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HAP Tricia Hanlon Director of Learning (0.6) English
SHU Sarah Hughes Director of Learning (0.4) English and Literacy Coordinator
OSF Fiona Carey Deputy Headteacher and Teacher of English
BRC Carmel Brady Director of Sixth Form and Teacher of English
GRN Nicholas Griffiths Lead Teacher of Media Studies


Five dedicated teaching rooms, all equipped with interactive whiteboards.

A range of educational texts, including class readers, textbooks and anthologies for all Year groups.

Access to ICT rooms.

English stock cupboard.

Media: One specialist room with computers and photography equipment.

Drama: Drama Theatre which includes technical facilities, lighting and sound equipment with curtains at the front, in the wings and rear of the proscenium arch

Library: Stocked fiction library with access to computers for students..



Years 7 and 8 (KS3)



In Years 7 and 8, Schemes of Learning (SOL) are structured to closely reflect the aims of the National Curriculum. There will be explicit links in each SOL to the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum for English. The aims are to more actively prepare students for the rigours of GCSE and all units directly relate to the GCSE course, with key assessment points. Students study the following:

Year 7: Understanding Narrative

All schemes of learning in years 7, 8 and 9 are based around a topic and are thematically linked. This sequencing allows students to build upon the skills they have already been taught and allows them to make links for themselves to prior learning. They all link in some part to a key area of the GCSE and therefore students are beginning to build up their skills right from the start of their Secondary education.

Constructing narratives (reading and writing creatively - linked to language 1AB), Gothic Horror (linked to Literature 1B), Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream - linked to Literature 1B. It is important to study Shakespeare within every year, this enables the students to consider the importance of contextual factors and their influence on a text, which is a key part of the marking criteria for their GCSE exams. Non-fiction stories (linked to Literature 2AB. This Unit focuses on the Olympics; the intention is to ensure students can engage with interesting historical facts as well as explore how sporting events can entertain and enthuse readers), Narrative poetry (Ballads - linked to Literature 2B), Class novel. (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas- linked to literature 2A. Links made here to History and PSHE)

Year 8: Character and their contexts

Modern novel (Of Mice and Men - linked to Lit 2A. Text explores relatable issues like racism, sexism and discrimination. It provides students with the opportunity to understand events in recent American History and how it has had major impact of the lives of individuals.) Poems from different cultures (linked to Lit 2B. Links can be made here to PSHE and social issues on homelessness, racism and refugees.), Non-fiction experiences and perspectives (Lang 2AB), Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet - linked to lit 1A. Class novel. (Wonder- linked to literature 2a. This texts allows students to develop their analysis skills but also crosses over with work in PSHE and supports our diversity education.)

Year 9, 10 and 11 (KS4)



Each Unit of KS4 Work explicitly touches on the core Assessment Objectives for GCSE. Assessments in Years 9-11 embed a secure knowledge and deep understanding of the final requirements for GCSE success.  Students study the following:

Year 9: Power and Politics. In this unit, students will explore the power of the spoken word in both spoken and written texts. They will analyse the deliberate intended effect(s) on the audience and how the speaker has constructed and delivered with intent. This unit introduces key ideas which are built upon in all of the following units and topics and been sequenced in this way to intentionally benefit the students learning.  (links to Lang 2 Section B).

Rhetoric (speeches and spoken word - links to Language 2AB), Novel (Animal Farm- linked to Lit 2A. Students will have just studied the art of Rhetoric and will therefore have the opportunity to apply this knowledge to the many speeches in the novel. Shakespeare (Julius Caesar- linked to Lit 1A), War poetry (a collection of poetry from various conflicts - linked to Lit 2B. The links made here to History are clear, but also topics such as PTSD, patriotism and war in general. ), Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – (linked to literature 1B. Understanding the context of Victorian London will help students in their text study for GCSE in Year 10. )

We intentionally allocated Year 9 to study a selection of set texts from the GCSE curriculum to ensure that they acquire and develop the key skills that they will be tested in year 10 and 11. They skills that are explicitly taught across every topic are:  inference, analysis of language structure and form, the relationship between texts and contexts and technical accuracy.

