In this section


    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

    This course encourages students to develop a lifelong appreciation for literature by looking closely at narrative and genre and different critical approaches to texts, providing scope for independent wider reading.

    Students will explore a range of carefully-chosen texts, drawing on the Gothic tradition, Elizabethan and 19th century drama, poetry of the Romantic era and contemporary literature of the 20th-21st century.

    The coursework component for A-level English Literature allows students considerable freedom in their choice of topic and lends itself to a variety of creative approaches.

    Exam Board: OCR

    Year 1 Subject Content:

    Component 1: Drama and poetry pre-1900
    Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge: collected poems

    Component 2: Comparative and contextual study
    Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’ and Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’

    Component 3: Literature post-1900
    J. D. Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the Rye’ and plays of Tennessee Williams
    Independent study: 21st century poetry

    Year 2 Subject Content

    Unit 3: Media in the Global Age

    In this unit students are required to study a range of contrasting media forms in depth, exploring all of the key concepts in the areas of television in the global age, magazines and media in the digital age.

    Unit 4: Creating a Cross-Media Production

    This unit builds on previous learning by requiring students to develop and apply their knowledge and understanding of the media through a practical cross-media production. Students will apply their knowledge and understanding of the key concepts of media studies by creating a cross-media production for an intended audience with the emphasis of production development on investigative research.

    Career Opportunities / Routes

    A level Media Studies supports progression into higher education courses in media or film studies, as well as a wide range of other courses including English, law and psychology. The practical and research skills acquired equip students with the necessary skills required for a range of media and film jobs or indeed for nay role where advanced communication skills are necessary. 


    Unit 1: Investigating the Media

    • 24%

    Unit 2: Creating a Media Production - Non-exam assessment

    • 16%

    Unit 3: Media in the Global Age 

    • 36%

    Unit 4: Creating a Cross-Media Production - Non-exam assessment

    • 24%
    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.