Alignment with the GCSE Specification

From the Unit:

This scheme of work, which consists of twenty-three lessons of either 50 or 100 minutes, prepares teachers to teach the English GCSE text An Inspector Calls in an inspiring, challenging and motivating way, and enables students to excel academically. Throughout the scheme, students are given ample opportunities to develop their critical reading and comprehension skills, to practise producing clear and coherent writing, and to improve their spoken English through debates, presentations and discussions. Whilst the scheme of work is focused on preparing students for their English Literature GCSE, it is aligned with Ofqual’s subject aims and learning outcomes for both the English Literature and English Language GCSEs, and prepares students to fulfil assessment objectives relevant to both. Alongside the core lessons of the scheme of work are five optional GCSE supplements that focus solely on developing students’ persuasive writing skills or essay writing skills.

English Literature GCSE

Students are introduced to the sociohistorical context of An Inspector Calls before reading the play and are given ample opportunities to engage critically with the content and to develop their analytical skills. 

The English Literature GCSE assessment objectives, as outlined by the Department for Education1, are as follows:

AO1

Read, understand and respond to texts 

Students should be able to:  

  • Maintain a critical style and develop an informed personal response
  • Use textual references, including quotations, to support and illustrate interpretations
AO2 Analyse the language, form and structure used by a writer to create meanings and effects, using relevant subject terminology where appropriate
AO3 Show understanding of the relationships between texts and the contexts in which they were written
AO4 Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation

AO1

This unit enables students to fulfil AO1 by ensuring that students develop their comprehension skills, whilst engaging with texts both critically and analytically. Students are given opportunities to practise both literal and inferential comprehension; to engage critically with both their responses to the texts and those of their classmates, identifying and discussing any differences; and to compare the different texts that they read (in addition to the play, students read poetry, non-fiction texts on relevant themes, and a range of persuasive and essay writing models).

AO2

Students fulfil AO2 by analysing and evaluating the writer’s choice of language and crafting of the text, dissecting the messages transmitted by their artistic choices and the impact that they have, ultimately writing analytical paragraphs and essays to explain their findings.

AO3

Students are prepared for AO3 by being introduced to the broad sociohistorical contexts of An Inspector Calls (that of Edwardian society and those which are relevant to Priestley’s life experiences and when he wrote the play). They are also taught to examine the contexts of the play itself: how the characters and themes change as the action progresses. They then use this information when they both read and analyse An Inspector Calls.

AO4

Throughout the scheme, students are given a range of writing tasks – analytical, creative and otherwise – in which they are provided with sentence starters and models. These tasks, along with the frequent sharing opportunities in which students are able to verbalise their thoughts before putting them in writing, help prepare students to fulfil AO4. The Marking Criteria Codes (more below), which we recommend teachers use to engage with the work that students have produced, help prepare students to fulfil all of the assessment objectives.

For ease of reference, throughout the lessons in this scheme of work, we will refer to the assessment objectives for English Literature with the prefix of Lit (i.e. Lit-AO1, Lit-AO2, Lit-AO3, and Lit-AO4).

English Language GCSE

Students are exposed to a range of non-fiction texts, such as articles and primary sources, and are given a range of tasks that develop their creative writing skills and their ability to write for impact. 

The English Language GCSE assessment objectives, as outlined by the Department for Education2, are as follows:

Read and undertsand a range of texts to:

Reading

Read and understand a range of texts to:

AO1
  • Identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas
  • Select and synthesise evidence from different texts
AO2

Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their views

AO3 Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts
AO4 Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references
Writing
AO5
  • Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences  
  • Organise information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features to support coherence and cohesion of texts
AO6 Candidates must use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation
Spoken Language
AO7 Demonstrate presentation skills in a formal setting
AO8 Listen and respond appropriately to spoken language, including to questions and feedback to presentations
AO9 Use spoken Standard English effectively in speeches and presentations

Reading (AO1, AO2, AO3, & AO4)

Students are prepared to fulfil AO1 by answering a range of comprehension questions, looking for both implicit and explicit ideas, and by identifying and synthesising information they encounter in non-fiction texts, both articles and primary sources, and the play itself. They often select and synthesise this evidence in pairs or groups before sharing their ideas with their classmates. Students use their ideas and interpretations to prepare for AO2: they annotate, analyse and discuss the different texts contained within the unit, sharing their ideas verbally and in writing. 

