In This Section


Subject Head: Sue Simmonds


KS3 English

Course Outline

In Years 7, 8 and 9 students have 6 English lessons per fortnight and are taught in mixed ability groups. It is a vibrant subject which helps students to engage with and communicate in the world around them, building on the knowledge and skills they have acquired at Key Stage 2. The English department recognises the fundamental importance of language and the need to make sense of the rich and varied ways in which we exchange ideas. We want students to read and explore a range of writing from early English through to 21st century texts as well as developing their own writing skills and exploring creative opportunities. We encourage students to become effective readers, writers and speakers. In Years 7 & 8 our units of work are organised largely thematically, exposing students to a range of texts with similar themes. In Year 9 our focus becomes generic, drawing on students’ prior knowledge and honing their skills as they prepare to embark on GCSE courses in Key Stage 4. (All students take both English Language and English Literature GCSEs at Key Stage 4) 

In addition, all students in Years 7 & 8 have one ‘Learning about Language’ lesson per fortnight where they learn about the history of the English Language, common Greek and Latin roots and other influences on the language we speak and write today. Students are encouraged to become more ‘word conscious’ and to use their knowledge to aid their studies across the curriculum. 

Course Detail
  Topic 1 Topic 2 Topic 3  



Study of a novel about a literal and metaphorical journey as well as a range of other fiction and non-fiction extracts

Writers of the British Isles  

Introduction to the arc of English Literature including Shakespeare, Blake and Charlotte Bronte. 


A diverse range of fiction and non-fiction texts on this important theme from  playscripts to restaurant reviews. 




Main text: The War of Jenkin’s Ear or Private Peaceful as well as some war-reporting and WW1 poetry. 


A variety of Non-Fiction texts are explored including articles and speeches. 


Short stories on this popular and challenging theme. 



Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Term 4

Term 5

Term 6

The Novel  


Stone Cold.  

Of Mice and Men or 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.  




A range of topical texts including speeches, articles and open letters. 





Much Ado About Nothing or 

Romeo and Juliet.  


C19th Short Stories  






A modern play 

KS4 English

GCSE English language 

Specification: Edexcel 1ENO

Course outline

These are new GCSEs which ran for the first time in September 2015.  Students will study the courses over two years and will be assessed by examinations at the end of Year 11.  There is no coursework or controlled assessment; assessment is by examination only.  It is anticipated that all students will take both GCSEs: English Language and English Literature.

What should students expect to do during the course?

Reading skills: you will study a range of texts including C19th fiction and non-fiction writing from the C20th and C21st. You will develop the skills to analyse and compare these texts, building upon the skills you have developed at Key Stage 3.

Writing skills: you will develop your creative writing skills as well as your ability to write for specific audiences and purposes. You will also develop your written accuracy. (Spelling, punctuation and grammar are worth 20% of the marks).

Spoken Language:  You will also be required to give a presentation to the class and take questions. This will not count towards your final English Language grade, but you will be given Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Assessment (graded 9- 1)

Section A: 

Questions on an unseen C19th fiction text

Section B: 

Choice of 2 writing tasks  -Imaginative/Recount/Narrative

(thematically linked to Section A)

Section A

Questions on 2 thematically linked C20th & C21st non-fiction extracts.

Section B

Choice of 2 writing tasks for specific purpose/ audience (letter/article etc.)

(thematically linked to Section A)

Progression into Sixth Form

Either English Language or English Literature at Grade 4 or above is required by most colleges and universities and universities, regardless of which subject or vocation you choose.

GCSE English literature

Qualification: GCSE

Specification: Edexcel 1ETO

Course outline

See outline above under ‘English language’.        

What should students expect to do during the course?

You will study:

  • A play by Shakespeare
  • A British play or novel written after 1914
  • A C19th British novel
  • A selection of poetry written between 1789 and the present day

You will develop your skills, building on the work you have been doing at Key Stage 3.  You will read, interpret, analyse and compare texts and gain confidence in applying your skills to unseen texts.

Assessment (graded 9- 1)

Edexcel English Literature GCSE Examinations

Paper 1

Shakespeare & Post 1914 Literature


1 hour 45 minutes

Closed Book

Paper 2

C19th Novel & Poetry since 1789


2 hours 15 minutes

Closed Book

Section A: Shakespeare

2 questions – 1 on a passage from the play, one linking the passage to the play as a whole


Section B: Post 1914 British play or novel

1  essay question


Section A: C19th Novel

1 question on extract from novel, 1 question linking the passage to text as a whole


Section B:  Poetry since 1789 

Q1: Comparing printed poem from their anthology and one other poem from their chosen cluster.


Q2: One question comparing 2 unseen contemporary poems

Progression into Sixth Form

Either English Language or English Literature at Grade 4 or above is required by most colleges and universities, regardless of which subject or vocation you choose.