Curriculum Intent

In English our aim is to

  • deliver knowledge rich lessons, and events, on high quality, heritage texts that continue to influence British culture and cultures around the world.
  • provide reading for pleasure opportunities that engage our students, develop the habit of reading, and enable them to understand diverse voices, ideas and perspectives as well as their own.
  • nurture creative, critical and accurate writers through our inspirational, robust writing curriculum and extra-curricular clubs.
  • create considerate, word-precise, skillful speakers in a variety of formal and informal situations.
  • develop intelligent, articulate, word-rich readers, writers and speakers.
  • foster reflective, resilient students who can identify their own strengths, weaknesses, and strive to make improvements.

Our mission is to enable all our students to flourish. At the end of KS3, students will graduate as confident and literate readers.  They will graduate as critical thinkers and accurate writers in preparation for their continued study of texts at KS4 and KS5.  They will leave school more developed culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially, morally, and spiritually, and prepared to read the world around them.

The study of the English Literary canon – high quality, high culture, highly influential texts – is at the heart of our curriculum throughout the key stages.  We explore the defining messages of these texts, consider the influences upon them through the study of socio historical context, and consolidate knowledge, and appreciation, of each writer’s craft and its influence on meaning.  Moreover, we use this study to stimulate a range of spoken English activities through which our students develop as individuals who can speak intelligently about texts, topics and issues that exist in the world around them.  We aim to create confident, articulate, critical, thinkers and writers who have the tools to question a text so that we are not only providing them with an invaluable skill set for modern world but also we are providing them with the cultural capital by which they can understand it and question it, and their place in it, more profoundly.

In KS3, building on their skills and knowledge from KS2, our students study grammar and writing in isolation.  We ensure that they gain the foundational knowledge from which creativity can emerge.  We also strive for them to write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length.  Furthermore, we explicitly teach vocabulary to make better readers and writers. Our approach makes certain that working memory is not overloaded and helps students transfer knowledge to their long-term memories.  Our students continue to use these skills and the knowledge accumulated, and build upon them, implicitly throughout KS4 and KS5.

Starting in KS3, we ensure that curriculum time is set aside to foster and support our students’ pursuit of reading for pleasure.  We know that reading for pleasure is a key determiner for future academic success.  However, we also know that reading by choice can have the power to change our students’ lives for the better by introducing them to familiar and new experiences, familiar and new perspectives that can comfort, inspire, inform, and enable.

Our curriculum goes beyond the classroom.  We offer a range of clubs that support students with their reading, writing and speaking.  We also generate opportunities for students to enter competitions and have their work published so that their independence, individuality and creativity is recognised.  In addition, we invite in speakers and performers, take students out to relevant events, lectures and workshops to challenge and develop them. We want our students to aspire, we want them to endeavour, we want them to achieve their personal best and, for the sake of a successful future, we want them to feel the pleasure of doing so.

Curriculum Structure (Overview)

KS3 Overview:

In KS3, students follow the English Mastery curriculum which focuses on reading broadly for pleasure and information, writing accurately and speaking in order to learn, elaborate and explain.  For homework, they work through the Bedrock vocabulary curriculum to expand their knowledge and understanding of written and spoken communication.


Each year, students will read, and explore, poetry, prose and drama from the canon of English literature that has influenced both British and cultures around the world.  They will also read texts that are more diverse in character, country of origin and the culture being represented. They will do this to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage as well as encourage reading for pleasure.  As they progress through KS3, the texts will become more challenging and complex to suit their growing awareness of the world around them.


 Year 7Year 8Year 9
Heritage TextsProse: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens


Drama: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Poetry: including Alfred Lord Tennyson and William Blake

Prose:  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle


Drama:  The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Poetry: including Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney

Prose: Jane Eyre by Jane Austen


Animal Farm by George Orwell

Drama: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Poetry: including Geoffrey Chaucer and W.H. Auden




Ancient Tales from Around the World


The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Ancient Tales from Around the World


Poems by Grace Nichols and Emily Dickenson

In the Sea there are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda and Enaiatollah Akbari

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor


Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Non Fiction  Reading non-fiction.


