Department staff:

Mrs N Goodwill: Subject Leader English
Mr K Elwell: Subject Leader Media
Mrs J Collins: Assistant Subject Leader (KS3)
Mr T Shillito: Assistant Subject Leader (KS5)
Mrs J Jensen: Departmental Administrator
Mr J Tomsett: Headteacher/English Teacher
Ms G Naish: Deputy Headteacher/English Teacher
Mr A Quigley: Deputy Headteacher/English Teacher
Ms J Bream: English Teacher
Ms S Currie: English Teacher
Ms R Heys: English Teacher
Mrs C Johnson: English Teacher
Ms I Terry: English Teacher
Ms C Walker: English Teacher
Mrs M Griffiths: English Teacher
Mrs S Brown: English Teacher

Key Stage 3:

Overview of the course

In the department we love reading and we want to share this love with you! You will study a range of poetry, prose, drama and media texts, exploring the craft of writing and production that goes into creating great works. You will have the opportunity to explore the ideas and techniques of many different writers in challenging texts produced through time. Through this, you will learn more about the decisions that go into writing for different purposes, audiences and genres. You will read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Our current curriculum includes works by Arthur Conan Doyle, Orwell, Shakespeare, Golding and H.G Wells as well as a range of excellent contemporary writers but we are forever revising this to make it relevant and interesting for you, whilst making sure you are ready for the next stage of learning and beyond!

What will I learn?

The voyage to discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes” — Marcel Proust.

English teaches you to explore ideas from fresh perspectives and to approach things with an open mind.

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Harper Lee, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird

English enhances your skills of empathy, giving you insights into others’ lives.

I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose”. – Stephen King.

You will explore the motivation of characters and their actions, learning to anticipate the monsters and in turn recognising the skills involved in creating convincing, complex characters yourself.

You will learn to investigate language, to put it under a lens or magnifying glass, exploring meanings and connotations. As you study great writers of fiction and non-fiction, you will learn more about constructing great writing. You will become literary detectives, examining texts and looking for hidden clues and meanings.

English will also develop life skills: good literacy skills are vital for success in many aspects of your lives. We will help you to learn to write effectively in a range of styles for a range of purposes and audiences. English will help you to express your ideas confidently and to hold your own in an argument. Your teachers will also help you to develop planning, note-making and essay writing skills.

What will I do?

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Oral Storytelling: Beowulf

Novel Study

Media Film Analysis

Studying Shakespeare: Macbeth

Crafting for Audience and Purpose

Exam Skills and Preparation

Gothic Writing

War Literature

Detective Fiction: Sherlock Holmes

Literary Travel Writing


Exam Skills and Preparation

Dystopian Literature

British voices in 20th and 21st century Literature

Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing

Non-fiction Study

GCSE Literature Introduction

Exam Skills and Preparation

Don’t just take our word for it. This is what our pupils say about English at KS3:

In lessons we explore “the beautiful art of great literature, creative writing, Shakespeare’s phraseology and the depth and meaning of our language. Every lesson is guaranteed to deliver something new to learn.Emily Brackpool

I really enjoyed reading and writing about ‘Animal Farm’ because it allowed me to think and write critically for the first time. I learned how different types of language can be used in different ways to suggest different things. Studying Media enabled me to look at the writer’s perspective and understand why he/she might write in that particular way. English is a fun subject that ties into a lot of other subjects.Dougie Buchanan

Key Stage 4:

GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature

Overview of the courses

Our KS4 follows on directly from KS3, which will have provided a solid grounding for the skills you need to succeed in both your literature and language GCSEs. You might not know this, but you gain two full, separate, GCSEs here, although they will be taught as part of an integrated course and you will study both across the two years. Our curriculum was reformed in 2015, which means in English, there is no longer any written internal assessment this will all take place now through external exams at the end of the course.

Throughout the two years, however, there will be ample opportunities to practise what you need for these exams, with formal mock assessments taking place at regular intervals. Your teachers will give you lots of feedback on these, so that you know if you are making progress towards your GCSEs and what you need to do to get even better.

Following AQA’s syllabus, there are two separate exams for each course (so, four in total) – an outline of what this looks like is included below:

GCSE English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Section A: Analysing unseen literary fiction

Section B: Descriptive or narrative writing

  • Written Exam: 1 hr 45 minutes
  • 80 marks

50% of GCSE

Paper 2: Viewpoints and Perspectives

Section A: Analysing and comparing unseen non-fiction

Section B: Writing to present a viewpoint

  • Written Exam: 1 hr 45 minutes
  • 80 marks

50% of GCSE

GCSE English Language: Non- examined compulsory assessment

Spoken Language

Independent presentation

  • Teacher set and assessed
  • Separate endorsement on certificate (0% weighting of GCSE)

GCSE English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel

Section A: Shakespeare essay

Section B: 19th Century novel essay

  • Written Exam: 1 hr 45 minutes
  • 64 marks
  • 40% of GCSE

Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry

Section A: Modern text essay

Section B: Poetry essays – studied texts and unseen

  • Written Exam: 2hrs 15 minutes
  • 96 marks
  • 60% of GCSE

If you want to read up ahead, we’ll send a list out to you at the very end of Y9, confirming your text choices for the GCSE and a list of study guides that will help you along the way. There are some suggested, more general, study guides below:

Examination board:

Our examination board is AQA and the full course titles and specification codes are:

  • GCSE English Language (8700)
  • GCSE English Literature (8702)

Useful Subject Links:

You can find out additional information, or, download copies of the specification, from:

English Language: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700

English Literature: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-literature-8702

Revision books and practice papers: https://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/Student/books_gcse_english_new.books_gcse_englishlanguage?range=new

CGP currently offer a range of workbooks and revision resources shaped towards these GCSEs. As this is a brand new specification, AQA endorsed new specification guides (for first examination in 2017) have not yet been published: as soon as this is the case, we will update the information and let you know which ones are the very best to purchase. In the meantime, the CGP resources are a good start point, but other publishers are available. From the above link, we would recommend:

https://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/Student/books_gcse_english_new.books_gcse_englishlanguage.book_EHS44 which is a comprehensive guide to the skills you will need, covering both Language and Literature.