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:

The theme for Year 7 is ‘Our World: Exploring Our Society’. The units of work are:

  • Transition: Moving from primary school to secondary school
  • A modern detective fiction novel. 'Darkside' by Tom Becker
  • Introduction to Poetry
  • Creative writing
  • Transactional writing
  • Shakespearean Tragedy: ‘Romeo and Juliet’

The units of work in year 8 are:

The theme for Year 8 is ‘Understanding Our World: Prejudice, Discrimination, and Protest’. The units of work are:

  • A 21st century novel: ‘Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line’ by Deepa Anappara.
  • Identity and Culture Poetry
  • Creative writing
  • Transactional writing
  • Shakespearean Comedy: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

The units of work in year 9 are:

The theme for Year 9 is ’Evaluating Our World’. The units of work are:

  • A range of 20th and 21st century prose exrtacts and short stories
  • An exploration of Shakespearean tragedy
  • Exploring the power of rhetoric
  • Poetic responses to love through the ages
  • Transactional writing
  • A 19th century Victorian novel: ‘A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensT
Key Stage 4

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: ‘A Chirstmas Carol’

Modern text: ‘An Inspector Calls’ (play)

Poetry: AQA Power and 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’
  • 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

Component 1: Shakespeare and Poetry pre-1900; 40% overall assessment

  • Drama and poetry pre-1900
  • Henrik Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’
  • Revision of ‘Hamlet’ and Coleridge poems

Component 2: Drama and Prose Post-1900; 40% overall assessment

  • Comparative and contextual study
  • Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’
  • Critical appreciation of Gothic
  • Revision of ‘The Bloody Chamber’

Component 3: Literature post-1900; 20% overall assessment

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


  • 1 closed book exam on Shakespeare and Poetry pre-1900 (3 texts: 1 Shakespeare, 1 drama, 1 poetry); 2-and-a-half hours; 40% overall assessment
  • 1 closed book exam on Drama and Prose Post-1900 (2 prose texts); 2-and-a-half hours; 40% overall assessment
  • 1 critical essay and 1 comparative essay (3 texts: 1 poetry, 1 prose, 1 drama)

Career Opportunities / Routes

English graduates follow career paths as diverse as journalism, publishing, working in the legal profession, TV/media, education, retail and writing.

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.