The English Department


Subject Overview

Our English curriculum prepares students to communicate effectively, supporting learning across the curriculum and for the world beyond the classroom.  We encourage a love of language and literature in all students and aim to harness the creativity within to help students make progress and achieve success.

We aim to inspire, motivate and challenge every student at all levels of prior ability by developing the skills needed to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts and write clearly and imaginatively.

Teaching and Learning 

The journey to GCSE success in language and literature starts at the beginning of year seven.  Throughout the KS3 curriculum (years 7 and 8) students study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, modern and pre 19th century.  This allows students to build on and develop the language skills introduced in KS2, whilst also helping students to understand the text as a construct to further develop writing skills.  Students will also study a Shakespeare text and Speaking and Listening skills, in preparation for the GCSE Spoken Language Assessment in Year 10.

Our curriculum in years 9, 10 and 11 is strongly influenced by the requirements of the AQA GCSE specifications in English Language and English Literature, culminating in the final examinations. Following the AQA specifications, learners study sophisticated language skills to enable them to communicate information and ideas and explore effects and impact in a variety of texts, both fiction and non-fiction.  Students will also study a range of poetry, A Shakespeare text, pre and post 19th century fiction and discursive writing and a modern drama text for the requirements of the GCSE English Literature specification.

At KS5, our students follow the Edexcel A Level literature course on which they will enjoy a wide range of challenging and sophisticated texts.  Students who opt for this course will engage critically and creatively with the texts, responding to them with creativity to deepen their appreciation and understanding of English literature, including its changing traditions.

Supporting Your Child at Home

Read and discuss fiction texts with your child. You could talk about:

  • Characters’ actions
  • What atmosphere has been created and how
  • Predictions about what will happen next
  • Summarising what has been read


  • Read and discuss non-fiction texts with your child, such as newspaper reports and articles.
  • A visit to the theatre is a wonderful opportunity to see a text in production, to see how characters and themes are presented and to help your child understand how enjoyable literature is.
  • Encourage your child to proof-read their work (for all subjects) to check for spelling, punctuation and paragraphing – as well as to make sure that it all makes sense!