We believe that acquiring skills in English are essential in terms of enabling students to access all other areas of the curriculum. As such, we focus on developing and preparing students for not only their exams, but key skills that they will need in order to be successful in their future lives. As part of our literacy focus, each student reads during ‘Reading Wednesday’ and they are encouraged to develop extended writing skills in subjects across the curriculum.

The aims of the English programmes of study are to enable students to gain the necessary skills required for the Reading, Writing and Spoken Language components (of Language and Literature).


The faculty firmly believes that the ability to read, write, speak and listen effectively is essential to create citizens of a modern democracy.

We create opportunities for our students to read, enjoy and appreciate the writing of a range of English writers, including those from the cannon. The students are also given the skills to discern fact from opinion in their reading of non-fiction materials. The faculty believes that the ability to understand what is read is essential to becoming sophisticated members of society.

Creating articulate and accurate writers is also considered to be essential, and students are supported in the development of these skills. They are given opportunities to write accurately in a range of styles, for a range of audiences and for a range of purposes. They are equipped to be able to transfer these skills to other subjects and to a wide variety of situations in their working life.

Students are given every opportunity to develop their speaking and listening skills, understanding the need for articulate and passionate expression and the need to listen in an active and tolerant manner.

The teachers are committed to providing an environment conducive to successful learning. Students are given the tools to become creative individuals with a strong sense of self-belief, tolerance and kindness. Being part of a community and learning from each other as well as their teachers is a vital element of our ethos. We believe in the development of strong student-teacher relationships which allow us to be able to identify the needs of our students and therefore promote a positive and enthusiastic learning environment.

Key Stage 3

Different genres of Language and Literature are taught to the students. The range includes prose, poetry, scripted drama, Shakespeare, Pre-1914 Literature and media in year 7 and 8. Students are taught the all-important skills of Speaking and Listening which will not only form a separate accreditation for their GCSE, but will also play an important role later on in their lives. Students are encouraged to work both independently as well as part of a group. The skills acquired at KS3 are the essential building blocks for the GCSE at KS4.


Students are assessed at the end of each topic on a minimum of two reading / writing tasks based around the text and the content of the module that they are studying.

For reading, students are expected to:

  • Understand, describe, select or retrieve information, events or ideas from texts and use quotation and reference to text
  • Deduce, infer or interpret information, events or ideas from the text
  • Identify and comment on the structure and organisation of texts, including grammatical and presentation features at text level
  • Comment on writers’ use of language including grammatical and literary features at word and sentence level
  • Identify and comment on writers’ purposes and viewpoints and the overall effect of the text on the reader
  • Relate texts to their social, cultural and historical traditions

For writing, students are expected to:

  • Write interesting, imaginative and thoughtful texts
  • Produce texts appropriate to task, purpose, audience and text type
  • Organise ideas and whole texts effectively
  • Construct paragraphs and link paragraphs together effectively
  • Use a variety of sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect
  • Write using a range of correct punctuation
  • Use appropriate and effective vocabulary
  • Use correct spelling

Key Stage 4
English is a compulsory subject at GCSE. Not only do the students learn about how to use language but they also learn to analyse how others use it. The development of skills in this subject will benefit all other GCSEs. The English Faculty offers two qualifications. All students are entered for both English and English Literature.

GCSE English Language


Students study for the AQA GCSE in English Literature.

  • Unit 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing
  • Unit 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives


Two written papers, each of 1hr 45 mins and each forming of 50% of the final GCSE mark

  • Paper 1 – Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing:
    • Section A: Reading (one Literature Fiction Text) (40 marks)
      Section B: Writing (descriptive or narrative based on a visual stimulus) (40 marks)


  • Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives
    • Section A: Reading (one non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text (40 marks)
      Section B: Writing (writing to argue/persuade/presenting a viewpoint) (40 marks)

GCSE English Literature


Students study for the AQA GCSE in English Literature.

  • Unit 1: Shakespeare and 19th Century Novel

Students will study a Shakespeare play and a 19th Century Novel. The course will enable students to understand the context of the texts, analyse extracts from the texts for the writers’ use of language and structure. The students will then link extracts to the rest of the texts.

  • Unit 2: Modern texts and poetry
    • Section A: Students will study either a Modern Drama or a Modern Novel and will learn the skills of evaluating and analysing the themes, characters, symbolism, writers’ use of language and structure.
  • Section B: Poetry (all 15 poems from Power and Conflict)
    Students will be learning the skills to analyse, interpret and compare the named poem printed on the paper and 1 other poem from the same cluster.
  • Section C: Unseen poetry (2 unseen poems). Students will apply the skills learnt in analysing Poetry for meaning to interpret Unseen Poetry.


  • Paper 1: 1hr 45 min (40% of the GCSE) Shakespeare and 19th Century Novel
  • Paper 2: 2hr 15 min (60% of the GCSE) Modern texts and poetry

This includes 1 question (analysis of one unseen poem). Analysis of poet’s feelings in one poem.
1 comparative question comparing the 2 unseen poems (8 marks)

Key Stage 5

AS English Literature

This is a successful subject at ‘A Level’ that takes students from GCSE studies and equips them for university study in this or other subjects. For students with an interest in reading and literature who want to improve their ability to analyse texts and think critically, our A level in English literature is a great choice. Using Pre-Twentieth Century literature as well as some more modern works, the course examines the cultural and social contexts in which different books were written and encourages the effective use of textual evidence to form cohesive and convincing answers to essay questions. AS English Literature is a great course for those wishing to pursue careers in a wide range of professions, including journalism, business, media, teaching, the law and medicine.


A2 English Literature
The second year of this course is both exciting and demanding. Students develop their evaluative skills and improve their ability to compare different texts. Students are introduced to more challenging texts and are expected to research topics which are of interest to them on the course. A Level English Literature is a highly regarded subject and complements a range of other subjects, including History, Philosophy and Ethics, Media and Psychology as well as the sciences.

  • Component 1: Drama and pre-1900 Poetry and Shakespeare
  • Component 2: Comparative and Contextual Study
  • Component 3: Coursework: 1 Close Reading assignment and 1 Linked Text assignment


  • Paper 1 – Drama and poetry – pre 1900 (40%) 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Paper 2 – Comparative and contextual study (40%) 2hours 30 minutes
  • Course work – Literature post-1900 (20%)