The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all students: 

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding;
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information;
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language;
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage;
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences;
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas;
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

At Key Stage 3

The skills students learn are based upon the National Curriculum and include the following units of work which ensure thorough and accurate teaching and assessment.

Year 7: Autobiographical Writing; Great Authors; Writing the World: Commentary; Unseen Poetry; Novel: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster; Creative Writing: Alter Egos.

Year 8: Novel: Yankee Girl by Mary Ann Rodman; Creative Writing: Spy Fiction; Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet; Writing to Explain; 19th century fiction: Sherlock Holmes Stories; Poetry: Ballads and Sonnets.

Year 9: News Writing; Novel: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; Poetry Anthology; Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing; Creative Writing: Dystopia; 19th century fiction: Gothic Tales.

It is our aim to build the necessary skills and knowledge needed to make the transition into Key Stage 4 and secure future exam success given the recent changes to GCSE English courses in which 100% of the final grade will come from examinations.

At Key Stage 4

The Edexcel GCSEs in English Language and English Literature are taken at in year 11. For these examinations, students will study the following topics and texts:

Year 10: 19th century fiction and creative writing; Drama: An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley; Transactional Writing and Spoken Language; Prose: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens; 20th/21st century non-fiction; Poetry Cluster: Conflict.

Year 11: Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Our Key Stage 4 Programme of Study is designed so that all units can be revised in year 11 in preparation for four terminal GCSE exams.

English Language

Paper 1: Fiction and Imaginative Writing - 40% of GCSE
Paper 2: Non-fiction and Transactional Writing - 60% of GCSE
Compulsory Unit: Spoken Language Endorsement - Pass/Merit/Dist

English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and Post-1914 Literature - 50% of GCSE
Paper 2: 19th Century Novel and Poetry since 1789 - 50% of GCSE

At Key Stage 5

Students are encouraged to continue their passion for Languages through to A Level.

KES provides two English courses: English Literature and Language/Literature (combined course).

English Literature – AQA SPECIFICATION B

The English Literature course enables students to pursue their love of reading through a variety of texts from Shakespeare to modern authors. Students will focus on Aspects of Tragedy in year 12 and Aspects of Crime Writing in year 13.

Year 12 – AS Level

Paper 1: Literary Genres: Drama (1 hour 30 minutes)
Section A – Shakespeare: Othello (25 marks)
Section B – Modern Drama: Death of a Salesman (25 marks)

Paper 2: Literary Genres: Prose and Poetry (1 hour 30 minutes)
Section A – Poetry: Keats or Hardy (25 marks)
Section B – Prose: Tess of the D’Ubervilles (25 marks)

Year 13 – A Level

Paper 1: Literary Genres (2 hours 30 minutes)
Section A – Extract from Shakespeare: Othello (25 marks)
Section B – Shakespeare Text: Othello (25 marks)
Section C – Comparative: Othello/Death of a Salesman (25 marks)

Paper 2: Texts and Genres (3 hours)
Section A – Unseen Passage (25 marks)
Section B – Set Text (25 marks)
Section C – Comparative Essay (25 marks)
Coursework: Theory and Independence (50 marks) (20% of A Level)

English Language and Literature – AQA

The combined language and literature course enables students to study a variety of literary works, as well as developing linguistic analysis and understanding the implications of context on a text. Students also complete a variety of creative writing tasks based on the texts they have studied.

Year 12 – AS Level

Paper 1: Views and Voices (1 hour 30 minutes) 50% of AS
Section A – Imagined Worlds: Lovely Bones (35 marks)
Section B – Poetic Voices: Browning (40 marks)

Paper 2: People and Places (1 hour 30 minutes) 50% of AS
Section A – Remembered Places: Paris (40 marks)
Re-creative Writing (35 marks)

Year 13 – A Level

Paper 1: Telling Stories (3 hours) 40% of A Level
Section A – Remembered Places: Paris (40 marks)
Section B – Imagined Worlds: Lovely Bones (35 marks)
Section C – Poetic Voices: Browning (25 marks)

Paper 2: Exploring Conflict (2 hours 30 minutes) 40% of A Level
Section A – Writing about Society: Into the Wild (55 marks)
Section B – Dramatic Encounters: A Streetcar Named Desire (45 marks)
Coursework: Making Connections (50 marks) 20% of A Level

Opportunities in English

The Languages Faculty has its own Coordinator of Learning Initiatives (CoLI). In this role, Mrs Roberts organises and oversees a range of extra-curricular activities such as trips and visits, workshops, competitions, book fairs, awards and events. For up-to-date information on after-school clubs and revision in Languages, please see the latest Extra-Curricular Activities Booklet.

Gifted and Talented Students

Projects and opportunities on offer:

  • Gifted and talented students are invited to attend workshops with authors in residence, where they bring their own work to be critiqued.
  • The Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge is entered annually, encouraging students to become confident with public speaking.
  • Students are encouraged to enter national poetry and short story writing competitions.
  • Our subscriptions to TES SPaG and The English and Media Centre’s EMaG allow students to access a range of challenging resources online.