English and Media

About the Faculty

The English Faculty deliver a variety of courses at all Key Stages, developing skills in both English Language and English Literature.  The faculty has dedicated teaching staff, inviting teaching spaces and are committed to delivering excellent learning for all students.

English Assessment And Marking Procedures
Year 7 English Assessment Plan
Year 8 English Assessment Plan
Year 9 English Assessment Plan
Year 10 English Assessment Plan
Year 11 English Assessment Plan
Year 12 And Year 13 English Assessment Plan

To find out what is delivered at each Key Stage, please click the title below:

Years 7 to 9 – Key Stage 3

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The new English curriculum for Key Stage 3 is an innovative, exciting and challenging course designed to meet the key requirements laid out by the government and to inspire a passion for English throughout a young person’s life. All the groups are mixed ability and are taught in tutor groups in KS3, with core assessment tasks taken throughout the year to help monitor students’ progress on reading, writing and speaking/listening. Alongside the regular setting and marking of classwork, the core assessment tasks allow us to gauge each student’s progress and set strategies to improve the student’s learning which they record in the Assessing Pupil Progress folder.

Year 7 – Ignite the interest

The Year 7 schemes are structured to ignite the student’s interest in a range of authors and text types, as well as focusing on the writing/speaking skills needed to communicate with the wider world. The authors covered include Dahl, Dickens, Morpurgo and Shakespeare with poetry, prose and drama prevalent throughout the year.

Key topics: Author Study – Roald Dahl, Prose Study – ‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens, 19th Century Poetry, Shakespeare Study – Macbeth.


Year 8 – Develop and build the skills and knowledge

The Year 8 model develops and builds on Year 7, challenging students to widen their reading and writing skills across a range of different genres including Gothic fiction. Authors studied include Armitage, Blackman, Hill and Sheriff, with opportunities to explore and probe ideas through drama, creative writing and the timetabled library lessons.

Key topics: Ghost and Gothic Fiction – ‘Woman in Black’ by Susan Hill, War and Conflict – ‘Journey’s End’ by RC Sheriff, Love and Relationships – ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Naughts and Crosses’ by M Blackman.


Year 9 – Sharpening minds and moving on

The final year of KS3 consolidates all the work done to date and begins the transition towards KS4. If Year 7 was about igniting interest, Year 8 about building and developing skills, then Year 9 is about refining skills while promoting independent study. Students will study Sci-fi writing, the drama of key playwrights such as Miller alongside the seminal works of our time including Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ and Ishiguru’s ‘Nocturnes’.

Key topics: Prose Study – Science Fiction Short Stories, Author Study – George Orwell and Wilkie Collins, Contemporary Drama – ‘Solace of the Road’, Seminal World Literature- Ishiguru.

Independent Learning/Learning at Home Projects

Across the key stage the English Faculty allows all the students the opportunity to carry out Independent Learning Tasks or Learning at Home Projects alongside the more traditional weekly homework. The tasks take the place of traditional homework and focuses more on a long-term project resulting in an extended piece of work that could take the form of a piece of creative writing, a model based on a key text or a drama performance. Students choose the project based on their school target and manage the task over the half term in consultation with their class teacher. Along with the weekly homework this allows for deeper exploration of topics and promotes the independent learning the school believes is the next step to being outstanding.


Library Lessons/Going for Gold

To support the students’ learning across KS3 they all partake in a library lesson each fortnight where they get the chance to take out books, use the library’s resources and complete tasks towards their ‘Going for Gold’ reading reward scheme.

All of these opportunities are designed to promote reading for pleasure as part of the school’s drive to raise the standards of literacy across all areas.


Key Stage 4 – Years 10 to 11

Please click a link below to find out more about the courses offered at Key Stage 4.

Compulsory Subjects:

Optional Subjects:

GCSE English Language

The skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are of vital importance in many areas. Not only are they essential in many careers, they also underpin successful study at all levels, and a proficiency in them can also add immeasurably to an individual’s general quality of life. This specification is designed to aid and assess such development, and to encourage learners to be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. It will prepare learners to make informed decisions and to use language to participate effectively in society and employment.

Different forms of assessment are appropriate to these different skills and this is recognised in this specification. Reading and writing are assessed through two externally marked units. Speaking and Listening is assessed in a variety of different situations during the course but does not count to the overall grade awarded.


GCSE Subject Criteria for English Language:

  • require that learners become critical readers of a range of texts, including multimodal texts and at least one extended text.
  • require learners to write accurately and fluently, choosing content and adapting style and language to a wide range of forms, media, contexts, audiences and purposes.
  • require that in speaking and listening learners present and listen to information and ideas, responding appropriately to the questions and views of others.