Year 10: (AQA Literature and Language Specification – Language: 8700 and Literature: 8702)

Literary and Contemporary Non-Fiction GCSE set texts, Macbeth, An Inspector Calls, Conflict Poetry, A Christmas Carol, Examination Skills (GCSE Mock Exams)

Year 11: (AQA Literature and Language Specification - Language: 8700 and Literature: 8702)

In Year 11, students focus on the explicit examination skills for GCSE. Units include: Writing for Purpose and Audience; Creative Writing and Analytical Writing. These units will be underpinned by the study of the texts from Year 10 – which will also be revisited in preparation for GCSE Exams.

In English Language, students engage with texts from a variety of genres and time periods – both literary and non-fiction. They are expected to be able to identify and comment upon a writer’s intentions and purpose within a text – as well as being able to show a secure understanding of how to shape their own writing for effect.

In English Literature, students’ focus on studying literary conventions, linguistic analysis, critical interpretation and contextual knowledge. There is a specific focus on the set texts listed above. For the poetry examination, there is an unseen element, meaning students should develop the ability to read widely.

Drama:  AQA GCSE Drama 8261 (9-1). (QAN 601/8575/2) Year 11. The course is made up of three assessed components. In Year 11 students are formally examined on component 3 and 2. They complete a written exam for component 1 in the summer of Year 11:

Media Studies GCSE (AQA)

GCSE Media Studies engages students in the in depth study of media products in relation to the four areas of the theoretical framework: Media Language; Media Representation; Media Industries and Media Audiences.  Students are required to study media products from all of the following media forms:

• Audio-visual forms (TV, film, radio, advertising and marketing, video games and music video).

• Online forms (social and participatory media, video games, music video, newspapers, magazines, advertising and marketing).  

• Print forms (newspapers, magazines, advertising and marketing).

Students are required to closely study media products (CSPs) from all of the following media forms:

  • Television
  • Film
  • Radio
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Online, social and participatory media
  • Video games
  • Music video.

Students also study individual feature films in the context of cross-media study, which explores the convergence of media platforms and technologies, or in the context of the study of media industries.

The Non-examined assessment (NEA) element requires students to apply their knowledge and understanding of media language and representations to create a media product using one of the following forms: television; music video; radio; newspapers; magazines; advertising/marketing; online, social and participatory media; video games.


Year 12 and 13 (KS 5)


Year 12: (AQA English Literature B Specification – 7716)

In Year 12, students will study a range of texts including: King Lear, Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Death of a Salesman.

Year 13: (AQA English Literature B Specification – 7717)

Students will continue with the texts from Year 12 and will also study the following texts: The Kite Runner, The Handmaid’s Tale, Songs of Innocence and Experience. Students will also be required to produce a Non-examined assessment (NEA) portfolio based on TWO independently chosen texts and linked to the AQA Critical Anthology – one of which should be a substantive collection of poetry. These poems can be taken from several collections, however all text choices should be quality assured by the Director of Learning to ensure they meet the AQA criteria.

The aim of the course is to encourage students to further develop the critical analysis skills learned in KS4. They are expected to read widely around the set texts, particularly in Year 13, where this is a prerequisite for the NEA study. Students are expected to work independently and are encouraged to approach the study of each text from a critical and personal perspective. Students are expected to be comfortable with a range of texts – including Shakespeare and the Literary Heritage – and be able to articulate mature and cogent opinions on what they read.

Media Studies A Level (AQA)

Media Studies offers the chance to create and explore a wide range of forms across the three media platforms of broadcast, moving image, print and e-media. There is also the opportunity to debate contemporary topics such as representations of women, celebrity culture, the impact of digital media and censorship.

Media texts, concepts and contexts

• Platforms including e-media, broadcasting and print

Also practical skills relating to the media format of their choice

• Application of theory and analysis to a series of AQA prescribed close study products

• Cross media issues and debates

Also practical skills relating to the media format of their choice.

The wider issues of political, social, economic and historical contexts are also investigated.

Students are required to closely study media products (CSPs) from all of the following media forms:

  • Television
  • Film
  • Radio
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Online, social and participatory media
  • Video games
  • Music video.

Students also study individual feature films in the context of cross-media study, which explores the convergence of media platforms and technologies, or in the context of the study of media industries.

In addition to the broad coverage of all nine media forms, students also engage in the in depth study of at least one audio-visual, one print and one online, social and participatory media form. Each in depth study will link the specified media form to all four areas of the theoretical framework. Exam questions focus on the theoretical framework and contexts of the media but students will be expected to answer with reference to or analysis of relevant CSPs.