19th and 21st century editorials, letters, articles, and travel writing


Each year, students will build on their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar so that they can write skillfully and accurately for a range of contexts.  This learning will take place during Mastery Writing lessons as well as lessons that focus on responses to the text being studied.

 Year 7Year 8Year 9
WritingComposing a topic sentence; the subject; subject / verb agreement; the past simple tense; Using evidence; pronoun ambiguity; prepositional phrases; run-on sentences; punctuating speech; narrative structures; Writing about unseen texts; temporal clauses; paragraphing and avoiding fragmentsDiscourse markers; linking paragraphs; complex sentences; correcting fragments; independent clauses Closed book analysis; composing a balanced argument; subordinate clauses; correcting comma splices. Descriptive writing; extended metaphor; writing character; describing settings; Chekhov’s Gun; horror, romance, adventure, fantasy and poetic justiceapostrophe of omission; the apostrophe; past perfect continuous; countable and uncountable nouns; future perfect simple. Persuasive writing; Sustaining a thesis; structuring a thesis; future perfect continuous; defining relative clauses; non-defining relative clauses Comparing texts; thesis and antithesis; chronological and non-chronological composition; 2nd conditional and 3rd conditional



villains and victims; vulnerable; corrupt; naïve; orphan; moral    soliloquy, severe, conflict, unrequited love, to mock, chaos, metaphor, literal language, metaphorical language, tenor, vehicle and  groundto enlighten, deduction, scandal, periodical, introspective, dual nature, observation, colonialism, to usurp, tempest, treason, callous, pathos, nurture, tragicomedy, allegory, tyrant, rebellion, harvest, propaganda, cult of personality, treacherous and authorial intentdependent, to oppress, juxtaposition, thesis, to humiliate, hypocrite, comeuppance   tragic, prologue, sonnet, feud, status quo, obstacle, hyperbole, tragic flaw, exile, foreshadow, catastrophe, extended metaphor, epic poetry and procrastinate


Knowledge Banks: KS3

KS4 Overview:

 In KS4, students are preparing for two GCSEs:  English Literature and English Language.  The examination board for both GCSEs is AQA.   Our students will be building on the solid foundation of knowledge and skills developed in KS3 so that they are ready to respond to key questions on the art and meaning of fiction and non-fiction texts. In addition, they will write compelling texts of their own.

GCSETextsExam Structure
English LiteratureProse: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson


Drama: Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Poetry: including William Blake, John Agard and Imtiaz Dharker

Unseen Poem.

Students will be expected to write an extended response to the texts studied that explores the art and meaning of the text as a whole.  They will also be expected to explore the art and meaning of a previously unseen poem.
English LanguageWriting to Describe and Narrate


Writing to Persuade

Reading an unseen Fiction text

Reading two unseen Non Fiction texts from the 19th and 21st Century

Students will be expected to write two original texts of their own: one descriptive and one persuasive.  They will also be expected to comment on the art and meaning of previously unseen fiction and unseen non-fiction texts.

Knowledge Banks: KS4

KS5 Overview:

In KS5, students are preparing for A Level English Literature. The examination board is Eduqas.  Our students will be developing their interest in, and enjoyment of, literature and literary studies.  They are expected to read widely and independently both set texts and others that they have selected for themselves.  They will engage critically and creatively with a substantial body of texts and ways of responding to them as well as developing, and effectively applying, their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation in fluent, well expressed, written responses.

A LevelTextsExam Structure
English LiteratureProse: Student Choice


Drama: Hamlet by William Shakespeare; The Revenger’s Tragedy by Thomas Middleton and Loot by Joe Orton

Poetry: Christina Rossetti, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath

Unseen Poetry

Unseen Prose

Students will be expected to write an extended response to the texts studied – Drama and Poetry – that explores the art and meaning of the text as a whole.  They will also be expected to explore the art and meaning of a previously unseen poem and previously unseen prose.  For the student’s choice of prose, their final written work will be internally assessed and they will not have to sit an exam for this component.

Knowledge Banks: KS5