Students then prepare for AO3 by comparing writers’ ideas and perspectives across texts that share themes. They compare non-fiction texts and primary sources with each other, as well as with An Inspector Calls. To prepare for AO4, students engage with all of the texts contained within the unit critically, evaluating their messages and deciding whether or not certain statements concerning texts and their content are supported by evidence. 

Throughout the unit, students are given ample opportunities to reflect on the texts they read, and to share their reflections with each other, which exposes them to the fact that texts can be interpreted in a range of ways.

Writing (AO5 & AO6)

Students are assisted in fulfilling AO5 in the range of writing tasks set throughout the unit that are related to An Inspector Calls and the other texts encountered. Students have the opportunity to write for impact, adapting their style, register and content for a range of purposes and audiences: they write creatively from the perspective of a character or person in history, using both the primary sources and the play as a stimulus; they write in order to persuade using the format of a speech or letter from their own perspective, building on content that they have covered in the lesson; and they write analytically, outlining their findings and structuring their claims and ideas into paragraphs or an essay. The use of sentence structures, models and the suggested use of marking codes, as well as the range of sharing opportunities and group work also help prepare students to succeed at AO6.

Spoken Language (AO7, AO8, & AO9)

Finally, the spoken language, listening and communication skills of students are developed throughout the scheme of work through a range of debates, discussions, group work and presentations. In every lesson, students are given the opportunity to practise the demands of AO8 as students share ideas with their classmates in a range of formats. They also have the opportunity to deliver speeches and presentations in debates and in the mock court trial regarding the death of Eva Smith, thus practising their spoken Standard English. In these activities, students are provided with sentence starters and phrases to assist them in structuring their ideas effectively, thus helping them prepare to fulfil AO9. The debate between Birling and Company vs the union of the factory workers and the mock court trial (Lesson 10 and Lesson 19, respectively) also give students the chance to demonstrate their presentation skills in a faux-formal setting. All of these skills will help students when they come to deliver their formal speech on their chosen topic to fulfil AO7.

For reference throughout the lessons of this unit, we will refer to the assessment objectives for English Language with the prefix of Lang (i.e. Lang-AO1, Lang-AO2, Lang-AO3, Lang-AO4, etc.).

Developing Written English

To succeed in both school and the world beyond, it is vital that students are not only able to produce clear and coherent text that responds to the criteria set, but that they are able to write in Standard English, using accurate punctuation, spelling and grammar. Throughout the scheme of work, we, therefore, recommend that teachers use Marking Criteria Codes when reviewing students’ written work to help them develop the structure and content of their writing, and their written English. These marking codes enable teachers to nurture their students as effective writers by giving them in-depth feedback, which requires proactive student engagement.

Key Skill Areas

Using Ofqual’s subject aims and learning outcomes for both the English Literature and English Language GCSEs, and the assessment objectives, we have identified key skill areas that are being developed in the lessons. They will be signposted when they occur in the lessons and will be linked to corresponding assessment objectives when relevant using the Lit-/Lang- structure outlined above.

  • Analysis
  • Application of Contextual Information
  • Clear and Coherent Writing
  • Comparison and Evaluation Skills
  • Creative Writing 
  • Critical Reading 
  • Critical Thinking
  • Evidence-Based Reasoning
  • Knowledge of Content 
  • Knowledge of Subject Terminology
  • Reading Comprehension 
  • Spoken Language Skills
  • Summarising and Synthesising Skills
  • Writing for Impact (form, audience, purpose)

Citations

Unit

Introduction
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Get Prepared to Teach this Scheme of Work in Your Classroom

Prepare yourself to teach this unit by reading about our pedagogy, teaching strategies, and the unit's content.

Lesson 1 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Building a Classroom Community

Students work together to create a contract with the aim of developing a reflective classroom community, which is conducive to learning and sharing.

Lesson 2 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Exploring Where I'm From

Students prepare for reading the play by considering the relationship between the individual and society, and by reflecting on identity. After discussing a poem about identity, they write their own.

Lesson 3 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Exploring Social Inequality

Students explore social inequality in the UK, discussing how an individual’s background can impact their opportunities before examining graphs that display social inequality and employment trends.

Lesson 4 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Priestley's World and the World of the Play

Students learn about important events that occurred during Priestley’s lifetime, completing a human timeline to understand their chronology, and are introduced to the concepts of socialism and capitalism.

Lesson 5 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

The Treatment of Edwardian Women

Students examine various resources, including excerpts from Emmeline Pankhurt’s ‘Freedom or Death’ speech, to gain an understanding of how women were treated and expected to behave in Edwardian society.

