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Key Stage 3

 Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is literary rich and aims to create knowledgeable students. Lessons are driven by three key aspects: vocabulary, argument, and reading. Students will be regularly assessed on their writing, knowledge, and reading skills throughout KS3. 

The choices behind the literary texts at Key Stage 3 stem from the writers, themes, and historical periods from our GCSE text choices, all of which debate “man’s” natural intentions and the constant conflict within: the self, society, nature, and others.

As a department, we aim to build and encourage students to be fluent readers and free-thinkers who use literature to be critical and reflective of the world around them.

The learning journey in Year 7 centres on the key theme of Conflict in Childhood; whilst Year 8 explores the concept and manifestation of Fear. Year 9 shifts in focus from themes to the chronological exploration of literature throughout time as we delve further into the literary canon and prepare our students for KS4.

Our curriculum for English aims to ensure that all students:

  • develop into competent, enthusiastic and critical readers who are keen to engage with a wide variety of challenging fiction & non-fiction texts;
  • are given opportunities to develop as writers by learning to write in a range of genres and styles, for real-world purposes;
  • develop their ability to choose and adapt what they say and write in different situations, as well as appreciate and interpret the choices made by other writers and speakers.


Key Stage 4

As students progress into Key Stage 4, the core focus on of developing fluent readers, enhancing vocabulary and forming concept driven line of arguments continue. All students gain two GCSE qualifications, in English Literature and English Language, following the AQA specifications.


English Language

 The study of English Language allows students to investigate purpose and intention of language use. Over the two years, students are prepared for two examinations in English Language. In both papers, students are required to read, understand and analyse texts before applying these skills to their own writing. Please find the exam details below:

 Paper 1: Explorations in creative reading and writing (50% of the Language GCSE)

  • Section A: Analysis of one literature, fictional text through a series of 4 questions
  • Section B: An extended fictional writing piece based on a provided stimulus

 Paper 2: Writer’s viewpoints and perspectives (50 % of the Language GCSE)

  • Section A: Analysis and comparison of two non-fiction texts, through a series of 4 questions
  • Section B: An extended non-fiction writing piece based on presenting a viewpoint

To complete their Language GCSE, all students must undertake the compulsory Spoken Language Endorsement. This involves a delivering a short presentation to their class and is assessed separately to their overall GCSE grading.


English Literature

The study of English Literature builds on their Language study to explore Literary texts over time. Students study their set texts in chronological order; this allows them to map historical change and compare portrayals across different forms, as well as developing their interpretative and analytical skills. Please see below for the selected set texts. 

 Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel (40% of the Literature GCSE)

  • Section A: Macbeth
  • Section B: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

 Paper 2: Modern Prose and Poetry (60% of the Literature GCSE)

  • Section A: An Inspector Calls
  • Section B: The Poetry Anthology: Love and Relationships Cluster
  • Section C: Unseen Poetry