English Overview

“You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.” – Annie Proulx

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” – Maya Angelou

The English department is a strong team of dedicated and passionate team members. We believe success in our subject is fundamental to the future of every student. Our passion, ethos and drive in the English department centres on developing confidence, self-belief and strength in our learners, nurturing them to believe in the high aspirations we have for them. We are dedicated to fostering a love of literature and the power of the written word in all learners at all levels. We are passionate about making literature, and the craft behind the literature, accessible to all and ensuring our learners are challenged and engaged. We also wish to enable our students to become confident in the spoken word and communication offering endless opportunities for debate and discussion. Reading is at the core of what we do and students are encouraged to read a wide variety of texts both in and out of the classroom. We want our students to know that their creativity and imagination is fostered and encouraged and that a love of literature and creative writing can stay with them for the rest of their lives.

SMSC Statement

Moral, religious, cultural, societal, political and ethical issues feature throughout the units and offer opportunities for exploration and discussion. Students’ perceptions and misconceptions about the world, and our place in it, are constantly challenged and explored through both the texts we study and the use of documentaries and the Digital Theatre platform. Investigation of social and historical context, where necessary, allows us to examine moral dilemmas and issues characters may face and allows for considered and perceptive analysis of the texts. This develops the essential skills of being able to evaluate the importance of a text and its way of reflecting the society it is set in and/or written in.

Students are encouraged to listen and respond to differing viewpoints, learning tolerance and understanding.

Opportunities for debate, discussion, group-work, team-building, developing curiosity and so on exist throughout both key stages. We also have a heavy focus on self and peer assessment, across the five years, encouraging independence and nurturing a faith in their own ability to be self-sufficient.

Useful Documents

Year 11 information for pupils and parents!

Year 9 information for pupils and parents: what texts we study in Key Stage 4 and what you can do to support your child…

Key Stage 4 intervention booklets: if you are struggling in year 10 or 11, or just want a bit of extra revision work to boost your grade, have a look through these intervention booklets and try some of the tasks:

Key Stage 3 Challenge and Support Booklets.
Your teacher may have given you one of these booklets to take home and complete. If you have lost yours, or just want to try a different one, you can download them here:

Key Stage 3 pupils – some extra Author Studies to complete in your own time, similar to the ones you complete in class:

Year 6 pupils. If you are wondering what Year 7 English may involve, here are some simple slides and tasks to give you an idea of the kind of thing you may be studying. Feel free to have a go at any tasks and keep your work to show your new English teacher in September. We would love to see anything you have had a go at!

Key Stage 3

The year 7 curriculum is thematic with compulsory elements and writers enabling students in every unit to cover a range of poetry, prose, non-fiction, film and media and creative writing elements. This allows for challenging texts to be interspersed with more modern texts and creative and light-hearted tasks. Year 8 is largely era-based units allowing a more stringent exploration of the English Literary canon. Year 9 brings in new texts and extracts and reflects and mirrors the GCSE skills (as does much of key stage 3) and ensures they have a good grounding in GCSE requirements without pulling students into an arduous three-year GCSE.

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 is run over two years. Students follow the AQA specification and complete the English Language and English Literature course (gaining two GCSEs). We have a secure programme of Intervention strategies throughout for those students that require it and this is continually monitored and developed over the course of study. Students are encouraged to be confident in their analysis and evaluation of the literature the encounter; they are encouraged to become independent and enthusiastic writers. Our exam results and Progress 8 scores are continually strong.

Most members of the English Department are also fully trained and experienced examiners and undertake exam marking during examination periods. We cover English Language and Literature and use this valuable marking knowledge to create examinations, mark mock exams accurately and create useful revision materials for the students.

Slowly yet softly the sunflowers smile
Emerge and envelope
And forcefully the
Daises too…
A cacophony of sounds do erupt and all with a delicate, tender
In their step

Morgan – Year 11 Poet laureate 2019 – 2020

Curriculum Map