The Non-examined assessment (NEA) element requires students to apply their knowledge and understanding of media language and representations to create a media product using one of the following forms:

  • television
  • music video
  • radio
  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • advertising/marketing
  • online, social and participatory media
  • video games


We offer a range of extracurricular opportunities. These include, but are not exclusively limited to:

  • KS3 Transition Writing Competition. Winners to be announced in the first two weeks of the new term.
  • KS3 Readathon week planned for October 2019.
  • The Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge – an event which brings a professional speaking coach to The Academy to work with Year 10 students on their presentation skills.
  • Termly Writing Competitions giving students the opportunity to further develop the skills learned through their timetabled lessons.
  • Extra study sessions for KS4 students – these often take the form of a bespoke programme of activities linked to specific questions or skills in an examination. These sessions run on Wednesday for targeted students and those who wish to attend for extra support. Students are targeted as a result of Department assessment analysis.
  • Extra study sessions for KS4 Drama and Media students to support students in the build up to their practical assessments.
  • The Library is open at lunchtimes to encourage and facilitate reading for enjoyment.
  • Year 7 trip to the Globe theatre in early discussion stage.
  • Student leadership roles in the library.

The English Department regularly provides support to aid student progression. This can take the form of GCSE Master Classes in the run up to final examinations, to drop-in sessions to support younger students’ development. In KS5 a comprehensive array of support and enrichment activities have been offered – both during school hours and often at weekends.


GCSE Bitesize -

A fantastic site, where students can access material relating to both the Language and Literature aspects of the course.

English Biz –

A very useful website, on which students can access tutorials on how to write for specific purposes and audiences. There are also some handy tips on how to analyse a text successfully and breakdowns of several key texts.

Education Quizzes –

A range of English quizzes available – entertaining and educational.

Universal Teacher –

 Another useful website geared towards GCSE Literature revision.

Poetry Websites

Novel Websites

English Revision Websites

English - Simon Armitage - Homecoming

English - Simon Armitage - Mother Any Distance

English Reading List

READING KEY:  *  =  enjoyable reading    *****  =  enjoyable but challenging

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time* by Mark Haddon

A murdered dog, a 15-year-old boy, a broken family… leads to a very unusual detective adventure story with a twist. The 'detective' is a fifteen year-old youth who will capture your interest from page one. If you enjoy this, move on to Vernon God Little** by the curiously named DBC Pierre; this has been likened to the The Osbournes inviting The Simpsons round for root beer!

The Life of Pi** by Yann Martell

Yann Martell will tempt you to ponder big issues as you accompany an orangutan, zebra, tiger, and a sixteen-year-old Indian boy trapped in a lifeboat adrift on the Pacific Ocean… this is a wackily imaginative yet thought-provoking adventure story that is also, at times, rather gruesome and disturbing.

Do try Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees** if you enjoyed having your thoughts provoked by this author!

Lord of the Flies*** by William Golding

A plane crashes on a desert island; all adults are killed; a group of teenage boys are forced to survive alone...all hell breaks loose. A disturbing tale and a modern classic from one of our acknowledged best writers. If you enjoy this move on to Conrad’s Heart of Darkness****.

Brighton Rock**** by Graham Greene

Sunny Brighton as you’ve never known it: a subtle and dark view of life in violent gangland. A modern classic from one of the undoubted g-r-e-a-t-s of British mid-20th Century fiction. You might easily find yourself hooked on Greene's brilliant writing and want to try others from this same author - The Heart of the Matter****, The Quiet American**** or his acknowledged masterpiece, The Power and the Glory**** certainly won't disappoint.

The Godfather*** by Mario Puzo

A big, fast-paced story about the Corleone family and their mafia lifestyle. Exciting reading that grips and entertains. Make sure you see the three films, too – fantastic entertainment. If you liked reading this, try Puzo’s Omerta*** , another absolutely five-star crime story.

The Lovely Bones** by Alice Sebold

A murdered girl looks back on her family as they try to cope and uncover her murderer. Totally gripping! If you enjoy harrowing autobiographical stories you'll want to read this author's other popular novel, Lucky** - adult themes in both stories but both equally gripping and moving.

Fever Pitch* by Nick Hornby

A football obsessed bloke deals with relationships and life. Still a top seller. If you like this one, you’ll love Hornby’s other best seller, the “guy’s novel”, High Fidelity* .

