Curriculum Areas: English

Head of English and Literacy Coordinator: Mrs Firth

Teachers of English: Mrs McNicholas, Mrs Firth

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 our students as independent and enquiring learners.  Students are encouraged to engage with challenge.

As a department, we encourage experiences to develop knowledge of the world and offer opportunities to develop opinions.  We want students to have a reason to discuss and debate, to fire their curiosity.

We recognise the responsibility that English has as a  lynchpin subject, which enables students to access the curriculum and the world at large, and if there are barriers, we work closely with the SENCO to ensure these critical literacy skills are acquired.

Our aims:

Learners should know how to adjust their language, structure and tone to suit the audience and purpose of a variety of written and spoken tasks.

They should be critical readers who question viewpoint, motive and bias.

They should have the ability to read, understand and enjoy a range of text types and to make connections between them.

Our students will understand the contribution writers make to our understanding of the world.

They should be fluent, articulate and persuasive speakers.

These are life skills that they will need not only in the work place, but also in their daily personal lives.

Our claims:

The English Department will:

o             promote reading for pleasure

o             encourage independence

o             use a range of strategies to engage pupils

o             support all learners to reach their potential

o             require learners to think deeply about a range of issues which affect their world


In both key stages students explore a wide variety of text types.

Reading: poetry, modern fiction, 19th century fiction, non-fiction

Writing: creative, for a purpose

Speaking and listening


Implementation – below are some of the units of work we will cover in a year.  Each year students will explore the different text types to build confidence.

Students have 5 lessons of English a week. Lessons are 55 min long.


Year Content and implementation
7 Local Solway Firth information booklet, Treasure Island, Myths and Legends, Shakespeare, autobiography and poetry.
8 Drama, Stone Cold (a novel which explores the issue of homelessness), modern poetry, Shakespeare, Chaucer
9 Dystopian worlds: The Hunger Games, the Gothic (poetry and prose), Shakespeare, creative writing
10 Modern text, English Language Paper 1, Anthology poetry, unseen poetry, Shakespeare, English Language Paper 2, Spoken Language assessment
11 19th Century novel, revise and recap all exam papers and practice questions.  Mock exams.



In key stage 3 all students have regular assessments to check their progress in both reading and writing.  They are measured as secure (this would be indicative of able to achieve grades 4-6 at the end of key stage 4), developing (needing some support) and extending (with strong ability).  In each area they study students are assessed against a set of statements to check they are meeting their level expectations.  Knowledge of your child and their performance in class is always taken into account when determining their level.

In key stage 4 students are measured against the component parts of the GCSE examinations, building up to sitting whole papers, after they have had the input for the texts and skills required.

Link to GCSE specification(s)