English Curriculum Intent

The study of English is integral in developing our ability to communicate with and interpret the world around us, both in a literal and figurative way. It allows us to share our ideas, shape our judgements and broaden our horizons. Our English curriculum is designed in such a way that pupils are able to develop the core knowledge and skills in reading, writing and spoken language, whilst simultaneously exploring their own relationship with language, literature, and the world around them. Through study of rich texts from our own and other cultures, and across different time periods, pupils are taught an appreciation for a wide range of literature in both fiction and non-fiction forms, helping them to shape an understanding of their own identity and culture.  

Key Stage Three

At Key Stage Three, pupils study six units across each academic year. Throughout these units, pupils will be immersed in text and language rich environments, developing a love of poetry, prose, drama and non-fiction texts. From modelled work, they will develop as writers, experimenting and exploring language within their own work whilst developing a secure understanding of the technical components of spelling, handwriting, punctuation and grammar. Alongside the units of work, pupils also study a novel or play, to promote a love of literature and the benefits of reading for pleasure. Combining regular reading with skills-based approaches to work, will lead pupils to develop and use an increasing range of adventurous vocabulary to articulate their view points and be able to comprehend and connect with the world in which they live.  

Key Stage Four

At Key Stage Four, pupils will sit two examinations which assess both their reading and writing skills. They will be studying the AQA specifications, which are assessed via linear exams at the end of the course. 

In English Language, a range of unseen fiction and non-fiction texts from 19th, 20th and 21st centuries will be provided in the examinations. Students will need to show a range of reading skills including comprehension, deduction, summary, analysis and evaluation. In addition, students will be required to produce extended pieces of writing which will include imaginative texts such as a narrative or descriptive piece as well as transactional writing such as a letter of application or a newspaper article. In both writing sections of the examinations, students’ literacy (spelling, punctuation and grammar) will be assessed. 

https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/english/specifications/AQA-8700-SP-2015.PDF 

English Literature creates, builds and sustains a love of books: novels, plays and poetry. This GCSE develops students’ ability to analyse plot, characters, themes, language and structural devices, and context. They will study old and modern texts, make comparisons between literary works and develop their ability to identify effects on the reader. Students will study a range of texts including J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and poetry from the Power and Conflict’ cluster of the AQA GCSE Anthology 

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-literature-8702  

Year 7

(Modules, Topics)

Autumn

Unit 1: A Life’s Story

Pupils develop reading skills of skimming, scanning, research, evidence gathering and note-making, using a selection of biographical and autobiographical writing extracts.

Starter focus: Punctuation

Unit 2: Class Reader

Pupils study a prose or drama text chosen by the class teacher.  Through a series of reading, writing and speaking and listening activities the key areas of plot, character, themes and setting are be studied.

Starter focus: Spelling

Spring

Unit 3: Mythical Creatures

Pupils study extracts from a range of literary mythical creatures from different times and cultures. Close analysis of language and writers’ craft enables pupils to understand the different ways in which texts reflect the society and culture in which they are written.

Starter focus: Sentence Structures

Unit 4: Gothic Tales

Pupils study the conventions of Gothic writing by exploring a range of extracts from Gothic stories.  The importance of plot, character, structure, setting and atmosphere are studied and pupils are given opportunities to incorporate these features in their own writing.

Starter focus: Paragraphing

Summer

Unit 5: Introduction to Shakespeare

Pupils are introduced to key contexts and themes of Shakespearian plays, to give them confidence when studying whole plays later in KS3 and into KS4.

Starter focus: Parts of Speech

Unit 6: Poetry – Other Cultural Anthology

Pupils will study a selection of poems from different cultures. They will develop personal responses to poems through close analysis of poets’ language choices and investigation of their themes and ideas.

Starter focus: Skills Consolidation

Year 8

(Modules, Topics)

Autumn

Unit 2: Childhood Poetry

Pupils study an anthology of poems on the theme of ‘Childhood’.  They learn to respond personally to poems through close analysis of poets’ language choices, structural choices and by investigating their themes and ideas.

Starter focus: Spelling

Unit 1: Reading and Creating Short Stories

Pupils study the conventions of short story writing using a range of sources. Within the unit they learn to understand and analyse how writers structure stories, develop character and themes. Pupils then attempt to apply these techniques to their own writing.

Starter focus: Punctuation

Spring

Unit 3: Detective Stories

Pupils study the conventions of detective writing by exploring a range of extracts from detective stories.  They learn to read between the lines, infer meaning to solve detective mysteries, follow the development of themes/ideas and be use evidence to make precise points about texts.  Pupils are also given opportunities to incorporate detective conventions in their own writing.

Starter focus: Sentence Structures

Unit 4: The Tempest

Pupils study Shakespeare’s The Tempest focusing closely on plot, character, themes and setting through various reading, writing and speaking and listening activities.

Starter focus: Paragraphing

Summer

Unit 6: Class Reader

Pupils study a prose or drama text chosen by the class teacher.  Through a series of reading, writing and speaking and listening activities the key areas of plot, character, themes, setting and symbols are studied.

Starter focus: Skills Consolidation

Unit 5:  Travel Writing

Pupils study extracts of travel writing from different time periods, analysing the impact of writers’ viewpoints and perspectives on readers. Pupils are given opportunities to create their own forms of travel writing, using the appropriate conventions and style.

Starter focus: Parts of Speech

Year 9

(Modules, Topics)

Autumn

Unit 1: Of Mice and Men

Pupils study Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.  Through a series of reading, writing and speaking and listening activities the key areas of plot, context, character, themes, setting, symbols, narrative technique and structure are studied.

Starter focus: Punctuation

Unit 2: Reading and Creating Literary Fiction Texts

Pupils will gain an understanding and appreciation of literary fiction texts by reading short stories and extracts from longer texts.  Over the course of the unit teaching and learning focuses on narrative perspectives and viewpoints, character, structure, description and atmospheric elements, openings and endings.

 Starter focus: Spelling

Spring

Unit 3: Great Expectations

Pupils study extracts from Dickens’ Great Expectations, with close focus on literary style, technique and character.  Pupils develop reading skills of information retrieval, close language analysis and an appreciation of writers’ craft.

Starter focus: Sentence Structures

Unit 4: Reading and Creating Non-Literary and Non-Fiction Texts

Pupils read a range of non-literary and non-fiction texts, including articles, travel writing, letters, diaries, biographical writing, autobiographical writing and accounts.  They develop an understanding of the conventions of each style of writing and are given opportunities to include the features in their own writing.

Development of Spoken Language.

Presenting ideas and opinions.

Use of Standard English

 Starter focus: Paragraphing

Summer

Unit 5: Romeo and Juliet  

Pupils study Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet focusing closely on plot, character, themes, setting, symbols and structure through various reading, writing and speaking and listening activities.

Starter focus: Parts of Speech

Unit 6: War Poetry

Pupils study an anthology of poems on the theme of ‘War’.  They learn to respond personally to poems through close analysis of poets’ language choices, structural choices and by investigating their themes and ideas.

 Starter focus: Skills Consolidation

Year 10 (Modules, Topics) 

Autumn

Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Reading and responding to short passages from 19th, 20th and 21st century prose literature.

Writing to describe and narrate.

Development of Spoken Language.

Presenting ideas and opinions.

Use of Standard English

Literature

Paper 2: AQA Poetry Anthology.

Studying a selection of poems from the Conflict and Power cluster.

Areas of Study:

  • Structure and form
  • Themes and ideas
  • Language
  • Comparing poems

AND

Paper 1: A Christmas Carol.

Study of 19th-century novel

A Christmas Carol  by Charles Dickens.

Areas of  Focus:

  • Context, plot and structure
  • Presentation of characters
  • Themes and ideas
  • Language

Spring

Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Reading and responding to short passages from 19th, 20th and 21st century prose literature.

Writing to describe and narrate.

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

Comparing writers’ ideas and perspectives in 19th, 20th and 21st century texts.

Writing to present a viewpoint

Development of Spoken Language.

Presenting ideas and opinions.

Use of Standard English

Literature

Paper 1: Macbeth

Study of Shakespeare text

Macbeth.

Areas of Focus:

  • Context, plot and structure
  • Presentation of characters
  • Themes and ideas
  • Language

Summer

Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Reading and responding to short passages from 19th, 20th and 21st century prose literature.

Writing to describe and narrate.

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

Comparing writers’ ideas and perspectives in 19th, 20th and 21st century texts.

Writing to present a viewpoint

Development of Spoken Language.

Presenting ideas and opinions.

Use of Standard English

Literature

Paper 2: AQA Poetry Anthology.

Studying a selection of poems from the Conflict and Power cluster.

Areas of Study:

  • Structure and form
  • Themes and ideas
  • Language
  • Comparing poems

AND

Paper 2: Unseen Poetry Section.

Studying a selection of poems from different poets and times.

Areas of Study:

  • Structure and form
  • Themes and ideas
  • Language
  • Comparing poems

Year 11 (Modules, Topics) 

Year 11 Autumn

Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Reading and responding to short passages from 19th, 20th and 21st century prose literature.

Writing to describe and narrate.

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

Comparing writers’ ideas and perspectives in 19th, 20th and 21st century texts.

Writing to present a viewpoint

Development of Spoken Language.

Presenting ideas and opinions.

Use of Standard English

Literature

Paper 2: An Inspector Calls

Study of J.B. Priestely’s An Inspector Calls

Areas of Focus:

  • Context, plot and structure
  • Presentation of characters
  • Theme
  • Language

AND

Paper 1: A Christmas Carol.

Study of 19th-century novel

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Areas of  Focus:

  • Context, plot and structure
  • Presentation of characters
  • Themes and ideas
  • Language

AND

Paper 1: Macbeth

Study of Shakespeare text

Macbeth.

Areas of Focus:

  • Context, plot and structure
  • Presentation of characters
  • Themes and ideas
  • Language

Year 11 Spring

Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Reading and responding to short passages from 19th, 20th and 21st century prose literature.

Writing to describe and narrate.

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

Comparing writers’ ideas and perspectives in 19th, 20th and 21st century texts.

Literature

Revision and examination preparation for AQA English Literature Units 1 and 2

  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestley
  • Unseen poetry.

Year 11 Summer

Language

Revision and examination preparation for AQA GCSE English Language Exam Paper 1 and Paper 2

Section A:  Reading and responding to fiction and non-fiction texts.

Section B: Writing narrative, descriptive and non-fiction texts.

Literature

Revision and examination preparation for AQA English Literature Units 1 and 2

  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestley
  • Unseen poetry.

GCSE EXAMINATIONS COMMENCE

Key Stage Three

Fortnightly checkpoint assessments are included in each unit of work to assess progress with specific reading and writing skills. 

Pupils are assessed formally each half term in the form of an end of unit assessment. Assessments are linked to the skills developed across the unit of work.  

Key Stage Four

Pupils will be assessed formally as part of the school assessment windows. Assessments will be set following the AQA exam style questions or past papers.  

Assessments are closed book, meaning pupils will not have access to copies of the texts during the exam. Regular revision, retrieval practice and completion of extended essay style questions is required to ensure success at GCSEs in both English Language and English Literature. 

Pupils will be assessed formally as part of the school assessment windows. Assessments will be set following the AQA exam style questions or past papers.  

Assessments are closed book, meaning pupils will not have access to copies of the texts during the exam. Regular revision, retrieval practice and completion of extended essay style questions is required to ensure success at GCSEs in both English Language and English Literature. 

Spoken English

There are jobs at all qualification levels in which it is important to be good at spoken English.  

In some jobs you need to express yourself clearly and choose your words carefully, such as sales and contact/call centre staff; tourist guides; store demonstrators; radio and TV presenters; teachers of all kinds; actors and entertainers; negotiators; politicians; trade union officials; barristers and solicitors; council representatives; interpreters.

In other jobs you help people to develop their use of spoken English, such as trainers and instructors; teachers of English to speakers of other languages; speech and language therapists; hearing therapists; elocution and drama teachers. 

Report writing

Most of these jobs are for people with at least a good general education, while many are for graduates or professionally qualified people.

You need to be: 

  • able to structure and express your own or other people’s ideas clearly; 
  • good at spelling, grammar and punctuation; 
  • able to choose words and phrases which convey your meaning accurately. 

Examples of jobs where writing skills are important include: secretaries/PAs; administrators; market researchers; legal executives; court reporters; local government officers; civil servants; solicitors; company secretaries; journalists; technical authors; information officers; publishing editors; public relations or press officers. 

In addition, there are many areas of work where professionals and managers often have to write reports, e.g. surveyors, architects, planning officers, engineers, financial services managers and social workers.

Creative English

Very few jobs let you write creatively, using your own personal style, to produce certain ideas and pictures in the mind of the reader. Instead, you normally have to conform to ‘house style’ (i.e. in a style that fits with the way things are written in your organisation). 


Jobs where you have the opportunity to write creatively include press journalists (on newspapers, periodicals, magazines and online); broadcast journalists (on TV and radio); advertising and public relations officers; copywriters; authors (of novels, plays, poetry, speeches, essays). You can also be involved with creative writing as an English or drama teacher, or primary school teacher. 

Literary English and reading 

These are the jobs where you may have to judge, analyse or critically examine the merits of other authors’ writing, or amend other people’s writing. An interest in literature and reading can be important. 


Jobs that can involve reading and literary English include those in publishing (editors, proof-readers, sales and marketing executives etc); literary agents; drama or literary critics; booksellers; producers or directors in theatre, film, TV or radio; English teachers; library and information staff (for some aspects of their work). 

Interpretation 

There are jobs where you need to interpret words very carefully, either written or spoken, to establish exactly what the writer or speaker means. Such jobs include: technical authors; advice workers, for instance, in a Citizens Advice Bureau; financial advisers; consumer protection and law centre staff; barristers, solicitors, legal executives, conveyancers and others working with the law; archivists; historians; market researchers and others who design and use questionnaires or interviews; some computer staff, such as those working in systems analysis; designers, who work from clients’ briefs; lexicographers (who write, compile and edit dictionaries); translators and interpreters.