Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, students study a wide range of challenging texts in preparation for the AQA GCSE qualifications in English Language and English Literature.

Course aims:

We have designed units of learning that enable students to learn and develop the core GCSE skills in low-risk settings, in the first instance. The challenge of the texts and the level of independence expected is gradually increased to ensure that students feel supported throughout their learning journey.

Course description:

Students study three units of learning, one in each school term.

Year 7

  • William Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’.
  • Novel openings and closings from 19th, 20th and 21st century literature.
  • Animal poetry and conservation.

Year 8

  • Philip Pullman’s adapted play of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’.
  • John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’.
  • Heroes and Villains in literature.

Year 9

  • ‘Conflict’: An introduction to the ‘Power and Conflict’ war poems from the AQA anthology.
  • William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’.
  • AQA Spoken Language NEA: Students will plan, practise and deliver a 3-4 minute presentation which will be followed by their responses to a series of questions from the audience.

Assessment information:

Within each unit of learning, students will be assessed on their progress in relation to the GCSE mark schemes for both English Language and English Literature. We build in opportunities for students to complete a warm-up assessment or mini assessment before the final assessment so that they have a chance to make mistakes and learn from these, accordingly.

Key stage 4

AQA English Language

Course aims:

AQA’s assessments have been designed to inspire and motivate students, providing appropriate stretch and challenge whilst ensuring, as far as possible, that the assessment and texts are accessible to the full range of students.

The specification will enable students of all abilities to develop the skills they need to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts covering the 19th, 20th and 21st century time periods as well as to write clearly, coherently and accurately using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures

Course description:

The specification offers the attraction of two equally-balanced papers, relating reading sources to the topic and theme of writing tasks. The reading sources act as stimulus for writing tasks, providing students with a clear route through each paper.

Each paper has a distinct identity to better support high quality provision and engaging teaching and learning. Paper 1, Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing, looks at how writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to engage the interest of readers. Paper 2, Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives, looks at how different writers present a similar topic over time.

AQA’s approach to spoken language (previously speaking and listening) emphasises the importance of the wider benefits that speaking and listening skills have for students.

Assessment information:

Students will complete mock exams during the scheduled mock weeks in both Year 10 and Year 11. They will also complete additional mini mocks during their lessons to develop their ability to work independently and under timed conditions. 

AQA English Literature

Course aims:

AQA have designed a specification to inspire, challenge and motivate every student, no matter what their level of ability. The exams are untiered and closed book, with extract-based questions in the assessment of the 19th-century novel (‘Jekyll and Hyde’) and the Shakespeare play (‘Macbeth’).

Course description:

We currently study the following texts:

  • Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde’.
  • William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’.
  • J.B. Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls’
  • The cluster of ‘Power and Conflict’ poems in the AQA anthology.

Assessment information

Students will complete mock exams during the scheduled mock weeks in both Year 10 and Year 11. They will also complete additional mini mocks during their lessons to develop their ability to work independently, under timed conditions.

Key Stage 5

English Language


Whether you are chatting to a friend, flicking through a magazine or simply sending somebody a text message, you are using the English language. Depending on the context, we all adapt our language choices to fit the purpose and audience. Become a ‘Language Detective’ and forensically analyse the intricacies of our glorious language!

Grade 4 or above in GCSE English Language.

• A variety of spoken and written texts from a range of contexts.
• Texts from 1500 to present day.
• How technology influences and changes our language.
• How to produce written texts for a variety of purposes and audiences.
• How to critically evaluate your own writing.

• Independently investigate language.
• Develop the skills required to produce a variety of texts.
• Apply linguistic terminology with precision, including: phonetics, grammar and syntax.
• Apply and explore challenging linguistic theories.

There are three exams, taken at the end of Year 13
• Paper 1 Analysis of Spoken Language & Language Issues: 2 hours, 30% of final grade.
• Paper 2: Language Change over Time & English in the Twenty-First Century: 2 hours 15 minutes, 30% of final grade.
• Paper 3: Creative writing: 1 hour 45 minutes, 20% of final grade.

There is a Language Investigation: a 2500-3500 word project that is based on a topic linked to ‘Language and Identity’, 20% of final grade


Students go on to pursue careers in Teaching, Marketing, Public Relations, Publishing, Journalism, Media, Management and many other areas.

This course requires you to learn a huge range of new linguistic terms very quickly and the content is very different to GCSE English Language. It is recommended that you attend the Sixth Form taster sessions and speak to the Key Stage 5 Coordinator to ensure that you understand what the course entails.

English Literature


Reading literature enables us to understand ourselves, our culture, our histories, and the culture and histories of others. Since the beginning of time, before printing presses and even paper, stories have enabled us to make sense of the world in which we live and provided entertainment, inspiration and enlightenment ever since.

English Literature is the study of these stories and the writers behind them.

During your A Level you will develop the analytical and critical thinking skills introduced at GCSE. The course will also introduce you to a variety of challenging and respected literature that will broaden your reading horizons. Recently students have also had opportunities to watch theatre performances, enter competitions and have sessions delivered by university lecturers.

During lessons you will be encouraged to: engage in lively discussion enabling you to explore and challenge a range of interpretations; think creatively and write academically.

English Literature A Level is a facilitating subject for Russell Group universities and is generally highly respected by both universities and employers due to the excellent analytical, critical, creative and evaluative skills our students develop.

Grade 4 or above in GCSE English Literature.

A range of texts from a spectrum of plays, poems and prose.

• Develop an evaluative and creative approach to the study of a range of texts.
• Develop oral and written debating skills.

• Paper 1: Literary genres & aspects of tragedy: 2 hours 30 minutes, 40% of final grade
• Paper 2: Texts and genres & Elements of Political and Social Protest writing: 3 hours, 40% of final grade
• Coursework: two critical responses to texts of your choice (20%)

An A Level in English Literature can certainly open many doors and is well respected by the Russell Group of universities. English Literature also facilitates the development of skills that are beneficial for the study of a plethora of other A Levels and further qualifications. Career pathways can include: Law, Teaching, Journalism, Author, Management, Army Officer, Advertising and PR, Publishing, Lexicographer.