We aim to encourage, develop and sustain a culture of learning through accessing challenging material from the moment students come to us in transition, to when they leave to go to university. We want to foster a love of literature that enables our learners to show creativity and growth in what they read and the writing that they produce.
As a consequence our students make significantly more progress when compared to other schools and academies nationally.
Head of English
Key Stage 3 Curriculum
The KS3 Curriculum is designed to challenge students, with contemporary and classic literature at the heart of study.
Each year, students will study at least two novels, poetry across different cultures and times, and a range of Shakespeare texts. We have a constant focus on the development of writing skills across a range of purposes and audiences.
Parents can support students by encouraging them to read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts; newspapers, diaries, classic literature and high quality magazines. Many students have areas of interest that they are passionate about, and there are vast numbers of engaging magazines out there written to a very high standard. Examples include: National Geographic, Lonely Planet, How It Works, Good Food, Four Four Two, Top Gear and Total Film.
After a period of transition where Year 7 students consolidate the skills they learnt for KS2 SATS, classes will be introduced to a variety of approaches to texts as an introduction to GCSE skills. As well as the traditional study of poetry and prose, including the American dystopian genre, students will be encouraged to develop an imaginative flair for creative writing, plus analyse of more contemporary themes such as the presentation of gender and race within the superhero genre. Students will receive a weekly literacy lesson, covering a variety of spelling, punctuation and grammar activities.
Our Year 8 classes revisit a number of themes first explored in Year 7; however, we expect the analysis and interpretation to be far more complex, using a more detailed use of subject specific terminology – devices necessary for GCSE study. Students are expected to increase their knowledge of ambitious vocabulary through the study of canonical fiction such as Frankenstein and Jekyll and Hyde. Students will receive a weekly literacy lesson, covering a variety of spelling, punctuation and grammar activities.
In Year 9, students will consolidate knowledge taught lower down the school and demonstrate their ability to apply these skills to two former GCSE novels, beginning with Of Men and Men, in order to develop their understanding of how context influences their reading of a text. Students will study a full Shakespeare play, as well as poems from around the world, embracing a host of cultures and themes, in order to continue to challenge their reading skills.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
In Year 10, students study An Inspector Calls and look at a range of literary fiction and non-fiction from the 19th and 20th century. They will also have a first reading of Macbeth and start to engage with poems around the theme of ‘Power and Conflict’. Students will undertake the first of their Spoken Language assessments, giving a presentation on their chosen topic.
In Year 11, students will study literature from Charles Dickens, focusing on A Christmas Carol. The remaining poems from the ‘Power and Conflict’ anthology will be studied, with links being made across texts. Language skills are honed and there is a more intense focus on looking at the deliberate structural choices made by writers.
Specimen materials are available on the AQA website.
Support through pre-reading and preparing for the set texts:
- A Christmas Carol
- Power and Conflict Poetry
- An Inspector Calls
Key Stage 5 Curriculum
We follow the new AQA English Literature Specification A. Students will be studying a range of texts, such as poetry, prose, Shakespeare and unseen material, under the heading ‘Love throughout the ages’ and contemporary texts. For coursework, students will be asked to select two texts of their choice based around a comparison theme. The word count for this coursework is 2500 words, and completed in the first year of study.
Students are set homework every week. Parents should ensure that written homework is undertaken in a suitable study environment and that texts are read, re-read and studied thoroughly. The majority of the examinations require students to have memorised quotations from memory. Parents can encourage their child to start to learn quotations from the beginning of the year in order to be best prepared for examination season.