Curriculum Intent

To provide an engaging, exciting and challenging curriculum that delivers key skills and enables students to engage in various literature and non-fiction texts, as well as supporting their development of independent writing and knowledge of the world’s ‘cultural capital’.

We aim to fully prepare students through their Key Stage 3 studies for the demands of external examinations at Key Stage 4 and 5 and to instill a love of reading within every pupil, as well as independent research in regards to our literary heritage and society. Our lessons support Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education through challenging texts and pupils will learn to become confident speakers through our subject as the department take on a keen approach when it comes to the importance of oracy.

We work closely with the literacy and SEN coordinators to instill a love of reading and creativity in order to ensure all pupils develop confidence within the course at all stages.

Department Staff 

Mrs C Butler - Subject Leader (maternity leave)
Mrs N Hodgson – 2nd in Department, key stage 4 lead (maternity leave)
Mrs A Jones – Key stage 3 lead, 2nd in department maternity cover
Mrs C Roberts – Deputy head
Mr P Alford
Mr R Hill
Miss E King
Miss C Markey
Mrs S Smith
Miss C Strode – Literacy coordinator
Miss R Hindle
Mrs S Butler
Miss N Malone
Mrs L Godfrey - SENCO

Curriculum Content

We are currently following a three-year scheme of work for Y7, Y8 and Y9. Each year group will cover three ‘stem’ topics, one per topic per term that centres on a main text and a series of themes. Within each topic, teachers will deploy a range of material; fiction/non-fiction reading, creative writing, transactional writing, grammar, vocabulary. These topics are differentiated, and challenge is embedded by the class teacher to account for the ability level of all pupils. We use a planned curriculum map to ensure that all key areas of knowledge are taught and revisited through the years, and to ensure pupils end year 9 as capable English students in both reading and writing. Pupils are placed in sets from Y7 which is based on KS2 data and our in class baseline assessment just before the first half term. These sets may be subject to alteration during teacher observation and judgement after the completion of class work. Or subject curriculum map and topic overview documents offer recommendations for the duration of each year group; it has ideas for embedding key knowledge requirements for pupils at each phase of the key stage.

Year 7

Term 1: Roald Dahl Baseline – to read and analyse the short story ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ and link the main themes of revenge and deceit to a variety of poems and non-fiction texts based on similar events. Pupils will also explore the role of women in the 1950s and engage with how society may have changed.

Term 2: Macbeth – this topic will largely consider the portrayal of female characters and the use of the supernatural within Shakespearean plays. Pupils will become more confident with writer’s viewpoints and share their own ideas on the portrayal of women in a patriarchal society, and they will explore a range of imagery and method in terms of presenting characters on stage.

Term 3: Private Peaceful – as pupils read the novel they will learn more about the context of WW1 and the impact of this on families at the time. They will explore the family connections of the novel and the impact of emotive language on the reader. Pupils will read articles about the war so that they really understand what life was like during this time in order to write persuasive articles about the war.

Year 8

Term 1: The Hunger Games – this futuristic text looks at a world changed by rebellion and social media. Pupils will read this text as a class and travel along the amazing journey of the characters so that they can develop their own opinions of a dystopian world. They will focus on how authority can shape people through propaganda and oppression in order to understand the flaws of society.

Term 2: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – pupils will return to another Shakespearean play in order to explore the magic of fairies as well as revisiting many of his methods. They will follow the trials and tribulations of teenage characters, as they get lost in a world of magical adventure, as well as reading poems and fiction that show how magic has been portrayed throughout literature.

Term 3: Kindertransport – this play looks at the trauma of the evacuee scheme during the war. Pupils already have some knowledge of this period due to their ear 7 studies, however here we look more at the voice of people who had to leave their home as a child. Pupils will also look at a range or alternative sources to see how identity can be shaped by conflict and explore the individuality of characters as they move into adulthood, reflecting back on their family ties too.

Year 9

Term 1: Of Mice and Men – this novella has been part of the English curriculum for many years as it is one of the world seminal texts. It allows pupils to reflect on discrimination of all kinds and to form their own opinions about the treatment of disadvantaged people. Pupils will read the text as well as exploring a range of contextual factors and opinions from various writer viewpoints, especially to help look at how John Steinbeck tried to impact American history.

Term 2: Much Ado About Nothing – this Shakespearean play is a true comedy as pupils follow the ridiculous path of unrequited love. They will discover a light-hearted side of Shakespeare and his plays, looking at how he challenged typical female stereotypes more than 500 years ago. They will use the characters to explore humour and relationships in order to see how Shakespeare paved the way for a number of modern writers too. They will use their own experiences as young females to write persuasively on this topic also Epistolary

Term 3: The Crucible – this play further develops pupils’ understanding of discrimination by looking at the witch trials in America. They will read the play and explore non-fiction articles of true accounts of the time and other short stories of similar themes to see the impact of such an event. Their knowledge of context will be a focus here so pupils see the value of it when attempting to fully understanding a text, to prepare them for the texts at KS4.

