Foundation Years

The Curriculum for Year 7 – 8 is designed to give students the opportunity to experience different Fiction and Non-Fiction texts as a foundation learning, whilst building on the key skills for both English Language and Literature which they will require later on as they progress further up the school. Year 7 and 8 provide a solid basis for studies; students study a range of texts including plays, poetry, and novels, analysing these as well as using them to support their own original writing.  The texts have been carefully chosen to cover a range of genre. The breath of study will enable students to develop the love for reading and writing.

Year 7

  • Baseline Assessment
  • Novel: Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol
  • Writing to persuade – Analysis of non-fiction and persuasive texts
  • Drama: William Shakespeare – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Literary non-fiction – Character and setting

Year 8

  • Gothic fiction
  • Poetry
  • Novel: George Orwell – Animal Farm
  • Drama: William Shakespeare – Much Ado About Nothing

Keystone Year

The intent is to expose students to a range of challenging texts from different eras, enabling them to develop the full range of skills for Language and Literature. They will move from studying whole texts, developing an understanding of concepts such as context, language, and structure, before applying these skills to a range of extracts, both fiction and non-fiction. Resilience will be developed through regular extended writing. The final term will build on students’ cultural capital, enriching their knowledge of eras, genres, and literary movements ahead of the GCSE curriculum.

  • Novel

Class choice of:

  • Lord of the Flies
  • The Woman in Black
  • Of Mice and Men
  • Heroes
  • Drama: William Shakespeare – Macbeth
  • Dystopian Fiction – Analysis of extracts from dystopian fiction texts
  • The Language of Journalism
  • Analysis of non-fiction extracts on sport, the environment and social issues.
  • Enrichment lectures – carousel of lessons that provide cultural capital and enrichment for GCSE topics


English Language

GCSE English Language is designed on the basis that students will read and be assessed on high quality, challenging texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Each text studied will represent a substantial piece of writing, making significant demands on students in terms of content, structure, and the quality of language. The texts, across a range of genres and types, will support students in developing their own writing by providing effective models. The texts will include literature and extended literary non-fiction, and other writing such as essays, reviews, and journalism (both printed and online).


 Paper 1 – 50%: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Section A: Reading – one literature fiction text Questions

Section B: Writing – Descriptive or Narrative Writing

Paper 2 – 50%: Writer’s Viewpoints and Perspectives

Section A: Reading – two linked texts – one non-fiction and one literary non-fiction

Section B: Writing – writing to present a viewpoint

English Literature

In studying the set texts students will have the opportunity to develop the following skills:

Critical reading: identifying the theme and distinguishing between themes; supporting a point of view by referring to evidence in the text; recognising the possibility of and evaluating different responses to a text; using understanding of writers’ social, historical and cultural contexts to inform evaluation; making an informed personal response that derives from analysis and evaluation of the text.

Producing clear and coherent text: writing effectively about literature for a range of purposes such as: to describe, explain, summarise, argue, analyse and evaluate; discussing and maintaining a point of view; selecting and emphasising key points; using relevant quotation and using detailed textual references; use accurate Standard English: accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Set Texts:

  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley
  • Anthology Power and Conflict Poetry
  • Unseen Poetry

A Level

A Level Language is a challenging course which revolves around exploring how meaning is constructed through words, semantics, and grammatical constructions. Students develop an in-depth knowledge of the English Language and its components and use this to analyse non-fiction texts from up to 500 years ago. The course includes the study of language change and child language acquisition as well as exploring issues related to language and gender and language in the media. Students produce investigations into language that interests them, collecting their own data from current and real-life sources. There are also many opportunities for the creation of their own texts, both from fiction and non-fiction genres.  The course is backed up with many visits to the British Library and Language conferences to encourage a wider engagement with English Language.

Component 1 – Language Concepts and Issues

  • Section A: Analysis of Spoken Language
  • Section B: Language issues

Component 2- Language Change Over Time

  • Section A: Language Change Over Time
  • Section B: English in the twenty-first century

Component 3 – Creative and Critical Use of Language

Component 4 – Language and Identity

The non-exam assessment offers opportunity to explore an aspect of Language and Identity – bringing together the different areas of language study in an extended consideration of data collected.

The Language Investigation:

  • enables independent and sustained studies into an aspect of language and identity
  • encourages hypothesise a theory in relation to language and gender; to gather data to support the investigation; to interrogate data and to reflect on the findings of the investigation
  • encourages the use of appropriate linguistic theory to inform study
  • develops independent judgements in considering to findings and others’ views of language use and, in turn, develops confidence in rejecting or confirming views based on analysis of evidence
  • develops skills related to planning, drafting, and editing
  • requires an academic style writing


A Level English Literature A (AQA)

Year 12 and 13

English Literature A encourages students to explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts within which they are written, received, and understood. Studying texts within a shared context enables students to investigate and connect them, drawing out patterns of similarity and difference using a variety of reading strategies and perspectives.


The aim of this topic area is to encourage students to explore aspects of a central literary theme as seen over time, using unseen material, and set texts. Students should be prepared for Love through the ages by reading widely in the topic area, reading texts from a range of authors and times.


  • The four Shakespeare plays on offer allow students to study Shakespeare’s representations of love in a range of different dramatic genres: tragedy, comedy, problem play or late play.
  • The AQA anthologies of love poetry through the ages allow students to encounter a range of different types of poem as they study representations of love over time.
  • The range of comparative prose texts on offer allows students to study representations of love by a variety of authors across time.
  • Students will study four texts: one Shakespeare play, one poetry anthology and two prose texts. They will also respond to an unseen prose extract in the exam.


Paper One: Love through the ages


  • Section A: Shakespeare – Othello
  • Section B: Unseen poetry and Prose
  • Section C: Comparing texts: The Great Gatsby and Pre-1900 Poetry


Paper Two: Texts in shared contexts


Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day.

  • Section A: Set texts. One essay question on set text

Poetry: Carol Ann Duffy – Feminine Gospel (post 2000)

  • Section B: Contextual linking

Drama: Tennessee Williams – A Streetcar Named Desire

Prose: Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale

  • Non-exam assessment (NEA): Independent critical study: texts across time
  • Comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900
  • One extended essay (2500 words)

A Level from September 2021


Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society

Section A – Textual Variations and Representations

Section B – Children’s Language Development


Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change

Section A – Diversity and Change

Section B – Language Discourses


Non-exam assessment: Language in Action

  • Language Investigation
  • Original Writing
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities

The aim to explore and analyse language data independently and develop and reflect upon writing expertise. It requires  out two different kinds of individual research:

  • a language investigation (2,000 words excluding data)
  • a piece of original writing and commentary (750 words each).