Our aim is to enable students to develop skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening

and to facilitate and encourage an accurate and imaginative use of language. Through the exploration of a wide range of literary texts and the use of language in many contexts, we help students to master the essential tools of communication and to learn to think for themselves. 

The English classrooms are centrally grouped within newly built, state-of-the-art accommodation.  The remaining three English classrooms are now located in the main school building.  All classrooms have use of the latest interactive technologies including Smartboards with built in audio-visual facilities.  Regular use is made of the library and ICT facilities. The Faculty's stock of texts reflects National Curriculum requirements, the GCSE syllabus for both Language and Literature and the college's Equal Opportunities policy. We aim to present acclaimed texts from the past in balance with the work of contemporary writers covering prose, poetry, drama, non-fiction and pre-1914 literature.

How learning is organised 
English is a core subject in the National Curriculum. In Year 7, it is taught in mixed ability groupings. In both X and Y bands there are 3 higher band classes and 2 lower band classes. The decision for class groupings is made using attainment data gathered at Key Stage 2. All Year 7 students have seven English lessons per fortnight. Students identified as below level 4 in English receive extra lessons from a specialist Teaching Assistant who is responsible for intervention and 1-2-1 provision for these students.  Students studying only one modern foreign language in Years 8 and 9 also have extra timetabled English lessons.  From Year 8 through to Year 11, students are set by ability. 

KS3 & KS4 Reading lists can be viewed here

Key Stage 3

In the English Faculty, we aim to provide a diverse curriculum at KS3 that will allow students to explore a wealth of English Literature whilst covering key writing skills and preparing students for the rigours of the GCSE curriculum when they enter year 10.
Each year, students will study a variety of topics, which will include: 2 whole-class novels, 19th century literature, poetry and Shakespeare, as well as sources drawn from non-fiction.

Please note:
• For each unit covered there will be 1-2 deep dive assessments for which students will receive “Good at” and “Work on” feedback.  These will cover the 2 main curriculum skills: reading and writing.
• Speaking and listening activities will be assessed informally throughout the year.
• Lessons for each unit will also work to improve students’ literacy skills, developing spelling, punctuation and grammar.
• Selection of class novels is left to the discretion of the class teacher.

Year 7
Class novels: students will study 2 of the following texts:

Shakespeare :A Midsummer Night’s Dream
19th Century: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Poetry: Poetry from Other Cultures – a look at poetry produced by writers from diverse backgrounds.
Non-Fiction: Advertising – a unit focusing on the techniques used in TV and print advertising.

Year 8

Class novels: students will study 2 of the following texts:

Shakespeare: Richard III
19th Century: Childhood – an exploration of how childhood is presented in a range of 19th century fiction and non-fiction texts.
Poetry: Arthurian Ballads –focusing on comparing The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats, this unit will also look at the genre of medieval quest stories.
Writing: Explorations in Creative Writing

Year 9
Class Novel: The Hunger Games
Class Novel:student will study either To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee or Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
19th Century: The Gothic – an exploration of the genre and some of its most famous 19th century creations
Poetry: Conflict Poetry – including works by WWI and contemporary poets as well as some poems from the GCSE anthology.
GCSE Prep Unit: Detective Stories – focusing on some of the most famous literary detectives, this unit will look at some of the key skills and question-types that students will encounter at GCSE.

Please be aware that the KS3 curriculum is reviewed annually and therefore, is subject to change.

Key Stage 4

Years  10 & 11

Students start developing the skills required for GCSE throughout the year 9 curriculum. Most students achieve two GCSEs: English Language and English Literature. The new GCSE specification which we began teaching in September 2015, is assessed through final examinations only, all examinations will be taken at the end of Year 11. Students will be assessed through analytical essays, reading comprehension, and writing for a range of different audiences and purposes.
For the English Literature GCSE, students will study a range of texts both contemporary and from the nineteenth century as well as a substantial poetry anthology.  Spoken Language is still assessed in the form one individual presentation but no longer contributes to the final English GCSE. However, it still remains a requirement and will be reported as a separate grade: Distinction, Merit or Pass.  More information about the courses and relevant specifications can be found on the website below:


Current syllabuses:  AQA English Language: 8700 and AQA  English Literature: 8702

Practical Literacy
In years 7 and 8, students will be given the opportunity to read for pleasure once every two weeks. The sessions, run by a range of staff, will involve the reading of the text by the teacher, students reading and also group reading. The aim is to promote reading across the curriculum and to give students structured reading outside of their normal curriculum.

Lessons will include discussion, debate and small writing activities. However, there will be no assessment of students’ abilities in these sessions.

In Year 7, students will be set according to their reading age; in Year 8, students are set in English groups.

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