The English department consists of a close knit team who all teach across the age and ability range. In order to provide support to our students we have a dedicated member of staff for intervention and reading support. We are committed to providing a stimulating and creative curriculum that meets the needs of all students. We encourage students to take an interest in all aspects of English, and run regular theatre trips. Our department has a number of members of staff who mark papers for GCSE examinations, giving us excellent insight into the requirements of the examinations sat by our students

Our students are encouraged to develop and broaden their skills in English and English Literature. Students are given the opportunity to enter national competitions for poetry and speaking and listening; we are delighted that our students have won accolade in both of these areas.

The English Learning Journey provides a general overview of what students will cover in this subject.

View the English Learning Journey.

The English curriculum aims to ensure that students can read fluently and critically; write coherently and accurately for a range of purposes and audiences, using a wide vocabulary; and use Spoken Standard English to convey their ideas effectively. The analysis of writers’ language techniques develops students’ own ability to use language effectively, and studying a varied and challenging set of literary texts, including novels, poetry and plays from different time periods and contexts, allows students to develop their own cultural and social awareness. The skills covered through English are lifelong communication skills, which students will use in a range of situations, from studying their GCSE courses, to writing applications for further education or training courses, to using Spoken Standard English in interviews, to communicating with colleagues in their chosen career.

Table of topics

Year 7  Year 8  Year 9 
Prose: Stone Cold, Robert Swindells Prose: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee Prose: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
Shakespeare play: The Tempest Modern play: Kindertransport, Diane Samuels Greek mythology
Narrative writing Descriptive writing Writing to convey a viewpoint
Poetry unit Poetry unit Poetry unit

Key reading skills: fiction and non-fiction

Shakespeare play: Twelfth Night Prose: The Woman in Black, Susan Hill

The fundamental aim of the curriculum is to teach students the knowledge and skills required to gain GCSEs in English Language and English Literature. Some students will be offered an Entry Level Certificate in English. The GCSE English Language course aims to develop students’ critical reading skills; their ability to write coherently and accurately, using an extensive vocabulary; and their ability to use Spoken Standard English effectively. Students read a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, analysing how writers use language to create effects, then apply this knowledge when producing their own writing. Through GCSE English Literature, students explore prose, poetry and drama, allowing them to appreciate the power of the English literary heritage, and develop their own social and cultural awareness. The skills covered are lifelong communication skills, which students will use in a range of situations, from writing applications for further education or training courses, to using Spoken Standard English in interviews, to communicating with colleagues in their chosen career.

Table of Topics

Year 10

Year 11

Modern prose: An Inspector Calls, J. B. Priestley or Blood Brothers, Willy Russell     

19th century novel: A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

Poetry: Power and Conflict cluster

Spoken Language Endorsement

Shakespeare play: Romeo and Juliet

Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing 

Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives     

Unseen Poetry 

Revision and exam technique: GCSE English Language

Revision and exam technique: GCSE English Literature texts 

GCSE English Language (AQA 8700)

GCSE English Literature (AQA 8702)

Nature of examination: 2 x written exams

Section A – reading

Section B – writing

Paper 1 Explorations in Creative Reading

1 hour 45 minutes

50% of final grade

Paper 2 Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

1 hour 45 minutes

50% of final grade

*AQA also offer a Spoken Language Endorsement assessed separately.

Nature of examination: 2 x written exams

Paper 1 -  Shakespeare and the 19th century novel

1 hour 45 minutes

40% of final grade

Section A - Shakespeare

Section B – 19th century novel

Paper 2 - Modern texts and poetry

2 hours 15 minutes

60% of final grade

Section A – An Inspector Calls or Blood Brothers

Section B – Power and Conflict poetry

Section C - Unseen poetry

Entry Level Certificate: Step Up to English (AQA 5970)

This qualification may be offered to some students to support them in building basic and relevant literacy skills that meet the requirements of a wide range of post 16 courses and workplace settings.  Students will study a wide variety of thematic units, undertaking a range of reading, writing and spoken language tasks before completing an externally set exam paper.

This qualification compliments the GCSE English Language and Literature course by helping to embed many of the key concepts taught in compulsory GCSE English lessons.  Both courses share a number of key assessment objectives, thus giving the candidates many opportunities to develop their English and Literacy skills.

The assessment for this qualification is broken down into two components:

Component One – Literacy Topics

  • Detectives
  • Hobbies
  • Leisure
  • Music
  • The Next Step

Component Two – Creative Reading and Writing

  • Exploring
  • Gothic Horror
  • Heroism
  • Myths and Legends
  • Sport

All students are required to submit two exam papers from component one and one exam paper from component two.  The assessment skills for both components focus on reading, writing and spoken language.  The papers for this qualification are tiered and students will be entered for either the gold or silver step paper.  The gold step paper awards a level 3 pass.  The silver step awards either a level 1 or 2 pass.

Find out more about GCSE English Language

Find out more about GCSE English Literature

Find out more about the Step Up To English Certificate


GCSE English Video


Mrs K Kenyon | Subject Leader – English 
Mrs G Fraser  | Deputy Headteacher | Teacher of English
Mrs R Sagar | Assistant Headteacher – Raising Standards | Teacher of English
Miss A Roberts | Head of Student Services | Teacher
Mrs S Robson | Teacher of English | Progress Leader
Mr J Morris| SENCO & Inclusion Lead
Mrs C Allison | Teacher
Mr T Devling | Teacher of English & Media Studies
Miss C Goode | Teacher of English | Careers & Enterprise Lead
Mrs K Bowen | Teacher of English
Miss G Davies | Teacher of English | Progress Leader
Mrs E Major | Assistant SENCo | Studio Manager | Teacher of English | Geography