Key Stage 3

In Years 7, 8 and 9 students have seven lessons a fortnight, including one Library lesson. The year group is divided into mixed ability groups, sometimes with a small nurture group depending on the needs of the cohort. The curriculum is designed around developing key skills of reading, writing and speaking and listening through a range of units, including A Christmas Carol, Animal Farm, Of Mice and Men and a range of Shakespeare and poetry, exploring more complex ideas, texts and concepts in each year.  Typically, each unit has opportunity for both a reading and a writing assessment. We use the AQA Assessments throughout Key Stage 3 to ensure a solid preparation for the GCSE course.


Key Stage 4

All students study two GCSES in their English lessons: English Language and English Literature. In English Language students develop skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. In English Literature they study a range of texts, developing analytical skills and understanding of the literary genres of prose, poetry and plays. Both qualifications are from the AQA exam board.

Each unit is designed to build the skills needed in all areas of English. The texts we study are from a number of set texts decided by the exam board and may include An Inspector Calls, Frankenstein, Never Let Me Go, A Christmas Carol, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and a themed poetry anthology. Students begin Key Stage Four in Terms 4 and 5 of Year 9 to prepare them for the demands of the GCSE course.


Key Stage 5

The A level course has a thematic element.  The theme that will be studied is LOVE THROUGH THE AGES. The second element of the A level course is INDEPENDENT CRITICAL STUDY: TEXTS ACROSS TIME. This means that a variety of texts will be studied around the theme of ‘Love,’ specifically human relationships. 

All students will study the following texts in preparation for their exams:

  •  A selection of pre-1900s poetry
  • Othello by William Shakespeare
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • Feminine Gospels by Carol Ann Duffy
  • A Streetcar named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood 

Students will also study The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen in preparation for their non-exam assessment. The task involves the student self-selecting a post-1900 text to compare to one of these texts, although some students may also wish to explore another pre-1900s text in their essay.

Students will also develop skills in unseen reading by approaching a variety of different extracts from different time periods and genres.


Enrichment and Study Support

The department offers a range of enrichment activities that change regularly. Currently, there is a creative writing club and journalism club every Thursday lunchtime, and debating clubs for all levels. Our debating club has been extremely successful in recent years, winning the “Youth Speaks” Competition at both Intermediate and Senior levels. In addition, we have sent teams to participate in Oxford Union training and in competitions such as “Debating Matters” and “Oxford Schools”.

We also work closely with Mrs Smith in the Library to arrange visits from authors such as Cathy Cassidy and Marcus Sedgwick.

English Clinic runs every Wednesday in Ea10 and Ea16 after school (2.05pm to 3.05pm) for Key Stage 4 students who would like help with any aspect of their English work.