English Language and Literature


The overarching aim of the English curriculum is to provide all pupils with the means to communicate effectively through the written and spoken word. Our united mission is to embed challenge, but equally to engage and foster creativity and enjoyment of English. We introduce pupils to the rich and varied literary heritage and aim to make links with contemporary fiction and non-fiction. The enjoyment of reading is central to all that we do as we strive to develop confidence and curiosity as well as a love of literature and language.


Lower School

In Year 7, pupils study a range of texts to introduce pupils to the English literary heritage before tracking links to modern texts and drama. Pupils are introduced to themes of diversity and self-expression in the novel, before exploring the history of rhetoric, poetry and Shakespeare In Year 8 we build upon the academic and personal foundations laid in Year 7 by introducing pupils to the adapted play of Frankenstein and Gothic writing followed by multicultural poetry and the genre of Dystopia. To underpin and support the fortnightly library lessons, pupils are introduced to the Bedrock Learning programme in both Years 7 and 8. This programme gives pupils the tools to improve their vocabulary tailored to their individual needs and to address any potential word gaps.

Upper School

In Years 9-11, pupils study both GCSE English Literature and English Language, following the AQA specification. As part of the English literature course, Year 9 pupils will be introduced to the GCSE Poetry Anthology by studying several poems linked to war and conflict. Themes of power and class are later explored in the plays An Inspector Calls or Blood Brothers intended to develop pupils’ understanding of the relationship between theme, characterisation and authorial intent. GCSE English Language in Year 9 is taught through the modern text Black Flamingo and contemporary newspapers, speeches and letters. Continued emphasis on the importance of reading for pleasure is encouraged in the fortnightly library lessons and the use of the Bedrock Learning programme to promote the explicit learning of new vocabulary.

In Years 10 and 11, pupils continue to study a range of poems from the GCSE poetry anthology and the plays Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet. Pupils will also study a range of short fiction and non-fiction texts intended to develop the analytical skills required for section A of both exams. Pupils will build upon existing skills to develop further their own descriptive and persuasive writing which accounts for 50% of both English Language papers.


The English Department is based in Queen’s Wing close to the well-stocked library and a full-time librarian. Our classrooms are spacious, inviting and colourful which reflects how proud we are of our thriving department. There are currently seven experienced English teachers who bring a wide range of expertise but who also specialise in drama, creative writing and debate. English Intervention Clinic is available for pupils and students of Sixth Form every Monday after school.


The English Department has been involved in several trips and visits, notably:

The Great Gatsby, Lowry Theatre

Jekyll and Hyde, Preston Guild Theatre

Frankenstein The Royal Exchange, Manchester

Blood Brothers Manchester Palace Theatre

We also welcome touring theatre companies every year who perform and conduct workshops based on the GCSE texts Macbeth and An Inspector Calls.


Recent whole school drama productions have included Journey’s End, Death of a Salesman, The Adams Family, and an adaptation of Great Expectations.

In addition to a weekly drama club, the English department also offer a debate club

Journaling and a creative writing group.

For more information please contact:

Mr M Hewitt

Head of English