Book Stack


“If you know how to read, then the whole world opens up to you." 


- Barack Obama



Subject Intent:


At the heart of our passion for English, as a team of professional subject specialists, we are united in our belief that Literature is the centrepiece of all English study: we learn how to read and how to write from reading great examples of writing. Our curriculum is designed with this belief at its core and is shaped accordingly, with the trajectory to GCSE success as the end goals. Moreover, our curriculum is fully inclusive, enabling all students to access the knowledge and skills regardless of their starting points.


We built the curriculum with the intent that students will:

  • Experience a broad, deep and knowledge rich curriculum through an overview of literature over time, enabling students to place texts within their contexts but also to place texts in relation to other texts, with similar and different concerns. This literary timeline constructs our work in KS3.

  • Be literate and numerate through developing language skills within and from our study of literary texts, interleaving the 7 story archetypes as structures for creative writing. The curriculum focuses on the development of inference skills as the means by which we can understand the complexity of writers’ messages and intentions.

  • Have high expectations for their behaviour and achievement through developing tolerance of, appreciation of and sensitivity towards viewpoints, attitudes and principles across cultures and times.

  • Develop their cultural, moral, social, mental and physical development through contextual links to literature, interleaving discussions and considerations of the world around us in all it richness and diversity, whilst simultaneously understanding how to write non-fiction through this process. In particular, cultural capital is developed through the priority given to Shakespeare – looking at what he wrote, looking forward through literary time at his shaping influence, but also connecting texts back from their contexts to his work.

  • Be prepared for life beyond the school by helping to shape students’ approach to life, with a view to them being accepting and non-judgmental in the modern world.


Subject Implementation:


  • The curriculum builds from year 7 to 11, focusing, at Key Stage 3, on a literary timeline which is used as a springboard to enable students to look back and look forward within genres and time periods. This develops understanding of the inter-relational nature of literary texts. At Key Stage 4, the curriculum focuses on the Literature GCSE and then the Language GCSE, whilst there is constant emphasis on the inter-connections between the 2 disciplines.

  • Core skills are revisited; however, knowledge is built on foundations from previous study.  Whilst reinforcement and retention of previously learnt knowledge is addressed relentlessly, building a deeper and more coherent understanding is key to preparation for further study. Retrieval and revision are central aspects of our pedagogy

  • Across both key stages, pupils build a knowledge of the features of different types of literary text including those from different time periods and continents. This allows pupils to develop cultural capital and further establish an interest in literature that reflects changes in society as well as shaping our understanding of the modern world.

  • Writing skills intrinsically linked to the texts studied, allow pupils to develop and craft their own literary techniques and actively encourages the development of personal expression when creating both fiction and non-fiction texts.

  • Rigorous, reliable and accessible assessment track understanding and allows bespoke planning to occur as a result. There are regular formal assessments linked to the scheme of learning and the GCSE assessment objectives. On-going assessment occurs through teacher monitoring of classwork and discussions with pupils. Outcomes are analysed and discussed within the department and interventions and extra support implemented where appropriate. Assessment outcomes are compared to targets to monitor progress. Specific groups such as SEND, DP, MA are closely monitored and intervention, where necessary, is planned in order to reduce gaps.

  • A blended learning approach is used to promote and develop independent learning through the medium of Microsoft TEAMS.  TEAMS is used to enhance home learning and is further supported by knowledge organisers, lesson PowerPoints and any additional resources needed. These are all uploaded to TEAMS and are designed to assist students with their blended learning. Teachers will engage with students through feedback which will enable them to continue to develop and make progress.


Subject Enrichment:


In the English department, we believe that all students, regardless of socio-economic background, are entitled to our enrichment provision. As such, we endeavour to make all enrichment experiences accessible to all, basing as much as we can within school.


Enrichment includes:

  • Competitions, often in liaison with the library, to develop reading and writing skills

  • Live theatre in school from touring companies

  • Visits from authors and other guest speakers – such as actors and performers

  • Subscription to ‘The Day’ Newspaper allowing all students to be able to access well written non-fiction texts and news articles along with activities that stretch and challenge thinking skills

  • Lunchtime clubs, for example for MA students discussing and debating issues


Subject Impact:


In English, our curriculum will:

  • Ensure the curriculum builds an understanding of the breadth and wealth of texts that have created our literary heritage.

  • Develop well-read citizens equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to actively engage with adult life.

  • Develop pupils with an ability to critically think about the modern world and give them the confidence and skills to interact with the world around them.

  • Provide pupils with a range of vocabulary to become confident writers, enabling them to produce a range of writing styles that will allow them to access further learning and employment opportunities beyond school.

  • Through the study of the history of Literature, develop a cultural capital intrinsically linked to their understanding of what has shaped the world we live in today, allowing them to appreciate how society has shaped literature and the messages we can apply as citizens today.

English Curriculum Map 2021_22.jpg

Knowledge and Skills


Year 7:


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • How literature has developed through time, the contexts in which texts were shared and written and how language continues to evolve and change.

  • Shakespeare’s use of dramatic techniques through the study of scenes from several plays and an introduction to some of Shakespeare’s most famous sonnets.

  • Contexts which inspired the Romantic Movement and themes present in this movement through the study of poems and novels written during this time.

  • How the works of Gothic literature reflect the political, social and cultural contexts in which they were written and how language techniques were used to portray typical Gothic features.

  • What life was like in Dickensian England and how Dickens’ writing reflects this with a focus on the techniques used by Dickens to convey messages to the reader.

  • Literary techniques used across a range of text types and genres.


Pupils will develop their skills in:

  • Reading a wide range of fiction with a wide coverage of genres, historical periods, forms and authors

  • Identifying the purpose, audience for and context of writing and the use of knowledge to support comprehension.

