Head of Department: Maryam Rai (acting head)


English is a subject concerned with teaching students to be skilful readers and articulate writers. The knowledge they need is the knowledge they can do something with. Knowledge that gives them expertise and agency.

The English department takes a creative, but robust approach to teaching and learning. Students engage with challenging texts and develop core reading and writing skills from year 7 that allow them to progress and develop until year 13, should they choose to continue onto A Level. We recognise the important relationship between knowledge and skills and ensure that our teaching frameworks reflect this consistently.

Students study a broad range of texts from a variety of different contexts. Texts are chosen to be engaging and to provide the potential for challenge for each student.


Key Stage 3

The Key Stage 3 Curriculum is underpinned by core reading and writing skills that students develop throughout each year. Students study both whole texts and topics that are thematic to encourage both breadth and depth of learning. Novels, poems and short stories from the Literary Heritage are studied as well as a broad range of men and women writers from a range of cultural backgrounds.

Students have between 6 and 7 hour long periods of English over the two-week timetable. Good literacy underpins our teaching and learning and students in Years 7, 8 and 9 have a dedicated library lesson once a fortnight in which we focus on independent reading and developing a wider range of vocabulary.

English topics are taught on a half-termly basis. Texts are carefully sequenced, which allows for their journey in the study of English to promote progression towards mastery. Students complete three formal assessments per year and three "Think Pink, Go Green" tasks where detailed feedback is provided, and students are then supported in actioning their feedback. Students’ work in KS3 is ‘marked’ using descriptors as opposed to GCSE grades.

To find out more about homework requirements, please visit the Homework section of this website. 

Key Stage 4 - GCSE

All students at Key Stage 4 are entered for AQA GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. The GCSEs are both 100% exam, however students will also complete a spoken presentation which is marked as a pass, merit or distinction and is a separate award. The English Language GCSE allows for explorations and study of a broad range of texts by men and women writers, as well as writers from a range of cultural backgrounds and experiences. The English Literature texts are provided by the exam board. Students can expect exciting adventures, emotional and challenging themes, as well as a variety of intriguing characters, settings, and narratives.

English Language:

  • Paper One (50%): Fiction. Explorations in creative reading and writing.

  • Paper Two (50%): Non-Fiction. Writers' perspectives and viewpoints.

  • Spoken Assessment: speaking and listening task

English Literature:

  • Paper One (40%): Shakespeare 'Romeo and Juliet'

  • Paper One (40%): The 19th Century Novel 'A Christmas Carol'

  • Paper Two (60%): Drama 'An Inspector Calls'

  • Paper Two (60%): Poetry Anthology 'Power and Conflict Poetry' Cluster

  • Paper Two (60%): Unseen Poetry

The English Literature texts are:

  • A Christmas Carol
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • An Inspector Calls
  • Power and Conflict Poetry anthology (provided by the School)


Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form - A Level

A Level English Literature is an exciting opportunity for students to explore intellectual texts with a range of narrative plots, forms, characters and contexts. Year 12 students will study ‘Love through the Ages’ and then move onto ‘World War One and its Aftermath’ in year 13.

We offer English Literature as a two year linear course following the AQA English Literature A specification. Students develop and extend their reading repertoire and are expected to carry out a significant amount of independent reading and research.

Year 12-13 Curriculum Plan

Year 12

Year 13

Love through the Ages: Shakespeare and Atonement

World War One and its Aftermath: A Long Long Way and poetry

Love through the Ages: Shakespeare and Atonement

World War One and its Aftermath: Journey’s End

Love through the Ages: Unseen Poetry

Revision: Atonement

Love through the Ages: Anthology

Revision: Poetry

Love through the Ages: The Great Gatsby

Revision: All

Non-Examined Assessment Preparation




During KS5 students will be set 2-3 pieces of homework each week which may include reading, research, essay writing or preparing for an assessment.

Independent Reading

Students should also develop a habit of reading independently throughout Key Stage 3, 4 and 5.  We would recommend that they read for at least half an hour each day.


We believe that it is important for students to experience the richness and variety of English and drama outside the classroom. We enter students' writing for local and national competitions and have been successful over many years. Each year we take part in the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge, a public speaking competition, and the reading competition, Battle of the Books.  We arrange theatre visits and poetry reading events to support the students' study of literature and attend the Poetry Live! Event whilst sixth form students get the opportunity to attend lectures and conferences on their set texts.  We also have close links with the Orange Tree Theatre Company, attend productions at their theatre in Richmond and invite them in each year to work with students across the age range.

There is a thriving drama club and school productions are a regular and successful feature of the school.


A significant number of students go on to study English Language and Literature at A Level. Many continue to study the subject at degree level.

Further and higher qualifications in English provide a platform for careers in a wide range of subjects including journalism, law, teaching, marketing and human resources.


We encourage parents and guardians to download the relevant revision guides and workbooks for GCSE students:

Exam Boards:


English Language: AQA English Language GCSE

Course Code: 8700

Assessment Resources: 


English Literature: AQA English Literature GCSE

Course Code: 8702

Assessment Resources:




Current Year 12: AQA English Literature A

Specification: https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/english/specifications/AQA-7711-7712-SP-2015.PDF

Current Year 13: Edexcel English Literature

Specification: https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/A%20Level/English%20Literature/2015/Specification%20and%20sample%20assessments/GCE2015-A-level-Eng-Lit-spec-Issue-6.pdf

Additional Resources:

A Level students can log on to emagazine (login details available from English teachers).

There are a range of reading lists and subject specific publications in the Learning Resources Centre.



Revision guides for each text:




Revision/study guides for each text


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