English & Media

Head of Faculty: Miss E Clapton

Faculty Introduction

The English and Media Faculty consists of fourteen members – thirteen teachers and one professional assistant. There is a range of experience within the faculty and a high number of “outstanding” teachers. We work very closely as a team to ensure that English and Media lessons are consistently challenging and engaging. We also set high expectations that encourage us to constantly be striving to look for where we can develop and improve our practice to ensure the best education for all of our students.

Year 11

At Years 10-11, Year 11 students are currently taking GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature with Edexcel. The specifications and mark schemes can be found at the following link:


Whilst completing these courses students will study: poetry, Animal Farm (sets 5-8) or Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (sets 1-4), Of Mice and Men, Spoken Language, Romeo and Juliet, a Contemporary Drama and a range of non-fiction texts. Currently for GCSE English Language, the final grade is made up of 40% controlled assessment and 60% exam; a separate grade is given for Speaking and Listening. For GCSE English Literature, the make-up is 75% exam and 25% controlled assessment.

There are a number of websites where students could find guidance and notes on the texts being studied. Some of these are listed below:


Year 10

In Year 10, students have begun the new GCSE specification with AQA for English Language and English Literature. There are no longer tiered papers so all students will have the same exam format and all will have the full range of new grades available to them.

The new GCSEs are now 100% exam based for both Literature and Language, so students will not be completing any controlled assessments or coursework. We will, however, have many practice tests for each of the exams to give students an idea of what level they are working at. The exams include work on the following texts and topics: 20th-21st Century fiction; 19th-21st Century literary non-fiction; poetry – unseen and from an anthology; Macbeth; Lord of the Flies and Jekyll and Hyde (sets 1-4) or the play DNA and The Sign of Four (sets 5-8). They will also practise their writing for ‘Writing to Present a Viewpoint’ and ‘Descriptive and Narrative Writing’.

As students are encouraged to read as widely as possible in preparation for the ‘unseen texts’ in some of the exams, we have created a suggested reading list which contains a selection of novels and non-fiction works from 19th – 21st centuries. If students want help or advice on which books would be most accessible for them then please speak to your English teacher.

AQA Reading List


At Years 10-11, we also offer a GCSE Media Course with AQA. The specification and mark schemes for this course can be found at the following link:


Whilst completing this course, students study film trailers, the music industry and comics and respond to a brief set by the exam board (students completing the GCSE in 2016 are studying Sci-Fi). This course is made up of 60% coursework and 40% exam. All students will complete the single award, but there may be an opportunity for highly independent students to complete the double award. For the double award, students will need to complete another piece of coursework which involves responding to a second brief set by the examiner and they will need to complete a second exam which requires them to analyse two media sectors and how media products are created.

Years 12-13

At  Years 12-13 we offer 3 courses: English Literature, English Language and Literature and Media Studies. The exciting new English Literature course follows the Edexcel Exam board whilst the Language and Literature and Media Studies are provided by OCR. Students are expected to adapt quickly to a much more independent style of study than they will have been used to at GCSE.  .  Supported by experienced teachers, they will develop a self-motivated style of learning which will involve extensive reading and research outside of the classroom.
Subject specifications and mark schemes can be found at:

English Literature year 12

English Literature year 12

English Language and Literature

Media Studies

For English Literature, students currently study: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood, Othello by William Shakespeare, The Wife of Bath by Geoffrey Chaucer, A Street Car Named Desire by Tennessee Williams as well as an anthology of poetry.  The course consists of 80% exam and 20% coursework.

For English Language and Literature, students currently study: a range of non-fiction writing, poetry, The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald and  A Street Car Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. Students will also produce a produce a creative project based on the idea  of ‘writing as a reader’.  The course consists of 80% exam and 20% coursework.

For the Media course students study: TV Drama, the Film Industry, Film openings, music videos and collective identity. The course  offers both a theoretical and practical approach to media studies and new media.  Students explore an interesting,  substantial and rigorous range of subject areas including: textual analysis, media industries, evaluation of production work and critical perspectives.  A strong mix of both theoretical and practical disciplines stimulates development of skills and flexibility across a range of topics and interests whilst giving students the exciting opportunity to investigate the way in which the production of work evolves and is evaluated.  The course teaches skills of textual analysis and the use of critical perspectives within the media industries.  The course offered is based strongly on consultation with industry media experts and provides a good foundation for many workplace and Higher Education and Degree courses.  The course consists of 50% coursework and 50% exam.


Denbigh School, Burchard Crescent, Shenley Church End, Milton Keynes, MK5 6EX
Tel: (01908) 505030

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