About the Faculty

The English Faculty deliver a variety of courses at all Key Stages, developing skills in both English Language, English Literature and Media Studies.  The faculty has dedicated teaching staff committed to delivering excellent learning for all students, inviting teaching spaces and a curriculum that matches the scope and ambition of the National Curriculum.

Years 7 to 9 – Key Stage 3

The 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. Students are allocated 6 hours of English lessons per fortnight, with one of those lessons being a dedicated library lesson.  All the groups are mixed ability and are taught in tutor groups in KS3, with parallel support classes for some students. 

Year 7

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 Pitcher, Dahl, Rowling, Stevenson, Morpurgo and Shakespeare with poetry, prose and drama prevalent throughout the year.

Exploring Poetry

Students study a range of poems and poetic techniques the writers have used to convey ideas.

English Language

Students study the development of English Language using the texts Beowulf and The Wife of Bath.

Creative Writing

Students study the skills needed to write creatively using a range of stimulus items.


Students study ‘Shocking Shakespeare’ before exploring the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’.

Novel/Author Study

Students study a novel or a collection of short stories by an author, exploring the key characters and themes. These include War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, My Sister Lives on A Mantelpiece Annabel Pitcher, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Detective Stories

Students study the origins and development of the detective genre, and the conventions used by the writers.

Year 8

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 Palacio with opportunities to explore and probe ideas through drama, creative writing and the timetabled library lessons.

Gothic Fiction

Students study a range of Gothic fiction texts exploring the writer’s use of the genre and its conventions.

War and Conflict In The Media 

Students study how the Media reports war and the techniques behind how news stories are presented.

Frankenstein Playscript by Mary Shelley (Adapted by Robert Pullman) 

Students study how writers use the playscripts to explore key themes and contextual ideas.

Poetry – Ballads and War Poetry 

Students study the ballad form of poetry, its structure, style, tone and use of language to convey ideas. Students also study war poetry in this unit, studying poets like Wilfred Owen and Rupert Brook.

Novel/Author Study

Students study a prose fiction text exploring the writer’s use of language to convey characters and themes.

Non-fiction Minis

Students study argument writing and the skills and techniques used to convey meaning.

Year 9

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’.

Science Fiction

Students study a range of Science fiction texts exploring the writer’s use of the genre and its conventions.

Novel/Author Study – Long Way Down

Students study a novel or a collection of short stories by an author, exploring the key characters and themes. Texts include: Of Mice and Men, Stone Cold, Long Way
Down and Run Rebel.


Students study a Shakespeare play focussing on the playwright’s use of language, structure and form. Plays include: Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet.

Non-fiction – Survival Spoken Language

Reading: Students will study a variety of texts (print based and media) to understand and empathise with people who have survived a journey or traumatic experience.

Contemporary Drama

Students study a piece of contemporary drama exploring the playwright’s use of language, structure and form. Texts include: Journey’s End, Solace of the Road and The Crucible.

Poetry from Other Cultures

Students study a range of poetry from different cultures including Blessing
and Limbo – exploring the poet’s use of language, structure and form.

Library Lessons

To support the students’ learning across KS3 they all partake in a library lesson where they get the chance to take out books, use the library’s resources and complete tasks towards their ‘Reading Journey’ 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 reading literacy across all areas.


Alongside the regular setting and marking of classwork, ongoing formative assessment in lessons tasks allow us to gauge each student’s progress and set strategies to improve the student’s learning.

Students at KS3 also have formal written assessments during set times during the year:

Assessment windows:

Year 7: 24th April – 5th May (Shakespeare)

Year 8: 28th November – 9th December (Gothic Fiction); 8th May – 19th May (Playscript and Poetry)

Year 9: 31st October – 10th November (Long Way Down); 19th June – 23rd June (Science Fiction)

Years 10 to 11 – Key Stage 4

The English and Media Faculty offer three GCSE subjects: English Language and English Literature which are compulsory and Media Studies which can be chosen as part of the year 9 Options process.

GCSE English Language

GCSE English Language

Examination Board: AQA
Course Code: 8700

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

GCSE English Literature

GCSE English Literature

Examination Board: AQA
Course Code: 8702

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

GCSE Media Studies

GCSE Media Studies

Examination Board: Eduqas
Course Code: 603/1115/0

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 are a number of  formal written exams at the end of this course, GCSE Media Studies provides students with the chance to engage with practical coursework assignments which make up a percentage of the overall GCSE grade.

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

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

Years 12 to 13 – Sixth Form

A Level English Language

A Level English Language

Examination Board: AQA
Course Code: 7702

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!

“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

Section A: Textual Variations and Representations – comparing how different meanings are created in two texts from different times and places

Section B: Children’s Language Development – examining at how a child’s language is developing in line with theories and research

Paper 2

Section A: Diversity and Change – value-based discussion of the English Language and change within it.

Section B: Language Discourses – a comparison of two texts and an opinion piece on a specific area of English Language.

Non-Examinable Assessment

Language in Action – a 2000 word language investigation on a topic of student’s choice and 1500 word piece of original writing and commentary to support the research.

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”.

A Level English Literature

Examination Board: Edexcel
Course Code: 9BS0

A Level English Literature

A Level English Literature

Examination Board: AQA
Course Code: 7712

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

Following AQA’s specification, students will study a wide range of texts and forms from across time.  Following the theme of Love Through the Ages in Year 12, the course content covers poetry, prose and drama, including a key Shakespeare play.  Year 13 focuses on Literature of the Modern Times and explores key themes such as identity, gender and racial discrimination.  Texts studied include Owen Sheers’ Skirrid HillThe Help by Kathryn Stockett and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.   Students are also required to complete Non-Exam Assessment, which gives them the flexibility to choose their own texts and focus to produce a 2500 word essay.  A New-Historicist approach underpins the course to help students understand how context has influenced literature and critical reception.

A Level Assessment:

Paper 1: Love through the ages (40%)

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 studied – one poetry and one prose

Paper 2: Texts in shared contexts (40%)

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
Section B: Contextual linking: analysis of an unseen extract relating to modern literature and a comparison of two studied texts

Non–Examination Assessment: one extended essay (2500 words) and a bibliography (20%)

Assessment Plan

Assessment in Year 12 and 13 is completed at regular intervals.  In Year 12, the study of set texts including ‘Othello’, a pre-1900 Poetry Anthology and ‘The Great Gatsby’ afford opportunities for assessment each half term.  In Year 13 assessment comprises of exam tasks relating to the modern literature texts studied, and the Independent Study essays undertaken by students across the course of the year.  In addition to this, mock examinations take place in both years to assist students’ knowledge regarding the format and assessment of the examinations.  Grading is shared with the students across the course and next step targets are given to ensure students know how to improve in line with the examination mark scheme.

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”.

A Level Media Studies

A Level Media Studies

Examination Board: Eduqas
Course Code: 603/1149/6

You will learn how to read the codes that inform the way we interpret and are influenced by print, electronic and moving images. The course is based on a theoretical framework of four keys areas: Media Language, Representation, Audience and Industry. Within each key concept module, students will study a range of set texts designed to offer a broad and balanced taste of the media.

You will also have the opportunity to apply your new skills practically, becoming confident creators of media texts.


Two examinations: Component 1: 2 hour 15 mins

Component 2:  2 hours 30 mins

Assessment: internally assessed module focusing on student’s ability to plan and create a number of linked media productions

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”.