Lesson 6 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Entering the World of the Play

Students begin reading the play, having applied what they have learnt about Priestley and the relevant sociohistorical context to make predictions about its content.

Lesson 7 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Understanding Class

Students explore class, status, etiquette and hierarchy to deepen their knowledge of the social expectations and values which guide the world in which the characters live.

Lesson 8 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Developing Character Inferences

Students are introduced to the concept of inferencing; they draw inferences from the opening scene of the play, and consider what messages Priestley sends through the language, character and setting.

Lesson 9 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Understanding Mr Birling

Students study the character of Mr Birling, critically assessing Priestley’s presentation of him, before using the character to reflect on how identity can influence people's views and behaviour.

Lesson 10 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

The Cost of Labour

Students explore the moral codes of the world of the play, before being introduced to the concept of a universe of obligation and participating in a debate on workers’ rights.

GCSE Supplement
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Persuasive Writing: A Letter to Parliament

Students write a persuasive letter to Parliament concerning the gig economy, having reviewed persuasive devices, generated claims and content, and read a model letter.

Lesson 11 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Understanding Sheila

Students use the character of Sheila to further understand the interplay between identity and choices, before going on to analyse Priestley’s presentation of Sheila in Act One.

Lesson 12 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Act One Review

Students consider the lessons we can learn from Act One of the play, before adopting the perspectives of characters in both drama tasks and written tasks.

Lesson 13 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Differing Perspectives and Conflict

Students begin Act Two of the play, reflecting on the differences in perception emerging between the characters and considering how conflict can arise from such differences.

Lesson 14 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Analysing Gerald’s Character

Students develop their understanding of the character Gerald, exploring the differences between his treatment of Eva/Daisy and Sheila, whilst reflecting on Edwardian gender expectations.

Lesson 15 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Understanding Mrs Birling

Students consider what factors impacted Mrs Birling’s treatment of Eva Smith, and create a universe of obligation graphic representation for her character.

GCSE Supplement
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Analytical Writing: A Character Paragraph

Students write an analytical paragraph on character having generated claims, selected evidence and read a model paragraph.

Lesson 16 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Eric's Decisions and Consent

Students consider the role power plays in the interactions between characters, focusing on the relationship between Eric and Eva, before discussing consent.

GCSE Supplement
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Persuasive Writing: A Speech about Consent

Students write a persuasive speech for sixth-form students on the importance of consent, having reviewed persuasive devices, generated claims and content, and read a model paragraph.

Lesson 17 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Inspecting Inspector Goole

Students create an identity chart for Inspector Goole, analyse his parting words, and look for clues to uncover who or what Inspector Goole is.

Lesson 18 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Social Systems and Individual Agency

Students identify the parts, people, and interactions of various social systems, thinking about what bearing they have on character choices and behaviour, before considering responses to injustice.

Lesson 19 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Putting the Characters on Trial

Students finish reading the play and participate in a court trial to decide which character is the most responsible for the death of Eva Smith.

Lesson 20 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Bearing Witness to Eva Smith

Students reflect on Priestley’s portrayal of Eva Smith and consider the symbolism of having a character who only appears in the narrative second-hand.

GCSE Supplement
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Analytical Writing: The GCSE Character Essay

Students write an essay on character having generated claims, selected and annotated evidence, and read a model essay.

Lesson 21 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

What Lessons Can We Learn?

Students address the essential question of the unit in a people's assembly, reflecting on the lessons that we can learn from An Inspector Calls.

GCSE Supplement
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Persuasive Writing: A Letter to a Newspaper for a Caring Community

Students write a persuasive letter to a local newspaper, which outlines the importance of considering the needs of others and suggests ways to create a more caring community.

Lesson 22 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Recurring Themes in the Play

Students prepare to write an essay on theme by identifying and analysing the themes explored in the play.

Lesson 23 of 23
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Theatre as a Call to Action

Students consider theatre as a call to action, discussing its power and limitations to spark real social change, before plotting their own play inspired by An Inspector Calls.

Requirements
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Alignment with Ofsted Requirements

Read about how this unit assists teachers and schools in fulfilling a range of statutory and non-statutory requirements as outlined in the 2019 Ofsted inspection handbook.

Requirements
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Alignment with the GCSE Specification

Read about how this unit is aligned with Ofqual’s subject aims and learning outcomes for both the English Literature and English Language GCSEs.

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