The English Department is a vibrant and fun corridor where staff and pupils enjoy engaging with a range of texts and resources.  English staff have designed thought provoking schemes of work which challenge pupils and stretch their understanding of various subjects.  We encourage pupils to practise and hone skills which are required at GCSE while enjoying each unit of work they encounter.  All staff use a range of stimulus: such as films, music, texts, websites, interviews and more to improve progress and understanding and help students to embed analytical and creative skills.  We encourage students to think for themselves and to broaden their knowledge by reading for pleasure and undertaking various research based homework activities and mini projects.  With KS4 now starting in year 9, pupils have the opportunity to embed their basic knowledge of exam criteria in year 9 and then build on this foundation throughout year 10 and 11, whilst KS3 allows students to experience a range of skills within the subject and to develop a love of English.

Aims of the Department

  • to enable pupils to engage with English and to develop a love of reading, writing and analysis
  • to develop students’ imagination 
  • to teach students a range of skills which will enable them to progress in English and other curriculum areas
  • to encourage students to access a wide range of texts, genres and authors
  • to develop students’ confidence
  • to have high expectations of all students
  • to develop a love of English in all pupils


Topics / Areas of Study


The Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed to enable students to continue the progress they made in Primary school; and begin to explore new texts and genres; to embed new skills and structures; and to develop a love of English Language and Literature.  Year 7 and 8 pupils will all study a novel, a Shakespeare play, and writing skills.  The curriculum is varied and covers a wide variety of texts and writing styles, including modern novels, historical texts, Shakespeare, Descriptive writing, Narrative writing and Transactional writing, amongst others.  

Pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure, as well as in class, and the LRC is a great place for pupils to develop their reading skills, with the help of the school Librarian.  


In Key Stage 4 students study both English Language and English Literature.  We currently follow the AQA specifications for both English Language and English Literature.  Both courses have two terminal examinations. There is no coursework and there are no Controlled Assessments, in line with national changes. 

For the Literature exam students will study: ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens; ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J. B. Priestley; a Shakespeare play and a cluster of poetry from the AQA anthology. Paper one examines the students’ knowledge of ‘A Christmas Carol’ and the Shakespeare play they have studied, while paper two examines their knowledge of ‘An Inspector Calls’ and poetry, including an unseen poetry section.  Paper one comprises of two sections: each section will have an extract on their chosen text and then a question that asks them to demonstrate their wider knowledge of the text.  Paper two is made up of three sections as the poetry cluster and the unseen poetry are split into two separate sections. Students have to answer one of a choice of two questions about ‘An Inspector Calls’; a question on one named poem and one other poem from the collection, and finally they will have to analyse an unseen poem and then complete a short comparison task which compares the first unseen poem with another unseen poem.

The Language exam is comprised of two separate papers.  Paper one is titled ‘Explorations in creative reading and writing’.  Section A examines pupils on their ability to analyse language and structure, explore deeper meanings in a text, identify and interpret explicit and implicit meanings in a text.  Section B, the writing section, examines pupils on their descriptive and narrative writing skills through a choice between a visual stimulus or a written question, both of which link thematically to section A.  Paper two is titled ‘Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives’.  Section A examines students’ ability to analyse fiction extracts.  Section B asks students to argue or present a viewpoint, based on a specific statement.