KS3 Programme of Learning

In English, we design a dual-focused curriculum for learners in Cohorts 7 and 8. By using this approach, we aim to develop the skills necessary for effective and purposeful learning alongside subject specific skills.

Throughout the year, learners’ interest is ignited by a variety of ignition points which evoke their curiosity in the chosen English topic. Topics such as: Survivor, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, An Introduction to Shakespeare and Gothic Literature are covered. This ignition is then followed by an in-depth study of a key text and/or key skills. Over the two-year programme learners experience a range of texts which include plays, poems and novels as well as non-fiction and media.

Learners are provided with the opportunity to read and write creatively in a range of contexts that allow them to use their imaginations, develop arguments and write and speak both informatively and analytically.

After each topic, learners have the opportunity to reflect on their learning throughout that study period. This enables them to develop an awareness and an appreciation of where their strengths lie and where their greatest capacities for growth are, thus enabling them to focus on improving these throughout the next topic.

GCSE Course Structure

Cohorts 9-11


Learners commence their English Language and Literature GCSEs in Cohort 9. They will study a variety of literature including prose and poetry as well as cultivating their own skills in creative writing. They will also develop their skills of analysis through the study of a variety of non-fiction texts. In addition, they will work on the technical aspects of English, such as spelling, punctuation and grammar, throughout the whole course.

English Language GCSE


For English Language there are three main areas that have been the focus of study throughout: reading, writing and speaking & listening. Both exams test skills of reading and writing.

Paper 1, explorations in creative reading and writing, assesses learners’ ability to analyse a literature fiction text. Learners will use skills such as identifying explicit and implicit information; selecting and synthesising information; analysing language and structure and evaluating texts generally. It then asks learners to write to describe or narrate, based on a specific stimulus, and assesses their ability to write to purpose as well as their technical accuracy.

Paper 2, writers’ viewpoints and perspectives, assesses learners’ ability to comment on and analyse non-fiction texts. Learners will use skills such as identifying explicit and implicit information; selecting and synthesising information; analysing language and structure and comparing writers’ ideas and perspectives. It then asks learners to write to present a viewpoint, and assesses their ability to write to purpose as well as their technical accuracy.

The development of speaking and listening skills underpin understanding of other elements of the two courses – for example poetry or the way a particular character is presented in a novel. A final speaking and listening assessment will occur in the three years and this will require a short individual speech to an audience followed by a discussion of chosen topic. This assessment no longer forms part of the GCSE course but is assessed as a separate qualification.

English Literature GCSE


There are two examinations for English Literature. Paper 1 – Shakespeare and the 19th Century novel and Paper 2 – Modern Texts and Poetry

Paper 1 is worth 40% of the whole GCSE. Learners will study the play ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare and ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.

Paper 2 is worth 60% of the whole GCSE. Learners will study the play ‘An Inspector Calls’ by JB Priestley and the ‘Power and Conflict’ cluster in the poetry anthology. Learners will also have to answer a section on unseen poems.

They are assessed across the two papers on their demonstration of skills such as literal and inferential comprehension; critical reading; evaluation of a writer’s choice of vocabulary, grammatical and structural features; comparing texts as well as writing with a high level of technical accuracy.



In 2017 71% of our young people secured 9-4 grade in English Language. For English Literature our results were 72%.



The English Team closely monitor progress and make the necessary interventions to help all learners succeed. One of these interventions is ‘My Learning Choices’. This offers invaluable 1:1 subject specialist support and is often used to help learners with individual areas of development. In addition, we run a GCSE weekly English club on a Tuesday from 3.20 -4.20 and on a Wednesday from 3-4pm.


Approach to Independent Study

Independent study is personalised and designed by individual facilitators to best suit the learners that they teach. It will vary from the further study of a concept uncovered in a learning session, independent research or the honing of reading and writing skills. It will take a variety of formats and will be varied to ensure the development of all skills.

Resources to support learning

As learners progress through their year, teachers will regularly distribute lesson resources, key revision packs and English texts via email. These are electronically saved on to learners’ iPads in a dedicated area.  In addition, learner reception offers GCSE revision packs for past papers in GCSE English Language and Literature.

Recommended websites to assist with independent learning also include:








To view our Course Guides by Cohort click here