We aim to develop enthusiastic readers, writers and communicators. Our teaching aims to promote creativity, confidence and a love for our language.

English Curriculum Intent

The English curriculum is designed to empower each student with the knowledge of how to use their voice with confidence. Students will understand that words are powerful: they influence people and can instigate change. Our students learn how to use words well and with an authority that enables them to hold their own in a competitive world and express conviction in their own beliefs.


Principles at Key Stage 3

The Key Stage 3 curriculum has a firm foundation in the reading and study of Literature texts, with students across the three years becoming increasingly aware of how humanity has expressed ideas over time and how these have shaped the present. Students will study two complete novels, three plays (20th century and Shakespeare), classical Greek and Anglo-Saxon epic narratives, 19th century short stories and a selection of poetry. Through this reading students will develop a knowledge of the way language works, being exposed to a wide range of vocabulary and rich depth of expression that will provide a secure grounding for their own writing skills. Fiction and non-fiction writing is linked closely to each Literature text and, progressively, students will develop their use of grammatical structures and rhetoric.

Students will be assessed formally each term on skills covered in their text study, and also formatively mid-way through the unit. Skills are all focused on GCSE assessment objectives and each of these, for reading and writing, is revisited within each year to monitor students’ progression. In addition, students have regular vocabulary tests, homework booklets and creative writing tasks that are marked in class.

Aspects of narrative, drama and poetry are the focus of termly topics in each Year group, introducing students to genres or styles of writing that they will study at GCSE and therefore, as well as providing a broad knowledge foundation, gives them confidence in approaching further study, progressively developing familiarity and analytical skills with a range of literary forms. For example, students in Year 7 study a novel that although written in 21st century is set in 19th. This establishes understanding of the relevant context without contending with the more difficult language faced in Year 8’s 19th century short story unit in which a focus on narrative structure underpins a Year 9 unit on 20th century narrative. Throughout Key Stage 3 students study non-fiction texts that are thematically linked to each Literature topic, deepening their wider, cultural knowledge as well as their analytical vocabulary.


Connection with Key Stage 4

English Language and Literature study for GCSE is firmly rooted in exam board assessment objectives that require students to interpret, analyse, compare and evaluate texts and then use these skills to communicate clearly with purpose and accuracy in their own writing. Each one of these assessment objectives underpins our Key Stage 3 curriculum with each being taught and assessed at an appropriate level both formatively and summatively in years 7, 8 and 9. There is much cross over of skills, and those embedded, but not taught discreetly as Language or Literature, in Years 7 -9 become key to success in both GCSEs:

    • Victorian context that has been learnt in Years 7 and 8 supports success when exploring Dickens’ intentions in writing ‘A Christmas Carol’, as does an understanding of societal structures in Year 9 texts when considering Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls’. So too a knowledge of dramatic devices from studying a modern play and Shakespearean tragedy and comedy at Key Stage 3 gives confidence to the study of two plays at GCSE. A knowledgeable approach to poetry can often prove daunting, but three units that guide students through Epic, Political Protest and Conflict poetry are designed to enable all students to bring confidence to their GCSE poetry that forms 40% of their final grade
    • The detailed practice of language analysis that is developed throughout Key Stage 3 when studying every text is an essential element in both Language and Literature GCSE: one that familiarity with will prove invaluable when faced with new texts both studied and unseen. All KS4 students are familiar with the levels of assessment and how a greater depth of analysis and exploration of authorial intention is rewarded, and familiarity with these skills from KS3 will give every student a foothold in an extensive exam specification. It is hoped that the breadth of study at Key Stage 3 will offer to many the opportunity to make confident intertextual connections that will elevate their understanding and success
    • An ongoing focus on accuracy in writing through Key Stage 3 and into 4 is of course essential and expected of all our students. Studying non-fiction and fiction texts will have given students a familiarity with a diverse range of styles that will lessen the intimidation that could be felt facing unseen exam texts and also give students the grounding necessary to write in a conceptualised and evaluative manner


A Five Year Impact

Whilst we are determined that Key Stage 3 offers its own breadth and depth that encourages a love of reading and language, we ensure that it lays down secure knowledge foundations at the start of a progressive journey through our five year curriculum. English lessons are not about passing on information but are about fostering critical thinking skills and responding knowledgeably to the world around us. They are about having the opportunity to develop clarity of expression and the confidence to present personal beliefs with authority. These same skills are transferable to many areas both within the wider school curriculum and beyond, producing highly employable adults.

