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Overview of the Subject

Without English where would be? English is the backbone for all subjects within the curriculum.

If we cannot understand a text, how are we to answer a question? If we cannot write a letter, how are we to apply for jobs? If we cannot communicate effectively, how are we to work with people and socialise when we get older?

The English department helps our pupils do all of these things and more.

As a team, we are also responsible for Literacy across the school. We believe that communication through speech is important and we have an area of the school called the Ozone where pupils are encouraged to go along and answer the Question of the Week which is linked to the world outside. Pupils also take part in debates and in Key Stage 3, pupils across the school participate in SALAD days where pupils are encouraged to discuss key topics which affect their everyday lives through their subjects be it English or Science.

We also run the Accelerated Reader programme for pupils in Year 7 and 8 and this is proving fundamental in our drive to improve reading levels across all subjects within the school.

So I ask you again. Without English where would we be?



In Key Stage 3, all pupils are taught the three core skills; reading, writing and speaking and listening.

During Years 7 and 8, pupils study a range of genres in the form of poems, dramas and prose texts. Pupils are encouraged to develop their ideas and interpretations of texts through discussion and written assessment. They will also develop their writing skills and will be taught the skills needed for their GCSE, along with developing the fluency and accuracy of their written responses.

Speaking and listening is a key area of development and students take part in class debates and discussions. All English classes are based in the Ozone, an area where pupils are encouraged to discuss their ideas confidently whilst becoming considerate listeners.

KS3 Curriculum Overview


English is a GCSE Core subjects for all pupils. Pupils study the GCSE course from Year 9 with all examinations taking place at the end of Year 11. Pupils complete two examinations at GCSE; English Language and English Literature.


GCSE English Language

The AQA English Language GCSE enable pupils to develop their skills in reading for meaning, along with the ability to analyse a wide range of texts both fiction and non-fiction. We encourage pupils to read a wide range of texts written between the nineteenth and twenty-first century in preparation for the range of texts they will be asked to assess in the exam.


How will I be assessed?

1. Exam - Paper 1:  Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing - 50% (1 hour 45 minutes written paper)

  • Section A: Reading - one literature fiction text
  • Section B: Writing - descriptive or narrative writing

2. Exam - Paper 2: Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives - 50% (1 hour 45 minutes written paper)

  • Section A: Reading - one non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text
  • Section B: Writing - writing to present a viewpoint

Non-examination Assessment: Spoken Language


What is the name of the examination board?

AQA 8700


GCSE English Literature

In GCSE English Literature, pupils will reada wide variety of texts in which they will they will analyse and develop an appreciation for the writer’s craft. Pupils will also learn about the contextual element of the texts and will be develop their own developed, detailed and focused responses.


How will I be assessed?      

1. Exam  Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel - 40% (1 hour 45 minutes written paper)

  • Section A - Shakespeare
  • Section B - The 19th-century novel


2. Exam  Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry - 60% (2 hour 15 minutes written paper)

  • Section A - Modern texts
  • Section B - Poetry
  • Section C - Unseen poetry


What is the name of the examination board?

AQA 8702


The texts we study at GCSE are:

  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • An AQA Anthology of poems based on the themes of Power and Conflict


We sell revision guides for all the above texts pupils to use at home to help extend their learning.



GCE Advanced Level English Literature

This course is a two year course in which students will study texts from two genres; tragedy and crime. Within the tragedy unit, all students will study two plays and a poetry unit exploring how tragedy is presented. Students will explore the contextual and historical perspectives behind the texts as well as develop a love and appreciation of the writer’s craft.

Within the crime unit, students are taught how to focus and develop their ideas around the theme of crime. Students will read two prose texts and a poetry unit. This unit also involves students responding to an unseen piece of text related to the theme of crime within the examination.

This course also has a Non-Examination Assessment element (coursework) in which pupils will write two responses totalling 2500-3000 words focusing on two critical perspectives from a Critical Perspective anthology provided by the examination board.


How will I be assessed?

There are two examination each worth 40% each; one of the theme of tragedy and the other on the theme of crime

There is also a Non-Assessment Examination unit (coursework) worth 20%.


What is the name of the examination board?

AQA – Specification B


The texts students study for the Advanced Level examinations are:

King Lear by William Shakespeare

Richard II by William Shakespeare

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Atonement by Ian McEwan

A selection of poems set by AQA


The texts students study for the Non-Examination Assessment are:

The Colour Purple by Alice Walker

A World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy

Students are linking the two texts to the Critical Perspectives Anthology and are studying the perspectives of feminism and post-colonialism.


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