockingbird
April/June English Literature: Unit 1 Unseen Poetry
External Exam: May/June English Literature Unit 1 Exam English Literature Unit 2a Exam
June/July English Language: Unit 3 Controlled Assessment Writing

Sixth Form

Pupils can choose to study AS and A2 English Literature or AS and A2 English Language and Literature. They follow the WJEC specifications and study a range of prose, poetry and drama. They sit external examinations on set texts and complete coursework assignments that count for 40% of their final grade.

English Literature

AS (Year 12) A2 (Year 13)
Coursework 40% LT2 Internal Assessment
Prose Study & Creative ReadingSection A: Prose Study 1800-1945
Two texts: one piece of extended writing (40 marks)Section B: Creative Reading
One text: one piece of extended creative writing in response to wider reading of prose (20 marks) + commentary (20 marks)
LT3 Internal Assessment
Period and Genre Study3 texts: one piece of extended writing on texts from different periods and genres, including poetry and prose (40 marks)
Examination 60%: (June only) LT1 2½ hour (open text)
Poetry and Drama 1Section A: Poetry post-1900
T S Eliot and W B Yeats (30 marks)Section B: Drama post-1990
Dancing at Lughnasa (Friel) (30 marks)
LT4  2½ hour (closed text)
Poetry and Drama 2Section A: Critical Reading of Poetry
John Donne + unseen poetry (40 marks)Section B: Shakespeare and Related Drama
King Lear & Oedipus Rex (40 marks)

English Language and Literature

AS (Year 12) A2 (Year 13)
Coursework 40% LL2: Internal Assessment
Creative Writing
3 tasks (80 marks: 2 x 20; 1 x 40):

  • 2 creative writing tasks
  • commentary on both creative writing tasks
LL3: Internal Assessment
Analysing and Producing Performance Texts
Section A: Dramatic texts in contextOthello (Shakespeare) & A Streetcar Named Desire (Williams)  ((40 marks)Section B: Producing texts for performance

  • writing 2 original texts for performance
  • evaluating one of the texts. (40 marks)
Examination 60% (June only) LL1: 2.5 hours
Critical Reading of Literary and Non-Literary Texts
Section A: Poetry pre-1900 (closed text) + unseen text (40 marks)Section B: Prose (open text)In Cold Blood (Capote) & True History of the Kelly Gang (Carey): (40 marks)
LL4: 2.5 hours (open text)
Comparative Textual Analysis and Review
Section A: Comparative analysis of texts3 unseen texts: (40 marks)Section B: Reviewing approachesWuthering Heights (poetry/prose – open text)  (40 marks)

Extracurricular Activities

There are many opportunities for pupils of all ages to participate in external trips to theatres, cinemas and literary festivals. Visits to the school by external providers of drama productions and workshops are organised regularly by the Department. Homework clubs are also available to support pupils’ learning.

Careers Wales Mark ICT Mark Accredited Eco Schools Healthy Schools Vale Network Welsh Baccalaureate Arts Council of Wales