The skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are of vital importance.  Not only are they essential in many careers, they also underpin successful study at all levels, and a proficiency in them can also add immeasurably to an individual’s general quality of life.  The English courses at all Key Stages are designed to aid and support such development, and to encourage learners to be inspired by following a broad and coherent course of study.  The English Department also values extra-curricular activities and offers a range of enriching opportunities to develop pupils’ creative interests.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 learners build on the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired at Key Stage 2.  Learners’ progress is developed within an integrated and stimulating programme of speaking, listening, reading and writing.  Oral activities ensure the development and extension of learners’ abilities as listeners, viewers and speakers.  They read widely for pleasure, interest and information and to develop and articulate an informed personal opinion about their reading.  They are able to respond to the content and style of texts, discussing a varied selection of literature, information and media texts.  Learners write in a range of forms and styles, adjusting their language to suit purpose and audience, using an appropriate level of formality.  They work with increasing accuracy and become reflective and evaluative in relation to their own and others’ achievements. Common assessment tasks are completed termly to monitor the progress of individuals.

Key Stage 4

All pupils are entered for GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.  This is an excellent opportunity to gain two GCSEs from study in the same subject area.  The English Literature course requires that students become critical readers of prose, poetry and drama.  A range of periods and styles of writing will be studied by all pupils.

English Language:

Unit 1:  Examination – 30% – Reading of unseen prose text and one imaginative writing task.

Unit 2:  Examination – 30% – Reading of instructional/explanatory/persuasive media texts and one explanatory or persuasive writing task.

Unit 3:  Controlled Assessment – 20% – One reading and one writing task.

Unit 4:  Controlled Assessment – 20% – Speaking and Listening, to include group discussion and an individual presentation.

English Literature:

Unit 1:  Examination – 35% – Study of ‘different cultures’ prose text and unseen poetry.

Unit 2:  Examination – 40% – Study of a prose text and a drama text.

Unit 3:  Controlled Assessment – 25% – Study of a Shakespeare play and various poems.

Pupils will be entered, according to ability, for either:

Higher Tier  Grades A*- C

Foundation Tier  Grades C  – G

AS/A Level English Language and Literature

Gaining an AS/A level in English Language and Literature will enhance students’ knowledge of the literary heritage and enable students to develop excellent communication skills. The study of English Language and Literature will complement further education and employment. The course is demanding, interesting and very rewarding and is taught by subject specialists.

• The course will develop the ability to write clearly and effectively when analysing both fiction and non-fiction texts;

• Students will be given opportunities to produce their own creative and transactional writing;

• Students will study language elements closely, including the analysis of spoken texts and parts of speech, grammar, etc.

The WJEC specification for AS and A level is offered to Sixth Form entrants.  There are two modules of study in each year:


Module LL1 – Critical Reading of Literary and Non-Literary Texts (examination)

Section A – Poetry pre-1900 (anthology) and analysis of unseen text

Section B – Prose – Study of The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

Module LL2 – Internal Assessment

3 written tasks:    a) Creative Writing (linked to your choice of independent reading); b)  Transactional Writing; c) Written commentary in which you analyse your own writing approaches.


Module LL3 – Internal Assessment

a) Dramatic texts in context – Study of King Lear by William Shakespeare and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller;

b) Written tasks – two original scripts for performance and a written evaluation of your approaches and style.

Module LL4 – Comparative Textual Analysis and Review (examination)

Section A – Analysis of unseen fiction and non-fiction texts;

Section B – Study of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and a range of independent reading texts.

Take up requirements:

It is recommended that students have at least a Grade C in English and English Literature at GCSE.

N.B.  The texts listed for study are provisional and may change subject to decisions made by the class teacher.