English celebrates the challenges of communication in a world that is rapidly changing. Where it has never been more important for young people to leave secondary school as skilled writers, perceptive readers and impressive speakers, there is an ever-increasing need to emerge as inventive critics of the society evolving around us. Therefore, we believe that high-quality education in English involves both rigorous training in how to read and write effectively and a syllabus that exposes students to the wealth of literature we have today and what it has taught us about the way we live, the way we act, the way we think. With an appreciation of literature comes an understanding of our identities and how to belong.

“we inspire a love of knowledge about literature by making every minute count.”

Our aim is to ensure that all students:

  • can express themselves imaginatively while demonstrating confident control of vocabulary, grammar, Standard English and how to structure ideas effectively in both writing and speaking
  • develop an enthusiastic and critical approach to reading through studying a range of modern and pre-1914 literature, including 19th-century novels and Shakespeare
  • have opportunities to develop high-order critical thinking skills that encourage enquiry into a range of topics and themes

The units of work in Year 7 are:

  • ‘Read it like a Writer’: Year 6-7 transition 
  • The novel: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ / ‘Private Peaceful’
  • Fiction and non-fiction writing skills: The environment and dystopia
  • Shakespeare: 'Much Ado About Nothing'/'Hamlet' (abridged)
  • The teaching of poetry is embedded in the units

The units of work in year 8 are:

  • Victorian Britain: ‘A Christmas Carol’
  • Fiction and non-fiction writing skills: Prejudice, discrimination and protest / ‘Of Mice of Men’
  • Shakespeare: ‘Romeo and Juliet’
  • The teaching of poetry is embedded in the units
Key Stage 4

the units of work in year 9 are:

  • Victorian Gothic: ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ / 'The Yellow Wallpaper'
  • Imaginative and Descriptive Writing
  • Romantic vs Modern poetry
  • Shakespeare: ‘Macbeth'
  • J. B. Priestley: 'An Inspector Calls'
  • Persuasive Writing
  • Close reading of various extracts and short stories

YEAR 10 AND 11

All students sit English Language and English Literature as two separate GCSEs and these are taught as an integrated course. The assessment for both GCSEs is 100% exam with the 1-9 grading system.


Paper 1 – Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing
1 hour 45 minutes
80 marks (50% of GCSE)

Paper 2 – Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (50%)
1 hour 45 minutes
80 marks (50% of GCSE)
Non-examination assessment: Spoken Language (0% of GCSE)



Paper 1 – Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel
1hour 45 minutes
64 marks (40% of GCSE)

Paper 2 – Modern texts and poetry
2 hour 15 minutes
96 marks (60% of GCSE)


  • Shakespeare: 'Macbeth'
  • 19th-century novel: ‘The Sign of Four’
  • Modern text: ‘An Inspector Calls’ (play)
  • Poetry: AQA Conflict cluster
key stage 5
additional information


The English department offer a range of opportunities for students to widen their experiences of English outside of lessons, including:

  • KS3 Homework and Enrichment club
  • KS4 Critics Club
  • Creative Writing club
  • Speech Competitions
  • Trips
  • School visitors for writing and speaking workshops


Once per fortnight, all students in Years 7-8, and some in Year 9, have an English lesson in the library. During this, students take part in the Accelerated Reader programme, where they choose books appropriate to their reading level and complete quizzes on the books. Students are re-tested throughout the year to ensure that the recommended reading material is suitable and challenging enough to make progress.