Key Stage 3

In English lessons the aim of our team is  to promote a love of language, whilst nurturing the ability for our students to express ideas effectively, both orally and in writing.  We also guide our young people to develop the ability to appreciate the ways in which language is used in a range of different settings and for many diverse purposes.  Students are given immersive opportunities to examine how language has been used over the years by writers and orators, to engage and entertain audiences across a range of genres and around the world.

The Key Stage 3 curriculum for English is divided into three areas:

Reading, Writing & Speaking and Listening.  These areas are reflected in the GCSE examination requirements and may be broken down as follows:


Students need to be able to read, understand and respond to a range of texts:

  • Fiction writing such as stories, play scripts, novels and poetry both modern and pre twentieth century.
  • Non fiction writing such as reports, articles, advertisements, autobiographies and biographies, diary entries and web based texts such as blogs and websites.

Students also need to be able to read for research purposes, selecting appropriate material and making notes.


Students need to be able to write fluently and accurately, using appropriate tone and language for a range of audiences and purposes. These include:

  • First and third person narrative – story writing and autobiographical writing.
  • Descriptive writing.
  • Writing to explain and inform
  • Writing to argue and persuade

Speaking and Listening

  • Group and individual presentations using standard English
  • Group discussion
  • Pair work

The skills learnt in speaking and listening are transferable to future work and college situations and promote a sense of confidence in our young people.  In KS4 the students will complete three assessed tasks for GCSE.

SPaG (Spelling and Grammar)

There is an increasing emphasis in GCSE and further examinations on the accuracy of students writing. Consequently, it is important to address spelling, punctuation and grammar through explicit teaching and through marking and assessment of students’ work.  Whilst examinations are important milestones, we also believe that the ability to write in a clear and accurate manner, alongside the use of correct grammar is essential to ensure our young people can confidently progress through their futures.

Year 9

During year 9 students begin to hone their Literature skills ready for their GCSE preparations and should also continue  to move their learning and levels forward.

Key Stage 4

English Language: AQA 8700/1/2 (Two papers)

All students will sit two GCSE qualifications in English: This is studied for over 5 hours during each week.  Both examinations carry a full GCSE weighting and neither has tiers; All students sit the same papers with the same questions and texts selected by the team as appropriate to their particular group.

Paper 1: 1 hour 45 minutes

Explorations in creative reading and writing.

Paper 2: 1 hour 45 minutes

Writer’s viewpoints and perspectives

English Literature: AQA 8702/1/2 (Two papers)

  • 1 play by Shakespeare
  • 15 poems from AQA poetry anthology
  • 1 modern text, selected by the teacher from a set list.
  • 1 19th century text selected by the teacher from a set list.
  • 2 questions on unseen poetry, the second being comparative.

PARENT/CARER SUPPORT: Download your copy of the One In A Million Free School ‘10 Top Tips For Helping Your Child To Read More’ blog.