Curriculum Content                      

Year 7

Students will study a combined Language and Literature course in Year 7 and will engage in a variety of texts with a focus on the foundations for effective communication, expression, creativity, comprehension and analysis. Students will be given regular opportunities for independent reading and writing. They will be given the opportunities and encouragement that they need to take risks and experiment with using language, forming opinions and developing resilience. They will be exposed to a wide range of texts and will engage with diverse issues, contexts and characters. All students will study poetry, storytelling, a modern fiction text and Shakespeare.

Year 8

Year 8 students also study a combined Language and Literature course which will build upon the skills and knowledge of Year 7. They will explore and investigate specific genres and writing formats and learn how to develop opinions in persuasive and argumentative writing. The literature texts that they study will include war fiction, literary heritage poetry and Shakespeare.

Year 9

Creativity, functionality and interpretations are the focus skills of Year 9. English Language begins with functional English and we teach students how to apply their writing skills to job applications, promoting a business venture and matching writing to purpose and audience. A creative writing unit means that there is a balance between writing to persuade a reader and writing to entertain a reader. Students therefore develop a variety of approaches to their writing. Developing textual analysis and evaluating interpretations is also embedded within our study of literature texts, including the GCSE Shakespeare set play.

Year 10

Students follow the AQA course for English Language and English Literature. The courses are interleaved, so that students use their study of the set texts for Literature as a springboard for opinion-based and creative writing. Students will have studied their first Literature text (a Shakespeare play) in Year 9, and in Year 10 will also study a nineteenth century novel, a modern drama and a poetry anthology. Students will also apply their reading skills to unseen texts, learning how to analyse the connotations of key words and writers’ methods and how to evaluate the effects on the reader. They will also compare texts and their messages for the reader.

Year 11

With the majority of subject content covered in Year 9 and 10, Year 11 allows students to develop their skills of analysis, evaluation and reflection and practise strategies and techniques for revision and exams. However, they are also encouraged to develop resilience and independence and to regulate their own learning so that they can not only apply their learning to unseen questions and texts in an exam, but so that they can apply their skills to situations and tasks outside a school context. Students will sit two exam papers in English Language and two exam papers in English Literature.

Curriculum Approach

When planning the curriculum for English, we refer to the skills developed at KS2 and ensure that there is progression. We also refer to the KS4 objectives, ensuring that we are preparing students for these skills. However, we also ensure that everything matches our vision for English.

English is an enabling subject, equipping students with the foundations for effective communication, expression, creativity, comprehension and analysis, not only across the curriculum but for life. The English curriculum inspires imagination, passion and curiosity in young people, as well as nurturing empathy and understanding. Students are given the opportunities and encouragement that they need to take risks and experiment with using language, forming opinions and developing resilience. They will be exposed to a wide range of texts and will engage with diverse issues, contexts and characters. These texts are brought alive so that students experience the passion of the writer, the drama of the performer and the immersion of the reader. English therefore not only equips students for life but aims to enrich their lives too.

Shared and collaborative planning of common schemes of learning and common assessments mean that implementation has consistency throughout the department. This is monitored through the teaching and learning cycle of observations and work scrutiny. The curriculum is reviewed regularly, using a combination of student, staff and parental voice, as well as an analysis of progress data.

Phase of Education Specific Requirements

Courses available to pupils at key stage 4, including GCSEs:

  • GCSE English Language
  • GCSE English Literature

Find Out More

To find out more about the AQA English Language and Literature course, please visit

To find out more about the independent tasks for KS3, please refer to the Realsmart portfolios. Here you will also find more details about end of unit assessments and the criteria that we use to assess student progress. Alternatively, please contact the head of department or your child’s class teacher.

Future Careers

Students who pursue a career or further education in English have engaged in a wide range of careers and course including: Editor and Content Manager, Social Media Manager, Technical Writer, Public Relations Specialist, Creative Writer, Grant Writer, Human Resources Specialist, Publishing, Journalism, Law, Teaching, Performing Arts, Politics, Librarian, Fundraiser.



In addition to their English lessons, all students have a literacy lesson, which supports their literacy across the curriculum. In these lessons, students will learn differentiated spellings and work through a series of punctuation and grammar skills, working from being able to identify to being able to apply these accurately and for effect. There are also regular opportunities for students to develop their extended writing skills through the use of personal writing journals.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Throughout the year the department runs various trips to see theatre and other productions at venues across the country. In addition, we are an RSC partner school, which means that our students have the opportunity to take part in RSC workshops and to see performances that are brought to the school. We are involved in the Kernow Youth Book Awards and students will present their nomination at the awards ceremony at the Eden Project. In addition, we have links with KEAP and have been able to give students the opportunity to visit the ‘Writer’s Block’ and work with professional writers.