Welcome to English

English 3

English VCOP Placemat


English Curriculum Intent


The English Department is a high achieving department which prides itself on consistently high standards, achieving some of the best results in York. It is a creative and supportive team whose aim is to ensure that all students receive the best possible education from teachers with a real passion and expertise in their subject. Teachers genuinely care about their students who appreciate the department’s ‘open door’ culture and the extra time and support consistently offered.
Students are consistently encouraged to challenge themselves and take a creative approach to their learning through the well developed and diverse programmes of study at all Key Stages. The department aims to set suitable learning challenges for all students, personalizing the curriculum to overcome potential learning barriers. Examinations are approached both with confidence and rigour, equipping students with the skills needed both to achieve and for life!

Above all, we seek to make every student’s experience of English Language and Literature one that is rewarding, passing on a legacy that will instil a life-long love of reading.

Main Programmes of Study


Key Stage 3

Students are assessed through a variety of reading, writing and speaking and listening tasks to build up a portfolio of their progress, they are also examined using unseen examinations at the end of each year in line with GCSE style examinations:

Year 7
Unit 1 - The Gothic
Unit 2 - Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream
Unit 3 - Exploring the World through Literature

Year 8
Unit 1 - Victorian Lives
Unit 2 - Dramatic Literature
Unit 3 - Exploring Conflict

Year 9
Unit 1 - Texts from other Cultures
Unit 2 - Shakespeare's The Tempest
Unit 3 - Alternative Worlds

Key Stage 4

Students are entered for two qualifications: English Language and English Literature, resulting in two GCSEs at the end of Year 11, based on two AQA examinations:

English Language 

Paper One: Creative Reading: Literature fiction text, Creative Reading; Descriptive and Narrative writing
Paper Two: Reading non-fiction and literary non-fiction; Writing to present a viewpoint
Speaking and Listening: Students are assessed on their ability to present, respond to questions and their use of Standard English. This is a separate endorsement to the GCSE itself.

English Literature 

Paper One: Shakespeare's Macbeth The 19th Century Novel - either A Christmas Carol or Jekyll and Hyde
Paper Two: Modern Texts - An Inspector Calls or Blood Brothers Poetry - comparative question addressing one unseen poem and one poem from a pre-studied anthology; Unseen Poetry - comparison of two unseen poems. 

Key Stage 5

A Level

English Literature
All students will be entered for the AS level at the end of Year 12 as part of their preparation for the A level. This study covers the same texts listed below (AQA Specification B).

Paper One – Literary Genres Aspects of Tragedy: Othello, Selection of Keats’ poetry, Death of a Salesman and Tess of the D’Urbervilles (students can choose between Keats and Tess in the exam).

Paper Two – Texts and Genres Elements of Political and Social Protest Writing: The Handmaid’s Tale, Songs of Innocence and Experience and The Kite Runner.
Coursework Theory and Independence Study of two texts, one poetry and one prose, of students’ own choice informed by AQA Critical Anthology. Two essays of 1250-1500 words.

English Language
All students will be entered for the AS level at the end of Yr12 as part of their preparation for the A level. This study covers the same topics listed below (AQA).

Paper One – Language, the Individual and Society - Textual variations and representations - Children’s language development (0-11 years) Methods of language analysis woven into the above.

Paper Two – Language Diversity and Change - Language diversity and change - Language discourses - Writing skills Methods of language analysis are woven into the above. 
Coursework Language in Action Two pieces of writing 3500 words altogether:
1. A language investigation – 2000 words
2. A piece of original writing and commentary – 1500 words

Extra Curricular


Our KS3 students can take part in a Lunchtime Creative Writing Club, we have Lexia and Wordshark Clubs (Intervention groups), and students are encouraged to participate in creative writing, reading and poetry competitions. 


Selected KS4 students are offered our English Surgery (Intervention – Tuesday lunchtimes), all KS4 students are encouraged to participate in theatre trips, creative writing and poetry competitions. 


KS5 students are offered theatre trips, visit to Haworth (Bronte Parsonage) Book Clubs, creative writing and poetry competitions.