It is vital, in particular for many students whose own life experience may be limited, that the English curriculum opens up an understanding of the whole gamut of human experience, exploring what it means to be human within many diverse contexts and thereby developing an understanding of and tolerance for others. We study texts in Language and Literature to

challenge students’ experience and encourage an enriched engagement with a world of possibilities.

Our curriculum certainly supports this intention through recognising that only by reading and exploring a diverse range of high quality literature can students develop language skills that will give them a voice to be listened to and an enquiring mind


Teaching and Learning

The whole school focus is apparent throughout all of our teaching within English. Naturally enough, Literacy is at the core of teaching, with clarity and accuracy of expression our driving focus. To this end we use the ‘Olympic rings’ to require that students identify and correct their basic grammatical errors independently, and provide half termly vocabulary lists that are to be learnt, extending richness of language, as well as identifying key words relevant to each topic. Key to our teaching is a focus on writers’ word selection and subsequent analysis of language selection. This key skill is developed from Years 7 to 11.

Oracy has never been more essential a skill to develop than it is now, when so many students have had months with little or no opportunity to develop this. Deep and progressive questioning is a focus for our department’s teaching, and opportunities to embed oracy practice into schemes of work before committing ideas to writing are being developed.

All our schemes of work and teaching practice incorporate aspects of the effective learning strategies, using a common language with other subject areas in order that students see the inter-connectedness of the whole curriculum

Retrieval practice: thoroughly embedded within all schemes of work. Our Key stage 3 curriculum builds upon a prior learning of skills that progressively equip students for GCSE and further study. We are currently developing retrieval practice starters for every lesson, using ‘5 a day’ to accustom students to the need for consistent building of long term memory. KS4 assessments require that students return repeatedly to what has been studied in previous terms.

Interleaving: our progressive curriculum demands that skills are revisited and built upon. Our KS4 programme means that skills are not solely taught in a discreet block, but developed throughout the course. For example, Language skills are taught through each Literature text, and key concepts returned to frequently, such as skills of language analysis.

Elaboration: central to our teaching and for success, this is built into our schemes throughout Years 7 – 11. In depth analysis of language both orally and in written response is a key Assessment Objective and models for teaching this are an essential departmental practice.

Concrete examples: these are built into our schemes of work and a developing bank of these is being developed and stored for all staff to access on the T drive. These are integral to our teaching and a required practice from all staff.

Dual coding: perhaps the least prevalent of Rosenshine’s principles within our current practice, this is building in our focus and has been particularly evident in our developing use of concept mapping.





Independent Learning and Homework

Independent learning is essential to success within English.  Students are expected to read widely and often and reading lists are available to provide extra ideas and challenge. Year 8 have an Independent Learning booklet to work from – they are expected to choose tasks linked to their own learning preferences.  Peers and family provide an essential role in giving feedback to our Year 8 students. In addition, English staff set homework on a regular basis.  A variety of homework tasks will be set ranging from research tasks through to extended pieces of writing.



