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We believe our mission in English is to encourage students to be thoughtful and reflective learners. We want students to enjoy and engage with the subject whilst achieving their best in this core curriculum area. We want to see confident individuals prepared for the outside world. Students experience a breadth of skills and knowledge during their study of English. Our intent is to develop students to be perceptive and curious readers, confident with engaging others through their speaking and writing. We have a strong ethos of working as a team, both with our departmental colleagues and our students, in order to strive for excellence. This is illustrated by our exam track record and the success of extra-curricular activities such as the mock trials competition, book club and poetry by heart.


Students are organised into mixed ability groups from Year 7 to Year 11.We have a principle of balance over rigid setting which works well for our students in English, particularly as there are no tiers at GCSE level.

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum offers a balanced and stimulating experience of English through drama, prose, poetry and non-fiction texts. Students develop their speaking and listening, reading and writing skills linked to the key assessment focus objectives in line with GCSE, which marry with the learning ladder pathways. Progress is regularly checked through assessment pieces linked to reading and writing and assessments are kept in a separate work booklet. We have approached our schemes with thematic ‘big questions’ in order to broaden thinking and the cultural learning experiences for children. Wider reading is actively encouraged in English through the routine of reading at the start of lessons and close links with the library. Work linked to key literacy skills is also continued, building on the foundation established during the primary years.

We see feedback as crucial to making good progress and encourage students to be active in critically evaluating their work and identifying areas to improve.

Thorough intervention and support at both Key Stages is delivered through extraction, supported reading programme's and extensive revision sessions in the lead up to exams.


All students will study both Language and Literature GCSE in Years 10 and 11. If appropriate, we also offer Functional Skills as an alternative for certain individuals. We mix the study of Language and Literature over the two years with four terminal exams at the end. For GCSE, students are also required to complete a spoken presentation for which they are given a grade of pass, merit or distinction. This is recorded separately on their results certificate.



Curriculum Map

Curriculum Overview


The English department is made up of specialist staff with a variety of individual strengths. Emma Hennessy is our Faculty Lead supported by Louise Britton as the Subject Lead. Polly Shepherd and Laura Brennan teach English to all year groups as their specialist subject, whilst Sam Martin, Head of Performing Arts, joins the team to teach KS4 English. All English staff also contribute to the delivery of Drama at KS3, details of staff are as follows:

Mrs E Hennessy  Faculty Leader: English, Creative & Expressive Arts
Mrs L Britton Subject Leader: English
Mrs P Shepherd Teacher of English
Miss L Brennan Teacher of English
Mr S Martin Head of Performing Arts / Teacher of English
Mrs H Youngson Teacher of English