Curriculum Content

AQA GCSEs in English Literature and English Language

We are currently following the AQA 2 year scheme of work for Y10 and Y11. This key stage is divided in to English Literature and Language topics of work to account for the two GCSE courses that we undertake. Year 10 teaching is planned around the Literature course as we use the texts to ‘hook’ the pupils into the topics and from here we can begin to revisit key knowledge that has already been embedded during KS3. They will secure their skills of reading fiction, plays and poetry in order to develop their confidence with analysing writer’s methods, context and debate. Pupils will also grow their knowledge of writing formal analytical essays. Year 11 pupils being their English Language course and focus on the criteria of each exam paper. They are supported through the analysis of language, structure, viewpoints, comparison, summary, creative writing and non-fiction writing. Sets are reviewed at the end of year 9 based on KS3 data to ensure minimal movement during the two years of KS4.

Year 10

Term 1: Romeo and Juliet – this play is studied at the start of the year build on prior knowledge from KS3 and to extend into GCSE learning by discovering new Shakespearean themes and characters. This story of young love will ask pupils to consider the importance of relationships, family, violence, love, death as well as examining how characters are presented throughout the whole play. They will need to be able to make their own judgements, prove their understanding and effectively link in key contextual factors of the time.

Term 2: A Christmas Carol – the same skills will be applied here that pupils had to use during their study of Romeo and Juliet previously. They will need to consider how Charles Dickens presented the Victorian era in order for the reader to consider the flaws in society of the time. They will read the novella to explore class, discrimination, poverty and transformation, and then respond critically on the purpose of Charles Dickens.

Term 3: An Inspector Calls/ War and Conflict Poetry – previous literature knowledge is still required here as pupils must read and engage with a new play and a collection of poetry. They will explore key themes and write analysis of writers’ methods in order to understand how society acted during the contexts of each unit. For an inspector calls, they will consider Edwardian industrialist views and the contempt held, by the rich for the poor. For their poetry unit they will explore the various aspects of power and conflict on personal identity and write independent studies of poems. A key area of focus here will also be an ‘unseen’ poetry element; they must develop confidence with reading and responding to poetry in their own style.

Year 11

Term 1: Language Paper One/Literature revision –the first two terms have been set aside to prepare pupils for the two language elements of their exams, narrative and argument writing. They must read and explore a range of narrative styles in order to use inference skills, analyse the way writers utilise descriptive techniques and structure, and then apply this knowledge to their own piece of narrative writing. Secondly, they will engage with the more factual, non-fiction side of the papers. They will look at a more factual style of writing and form their own viewpoints on texts so that they can produce their own style for argument writing.

Terms 2 and 3: Language and Literature revision for exams – this time will revisit all of the acquired skills from year 10 and 11 in order to remodel exam responses and prepare for the examinations.

Curriculum Content

AQA A Level in English Literature

We are currently following the AQA 2 year scheme of work for Y12 and Y13 in preparation for two English Literature exams at the end of year 13. Pupils complete a baseline assessment at the start of Y12 to identify their areas of strength and weakness. Intervention is then put in place where necessary. Pupils have the opportunity to read and explore a range of genres as well as writing independent formal essays. Students will also complete a 2500 word essay as part of their Non-Exam Assessment in which they write a critical essay of two texts. A key area of focus for KS5 in building their knowledge of critical debate and literary heritage.

Year 12 and year 13 – pupils will study a range of literature texts throughout this time with the headline topic of ‘love through the ages’. During lessons, they will read and explore each text and focus on how to independently respond to exam questions.

Othello – A Shakespearean tragedy about jealousy, love and betrayal. Pupils will read the play and consider the unusual nature of the protagonist and all of the troubles he faces from his closet allies.

Pre 1900 love poetry and The Great Gatsby – a collection of 15 love poems all from the pre-1900s. They will research the genre of each and the eras in which the poets were writing in order to reflect on the voices presented by exploring individually methods used. Each poem can be linked to a key theme within love, e.g. jealousy, and pupils must engage with their own opinions on the themes. Once they understand the poems, they will explore the similarities and difference within themes with the novel. They will make insightful connections that focus on relationships/love and discover any changes through the eras.

The Help and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – in a similar way to the previous texts, they will study each and the corresponding themes. Once the texts have both been examined individually, they will be compared in terms of their themes and impact on the reader. Context plays a very important role here; pupils must consider the impact or race and identity rather than just love.

Non-exam assessment – this section of the course require pupils to complete their own reading outside the classroom. They must choose two texts from different eras and wrote an in depth analysis of them in terms of one headline theme. This assessment should be done independently but should utilise all of the skills they have acquired during the course.

Department Courses

Online AQA training: Preparing for new specifications at key stage 4 & 5, Subject network meetings delivered by School Improvement Liverpool, Subject network meetings delivered by authors on writing styles and poetry, Teaching Leaders, MPQML.

Exam Board 


AQA A level

Useful Links

BBC Bitesize
Lit Charts
BBC Teach
York Notes
Cliff Notes
Spark Notes

Extra Curricular Activities

Year 11 after school revision
KS3 pupil speaking competitions
KS3 creative writing and level up club
KS3 debate club

Recommended Reading Lists

The English department have put together reading lists to guide the students in their reading for pleasure and encourage them to try new books.

7 Reading List 
7 Reading List 
7 Reading List     
7 Reading List

9 Reading List 
9 Reading List 
9 Reading List     
9 Reading List