curriculum overview

year 7
Autumn term Spring term summer term
19th century England
Focus: analytical reading
Personal writing AO5 & 6
Summative Literature text: ‘Ruby in the Smoke’ AO1,2,3
What, How, Why analysis
Analytical vocabulary
19th century context
Formative What, How, Why analysis
(Mid term quiz - Week 7 extract on structure)
Extract to whole novel assessment
‘Starting with this extract, explain how far you think Pullman presents Sally as an unusual girl for the 19th century.’ AO1,2,3 Summative
Non-fiction reading skills - embedded
Free writing - embedded
Project: Victorian England
Epic poetry and classical narratives
Focus: writing skills
Heroic traditions
Idiomatic cultural references
What, How, Why analysis AO1,2,3
Sentence structure/persuasion
Monologue AO1,2,3 Formative ‘The fall of Troy as a citizen’
(Mid term quiz)
‘Imagine you are a Greek hero going in to battle. Write and deliver your heroic speech to the people of your city.’ Summative AO5,6,7
Non-fiction reading skills - embedded
Free writing - embedded
Project: A Greek hero
Shakespearean comedy
Focus: Dramatic methods/analytical reading Midsummer/ The Tempest
Extract based
Plot, character, context
Dramatic method
Formative Extract analysis character based AO1,2,3
(Mid term quiz)
How does Shakespeare use language to explore relationships? AO1,2,3 Summative
Non-fiction reading skills - embedded
Free writing - embedded
Project: Plays of Shakespeare, Monologue recitation
year 8
autumn term Spring term Summer term
20th Century Drama
Focus: Dramatic methods/ analytical writing ‘Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’
dramatic methods What, How, Why analysis
Non-fiction writing (letter Christopher to Judy) AO5,6 Formative Evaluative task: Christopher’s train journey. Formative AO1,2,3
(Mid term quiz – dramatic methods)
Summative: How does Stephens present the changing relationship between Christopher and his father in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time? AO1,2,3
Non-fiction reading skills - embedded
Free writing - embedded
Project: Play script/set design/monologue
Short Stories
Focus: Writing skills -19th – 21st century genres, context and style
narrative structure
the narrator Writing from a different narrative perspective - tell the story from the perspective of the old man, rather than from the killer. Formative AO5,6
(Mid term quiz)
Unseen picture stimulus for Gothic writing Summative 45 minutes AO5,6
Non-fiction reading skills - embedded
Free writing - embedded
Project: Gothic authors – Poe, Shelley etc
Social and Political Protest Poetry
Focus: authorial intent
Poetic devices
What, How, Why analysis - Comparatives - Performance skills Formative - Recite a protest poem AO7
(Mid term quiz)
Comparative essay: How do Angelou and Hughes present ideas about strength in ‘Still I Rise’ and ‘I, Too’. Summative AO1,2,3
Non-fiction reading skills - embedded
Free writing - embedded
Project: Angelou/Hughes context; Injustice in their society
year 9
autumn term Spring term Summer term
20th/21st century fiction
Focus: narrative techniques/ persuasive writing
Lang 2B – plan, draft, edit AO5,6
Formative Literature text: Of Mice and Men, The Edge, Boys don’t Cry, Stone Cold, Short stories, Animal Farm
narrative techniques
What, How, Why analysis
Newspaper articles based on text AO5,6 Lang2B
mid term assessment (societal theme – title tbc)
Extract to whole text analytical essay AO1,2,3
Non-fiction reading skills - embedded
Free writing – embedded
Romeo and Juliet
Focus: Language analysis/authorial intention Shakespearean tragedy
Dramatic methods
Analytical focus
Oral skills
Non-fiction writing – speech theme based (eg. weapons should be banned in public places/ patriarchy still exists today) Formative AO5,6
(Mid term quiz)
Extract to whole text analytical essay AO1,2,3
Non-fiction reading skills - embedded
Free writing - embedded
Conflict Poetry
Focus: language analysis/comparison
poetic devices
poets’ perspectives
comparative skills
(Mid term quiz)
Comparison of two anthology poems AO 1,2,3
Non-fiction reading skills - embedded
Free writing – embedded
year 10
term topic assessments
Autumn 1
Article analysis (intro to Ozymandias)
Anthology: Prelude, War Photographer, Checking Out, Remains, Ozymandias, Charge of LB, Storm, Emigree
Paper 2B plan/draft/edit (topic tbc)
Peer/self assessment – individual analysis
Anthology comparative assessment w/b 11th Oct. Peer/self assessment
Autumn 2
A Christmas Carol
Language 2A
Language Paper Two assessment – 2A
marked, 2B NMM – w/b 15th Nov
Spring 1
Language 1A and B
Anthology: Kamikaze, Poppies, Exposure Bayonet Charge.
ACC Extract to whole assessment w/b Jan 10th Language Paper 1A assessment w/b 24th Jan
Peer/self assessment
Spring 2
Language 1B skills
Anthology: Tissue, MLD, London, Comparison
Unseen poetry
Language 1B w/b 28th Feb
Peer/self assessment
Peer/self assessmen
Summer 1
An Inspector Calls
Language 1A skills
Comparative and Unseen poetry w/b 11th April
Summer 2
An Inspector Calls
Paper 2B - plan, draft and edit
Speaking and listening
Full Lit Paper 2 w/b 14th June (Trial exam)
Peer/self assessment
Speaking and listening w/b 20th June (?)
year 11
term topic assessments
Autumn 1
An Inspector Calls
Language Paper 1 Skills
AIC response w/b Oct 4th
Autumn 2
Language Paper 1A and 1B
Macbeth revision (some groups might need to finish the play – there will be a knowledge-check test in the first week after half-term to determine what students know)
Mock exams
Peer/self assessment
Peer/self assessment
Mocks: Literature – Macbeth
Language – Paper One (1A: marked, 1B: NMM)
Spring 1
Unseen Poetry
A Christmas Carol revision
Language Paper Two skills
Unseen response w/b 17th Jan
Peer/self assessment
Spring 2
A Christmas Carol revision
Language Paper 2A and 2B
Language Paper 1 skills
ACC response w/b 7th March
Language Paper Two w/b 21st March
Summer 1
Language 1B and 2B throughout
An Inspector Calls

Contact Information

Head of English

Jamie Smith



Head of Media Studies

Devi Rama