We aim to provide a positive experience of our subject and to encourage our students to be the best that they can be.  Our goal is to create challenging, yet rewarding, lessons that enable our students to reach their potential.  We are committed to equipping them with the skills necessary to read for meaning and to write accurately and effectively.  Alongside this, we believe English offers students an opportunity to broaden their horizons, to think critically about the world around them, and feel empowered to change their world for the better.

Overview of KS3

During KS3, we develop and improve key skills in writing, reading and spoken language.  To achieve this, students will study different units each half-term.  Our units aim to develop students’ writing skills (for various audiences and purposes) and to generate an appreciation of literature by reading a range of plays, poems and novels.  Students also explore non-fiction texts and build on their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary.

If students require support and extra help with their learning, we will give them the opportunity to join small intervention groups, taught by an English specialist, and to receive help from qualified teaching assistants.

What will be studied in Year 7

Our units are varied and address different aspects of the KS3 curriculum: modern novel; non-fiction genres; 19th century prose fiction; different purposes for writing; modern drama; poetry; an introduction to Shakespeare.

What will be studied in Year 8

Our units continue to address various aspects of the KS3 curriculum, building on the skills developed in Year 7: poems from other cultures; 19th century non-fiction; a selection of short stories; a modern play; non-fiction genres; Shakespeare’s writing.

What will be studied in Year 9

Year 9 is a transition year from KS3 to KS4, taking a skills-based approach to English in preparation for GCSE studies.  Students continue to study a range of reading and writing units for example: unseen poetry; non-fiction genres; 19th century literature in context.  At Christmas, students begin their GCSE English courses.


English Language

Examination Board: AQA

Course Content:

Students draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus and engage with creative and relevant contexts. Students have opportunities to develop higher-order reading and critical thinking skills that encourage genuine enquiry into different topics and themes.

Throughout the GCSE English Language course, students will read a wide range of challenging texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including literature and literary non-fiction, as well as other writing. For instance, they will explore reviews and journalism.

Students will use the knowledge gained from their wide reading to inform and improve their own writing. By the end of the course, students should be able to demonstrate a confident control of Standard English and write grammatically correct sentences; they should also be able to deploy language devices and a range of vocabulary. Indeed, using a variety of vocabulary and sentence structures, as well as accurate spelling and punctuation, constitutes 20% of the GCSE result.


Students sit two examinations at the end of their course. Both examinations are worth 50% of the GCSE result and are each one hour and 45 minutes long.

Paper 1:

Section AReading - students read a literature fiction text in order to consider how established writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to capture the readers’ interest.

Section BWriting - students write their own creative text (inspired by the topic that they have responded to in Section A) to demonstrate their narrative and descriptive skills, responding to a written prompt, scenario or visual image.

Paper 2:

Section AReading - students read two linked sources from different time periods and genres in order to consider how each presents a perspective or viewpoint to influence the reader.

Section B – Writing - students produce a written text to a specified audience, purpose and form; they will give their own perspective on the theme that has been introduced to them in Section A.

The reading and writing components of each exam have equal weighting.

There is also a Spoken Language element to the course that will be separately endorsed (worth 0% of the GCSE), but must be completed otherwise no GCSE grade will be awarded in this subject.  When studying this unit, students will be given the chance to demonstrate their speaking and listening skills.

English Literature

Examination Board: AQA

Course Content:

This course encourages students to develop knowledge and skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. Through literature, students have a chance to develop culturally and acquire knowledge of the best that has been thought and written. Studying GCSE English Literature encourages students to read widely for pleasure and will prepare them for studying literature at a higher level.

Throughout the course, students will read a wide range of classic literature fluently and with good understanding, making connections across their reading. They will read in depth, becoming critical readers, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas. Students will be expected to evaluate different responses to a text, understand a writer’s social, historical and cultural context and offer an informed personal response. Furthermore, students will analyse language, structure and form, explore aspects of plot, characterisation, events and settings and distinguish between what is stated explicitly and what is implied. When studying poetry, students will also demonstrate an ability to compare texts.

During their course, students must write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using Standard English. They will acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including the grammatical terminology and other literary and linguistic terms. Using a variety of vocabulary and sentence structures, as well as accurate spelling and punctuation, constitutes 5% of the GCSE result.


Students will sit two examinations at the end of their course.

Paper 1: one hour and 45 minute examination. It is worth 40% of the GCSE.

Section A - students will write in detail about an extract from a Shakespeare play and then write about the play as a whole.

Section B - students will respond to an extract and essay question on a 19th century novel.

Paper 2: two hours and 15 minute examination. It is worth 60% of the GCSE. 

Section A - students will respond to an essay question on their studied modern prose or drama text.

Section B - students will answer one comparative question on one named poem and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster.

Section C - students will answer two questions on unseen poetry; one of these questions is another comparative task.

Further information from Mrs B Griffiths