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No English Curriulum in Year 9 at all

(44 Posts)
Verbena37 Thu 08-Oct-15 17:48:27

I wrote a few weeks back about how DDs new secondary school (yr 9) are making them do GCSE Media Studies at the end of yr9 and then today, I've found out that they are not studying Curriculum English at all for the whole of this school year. They will then start the GCSE English course from year 10.

How on earth, is the school allowed to just not teach them English for an entire school year???
Surely this cannot be allowed?
Apparently, they do 20 minutes of literacy per week.

Can anybody shed some light? Oh, and they haven't told parents this....this was another parent informing me today!

RalphSteadmansEye Thu 08-Oct-15 18:06:16


RalphSteadmansEye Thu 08-Oct-15 18:07:25

Sorry, that should also have said: if this is true and not a mistake/incorrect rumour, then: I have no words...

DolphinsPlayground Thu 08-Oct-15 18:10:06

Is it an academy or free school? Iirc they don't have to follow the national curriculum?

neolara Thu 08-Oct-15 18:13:34

Bloody hell. I would want to talk to the school to find out the score. If true, that's shocking.

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Thu 08-Oct-15 18:19:22

DD1 did Media Studies rather than English in Y9 almost 10 years ago BUT she was top set, the school were happy they'd covered what would have been Y9 work in Y8 (and I seem to remember they'd sat the Y9 SATs in Y8 to make sure), AND this was before the "new and improved" curriculum changes. I'd be a lot less happy about it now with all the changes.

PotteringAlong Thu 08-Oct-15 18:21:04

It's not compulsory to study English.

swarskicat Thu 08-Oct-15 18:22:56

May be that our DD's are at the same school in Surrey. I was similarly shocked when I found out last year that this was the case, especially that the letter telling us that she would be doing the media GCSE gave no opt out option.

However, having now spoken to a number of parents with children in higher years at the school their view was that it was beneficial. Although they do not do any English specific to the curriculum, there is a lot of writing in the Media studies work and they only offer it to the children that are on track for an A or A* at English GCSE.

Having said that, I will be making the point at the year 9 parents evening at it would be a really good idea if they could at least give the children a reading list for this year so that they keep up with reading the books that are on the curriculum.

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 08-Oct-15 18:36:09

We've got the opposite problem. DS2, who is the first term of Y9, has been given mock exam questions (under test conditions) from the new style English language paper and is studying one of the set texts for English literature after half-term. This is for exams in the summer of 2018.

Hulababy Thu 08-Oct-15 18:43:37

If a state operated school then :

Key stage 3
Compulsory national curriculum subjects are:

modern foreign languages
design and technology
art and design
physical education
Schools must provide religious education (RE) and sex education from key stage 3 but parents can ask for their children to be taken out of the whole lesson or part of it.

BrianButterfield Thu 08-Oct-15 18:47:16

I teach Media Studies GCSE - although there is plenty of writing and analysis of texts involved, which makes it a good complement to English, I would be very worried that it does not prepare students for the new, difficult, English GCSE courses. The principles of analysis and essay structure can of course be applied to an advert as much as to a poem - but they need the technical terms to discuss poetry and prose, the breadth of reading and the ability to tackle challenging texts. I don't think Media will help with this. I would be happy if a DC of mine were to do Media alongside English in y9 and think it could well help with English, but not replace it.

Verbena37 Thu 08-Oct-15 19:14:58

Thanks Brianbutterfield. I agree.
This is true.....DD has confirmed it tonight.
The head teacher told the parent who told me today.
What PP said about it being offered to the more able children......this is compulsory for all year 9 children. They will all do it as a GCSE Media Studies.
I just can't believe they haven't even informed parents.....we all just think they're doing English!!
Nope not the same Surrey school swarskicat. East Midlands.

Verbena37 Tue 13-Oct-15 12:56:15

Had a full reply from English dept. who said now they're an academy, they don't have to teach key stage 3 English.

They said they are able to only do GCSE English in yrs 10/11 because there is no coursework in the new exams and so they have much more time. Therefore, in Yr 9, they won't be teaching core English....only GCSE Media Studies.

TalkinPeece Tue 13-Oct-15 13:41:54

Free schools and academies do not have to follow the National curriculum

as 2/3 of state secondaries are now academies, it kinda makes a joke of the whole "national curriculum" idea

Verbena37 Tue 13-Oct-15 14:16:22

But talkinpeace
I found the attached which suggests that even the majority of academies have to teach the CNC subjects...

TalkinPeece Tue 13-Oct-15 14:41:19

its says Academies can follow a different curriculum

and that link is out of date because it does not mention free schools
or that most state secondaries are now academies

Verbena37 Tue 13-Oct-15 15:04:37

My attachment was from the current DFE website.....says it all grin

Hulababy Tue 13-Oct-15 17:25:21


Yes I know. I was saying state operated to mean those schools now directly controlled and run via the state, so not including free schools and academies, as they aren't operated directly via state an

TalkinPeece Tue 13-Oct-15 17:33:18

Free schools and academies are controlled and run by the state.

They are directly responsible to, and receive funding from, the DFE rather than LEAs
but they are still 100% state funded schools.

Hulababy Tue 13-Oct-15 18:01:07

Yes, sorry - think we are getting wires crossed. I am talking "operated" as in run day to day. Its just the wording - I'm probably not making sense - I blame the amount of drugs I am taking last few days, can't get my words straight! I know they are funded by the state, etc - but not controlled in the sense of what they teach, etc. I know what an academy and free school is, honest!

TalkinPeece Tue 13-Oct-15 18:32:27

but LEAs did not get involved in curriculum issues
attached inspection and admin and support
but not the NC
that was always micromanaged from the centre

Verbena37 Tue 13-Oct-15 21:42:15

But if you actually say it out loud, it just sounds bonkers that they're not teaching English for a whole year doesn't it?

The reason they gave is that because there is no longer any coursework for English GCSE, they have more time and can teach the GCSE course in year 10/11 and can have a year of teaching media to gain them an extra GCSE.

I still like it.....or the way in which about 12/12 friends just today, when I asked them, didn't know about it either!! The school have completely bypassed parents.

Ricardian Tue 13-Oct-15 21:49:50

They said they are able to only do GCSE English in yrs 10/11 because there is no coursework in the new exams and so they have much more time. Therefore, in Yr 9, they won't be teaching core English....only GCSE Media Studies.

If it's a GCSE that Y9 students can do in a year, it's pretty much by definition rubbish. It sounds like a school that will be flirting with special measures in autumn 2018.

Verbena37 Tue 13-Oct-15 23:15:26

It was almost in special measures two years ago. It's just turned into a sponsored academy and their exam results this summer were improved.
I've composed an email to the head to ask why they arrived at the no English decision.

Lovelydiscusfish Tue 13-Oct-15 23:49:56

I would assume they would aim to teach the skills involved in the KS3 English curriculum, via the medium of the content of the GCSE Media curriculum. Which I do believe would be possible (though not necessarily ideal, and would take skilled practitioners and careful planning to pull it off).

I'd ask for a detailed breakdown of the Year 9 English/Media curriculum if I were you - and take what they give you as a starting point, if necessary, for further action.

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