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In English lessons we promote a love of language and our students’ ability to express ideas effectively, both orally and in writing.  Students learn the ways in which language is used in a range of settings and purposes.  They also examine how language has been used to engage and entertain audiences across a range of genres and around the world.

Students will develop their Literacy at Key Stage 3 through:

Reading: Students need to be able to read, understand and respond to a range of texts. including;

  • Fiction: stories, play scripts, novels, and both modern and pre-20th century poetry
  • Non-fiction: reports, articles, advertisements, autobiographies and biographies, diary entries and web-based texts.  The Accelerated Reader programme will be used to promote reading progress, comprehension and reading for pleasure in preparation for GCSE examination

Writing: Students need to be able to write fluently and accurately, using appropriate tone and language for a range of audiences and purposes, including:

  • First and third person narrative – story writing and autobiographical writing
  • Descriptive writing
  • Writing to explain and inform
  • Writing to argue and persuade


  • Group and individual presentations using standard English
  • Group discussion
  • Pair work
  • Debating

SPaG (Spelling and Grammar):

With an increasing emphasis in GCSE, it is important to address spelling, punctuation and grammar in Key Stage 3 through explicit teaching and assessment of students’ work.  We believe that the ability to write in a clear and accurate manner is essential to ensure our young people can confidently progress through their futures.


Spoken Language is also a vital component of the current GCSE model, and we coach our students to present and speak to their group of peers about a topic that they are passionate about. We begin this at the start of Year 7, and in Year 10 we run a speaking programme to enhance the student's skills and confidence. All students will be individually formally assessed at the end of Year 10 and their grade will be included on their GCSE certificates.

English Language: AQA 8700/1/2 (Two papers)

All students will sit two GCSE qualifications in English: This is studied for over 5 hours during each week.  Both examinations carry a full GCSE weighting with all students sitting the same papers; texts are selected by the team as appropriate to their particular group.

Paper 1: 1 hour 45 minutes
Explorations in creative reading and writing (Fiction).

Paper 2: 1 hour 45 minutes
Writer’s viewpoints and perspectives (Non-fiction).

English Literature: AQA 8702/1/2 (Two papers)

  • 1 x Shakespeare play
  • AQA poetry anthology – 15 poems
  • 1 x modern text, selected by the teacher from a set list
  • 1 x 19th century text selected by the teacher from a set list
  • Unseen poetry – 2 questions, the second being comparative

What Parents/Carers can do to help:

Encourage your child to use BBC Bitesize English Key Stage 3 and BBC Bitesize Key Stage 4, AQA English Language + English Literature. Your child has been given a Knowledge Organiser for each topic they study. This summarises the key information they must know if they are to be successful in this subject. Please encourage them to learn this off by heart and revise topics regularly.