English is essential in developing students’ social and communication skills, their ability to think critically and articulate their opinions and ideas. The subject covers a broad range of content and develops many key skills, increasing students’ confidence and abilities, and preparing them for life beyond school.

Subject Aims

  • Strengthen basic skills (spelling, grammar and punctuation).
  • Expose students to a range of challenging texts and develop an appreciation of reading and literature.
  • Develop students’ understanding of writers’ viewpoints, purposes and techniques.
  • Build confidence and communication skills through reading, writing, speaking and listening.
  • Help students to cultivate a more effective and sophisticated writing style.
  • Develop critical thinking.
  • Encourage students to collaborate and take part effectively in discussions and debates.

Key Stage 3

Our curriculum follows the guidance set out in the national curriculum programme of study. Students are expected to read and write a range of fiction and non-fiction texts and engage in regular speaking and listening activities. In each year at Key Stage 3, students will study a novel, a Shakespeare play, a selection of poetry, and explore a variety of other writing forms and literary techniques.

Our small class sizes and team of support staff allow us to differentiate work appropriately, providing specialist support or adapted work where necessary and allowing us a greater degree of flexibility and expertise in meeting the needs of our students. Weekly reading and SPaG lessons are also delivered to supplement the termly topics and develop basic skills.

Students are assessed on a termly basis and many access other provisions, such as paired reading with a teaching assistant or one to one work with a literacy specialist in addition to their formal English lessons.

Units Include

  • Writing to inform; advise; argue; persuade; review
  • Creative Writing
  • Poetry
  • Understanding non-fiction
  • Class novel
  • Shakespeare

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 builds on the skills developed in years 7-9, preparing students for qualifications at Entry-Level 1-3, Functional Skills 1 and 2, or iGCSE grades A-G.

We offer the Cambridge iGCSE in English Language, and also the literature course as an option for students who wish to extend their qualification in English. The advantage of the iGCSE is that it retains the coursework element, allowing students support in each module as they progress through year 10. Year 11 places an emphasis on exam skills, and students can be either entered for the core or extended paper, with a maximum grade of C or A respectively.

Units Include

  • Narrative Writing
  • 3 pieces of written coursework between 500-800 words each
  • Exam in the early summer of year 11
  • Writing to inform and analyse
  • Constructing a critical response to a text
  • Exam skills and practice papers