All of the above requirements are met by this specification.


Paper 1 – Exploration in Creative Reading and Writing

Section A (40 marks, 25%): Reading – one literacy extract (20th or 21st)
Section B (40 marks, 25%): Writing – descriptive and/or narrative writing

Assessed: 1 hour 45 minutes, 80 marks, 50% of GCSE

Paper 2 – Writers’ Viewpoint and Perspectives

Section A (40 marks, 25%):
Reading   – one literacy non-fiction (20th or 21st)
– one non-fiction extract (19th)

Section B (40 marks, 25%):
Writing – writing to present a viewpoint

Assessed: 1 hour 45 minutes, 80 marks, 50% of GCSE

Controlled Assessment – Spoken Language

  • Presenting
  • Responding to questions and feedback
  • Use of standard English

Assessed: Separate endorsement
Teacher set during course
Marked by teacher

Examination Board: AQA
Course Code: 8700

GCSE English Literature

This specification is based on the conviction that the study of literature should centre on an informed personal response to a range of texts in the genres of prose, poetry and drama.

Assessment is through external assessment and examination. Teachers and their students have some flexibility in the choice of texts to be studied as it is felt that the study of literature can greatly enhance a student’s writing skills, and that practising his/her own writing skills can lead a student to increased enjoyment of, and success in, reading.


GCSE Subject Criteria for English Literature:

  • require that learners become critical readers of fiction and non-fiction prose, poetry and drama. They should experience different times, cultures, viewpoints and situations as found in literary texts and explore how texts from different cultures and traditions may reflect or influence values, assumptions and sense of identity.
  • require learners to connect ideas, themes and issues, drawing on a range of texts.
  • require that learners understand that texts from the English, Welsh or Irish literary heritage have been influential and significant over time and explore their meaning today.

All of the above requirements are met by this specification.


Paper 1 – Shakespeare and the Nineteenth Century Novel

Section A: Shakespeare
Section B: The Nineteenth Century Novel

Assessed: 1 hour 45 minutes, 64 marks, 40% of GCSE

Paper 2 – Modern Texts and Poetry

Section A: Modern prose or drama
Section B: Poetry anthology
Section C: Unseen poetry

Assessed: 2 hour 15 minutes, 96 marks, 60% of GCSE

Examination Board: AQA
Course Code: 8702

GCSE Media Studies

The GCSE Media Studies course attracts an increasingly large number of students every year because it makes learning interesting, challenging, creative and fun. It offers rigorous but accessible learning on a subject of key importance for young people’s understanding of the world they experience.


It offers:

  • Extensive and meaningful coverage of media theory and practice
  • Practical work which integrates theories and concepts with the opportunity to engage with media software and technology
  • A range of assignments for production and pre-production
  • The chance to study across a range of media platforms
  • Opportunities for progression, especially to GCE Media Studies or Level 3 Diploma in Creative and Media

Although there is a formal written exam at the end of this course, GCSE Media Studies provides students with the chance to engage with practical coursework assignments which make up a large percentage of the overall GCSE grade.

The course examines many media platforms, some of which are listed below:

  • Moving Image – Film / Television
  • Radio
  • Print and Digital Publishing
  • Digital and New Media Technologies
  • Advertising and Marketing
  • Popular Music

Examination Board: WJEC
Course Code: 4390

Years 12 to 13 – Sixth Form

Please click one of the subjects below for more information.

English Language
English Literature
Media Studies

English Language

Have you ever wondered why people speak differently, or how you learnt to speak when you were a baby? Now’s your chance to find out!

A2 – Current Year 13 only

Building on your AS studies, you will learn about how children develop their skills in speech and writing.  You will also learn how the English language has changed over time and how new words have entered the language.  You will carry out a Language Investigation into an area of interest to you, and present this, together with a linked media text, in a coursework folder.

A2 Assessment

A two and a half hour examination building on AS skills, focussing on Language Change and Language Acquisition.

A coursework portfolio containing a Language Investigation and a linked Media piece.


A Level English Language – for courses starting September 2015 onwards

“The English language is a work in progress.  Have fun with it.”

 The new A Level English Language course gives students an invaluable opportunity to investigate and understand the language of the world around us.  Students will discover how language works, how text producers manipulate their language for effect and how everything from our first days as a baby to our gender and our role in society impacts on our own personal language.  Language is perhaps the most powerful tool anyone has at their disposal and this course gives students the chance to understand how and why and even influence it themselves.


