English is arguably the most important subject at High School. Like Maths it underpins many other subject areas and success in English is crucial to a student’s progress overall.

We believe that confidence is key in English and we aim to stress that English is a broad subject that means that students can always shine in some aspect of their studies - whether that is in speaking and listening activities or responding to short stories, novels, plays and poetry, or reacting to newspaper reports and articles, advertisements, persuasive leaflets, blogs and biography, or engaging in their own creative writing or perhaps analysing the moving image in film studies.

We aim to give our students the skills to be able to communicate well both orally and in writing and to be able to respond perceptively to the myriad of texts they will encounter in the digital age. We are passionate about literature and film and endeavour to inspire our students to a lifelong interest and enjoyment of narrative.

Results at both GCSE and A Level are excellent. 2015 results:
GCSE 71% A* - C. 81% of students making expected levels of progress.
A Level English Literature: Results in the top 10% nationally for third consecutive year.

All students will study for TWO GCSE courses: English Language and English Literature.

Literature texts will include Shakespeare, poetry from the 18th century as well as both 19th and 20th century novels and a modern drama text.

In English Language students will be prepared for examination papers that will require them to read and analyse a range of unseen fiction and non-fiction texts and to write for a variety of audiences and purposes. Speaking and Listening skills will also be developed using a wide range of activities including role play and drama.

GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature - first examination in 2017. Exam board: EDEXCEL

In English and Maths from 2017 students will be awarded a number instead of a grade. In English, these will correspond to existing A* - G grades as below:

  • Both English Language and English Literature are examined through end of course written examination papers.
  • All students are required to do both English Language and English Literature.
  • There is a single tier of entry.
  • Speaking and Listening is assessed separately and does not contribute to the number students are awarded in English Language.


GCSE English Language

Paper One Fiction and Imaginative Writing 1 hour 45 
Weighting :40% 
Section A Reading. 24 marks
Questions on an extract from Pre Twentieth Century Fiction 
Section B Writing 40 marks
One imaginative writing task. 
Total Marks: 64

Paper Two Non Fiction and Transactional Writing 2 Hours
Weighting :60%

Section A Reading 56 Marks
Questions on extracts from two Twentieth Century non -fiction extracts.
Section B Writing 40 Marks
One writing task to inform or persuade or explain. 
Total Marks: 96

GCSE English Literature

Paper One Shakespeare and Post 1914 Literature 
1 Hour 45 Minutes
Weighting 50% 
Section A Shakespeare
Two part question on Macbeth 40 Marks
Section B Post 1914 Literature
One question on An Inspector Calls 40 Marks

Total Marks: 80

Paper Two Nineteenth Century Novel and Poetry since 1789
2 Hours 15 Minutes
Weighting: 50%
Section A 
Two part question on A Christmas Carol 40 Marks 
Section B
One question on a studied poetry anthology. 20 Marks
One question comparing two unseen poems. 20 Marks

Total Marks: 80

Course Outline
Year 10

Autumn 1
Personal writing – transactional
Study of the moving image – Hitchcock’s Psycho. This is assessed by a piece of transactional writing – an article for a film magazine. This is practice for writing in English Paper Two.

Autumn 2 
Study of A Christmas Carol for Literature Paper Two

Spring 1
Focus on non-fiction 20th and 21st century short texts from an anthology of exam practice materials. This is practice for reading in English Paper Two.

Spring 2
Study of An Inspector Calls for Literature Paper One

Summer 1
Focus on 19th century fiction short texts from an anthology of exam practice materials. This is practice for reading in English Paper One.

Summer 2
Study of a poetry anthology of poems appearing on Literature Paper Two

Mock Examination

Course Outline
Year 11
Autumn 1
Study of Macbeth for Literature Paper One

Autumn 2
Practise in imaginative writing techniques for English Paper One
Practise in analysing unseen poetry texts for Literature Paper Two

Pre Public Examination

Spring 1
Exam preparation – practice questions – tips – exam techniques

Spring 2

Students will also be experiencing regular ‘Let’s Think in English’ lessons which aim to accelerate cognitive skills. These lessons are proved to improve examination performance.

Please encourage your sons and daughters to read as much as possible. Newspapers and magazines aimed at adult readers are helpful in preparation for the non-fiction texts on English Paper Two.

We will be creating lots of revision materials on the school network that can be accessed from home.

Please ask your sons and daughters about what they are doing in their English lessons and look out for homework assignments