English curriculum

The English department aims to:

  • offer experiences, skills and knowledge which are essential for young people to thrive personally and socially
  • develop a love of language and literature, and equip pupils for their futures at work and as citizens
  • empower pupils to understand how language and literature give insight into what the world means, how we make sense of it through language, how we understand others’ views and construct our own identity
  • enable pupils to be creative in their language use and in responding to what they read, hear and see
  • guide pupils to become independent in expressing their ideas and choosing what they read and write


Key Stage 3

The Key Stage 3 curriculum is condensed into two years and therefore pupils begin their GCSE journey in Year 9. We offer a broad, balanced and engaging curriculum where pupils are encouraged to become independent learners. This is complemented by a creative curriculum which encompasses Geography and History. Pupils are encouraged to broaden their knowledge through extended project work. We are proud of our outstanding GCSE results and recognise the importance of embedding the necessary skills at Key Stage 3 to allow pupils to excel in their exams at Key Stage 4.

  • Year 7 
  • Pupils explore texts including Gothic literature, The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas, Chaucer and Shakespeare.
  • Year 8 
  • Pupils analyse Victorian literature, including Dickens, as well as modern fiction and non-fiction texts such as Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo.


Key Stage 4

Year 9

Pupils begin their GCSE learning journey. Pupils are taught how to:

  • analyse the prose text ‘The Outsiders’, where they are assessed for their understanding of the social, cultural and historical context of the novel and their ability to analyse the text
  • explore poems from different cultures and traditions
  • respond to a Shakespearean text
  • analyse the way in which the media manipulates their target audience
  • explore how to use a range of stylistic conventions to write for specific audiences and purposes


Years 10 and 11

Pupils complete a two year course where they have the potential of attaining a double award for English and English Literature from the Edexcel awarding body.

In Year 10, pupils are able to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of language and its usage by responding to English in the daily world through the study of a range of onscreen and or paper texts. They are also able to develop their awareness of how spoken language works.

For English Literature, pupils have to write extended responses to a modern play and a Shakespearean play under controlled conditions.

Pupils sit three exams at the end of the course:

English Language (one exam)

  • Pupils have to analyse the way that writers use language in John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ as well as demonstrate their writing skills by responding to situations, issues or problems.

English Literature (two exams)

  • Read texts such as George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ and John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ critically and analytically looking at the way characters, themes and settings are explored.
  • Write sensitively and insightfully on both poems that they have studied and poems they have never seen before.

We have high expectations for all our pupils and ensure that every learner is challenged and supported to reach their full potential.