Paper 1: Exploring Language

Three sections:

  • Language under the microscope – students will consider the effect of lexical choices and grammatical features in a short written text.
  • Writing about a topical language issue – students will present and explore ideas and attitudes towards language through short pieces of original writing which has a real world purpose.
  • Comparing and contrasting texts – students will analyse linguistic features and apply theoretical concepts.

Paper 2: Dimensions of Linguistic Variation

Three sections:

  • Child language acquisition – students focus on how children develop their spoken language.
  • Language in the media – students consider relevant theories of power, gender and technology to explore media texts.
  • Language change – students will investigate how the English language has changed over time.

Non-exam assessment: Independent language research

Students investigate an aspect of language that particularly interests them and produce a 2000-2500 word essay and an academic poster.

Eng Lang

Are you interested in
– Being a confident communicator
– Exploring the effective use of language
– Developing your analytical skills
– Understanding how context affects language use
– Developing your own creative and technical skills

Leading to a career in
– The Media
– Law
– Teaching
– Speech Therapy
– Almost any career where analytical skills are required

“My English A-level taught me to manipulate the language to suit the audience, making them receptive to my message”.

English Literature

Let your imagination run free as you immerse yourself in different worlds – then explain to people what you found there.

A2 – Current Year 13 only

A2 moves you on to the study of the whole of English Literature.  You will read and study texts across time, genre and gender, primarily, but not exclusively, within the theme of love.

You will also get the opportunity to demonstrate that you can write extensively on texts with linked themes, one of which will be a Shakespeare play.

A2 Assessment 

A two and a half hour examination on the theme ‘Love Through the Ages’ – unseen extracts and wider reading.

Coursework: Extended essay and Shakespeare Study.


A Level English Literature – for courses starting September 2015 onwards

AS Level

Explore a range of literature across time and genre focusing on the theme Love Through the Ages.  Shakespeare, poetry and modern novels are studied in depth, with a range of extracts and texts explored to help students understand how context has influenced literature and critical reception.

AS Assessment

A 3 hour written examination composed of 3 sections:

Section A: Shakespeare: one passage-based question with linked essay
Section B: Unseen poetry: compulsory essay question on two unseen poems
Section C: Comparing texts: one essay question linking two texts

A Level

As well as Love Through the Ages, students will also be engaging with poetry, drama and novels from Modern times.  There is also a non-examination assessment unit in the form of a 2500 word essay.  In this independent piece of work, students will complete a comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900.

A Level Assessment:

Paper 1: Love through the ages

A 3 hour examination composed of 3 sections:

Section A: Shakespeare: one passage-based question with linked essay Section B: Unseen poetry: compulsory essay question on two unseen poems Section C: Comparing texts: one essay question linking two texts

Paper 2: Texts in shared contexts

Option 2B: Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day

A 2.5 hour written examination composed of 2 sections:

Section A: Set texts. One essay question on set text (25 marks)
Section B: Contextual linking

Non – Examination assessment: one extended essay (2500 words) and a bibliography

Eng Lit

Are you interested in
– Developing your analytical skills
– Learning to write extended essays
– Increasing your insight into human nature
– Increasing your empathetic skills

Leading to a career in
– The Media
– Teaching
– Almost anything – many organisations see a qualification in English as a sign that you are able to master a wide range of skills.

“Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. The more I read, the more I want to read”.

Media Studies

Why did he buy that car?
Why do we like one politician more than another regardless of what they say?

Media 2


You will learn how to read the codes that inform the way we interpret and are influenced by print, electronic and moving images. You will also have the opportunity to apply your new skills practically, becoming confident creators of media texts.

AS Assessment

A two hour written examination demonstrating an understanding of media concepts and language.

A practical unit based on externally set production briefs in which you will produce two texts.


Building on your AS studies, you will examine the areas of representation and new digital media in greater depth.  You will also investigate critically a media area of your choice and produce a linked practical media text, allowing you to develop your own interests and specialisations.

A2 Assessment

‘Critical Perspectives’ – a two hour written exam responding to three stimuli and writing an essay.

Coursework: A practical production piece and a linked critical investigation.


Are you interested in 
– Developing your analytical skills
– Understanding what things really mean in the world around you
– Learning a range of practical skills including filming and editing

Leading to a career in 
– Journalism
– Public Relations
– Advertising
– Television and Radio
– Sales

“It has not only broadened my taste in television and cinema, but has opened my eyes to how media is produced and what influences it has on society”.