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English

English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.

Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised. 

The overarching aim for English in our curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:  

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding  
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information  
  •  acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language  
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage  
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences  
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas  
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate. 

Spoken language  

The curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language continues to underpin the development of pupils’ reading and writing during Key Stages 3 and 4, and teachers therefore ensure pupils’ confidence and competence in this area continue to develop. Pupils are taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate, as well as continuing to develop their skills in working collaboratively with their peers to discuss reading, writing and speech across the curriculum.  

 Reading and writing  

Reading at Key Stage 3 and 4 is wide, varied and challenging. Pupils are expected to read whole books, to read in depth and to read for pleasure and information. Pupils continue to develop their knowledge of and skills in writing, refining their drafting skills and developing resilience to write at length. They are taught to write formal and academic essays as well as writing imaginatively. They are taught to write for a variety of purposes and audiences across a range of contexts. This requires an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.  Teachers enhance pupils’ vocabulary by showing them how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. Pupils are taught to control their speaking and writing consciously, understanding why sentences are constructed as they are and to use Standard English. They are taught to understand and use age-appropriate vocabulary, including linguistic and literary terminology, for discussing their reading, writing and spoken language. This involves consolidation, practice and discussion of language. Pupils learn the correct grammatical terms in English and use these in their speaking and writing.  

English curriculum information for Years 7-11 

Year 

Term 

Units of Work 

Assessments 

 7 

Autumn 

Descriptive writing: places. 

Symbolism 

Gothic fiction 

 Pre and post teaching writing assessment. 

Reading and writing assessment. 

Descriptive writing. 

  

Spring 

Shakespeare:  Much Ado about Nothing. 

Novel:  Ruby in the Smoke 

Reading assessment. 

Reading and writing progress exams. 

  

Summer 

Novel:  Ruby in the Smoke 

Drama: Noughts and Crosses 

Reading assessment. 

Writing assessment. 

Reading assessment. 

 8 

Autumn 

 Descriptive writing: people 

Shakespeare:  Romeo and Juliet 

The Art of Rhetoric 

Pre and post teaching writing assessment. 

and post teaching writing assessment. 

  

Spring 

Novel: Ruby in the Smoke 

Reading assessment. 

Pre and post teaching writing assessment. 

  

Summer 

 Poetry from Other Cultures 

Narrative writing 

 

Reading assessment. 

Unseen reading assessment. 

Pre and post teaching writing assessment. 

 9 

Autumn 

Descriptive writing: people and places. 

Biblical Allusion 

 Pre and post teaching writing assessment. 

Extract based assessments 

  

Spring 

What do you think?  Viewpoint writing. 

Fiction Frenzy 

 

Pre and post teaching writing assessment. 

Extract based assessments  

Progress exams 

  

Summer 

Lining in the Real World (non-fiction) 

Poetry:  Family 

Extract based assessments  

Unseen assessment 

 10 

Autumn 

Narrative writing.  

19th Century Novel 

Pre and post teaching writing assessment. 

Based assessments to prepare for Literature Paper 1 

  

Spring 

Descriptive writing:  people and places. 

Reading Skills (Language Paper 1 revision ) 

Revision: Macbeth and A Christmas Carol 

Writing assessment. 

Language Paper 1 assessment. 

Progress exams 

  

Summer 

Viewpoint 

Poetry Anthology: War and Conflict 

Unseen Poetry 

Writing assessment. 

A selection of mini assessments across the unit, culminating in a Literature Response. (Literature Paper 2). 

 11 

Autumn 

Poetry Anthology: War and Conflict 

Narrative writing. 

Language Paper 1: revision 

A Christmas Carol: revision 

Reading assessment. 

Pre and post teaching writing assessment. 

A selection of mini assessments across the unit. 

  

Spring 

Viewpoint writing: revision 

Romeo and Juliet: revision 

Poetry Anthology: revision 

Writing assessment. 

Reading assessment. 

Reading assessment. 

GCSE course information 

Qualification & Board 

GCSE in English language and GCSE in English literature (AQA 8700, 8702) 

Course Content (for A level, how this follows on from GCSE) 

All students will study both literature and language across Key Stage 4 with final examinations at the end. 

English language will develop your skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. It enables you to express yourself creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively. 

English literature will teach you to appreciate the written word in all its forms and give you a greater understanding of classic texts. 

Potential Career paths 

Teaching, journalism, advertising, copy writing. 

Assessments (inc. field work / assessed practicals) 

English language: 100% examination 

Paper 1: Explorations in creative reading and writing: 50% 

Section A: Reading - one literature fiction text 

Section B: Writing - descriptive or narrative writing 

Paper 2: Writers' viewpoints and perspectives: 50% 

Section A: Reading - one fiction text and one literary non-fiction text 

Section B: Writing - writing to present a viewpoint 

  

English literature: 100% examination 

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th century novel: 40% 

Section A: Shakespeare - write in detail about an extract & then about the play as a whole 

Section B: The 19th century novel - write in detail about an extract & then about the novel as a whole 

Paper 2: Modern texts & poetry 

Section A: Modern texts - one essay question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text 

Section B: Poetry - one comparative question on one named poem and printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster 

Section C: Unseen poetry: one question each on two unseen poems and one comparative question 

Core or Option 

 Core 

No Option Choices (GCSE only) 

  

No. GCSE / A Level equivalent 

 2 GCSE’s (English Language & English Literature)