Curriculum Information

Subject rationale – Why study the subject? What benefits does it bring?

At the core of our ethos in the English Department is the drive to inspire, motivate and support students in their learning throughout the school but also to inspire an appreciation of the power of Literature and to encourage a love of reading. We believe that through an engaging curriculum we can encourage pupils to reflect on the world in a meaningful and critical way and increase their cultural capital through their exploration of Literature and non-fiction texts.

Through this philosophy, we will aim to:

  • Instil a life-long love of reading and develop resilience when faced with challenging texts.
  • Give students the opportunity to experience the theatre.
  • Develop and refine our students’ use of language, promoting vocabulary acquisition.
  • Develop our students’ knowledge, experience and accuracy of spoken and written forms of English language.
  • Ensure that English provides students with opportunities for personal growth, developing moral and social awareness.
  • Enhance students’ creativity and enjoyment in writing in a range of forms.
  • Provide regular enrichment activities through the Arts Project, Poetry competitions, Debating, Writing and Book Clubs.


KS3 curriculum overview

At Key Stage 3 we offer a rich and varied curriculum. Students will engage with a range of classic and modern texts, covering all genres. In Year 7, students will study A Christmas Carol and Animal Farm as well as exploring a variety of non-fiction texts and poetry.  In Year 8, they will explore the subject of Race and Identity through a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. They will also study the canon of Detective Fiction, Shakespeare’s The Tempest and modern drama with Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers. In Year 7 and 8 students, Writing challenges and Reading lessons happen every fortnight promoting literacy but also encouraging creativity. In Year 9, students will study Gothic literature focusing on The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde as well as persuasive writing and poetry throughout the year.


KS4 curriculum overview

At Key Stage 4 we follow the AQA Specification. Students will study Romeo and Juliet, Frankenstein, An Inspector Calls and Power and Conflict Poetry as part of GCSE English Literature. Throughout the course students will study for two GCSE’s in English Language and English Literature. Students will also prepare for a Spoken Language assessment. This will be awarded a separate level of pass, merit and distinction


Assessment overview

GCSE English:

Paper 1 - Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing - Fiction - 1 hour 45 minutes

Paper 2 - Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives - Non Fiction - 1 hour 45 minutes

GCSE Literature:

Paper 1 - Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel -1 hour 45 minutes

Paper 2 - Modern Texts and Poetry - 2 hours 15 minutes

Spoken Language:

Presentation and Discussion


KS5 curriculum overview

At Key Stage 5 we follow the Edexcel Specification. Students will study Othello and A Streetcar Named Desire. They will also study Gothic horror, focusing on Dracula and The Little Stranger. In terms of poetry, they will study a range of post 2000 poems, develop unseen poetry analysis and study the poetry of Christina Rossetti.


Assessment overview

Paper 1 - Drama - 2 hours 15 minutes

  • Othello and
  • A Streetcar Named Desire

Paper 2 - Prose - 1 hour 15 minutes

The Supernatural - Dracula/The Little Stranger

Paper 3 - Poetry - 2 hours 15 minutes

  • Post- 2000 Poetry/Unseen
  • Christina Rossetti Poetry


Revision guidance

GCSE Literature

Break the text into key moments from your text. Make sure you are clear why it is a key moment in terms of plot / character / theme.

Learn quotations A3 sheet. Annotate each quotation with who/what/when, language techniques. Use the Pictograms to help memorise quotations.

Without looking at your notes, create an essay plan on each of the key themes. For example, in Frankenstein: ambition, revenge, prejudice. After you finish, check your notes/exercise book/A3 sheet and add more info improve your plan.


GCSE English Language

Paper 1 - Qu 5 – Turn to page 20 of your planners. Using the Synchronised  Sentences sheet, write about a busy/beautiful place you have been recently using 10 different synchronised sentences including a colon and a semi-colon.

Qu 5 – Find 3 different synonyms for the following words: scared, dark, big, stormy, silent, colourful, sad, small, empty, loud.

Qu 1-5 – Create revision cards to help you approach each question. On the front, it should say the question e.g. ‘Question 1, Paper 1’. On the back, you should write down the steps your teacher has given you to approach the question.

Paper 2 - Qu 5 – Find a ‘Guardian Opinion’ newspaper article on a subject that interests you

( Read the article and summarise its 3 main arguments. Then, find 5 words you do not understand, look them up and write 5 different sentences of your own using the new words.


Career opportunities

There are a wide range of careers available through studying English.

These include:

  • Lawyers / solicitors
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations
  • Publishing


Welcome to the English Department video

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions



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