Curriculum introduction


Curriculum Intent

The curriculum is designed to enable our students to develop their communication skills in reading, writing and spoken language. Students should develop an understanding of authorial intent in all areas of English and be able to use this idea to influence their own communication, be this written or verbal. We want our curriculum to develop students into thoughtful and empathetic individuals who are able to use the texts we study as a window into the human experience, both in the modern world and historically. We hope to build a curriculum that will foster independence and an enjoyment of reading and writing for pleasure.

Programmes of Study

Year 7

The purpose of Year 7 is to enable students to develop their reading, writing and spoken language skills as they transition from KS2 to KS3. Students will utilise scaffolding where needed, but students are encouraged to develop independence in their ability to analyse language and structure, craft their writing, improve technical accuracy and develop their spoken language skills.

Autumn Term Year 7  Spring Term Year 7 Summer Term Year 7

Students complete baseline assessments and establish areas for development. Initially content is based around starting school and students develop their skills in transactional writing and poetry. Students then go on to study the novel Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan and consider extracts from 19th century texts such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Students study Shakespeare’s Macbeth and develop their transactional writing skills centred around the idea of heroism. Students study characterisation throughout the play and develop their comprehension and analysis of language and structure. Students build on the theme of conflict established within the play and study poetry centred around the theme of conflict. 

During this term students will further develop their analytical skills by studying poetry from different cultures. Students then go on to build on their skills in transactional writing and study non-literary texts based around the theme of travel. Students are encouraged to see the realistic application of their skills and how these will be beneficial in their life beyond school.    


Year 8

Year 8 will build on the students’ knowledge and skills from Year 7 and allow them to further explore how the skills they develop in English are beneficial beyond the classroom.

Autumn Year 8 Spring Year 8 Summer Year 8

Students develop their understanding of other cultures from Year 7 through the study of a text that explores life for people in 1930s America. Students will study Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and explore the methods used by the writer to present the key ideas and issues that the text highlights. They look at the writer’s craft in writing effective descriptions of setting and in turn write their own descriptions

Students are encouraged to explore some of the practical requirements for effective communication beyond the classroom. They will use imagination and creativity to design and market their own product. In addition to this, students begin to study poetic forms and how poems can be used to express emotions. A range of poetry is studied including 19th century poems and contemporary poetry. This builds on their skills from Year 7 Autumn Term and Summer Term.

Students study Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and develop their knowledge and skills of studying Shakespeare last year and at KS2. They then go on to consider the theme of revenge and write their own narrative pieces based on this theme. They develop their skills of writing descriptively from the first term of Year 8 and then go on to apply these to a narrative piece, developing their ability to choose language and structure for deliberate effect.


Year 9

The curriculum in Year 9 has been reviewed to ensure that there is sufficient breadth of study and a secure foundation for the transition to GCSE work at KS4. The first two terms will be KS3. However, in the final term students will begin studying one of their GCSE texts.

Autumn Year 9 Spring Year 9 Summer Year 9

In the first term students develop their knowledge of the key contextual issues of the 19th century, using both literary and non-fiction texts as means to explore this context. They practise their transactional writing skills when looking at 19th century and modern texts. Thy then take the theme of poverty explored through the 19th century non-fiction texts and explore how it is presented in the modern drama piece Our day Out by Willy Russell. Later in the term, students will then go on to explore the conventions of gothic horror and the writer’s craft. Students will study some classic Gothic horror short stories and poetry such as ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ and ‘The Raven’ by Edgar Allen Poe. They then go on to write their own narrative pieces. 

Students build on their understanding of the genre of gothic fiction by studying the modern text The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. 
After this, students build on the knowledge of poetic form and poetic devices. The development of this knowledge is designed to provide students with a clear knowledge foundation to study the poetry at KS4. Students then put their knowledge into practice and write their own poetry. They evaluate their own poetry and analyse the linguistic and structural devices used. 
In the final term students will begin studying their KS4 curriculum and study Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The main function of this is to ensure that students have a secure knowledge and understanding of the plot, characters and themes. These will be further developed over the following 2 years. They will apply their knowledge of poetic form, in particular the sonnet, when studying the play. They will develop their knowledge of Shakespeare from studying Macbeth in Year 7 and The Merchant of Venice in Year 8.


