Topic outline

  • KS3 - Year 7

    Year 7 cover four main topics areas in English

    Year 7 begin with an introduction to writing skills entitled ‘Writing to Imagine, explore and entertain’ which culminates in students writing a short story of their own design. Looking at the basics of good writing and covering areas such as character, genre and story structure.

    Students then go on to study a unit on Language where they look at the origins of English and its development over time. They study extracts from Chaucer and Shakespeare and write an essay based on two characters from the 'Canterbury Tales'.

    After this unit, students use their skills of analysis to study 'Beowulf'. Students will learn about the story before comparing this with the film and creating their own review.

    Finally, a study of modern prose text. Popular choices include 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas', 'The Ghost of Thomas Kemp', 'Skellig' and many more. This unit ends with a reading assignment based on the novel.

  • KS3 - Year 8

    Year 8 cover five main topic areas in English

    Year 8 begin by studying a modern play that might include 'Macbeth on the Loose' or 'Our Day Out' and through this unit, students will learn the techniques associated with persuasive writing and the assessed piece of work is a persuasive letter.

    Students then go on to study a Shakespeare play, traditionally 'Macbeth' and learn about the craft of Shakespeare and how the Bard created his masterpieces!

    Also covered is a Pre-1914 novel. Some classes study 'A Christmas Carol' but there are a range of texts to choose from and this unit looks mostly at the historical context that influenced these works.

    Year 8 also study a unit of poetry based on the theme of conflict. This may include war poetry but other types of conflict are explored. This unit aims to introduce students to the ideas and techniques that poets use and also to begin to understand the skill of analysis.

    Finally students study a unit of work based on a media text in which these skills of analysis are adapted to a different stimulus.

  • KS3 - Year 9

    Year 9 study five main units across the year. The aim is for students to continue to have a grounding of skills required of them at GCSE level.

    Students complete a unit of work in which they have to do a piece of descriptive writing. This unit is directly linked to skills necessary for GCSE English controlled assessment. They will be asked to describe a particular scene of the teacher’s choice; this might include, 'Describe the scene in a busy shopping centre in the lead up to Christmas' for example.

    Also, students will complete a study of the Shakespeare play 'Much Ado about Nothing' in which they will have to analyse a selection of chosen scenes from the play. Again, this is a unit designed to prepare students for the demands of GCSE Literature.

    Students will study a Post-1914 novel of their teacher’s choice. Choices include; 'Tamar', 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas', 'Stone Cold'. The main focus of this unit is to allow students to appreciate a modern novel and complete a reading assessment in which they analyse how effective the opening chapters are in engaging the reader. Then, using a theme from the novel, students will explore a range of non- fiction writing. They will look at different types of non- fiction and will be assessed on one of these types.

    As the Olympics is such an important event, we are studying a media unit based on the Olympics in year 9. Students explore the history of the games, look at how the event is advertised and complete speaking and listening work based on  some of these ideas.
    Finally, students in the Summer term will study a Pre- GCSE course in which they look at the topic of 'Spoken language'. Students will study the forms of spoken language including accent, dialect and standard English and they will explore how to adapt their language for different audiences.

  • GCSE English Language & English Literature

    Click the logo or link below if you would like to view the full course specification from the Exam Board website.

    Exam Board Qualification Specification
    WJEC Exam Board - GCSE English (150) GCSE English 150
    WJEC Exam Board - GCSE English Literature (151) GCSE English Literature 151

    All students will follow a GCSE course in English or English Language and English Literature.  The route followed will be based on KS3 results and the recommendations of your previous English teacher.  There are many similar elements in the courses and both will involve the study of prose, drama and poetry along with the analysis of media and non-fiction texts.  If you have ever held an opinion on anything, then these courses will give you lots of opportunities to voice them!

    Both courses will develop your skills in reading, writing and speaking/listening and all of these elements give you marks towards your final grade.  These skills, as you know from KS3, are all vital and give you the tools you need to express your understanding of facts, feelings ideas and experiences.  They are all to do with language and the course will increase both your knowledge about language and your confidence in using it effectively.

    You will become familiar with novels, plays and poems, some set for detailed class study and some as part of your wider reading.  You will also look closely at newspaper articles, advertisements, reports – in fact, anything that demonstrates the many ways in which people communicate with each other.  This will also include a study of spoken language.

    You won’t just be reading though!  There are lots of opportunities to develop your own writing skills through letters, stories, leaflets, speeches etc.  You will learn ways to extend your range of expressions, to arrange your ideas and to present your work accurately and attractively.

    With speaking and listening you will find yourself in lots of different situations; you may deliver a prepared talk, join in discussions or take part in role plays where you can imagine yourself as someone completely different to yourself!  The important point in this area of your work is that you concentrate on what others have to say as well as making sure you express yourself clearly and effectively.


    English 60% Controlled Assessment 40% Examination
    English Language 60% Controlled Assessment 40% Examination
    English Literature 25% Controlled Assessment 75% Examination

    Other Information

    • All students will be taught in ability groups with the vast majority gaining two separate qualifications at the end of Year 11
    • Lots of opportunities for drama and interactive learning
    • Opportunities for theatre visits