Head of Department - Mrs H. Tamburro

The English department is staffed by highly committed, specialist English teachers and a specialist English support teacher. The curriculum is structured as follows: a three year Key Stage 3 course (years 7-9) and a two year Key Stage 4 in which all pupils follow Edexcel’s GCSE English Language and English Literature courses.


The programmes of study at Key Stage 3 provide rich coverage of the National Curriculum. As the study of literature is central to pupils’ emotional, cultural, intellectual and spiritual development, high quality literary texts form the bedrock of Key Stage 3. They also form a springboard for ensuring pupils have the skills and knowledge to achieve their full potential at Key Stage 4 and beyond.

The English department seeks to promote high standards of language and literacy. Our aim is to encourage our pupils to become skilled and fluent in reading, writing and speaking. Pupils should read for knowledge and pleasure. As writers, pupils should become confident to produce clear, coherent writing for a range of audiences and purposes. An increased focus on the spoken word, speaking in a range of contexts and for a variety of purposes, allows pupils to develop a command of the English language which helps to underpin their reading and writing skills.


The constantly updated reading room provides a comfortable environment for pupils to pursue their own private reading.

Year 7 subject Learning Programme


I am learning

By the end of this topic I will be able to


The House with Chicken Legs:

  • Reading a complete fiction text


  • Make a personal response to the text
  • Understand how a writer presents and develops plot, character and setting
  • Write for a range of audiences/purposes


  • Studying a modern gothic novel
  • Develop the skills from the first half term
  • Focus on how a writer uses language to create particular effects
  • Develop a critical response to aspects of the novel


Creative writing

  • To develop a range of writing skills for description/narration, drawing on the two novels read in term 1
  • Analyse techniques used by writers to make a piece of writing effective
  • Produce a piece of imaginative writing in response to a stimulus, focusing on word choice, sentence structure and whole text cohesion.

Myths, legends and the story of English:

  • Introduction to Greek myths
  • Beowulf (Old English poem) and the development of the English language
  • Understand the significance of myths
  • Describe the development of the English language through the ages
  • Explain language variation


Shakespeare - The Tempest

  • Read and understand plot, character, setting and themes


  • Understand key contextual information
  • Describe the character of Caliban and his role in the play
  • Explain how context affects audience response to Caliban

Non-fiction study:

  • Comparison of two texts  - newspaper articles about the sinking of the Titanic and Costa Concordia
  • Identify similarities between texts
  • Select relevant information from a range of sources
  •  Draw on new vocabulary and grammatical constructions from their reading and listening, and use these to achieve particular effects
  • Use Standard English appropriately in a presentation


Year 8 subject Learning Programme


I am learning

By the end of this topic I will be able to


Novel – Trash

  • Study of a novel with an unusual narrative style
  • Respond critically to a text
  • Comment, with textual references and evidence for support, on character and themes 

Novel – Of Mice and Men

  • Study a classic novel in which an understanding of context is key
  • Recognise different interpretations of character
  • Understand the impact of context in responding to character


Playscript – Frankenstein

  • Study the plot, character and themes of the story of ‘Frankenstein’
  • Study supporting, thematically linked non-fiction texts


  • Respond personally and critically to a moral issue within a text
  • Link ideas raised by the author to modern scientific and moral issues and develop a personal viewpoint

Shakespeare - The Merchant of Venice

  • Study plot, character and themes
  • Understand the impact of context on the representation of Shylock.


  • Analyse how a character has been presented and how different audiences may react at different times in history.
  • Show an understanding of Shakespeare’s use of language.


Novel – The Bone Sparrow

  • Study the narrative voice, structure and characterisation in a modern novel.
  • Read supporting non-fiction texts on the subject of refugees and social segregation
  • Read poems that are thematically linked


  • Show an understanding of the themes explored in the novel
  • Draw on the techniques used in the fiction and non-fiction texts to produce high quality narrative and discursive writing

Edexcel English Literature

This is an interesting and challenging course which requires students to study eight literary texts.

  • Component 1: Drama   i)Shakespeare  ii) Other drama play
  • Component 2: Prose  iii)Pre-1900 prose fiction   iv) Prose fiction
  • Component 3: Poetry  v) Post-2000 specified poetry     vi) Specified poetry (pre or post-1900)
  • Non-examination assessment  vii) Chosen text  viii) Chosen text

During the course, students will be taught to articulate informed, personal and creative responses to literary texts, using associated concepts and terminology, and coherent, accurate written expression. They will be required to analyse the ways in which meanings are shaped and explore connections across literary texts Students will be taught to develop an understanding of the significance and influence of the contexts in which literary texts are written and received. They must also demonstrate a clear understanding that there is a range of interpretations of literary texts.

These skills will help students to develop the key critical, creative and analytical skills required both for progression to higher education and for enhanced employability.



OCR Media Studies


This is a contemporary, accessible and creative course This specification will allow learners to study the media in an academic context and apply the knowledge and understanding gained to the process of creating their own media productions.

OCR’s A Level in Media Studies is designed to widen the intellectual horizons of the learner through the analysis of both global and historical media. The course fosters the development of critical and reflective thinking to encourage engagement in the critical debates surrounding contemporary media.


Students study nine media forms and associated set products using a theoretical framework covering media language, media representations, media industries and media audiences. They also consider the social, cultural, economic, political and historical contexts of media products.

Component 01: Media messages

Students study news and online, social and participatory media in depth and learn about how media language is used to construct representations and meaning in a variety of set media products.

There are two sections:

  • In section A: News and online media, students carry out two linked in-depth studies that focus on contemporary news in the UK, requiring students to explore how and why newspapers and their online counterparts are evolving as media products and the relationship between both online and offline news.
  • In section B: Media language and representation, students focus on media language and representation and consider how meanings are constructed across different media forms. This covers advertising and marketing, magazines and music videos.


Component 02: Evolving media

Students consider how media industries are evolving and using technology to reach, target and address audiences through a variety of set media products. Students also consider the media language, representations and messages and values communicated by long-form television drama and how these dramas are produced and consumed globally.

There are two sections:

  • In section A: Media industries and audiences, students will explore media industries through film, video games and radio and audiences through video games and radio.
  • In section B: Long-form television drama, students carry out an in-depth study focusing on contemporary long form television dramas, one English language and one European (non-English language).


Component 03/04: Creating media

Students create a cross-media product for an intended audience in response to a set brief. This gives them the opportunity to work independently and develop expertise built from their study in components 01 and 02.

At Key Stage 3 GCSE level, a programme of targeted intervention supports pupils’ progress and ensures particular aspects of reading and writing are addressed appropriately for the individual student

The students have the opportunity to develop as independent readers. Reading for pleasure is actively encouraged through small group reading sessions in our reading room, where young people explore a novel in a group of around five. This approach provides an opportunity to discuss a text with others, communicating their own ideas and learning from the knowledge and ideas of other students in the group. Another advantage is that students explore the text together and can therefore support each other. This helps to take some of the stress out of reading and can build confidence, increasing a student's motivation to read.

We provide lunchtime reading clubs and the reading room is also available as a quiet, supervised space, where pupils can go to read in a relaxing atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the playground.

Trips and visits form an important part of the enrichment programme. For example: author presentations and writing workshops; theatre visits to local theatres and further afield, including the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Stratford-Upon-Avon; cinema visits to watch National Theatre Live and RSC performances, allowing students to access plays that would be otherwise unavailable to them; a visit to Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour.

In addition to specific websites and resources to which children will have access upon the advice and guidance of their teachers, the following websites provide useful and engaging support materials;