Welcome to The English Department

Key Stage 3

In Years 7, 8 and 9 students follow a broad and varied course which combines different aspects of Literature and non-fiction.  Lessons are grouped into units of work designed to cover each half term.  These units will help students to develop confidence when reading and responding to both nineteenth century and modern literature, and will introduce key skills relevant to KS4.  Within each unit, students will be assessed on an aspect of the topic studied, and these will reflect the exam skills needed to follow the GCSE courses further up the school.

The curriculum at KS3 comprises of 6 units of work which combine reading, writing and speaking and listening.  Students are expected to develop the skills needed to write to describe, argue and persuade, as well as to advise. Emphahis is centred on enabling students to present a viewpoint and to analyse, interpret and review a wide range of texts.  These will include a class reader and a range of heritage and contemporary poems.

Homework expectations

Students in Year 7 are expected to complete a topic-style homework that corresponds to the unit studied.  Regular spelling tests form part of the homework as does weekly reading.

Students in Years 7 and 8 follow a punctuation and grammar programme and this is complimented with regular spelling tests as well as weekly reading.

Key Stage 4

Exam Board: AQA

Course content

In years 10 and 11 students will follow a combined course leading to a GCSE in English Language and Literature.  In preparation for the external exams students will be expected to write for a variety of audiences and purposes, and will read a wide range of literature and non-fiction texts from the nineteenth century to today.

Reading and Writing

The course will help students to understand and respond imaginatively and critically to what they read and experience in a variety of fiction and non-fiction.  Students will be encouraged to reflect on their own personal views and experiences and will be helped to develop their ability to communicate accurately, appropriately and effectively, in speech and writing.  The emphasis will be largely on preparation for writing in an exam context.

Listening and Speaking

Students will prepare and deliver a formal presentation to an audience on a subject of their choice. Although this will not count towards the final grade at GCSE Language, a grade will be recorded separately on certificates as an endorsement to the qualification.  Presentations are filmed and assessed by the teacher.


Students will sit four public exams (two for each of the English GCSE’s) which take place at the end of the two-year course and are marked externally.

The exams and course content are as follows

English Language

Paper 1        Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (fiction)

Paper 2       Viewpoints and Perspectives (non-fiction)


English Literature

Paper 1       Shakespeare and the Nineteenth Century Novel

Paper 2      Modern Texts and Poetry

Students are awarded Levels – ranging from 1 to 8 (which replace the former A to G grades)

Homework expectations

Homework is set regularly and will be linked to the topic studied.  Developments in this area will be available on the school website.