Heart of Darkness**** by Joseph Conrad

A journey into darkest Africa and into the darkness of the human soul – a theme shared by Puzo’s The Godfather. This is an extraordinarily well written, subtle and sophisticated classic of English literature. When you’ve read it, be sure to see Apocalypse Now – a modern film based on Conrad’s classic tale.

If you like this level of subtlety and sophistication in your reading, you might also enjoy James Joyce’s The Dubliners**** – a classic and brilliant short story collection by Ireland’s top writer.

The Da Vinci Code*** by Dan Brown

A page-turning adventure story that will provide food for thought – not to everyone’s taste but a current best seller. Well plotted and with very short chapters make this a quick and easy read. If you like page-turners, you might also enjoy P J Tracy’s Want to Play .

(Un)arranged Marriage** by Bali Rai

Boy/parents culture clash but… no cheesy romance this. A top-rated first story from this young new author.
Don’t miss his Rani and Sukh*, too – a five-star recommended read.

Jane Eyre*** by Charlotte Bronte

One of the accepted classics of English Literature, Jane Eyre is the story of a young orphan girl and her life and search for love and happiness. Filmed for the big screen and TV several times but so much more satisfying as a book. If you enjoy this, you could try Villette*** , Bronte's darker, more mature later story.

Northern Lights*** by Philip Pullman

Do you enjoy a story with big themes to ponder over, all set within an enthralling quest for Good against Evil? This book – and the two others in the trilogy, The Subtle Knife*** and The Amber Spyglass*** are
three of the best selling books of recent years. Quality reading.

Great Expectations**** by Charles Dickens

Dickens is rated by many as England’s greatest novelist and this is often considered his best work. Written in the mid-nineteenth century, this is the tale of young Pip, an orphaned village boy and his extraordinary development into a proper gentleman. If you like Dickens’ wonderful characters and absorbing plots, you’ll surely also enjoy Dickens’ own favourite, the semi-autobiographical, David Copperfield**** .

How I Live Now** by Meg Rosoff

Set in today’s England, a New York girl – 15-year-old Daisy – copes with her wacky family, love and the outbreak of war in this teen/adult novel. A truly gutsy work of fiction well worth your time! If you enjoy "coming of age" novels like this, try the two most famous of them all, J D Salinger's Catcher in the Rye*** and Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar** .

The Great Gatsby*** by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Often called “The Great American Novel”, The Great Gatsby is set in 1920s New York; it captures the mood of the age to perfection. An acknowledged modern classic tale of wealth, power and loneliness. Move on to three other classic American stories, Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter**** , Stephen Crane’s short novel, The Red Badge of Courage** and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath** .

Pride and Prejudice**** by Jane Austen

The course of true love certainly does not run smooth for Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy in Austen’s most famous novel written at the end of the eighteenth century. Filmed several times, this is a tale of, erm… pride and erm… prejudice! If you enjoy Austen's writing and wry humour, try Sense and Sensibility**** , Emma**** and Northanger Abbey**** - this last one a tale with a fine, ironic gothic twist.

Daydreamer* by Ian McEwan

Weird and wonderful, this is fine imaginative writing from some say the top contemporary author. Surprisingly straightforward reading that you will not want to put down. If you become hooked, try one of McEwan's more
sophisticated yet still highly readable adult stories such as his outstanding Atonement*** .

Fahrenheit 451*** by Ray Bradbury

At exactly 451°F paper ignites. Books burn. And in this future society all books are burned. This is classic American sci-fi from one of their top writers. If you enjoy this - and you surely will! - try Bradbury's famous Martian short-story collection, the The Martian Chronicles** .

Wuthering Heights**** by Emily Bronte

A wild and darkly disturbing tale of passion leading to madness; written in the mid-nineteenth century and considered one of the greatest tales of English Literature.

The Colour of Magic** by Terry Pratchett

Zany, intelligent reading: a very funny and v-e-r-y weird story and the book that started the continuing and brilliant Discworld cult. A modern classic of its genre. If this hooks you into Discworld, you’ll have no trouble choosing your next book!

Chasing Redbird* by Sharon Creech

Teenage angst told in an utterly compelling tale by a well respected modern writer. An emotional yet deeply honest exploration of teenage issues. If you like this, you'll surely also enjoy Dear Nobody* by Berlie Docherty.

Dictionaries and Resources Websites