Year 10

Year 10 will be the official start of the students’ KS4 curriculum. Although they studied ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at the end of Year 9, the expectation of knowledge and skills will be deeper in KS4.

Autumn Year 10 Spring Year 10 Summer Year 10
Students will develop their transactional writing skills and approach to studying for English Language Paper 2. This builds on the knowledge and skill from studying 19th century issues in Year 9, designing and marketing their own product in Year 8, and travel writing form Year 7.
Students will also study A Christmas Carol. They will refer back to the foundation of knowledge of the 19th century and Dickens’ views developed in Year 9. This can then be applied to their understanding of their 19th century KS4 novel. Students study a selection of war poetry from the AQA Power and Conflict anthology. This will build and deepen their understanding of poetic form from last year. 

Students will begin reading A Taste of Honey and explore how the text presents several social issues. The study of a modern play builds on the skills the students used in Year 9 when they studied Our Day Out. Students will also continue to build on their knowledge of poetic form and skill of analysis and annotation by analysing a selection of anthology poetry that consider the theme of power. In addition to this, they will also practise and develop their narrative writing skills alongside beginning to study unseen narrative texts for English Language Paper 1. 

Students will focus on English Language and practise their skill in transactional writing for the real-life situation of their college applications. They will continue to study poetry from the AQA Power and Conflict anthology and look at a group of poems centred around the theme of power, honour and identity. This term will also allow students the opportunity to revise other literature texts. They work to develop their spoken language skills and transactional writing, by writing speeches and completing their spoken language presentations.


Year 11

By this point in the year students will have studied the majority of the GCSE syllabus and the emphasis can be placed on revision.

Autumn Year 11 Spring Year 11 Summer Year 11

Students revise A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney and deepen their knowledge and understanding of the text by exploring the theme of prejudice. They will also study some more poetry from the AQA Power and Conflict anthology. Students also practise their skills and approach to English Language Paper 1. They also revise A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and English Language paper 2 in preparation for their internal assessments. 

Students revise poetry from the anthology and transactional writing. They also practise English Language papers. There will be some flexibility in order to ensure it is tailored to specific areas for development within classes. 

Students will revise all areas required. The revision must be flexible and tailored for individual needs. Students will have their GCSE examinations this term.

Marking and Assessment

Please access the website link to our current assessment and feedback policy.


AQA GCSE English Literature

Eduqas GCSE English Language

Revision Guides/Supporting Resources

CGP text guides for the following:

  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Power and Conflict Poetry Anthology
  • Eduqas English Language workbook

York notes for:

  • A Taste of Honey

Staff Details

Miss Christian – Curriculum Leader of English Department

Miss Allen – Assistant Curriculum Leader of English

Mr Gardner – Teacher if English and SENCO

Miss Hardman - Teacher of English

Mrs Gonzalez - Teacher of English

Miss Fielding - Teacher of English

Mrs Long – Assistant Headteacher

Mrs Cox – Teacher of English (currently on maternity leave)


Careers and Progression

All vocational and college courses require a GCSE in English Language. The content delivered and the skills imparted throughout the course provide the foundations, should learners wish to pursue A-level courses in English Language. In addition, the skills taught at KS4 (analysis, interpretation, information retrieval etc.) are fully transferable and ensure that learners are equipped for other post-16 qualifications such as A-level History and Law.

A-level courses are also available in English Literature, which is a ‘facilitating’ A-level and regarded favourably by the Russell Group and other prestigious universities, and English Language and Literature.

These courses can lead to a degree course in English or in a range of other subjects. They can pave the way to a variety of occupations; a recent survey indicated that English graduates enter careers varying from teaching to management and marketing, journalism, and the arts.

Progress Ladders - English