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 pupils to embed analytical and creative skills.  We encourage pupils 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 pupils 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 pupils’ imagination
  • to teach pupils a range of skills which will enable them to progress in English and other curriculum areas
  • to encourage pupils to access a wide range of texts, genres and authors
  • to develop pupils’ confidence
  • to have high expectations of all pupils
  • to develop a love of English in all pupils

Topics / Areas of Study


The Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed to enable pupils 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:

  • Transactional Writing
  • Introduction to Poetry
  • Shakespeare Play
  • Modern Novel
  • Descriptive Writing
  • Multicultural Poetry

Year 8:

  • Writing for Purpose
  • Descriptive Writing
  • Shakespeare Play
  • Modern Novel
  • Modern Drama

Year 9::

  • Creative Writing
  • Modern Novel
  • Modern Drama
  • Non-Fiction
  • Poetry

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 pupils 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.  Pupils will certificate in English Literature at the end of Year 10 and English Language at the end of Year 11.

In Year 10, for the Literature exam pupils will study:

  • ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens;
  • ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J. B. Priestley;
  • a Shakespeare play
  • a cluster of poetry from the AQA anthology.
  • unseen poetry skills

Paper one examines the pupils’ 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. Pupils 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.

Once the course is finished pupils complete the Spoken Language Assessment for GCSE English Language.  This takes the form of a speech entitled ‘Don’t get me started on…’ and which needs to be filmed and sent off to the exam board. 

In Year 11, pupils focus on the GCSE English Language exam.  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 pupils to argue or present a viewpoint, based on a specific statement.