Teaching English is good as it allows us to see the world through a variety of different eyes. It ensures all of our students leave school equipped with the necessary tools to navigate adult life. Students seem to enjoy English for the same reason people for years have enjoyed reading - good books can offer an escape, a comfort and sometimes a solution to the real world.

Year 7 and 8

English plays a vital role within the curriculum and the overarching aims of our department are:

  • To encourage students to develop a life-long love and enthusiasm for language and literature in all forms.
  • To enable students to become both critical and creative thinkers, readers and writers through the development of the skills and resources they will need to succeed in an increasingly literate and multimodal world.
  • To encourage a knowledge, understanding, appreciation and tolerance of the multicultural and multiethnic society and the world in which we live.

By the end of Year 7 and 8, students will have enjoyed reading novels and an array of poetry and dramas from across the globe. They will have written stories, personal tales and created advertising campaigns for the next generation.

After this, students will be equipped with all the skills they need to undertake the demands of GCSE by the end of Year 9.

English is an important subject and you can see how everything we learn is valuable.
Year 7 student

Year 9, 10 and 11

Qualification GCSE in English language and GCSE in English literature
Course content/areas of study

All students will study both literature and language across Key Stage 4 with final examinations at the end.

English language will develop your skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. It enables you to express yourself creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively.

English literature will teach you to appreciate the written word in all its forms and give you a greater understanding of classic texts.


English language: 100% examination 

  • Paper 1: Explorations in creative reading and writing: 50%
    • Section A: Reading - one literature fiction text 
    • Section B: Writing - descriptive or narrative writing
  • Paper 2: Writers' viewpoints and perspectives: 50%
    • Section A: Reading - one fiction text and one literary non-fiction text
    • Section B: Writing - writing to present a viewpoint


English literature: 100% examination 

  • Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th century novel: 40%
    • Section A: Shakespeare - write in detail about an extract & then about the play as a whole
    • Section B: The 19th century novel - write in detail about an extract & then about the novel as a whole
  • Paper 2: Modern texts & poetry
    • Section A: Modern texts - one essay question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text
    • Section B: Poetry - one comparative question on one named poem and printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster
    • Section C: Unseen poetry: one question each on two unseen poems and one comparative question

Core or option

Core subject

Number of GCSE's/Equivalent

English language - 1 GCSE

English literature - 1 GCSE     

I love reading about other countries and other worlds. English lessons let me do this.
Year 9 student