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English is at the heart of the curriculum and the department endeavours to equip students with the written and spoken communication skills required for success in the modern world.

Students will read a wide variety of literature, including Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays, poetry from the Romantic poets, fiction from the 19th Century and a variety of non-fiction texts. They will learn to write in a number of different styles. They will be encouraged to voice and share their opinions and work in small groups to help develop their social and communication skills. All of these skills will be valuable throughout KS3 and at GCSE level.

Throughout the Key Stage students will be encouraged to think more critically about their own writing style and technical accuracy. They will also be encouraged to explore and analyse difficult literary and non-fiction texts in readiness for GCSE. The resources for all years are focused on skills they will need to explore at GCSE level and in Year 9 we incorporate GCSE Schemes of Work, such as War Poetry and Non-Fiction reading and writing.


In Year 7, 8 and 9 students are in mixed ability classes. This reflects the changes made to the GCSE exams as all students of all abilities will be expected to sit the same exam and therefore all will be taught the same units and topics. Teachers will, of course, differentiate their lessons to suit the needs of individual students and groups of students. English books are marked regularly and students are asked to complete a variety of Reading and Writing tasks. Speaking and listening skills are assessed regularly throughout the year in a variety of contexts and formally assessed at the end of each year. The assessments are Teacher Assessed, Peer Assessed and Self Assessed using the Key Performance Indicators from the pathways for Key Stage 3. Each assessment that students complete will be recorded in their books in order to demonstrate progress and achievement.

The English Department also provides focused intervention and support for students who struggle with their English lessons through the Ruth Miskin Fresh Start Literacy programme and small group work. The department also provide spelling and reading intervention.

Intervention groups are provided for the students who need extra support in order to gain confidence and skills in order to progress through Key Stage 3 and at GCSE.

Homework is regularly set to provide opportunities for students to further develop their English skills. Homework tasks and projects for each year group and for each topic are accessible through the website.

Each year, the English department take part in a variety of competitions. We have had recent success with our Youth Speaks team and the ‘Thank you Letter’ awards. Students from Year 9 also take part in the BBC School Report Day every year, when they get the opportunity to become journalists for the day.


Schemes of Learning:

Year 7

Titanic Non-Fiction Reading and Writing

Gothic Fiction

Introduction to Shakespeare - including a study of one of his plays (Romeo & Juliet / A Midsummer Night's Dream / Much Ado About Nothing)

Triplet Writing

Book Study

Introduction to Poetry - including a study of the Romantic poets

Year 8

Year 9