English

Our Vision

English is an exciting subject because it celebrates the breadth of the human imagination and the extraordinary power of language. The aim of our department is to take students on a journey to develop their love and knowledge of powerful written and spoken texts. We do this through teaching the works of a diverse range of writers from different times and cultures.

The English Department also looks to develop this love and knowledge of language by inviting students to take part in a wide range of extracurricular activities. These include the Rotary Youth Speaks Competition, the Young Writer Competition, Poetry By Heart, BBC Radio 2 500 Words Competition and the GCSE Poetry Live Simon Powell Poetry Prize. We also invite students to attend our Film Club on Tuesdays and our Creative Writing Club on Thursdays.

You can follow the activities of the English Department on our Instagram account.

Key Stage 3

In Year 7, as students enter the new world of secondary school, we aim to ignite their imagination by exploring classic and modern texts set in other worlds and cultures. These texts include The Hobbit, Alice in Wonderland, King of Shadows and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In doing so, we teach:

  • The skills of creative writing.
  • Knowledge of how writers can use language, structure and form to entertain, inform and persuade.

In Year 8, we move on to develop a richer knowledge of identity, diversity and otherness in fiction and non-fiction texts from a range of periods. These texts include poetry from Amnesty International’s Words That Burn initiative, The Tempest, Of Mice and Men, William Bligh’s account of the Mutiny on the Bounty and works written by Charles Dickens and Dorothy Wordsworth. In doing so, we teach:

  • The art of writing from a viewpoint.
  • How different viewpoints can be expressed persuasively in both written and spoken forms.

In Year 9, we seek to foster an understanding through fiction and non-fiction texts of how ideas of power and conflict have shaped a turbulent world. These texts include the poetry of Ted Hughes and Carol Ann Duffy, War of the Worlds, An Inspector Calls and the rhetoric of conflict to be found in speeches from Henry V, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King and Colonel Tim Collins. In doing so, we teach:

  • The art of writing in different forms for different purposes and audiences.
  • How language can assert ideologies of power, portray human frailty and evoke empathy.
Key Stage 4

In Years 10 and 11, we continue our journey begun at Key Stage 3 and build on the knowledge students have already acquired. In doing so, we teach students so they deepen their knowledge of how different kinds of power and conflict have been explored through texts from across different time periods.

At GCSE, there are ten mixed ability teaching groups following the AQA GCSE specifications in English Language and English Literature (8700 and 8702). Students study for both these qualifications across 8 lessons per fortnight. GCSE English Language and English Literature specifications both have one tier of entry and are assessed entirely by written examination at the end of the course.

For English Language GCSE, students study a variety of high quality fiction and non-fiction writing across a range of text types from the past and present:

  • Fiction
  • Literary non-fiction
  • Descriptive writing
  • Narrative writing

Speaking and listening skills are assessed in this specification but are accredited through a separate qualification.

Click here to view details of the AQA GCSE English Literature specification.

For English Literature GCSE, students study a range of high quality literary texts from the past and present, including:

  • Poetry (from the AQA Poetry Anthology power and conflict cluster and unseen poetry)
  • A Shakespeare play (Macbeth)
  • A 19th century text (The Sign of Four)
  • A modern text (Lord of the Flies)

Click here to view details of the AQA GCSE English Literature specification.

Key Stage 5

At A level, the English department offers highly successful courses in English Literature and in Film Studies.

English Literature

Students follow the OCR English Literature syllabus (H472).

Students complete three components

  • Shakespeare and pre-1900 poetry and drama
  • Prose texts organised by theme e.g. American Literature, Gothic Literature, Dystopian Literature, Post-colonial Literature
  • There is also a non-examined assessment (NEA) which is worth 20% of the final qualification. The NEA allows students to produce their own creative writing as well as an independent study of contemporary literature across all three genres.

Click here to view the A level English Literature specification.

Film Studies

The Film Studies group follows the OCR (H410) A Level Film Studies specification.

Students complete three components:

  • Film History (study of films from three periods in 20th century US film history; study films from two major European film movements)
  • Critical Approaches (study of contemporary British and contemporary US film; study of documentary; study of non-European, non-English language film; study of US independent film)
  • The non-examined assessment (NEA) gives students the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skills through the production of a 5-minute short film or a 10-minute screenplay.

Click here to view the A Level Film Studies specification.

Staff members

Mr J Jones
Head of English

Miss J Campion
Key Stage Five Co-ordinator

Mrs N Gallivan
Key Stage Four Co-ordinator

Mrs K McAllister
Key Stage Three Co-ordinator; in charge of Film Studies

Mrs E Cornish

Mrs J Daniel

Ms C Griffiths


Mrs L Hanford


Miss K John


Mrs V King


Mr A Morgan

Mrs N Watson

Mrs C Welch
Specialist Subject Teaching Assistant

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