  • Using new vocabulary and using context to aid understanding.

  • Recognising how language, vocabulary choice, grammar, text structure and organisational features present meaning.

  • Making inferences referring to evidence in the text.

  • Making critical comparisons across texts.

  • Writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences.

  • Applying a growing knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and text structure to writing and selecting appropriate form.

  • Drawing on knowledge of literary devices from reading and using them to enhance independent writing.

  • Identifying and understanding the differences between spoken and written language including the differences in English variety.

  • Giving short speeches and presentations.


Year 8:


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • Shakespeare’s plays focusing on the impact of context, structure, language and dramatic technique in a historical work.

  • The novel Jekyll and Hyde focusing on the way context informs Victorian literature.

  • Poetic devices and unique viewpoints linked to poetry written in the First World War.

  • A range of non-fiction texts linked to the study of World War 1 and chosen to reflect differing writers’ viewpoints and opinions.

  • The study of a modern texts to develop an understanding of culture shifts and how literary writing and societal ideas can cross geographical boundaries as they contain universal messages.

  • The modern writer with a range of extracts from noted writers published after the Second World War. This includes exploring the key features and writing styles of dystopian fiction, and the development of the focus on an individual’s experiences in modern texts.

  • Building on prior knowledge of different types of writing reflecting the context and concerns of the time in which they are written.

  • Exposing students to a variety of different texts to develop pupils’ knowledge of the way writers use vocabulary, techniques and structural choices to engage readers.

  • Cultural capital from a range of time periods and writers.


Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Reading full length works from a range of different time periods examining key features linked to different movements in writing.

  • Analysing the techniques and decisions made by writers to create an effect.

  • Further the use of analytical and comparative techniques in and between texts.

  • Expand pupils’ use of effective techniques in their own writing focusing on developing an awareness of writing to engage a reader.

  • Develop confidence using spoken language techniques to present and discuss texts and ideas.


Year 9


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • A range of Shakespeare’s plays linked thematically to develop an understanding of common threads across different characters and works.

  • The structure of stories and the commonality of story variations within works published across the literary timeline.

  • Understanding writers’ intentions and how they impact a text.

  • GCSE literature programme of study will be introduced with the modern play Blood Brothers focusing on analysing the form, structure, characters and themes.

  • Poetry, focusing on 15 poems in the AQA poetry anthology all linked by the themes of Power and Conflict. Pupils will understand the inherent meaning within the poems, how a poet uses form and technique to create meaning and how the poems link to the time in which they were written.

  • The use of modern dramatic techniques in order to engage the reader in big ideas.


Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Analysis of language form and structure in and between texts linked by themes.

  • Examining how the structure and content of writing have common features and plot types.

  • Building interpretations from texts, linked to context and writers use of techniques in order to enhance understanding.

  • Developing interpretations of the way a text reflects an author’s viewpoints.

  • Writing essay style responses closely linked to GCSE assessment objectives exploring meaning within and between texts written for different audiences and purposes.

  • Implementing a growing understanding of writer’s skills by writing sustained and engaging fiction and non-fiction texts for a range of given purposes and audiences.

  • Using spoken language to express a range of opinions on the themes and contexts of literary works.

  • Developing a mature and informed verbal viewpoint on a writer’s intentions when creating literary texts.


Year 10


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • A variety of contexts across GCSE literature set texts and how they have predisposed and shaped texts.

  • 19th century literature, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, anthology and unseen poetry as well as a modern play.

  • How and why writers are influenced by the world around them.

  • Authorial intent – the influences and messages presented by authors through their work.

  • Characters and their functions across GCSE prose, plays and poetry.

  • Writer’s crafts and stylist choices.

  • How to link content to the big ideas present within GCSE texts.


Pupils will develop their skills in


  • Identifying and interpreting explicit and implicit information and ideas.

  • Analysis of language, structure and methods to achieve effects.

  • Using relevant subject terminology to enhance not drive answers.

  • Approaching analysing and comparing the ideas and language used within unseen texts.

  • Comparative skills, focusing on making clear links between texts.

  • Examining the effects of writer’s methods on reader.

  • Developing and sustaining interpretations.

  • Structuring and developing extended writing linked to the GCSE assessment objectives.

  • Talking and writing about characters as conscious constructs as well as linking these ideas to the writer’s wider purpose.

  • Writing effectively and accurately about different genres, form and structure.

  • Developing reader response.

  • Linking ideas/concepts to the ‘big ideas’ and contexts in which they were written.

  • Revision skills linked to GCSE literature.


Year 11


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:


  • Conventions of a wide range of fiction texts and genres.

  • Conventions of a wide range of non-fiction text types and purposes.

  • Stylistic choices across both fiction and non-fiction texts. 

  • Different types of texts and how they have been influenced/shaped by the contexts in which they were written.

  • Writer’s viewpoints and purposes.

  • Global and national issues through articles – developing cultural capital.

  • The big ideas present within texts.


Pupils will develop their skills in


  • Reading for meaning and create developed responses to texts.

  • Analysing the language, form and structure used by a writer to create meanings and effects.

  • Using relevant subject terminology to enhance not drive an answer.

  • Developing an understanding of the relationships between texts and the contexts in which they were written.

  • Comparing writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two texts.

  • Selecting and synthesising evidence from different texts.

  • Using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.

  • Crafting creative writing to communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences.

  • Constructing a piece of writing, focusing on how to select effective language, techniques and structure.

  • Organising and structuring responses for clarity and purpose.

  • Communicating verbally, ensuring that students can confidently convey their ideas in front of an audience.

  • Writing speeches to convey a particular idea or viewpoint.

  • Revision skills linked to GCSE language.

Contact Head of Department:

Miss Cuthbertson -