English logoHead of English and Literacy Coordinator: Mr Green

Teachers of English: Miss Dakers, Miss McGregor, Mrs Schafer and Mrs Smith

Link Governor for English: Mrs A Walker

Subject Information:

As a department, we want our students to gain the language skills and confidence to succeed in school and the world outside. We try to encourage a love of reading and an appreciation of the richness of the language, developing them as independent and enquiring learners.

During their time at the school, students study a wide range of engaging texts and follow a programme of personal reading to help them develop into insightful and perceptive readers. There is an emphasis on reading fiction, with every student studying two fiction texts per year as part of their class work, as well as reading novels during their independent reading time. During English lessons, students participate in a wide range of learning experiences, developing them as effective communicators and active learners.

Our students go on to study English Language at GCSE and the majority also follow the GCSE Literature course. We offer English Literature AS level. The department organises theatre and cinema trips. Students in the department run paired reading sessions for the younger students helping them to achieve their full potential.

Key Stage 3

Over Years 7, 8 and 9, students develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through a range of units which cover many different types of text including poetry, drama, non-fiction and fiction through the ages.  All students are enrolled on the Accelerated Reader scheme to develop them as fluent and independent readers. Students have three or four English lessons a week depending on whether they do French as an additional subject along with their Spanish, as well as personal reading time.

English classes are set by ability and achievement, and extra support is available for those who need further help.  Gifted and Talented students are encouraged to involve themselves in enrichment activities offered by the department.

The English department runs a number of extra-curricular activities for Key Stage 3 students including various theatre and cinema trips.

Key Stage 4

English at Key Stage 4 offers all students a lively and varied course, which develops their language and analysis skills through speaking and listening, reading and writing.   Students work towards one or two GCSEs – English Language and English Literature. KS4 students have five English lessons a week. They are also encouraged to attend after school revision and study sessions in Year 11. Students are encouraged to enter competitions that we hear of in school.

How students are assessed at Key Stage 4

From 2015, GCSEs are linear, which means that they are assessed in the summer of Year 11 only, with a resit opportunity in November of the same year.

English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in creative reading and writing Paper 2: Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives

•  1 hour 45 mins written exam.

•  80 marks.

•  50% of GCSE.


•  1 hour 45 mins written exam.

•  80 marks.

•  50% of GCSE.

Section A (40 marks) (25%)

• One single literature fiction text

• Questions:

– One short form response

– Two longer responses

– One extended response.

Section A (40 marks) (25%)

• Two linked texts. One non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text.

•  Questions:

– One short form response

– Two longer responses

– One extended response.

Section B (40 marks) (25%)

•  One extended writing question, descriptive or narrative.

Section B (40 marks) (25%)

•  One extended writing question to present a viewpoint

Controlled assessment: Spoken language


•  Presenting.

•  Responding to questions

and feedback.

•  Use of Standard English assessed

• Teacher set throughout course.

• Marked by teachers.

•  Separate endorsement

(0% weighting of GCSE)

Students have to be videoed giving a talk and answering questions on their chosen topic. All videos are sent to the exam board. This is the same for whichever exam board is chosen.

English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th century novel


Paper 2: Modern prose/

drama, poetry selection and unseen poetry


•  1 hour 45 minute written exam.

•  64 marks.

•  40% of GCSE.

•  Closed book exam.


•  2 hour 15 minute written exam.

•  96 marks.

•  60% of GCSE.

Section A

•  Students will answer one question on their Shakespeare play (Romeo and Juliet).

They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole.

Section A: Modern texts

•  Students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text (An Inspector Calls or Lord of the Flies).

Section B

•  Students will answer one question on their 19th century novel of choice (A Christmas Carol). They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole.

Section B: Poetry

•  Students will answer one comparative question on one named poem and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster (Conflict).

Section C: Unseen poetry

•  Students will answer one question on each of two unseen poems and one comparative question.

Post 16

English Literature

English Literature at KS5 follows the AQA English Literature A syllabus, called ‘Love Through the Ages’. Paper 1 will consist of Othello and the AQA anthology of Pre 1900 love poetry. Paper 2 will be on ‘The Great Gatsby’ and Jane Eyre.

Extra Curricular Activities

The English department arrange a number of extra-curricular activities for students including educational visits and visiting speakers.

Relevant Links

National Curriculum documents

AQA GCSE English Language Information

AQA GCSE English Literature Information

AQA GCSE English A Level Information