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Head of Department: Mr James Marry

The English curriculum is designed to foster pupils love of language and literature by supporting and challenging them to be critical and analytical thinkers as well as providing them with the tools to become engaging and imaginative writers.

By the end of KS3, we aim to develop pupils' ability to communicate effectively in a wide range of contexts; to enable pupils to use accurate Standard English and develop an interest in the richness of the English Language.

By the end of KS4, we aim to foster within students the confidence and self-assurance to challenge texts and to be challenged by them, to take creative risks in their own work, and to have the courage to make mistakes in order to learn from them. Students will be able to apply the English skills and knowledge they have learnt to new contexts and unfamiliar situations to gain a greater depth of understanding.

Year 7 and 8


We cover a wide range of texts throughout KS3 to ensure that students are challenged appropriately and cover the skills necessary for the GCSE’s. Over the academic year, students will cover all three elements (prose, drama and poetry) with a focus on both Literature and Language skills.


Each half-term students will undertake two milestone assessments, a formative and a summative assessment, these are styled on either the Literature or Language assessments found at GCSE level, depending on the focus of skills for the half-term. These assessments develop the skills sets that are required, with guidance on how to prepare for each one. These assessment points provide evidence for and are used to help determine planning and lesson focus to ensure that every student is provided with targeted teaching.


Homework is set once a week at KS3. These homework tasks can take various forms and will be fully explained to students by class teachers.

How Parents and Carers Can Support

  • Encourage your child to ask teachers for help if experiencing any difficulties
  • Encourage your child to read a wide range of literature, including fiction and non-fiction

Encourage your child to make use of the college LRC, public libraries and computer resources where available.

Additional Support Available/Useful Links

Reading List

  • See KS3 and KS4 subject reading lists
  • A range of fiction and non-fiction texts, including newspapers (preferably broadsheets) and websites
Year 9, 10 and 11

Exam board and syllabus code:

  • AQA GCSE English Language 8700
  • AQA GCSE English Literature 8702


This double award GCSE is taught simultaneously across years 10 and 11. It is assessed through four examinations which are taken at the end of year 11. The preparations for these examinations offer students the opportunity to develop reading and writing skills, and to explore new literary texts. Further to this, students will also be given the opportunity to develop and demonstrate speaking and listening skills in various contexts. Although this element of the course does not contribute to the overall GCSE grade, it is recognised by AQA as an additional skilled element to the course and will be acknowledged on the final GCSE certificate of exam results.


There are four examinations which contribute to the overall English Language and English Literature GCSE grades.

GCSE English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (1hr 45mins, 50%)
Section A: Reading - Literature fiction text
Section B: Writing - Descriptive/Narrative

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (1hr 45mins, 50%)
Section A: Reading - Two linked texts
Section B: Writing - present a viewpoint

GCSE English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and 19th Century novel (1hr 45 mins, 40%)
Section A – Shakespeare (Macbeth)
Section B - 19th Century novel (A Christmas Carol)

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry (2hrs 15mins, 60%)
Section A - Modern texts (prose/play An Inspector Calls)
Section B - Poetry from AQA anthology: ‘Love and Relationships’
Section C - Unseen Poetry

How Parents and Careers Can Support

As always, we encourage reading to support the progress of students in English. In particular, we would suggest pre-reading and revision of the set texts.

Additional Support Available/Useful Links

There are several websites which are of use when studying literature: