Curriculum - Subject Information




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 who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.

Key Stage 3 Content:

Year 7

In Year 7 students study a number of texts including The Speckled Band (a Sherlock Holmes story), The Tempest and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, as well as non-fiction and fiction extracts from different centuries, (such as Dickens, Holes, Skellig, Boy and Dracula) to inform their understanding of the effects of language and structure.  Students study a number of poems, developing their awareness of poetic devices and forms.  Throughout the year, students extend their own writing skills, with a focus on sentence forms, punctuation and using language for effect.
The English department runs a Year 7 trip to see a pantomime every year, either to Norwich or Ipswich.  All students in Year 7 enter the BBC 500 Words competition.

Year 8

In Year 8, students build on the skills developed in Year 7, studying a Roald Dahl short story, ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘Macbeth’.  They also explore ideas and themes in a range of fiction and non-fiction texts from different centuries, and consider the effect of rhetorical devices in different forms of writing.  In creative writing, Year 8 focus on developing their skills of description.  Finally, Year 8 study a range of poems, starting to compare the use and effect of language and devices.
All Year 8 students are encouraged to enter the BBC 500 words competition.  
In recent years, Year 8 have had the opportunity to see live performances of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘War Horse’.

Year 9

In Year 9, the course is designed to prepare students for the rigours and challenges they will face at GCSE.  Students study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts from different centuries, exploring and comparing the ways writers present different issues and themes.  All students study ‘Lord of the Flies’, developing an understanding of the use of language and structure in a text, and ‘Journey’s End’, learning to work with a play script in preparation for their Literature GCSE.  Students also study a range of different poems throughout the year.  Finally, Year 9 study different narrative techniques, including monologue, learning to use a range of structural devices and language forms to enhance their own writing.
Year 9 are offered the opportunity to experience a theatrical production every year.   Recent trips have included ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, ‘The Woman in Black’ and ‘Twelfth Night’.
Year 9 Intervention group – a small number of students do an additional 3 lessons each fortnight to ensure that they have skills required to start studying their GCSE set texts at the start of Year 10.  In these lessons, which reinforce the learning in the main English lessons, students study a whole play, a selection of poetry, the novel ‘Once’, develop their creative writing skills and start to consider the context of the 19th century novel in preparation for GCSE.

Number of lessons per year group
Year 7 – 5 lessons each fortnight
Year 8 – 5 lessons each fortnight
Year 9 – 4 lessons each fortnight
Year 9 additional support – 3 lessons each fortnight

Key Stage 4 content:

Exam board: AQA

Papers and content:  

Language 1: Explorations in Creative Reading & Writing
Language 2: Writers’ Viewpoint & Perspectives
Literature 1: Shakespeare & the 19th century novel
Literature 2: Modern Texts & Poetry

Paper Number    Length of examination
(% weighting)    Topics
8700/1    1 h 45 mins  50%    Explorations in Creative Reading & Writing
8700/2    1 h 45 mins  50%    Writers’ Viewpoint & Perspectives
8702/1    1 h 45 mins  40%    Shakespeare & the 19th century novel
8702/2    2 h 15 mins  60%    Modern Texts & Poetry
8700                           0%    Spoken Language

Number of lessons per year group – Year 10 & 11: 5 x 100mins per fortnight


Paper Number

Length of examination
(% weighting) 



1 h 45 mins  50%

Explorations in Creative Reading & Writing


1 h 45 mins  50%

Writers’ Viewpoint & Perspectives


1 h 45 mins  40%

Shakespeare & the 19th century novel


2 h 15 mins  60%

Modern Texts & Poetry



Spoken Language

Number of lessons per year group – Year 10 & 11: 5 x 100mins per fortnight


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