English, as a school subject, is both a tool and a way of gaining knowledge and personal insight.

It enables students to communicate with others on personal, social, literary and interdisciplinary topics.

The subject helps to build up general language proficiency through listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, English provides students with a range of opportunities to explore how language is used in a variety of texts and contexts across time. Students will also study a wide range of literature from Greek Myths to Shakespeare, Nature poetry to modern plays and novels, and there are many opportunities to develop their creativity as writers, poets, and storytellers. Students will develop skills in oracy, understanding and analysing the use of language in texts and learn how to make critical comparisons. By exposing students to a breadth of literature as a platform to support the development of these skills, students will have several opportunities to refine and master these key skills throughout KS3.

Key Stage 4 – GCSE Study

Why study English Language and English Literature

English Language is the core qualification that all students have to study and which is required as a minimum entry qualification to many courses of further study, including those at university. English literature provides students with the opportunity to study a range of diverse texts and make links across time and through themes.


What is English Language?

GCSE English Language allows you to demonstrate your ability to use English in real-life contexts and use an investigative and analytical approach to language topics, drawing on personal experience. A numerical grade will be awarded at the end of the course. This will be in the range 1 to 9 (9 being the top grade, with a grade of 4 or 5 being approximately equivalent to a current C grade).


Course Structure

Paper 1: External examination, 50% of the total GCSE marks.

Explorations in creative reading and writing; one literature non-fiction text; descriptive or narrative writing.

Paper 2: External examination, 50% of the total GCSE marks.

Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives; one non-fiction and one literary non-fiction text; writing to present a viewpoint.

Non examination assessment. Spoken language; presenting; responding to questions and feedback; use of standard English.


What is English Literature?

GCSE English Literature allows you to explore a variety of literary texts including Shakespeare, modern drama and novels, contemporary poetry and poetry from the English literary heritage. Students are encouraged to draw on stage productions and films of the texts studied to enrich and inform their work. Through their studies students will increase their knowledge and understanding of history and human nature by analysing and empathising with characters and situations in influential texts spanning the last 400 years.

Course structure

Paper 1: External examination, 40% of the total GCSE marks.

Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel.

Paper 2: External examination, 60% of the total GCSE marks.

Modern texts and poetry, modern prose or drama/poetry anthology/unseen poetry.