Mrs R Matthews
Head of Department
Mr D O'Reilly
Specialist Leader of Education/Teacher of English
Miss A Jackson
2nd in English/Lead Practitioner
Mr P Harrison
Head of KS5 English
Ms T Crouch
KS3 English Lead
Miss H Burdekin
Teacher of English
Mrs K Cornforth
Teacher of English
Miss N Ellison
Teacher of English/Head of Rua
Mrs O Jones
Teacher of English
Mr J Matthews
Teacher of English/Head of Year 13
Miss K Moore
Teacher of English/Head of Year 11 (Maternity leave)
Miss E Mullane
Teacher of English
Mrs N O'Shea
Teacher of English/Asst Head of Yr 8
Mrs R Spice
Teacher of English

In the English Department, we are extremely proud to be able to share our own love of reading and writing with our students. Our goal is to have enriched students’ lives through the written and spoken word and to send them out into the world as confident communicators.

Key Stage 3 English

English is key to success across the curriculum and in life and we try to ensure a balanced and well-rounded interaction with the subject across all years, whilst also fulfilling National Curriculum requirements.

In each year, students study the following topics:

  • A novel
  • A range of poetry on a theme
  • At least one play (including Shakespeare)
  • Non-fiction texts

Each unit of study is designed to be both an enjoyable exploration of the richness and variety of English language and literature, and form preparatory steps towards the GCSE syllabus. We endeavour to provide students with the opportunity to explore literature from a range of periods in order to ensure they are comfortable with the various language forms and techniques, thus easing the transition to KS4 in year 10.

In addition to their curriculum lessons, Key Stage 3 students also take part in ‘Reading to Achieve’ where they are encouraged to read and complete tasks on a book of their choice. Through this, we are hoping to foster a love of reading in all students that will continue throughout their lives.

Key Stage 4 English

English is a core subject at GCSE and most employers and further education institutions expect students to hold at least a 4 or 5 grade as an indicator of their literacy and readiness for further study or work.

The teaching of English at Key Stage 4 divided equally between the two GCSEs: Language and Literature.  Students have five lessons of each subject across the fortnight and will have a separate teacher for each. 

English Literature

The GCSE English Literature course takes a skills-based approach to the study of English Literature that is consistent across the genres. The course offers excellent preparation for A-level English Literature, as well as giving students a grounding in a wide variety of literature that will stay with them for life.

There are two components to GCSE English Literature:

  • Shakespeare and the 19th century novel. In this component, students will study one of Shakespeare’s plays (usually Romeo and Juliet or Macbeth) and a novel (usually A Christmas Carol or Jekyll and Hyde).
  • Modern texts and poetry (In this component students will study An Inspector Calls, a selection of poems from the AQA Poetry Anthology and a range of other poetry).

We follow the AQA specification. For more information, see the current GCSE Option Booklet.

English Language

As part of the GCSE English Language course, students will draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus and engage with creative as well as real and relevant contexts.

This specification will ensure that students can read fluently and write effectively. Students will be able to demonstrate a confident control of Standard English and write grammatically correct sentences, deploying figurative language and analysing texts.

English Language is assessed in two written exam papers at the end of the course.

We follow the AQA specification. For more information, see the current GCSE Option Booklet.

Progression opportunities

Studying English at GCSE leads directly to A Levels in English Language and/or English Literature, as well as being fundamental to all other subjects where there is a written component. You can find out more on our College pages.