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The English Faculty

Faculty ethos:

The faculty will strive to ensure that the learning environment in English is positive, supportive and purposeful. All pupils will be encouraged to meet their full potential and achieve the very best grades possible. We aim to impart an ability to analyse and create texts, whilst instilling a keen sense of creativity and imagination.


Curriculum overview:

KS3 & KS4 – four lessons per week.

Topics Covered:

In Years 7, 8 and 9 our aim is to develop the knowledge, understanding and reading/ writing/ speaking and listening skills needed to succeed in English. The focus throughout KS3 is on creativity and developing a passion for the subject which, alongside the skills developed, will support pupils in their future learning. This is done through a variety of engaging texts from the 19th to the 21st Century, and Shakespeare.

Each year group will also complete an independent project, designed to develop their knowledge beyond the English classroom. Students follow the Accelerated Reader programme, which indicates a reading age for every student. This allows students to select books that are appropriate to their level, whilst giving teachers more information with which to plan effective lessons and monitor progress.

Year 7

In Year 7, pupils will build on the knowledge and reading and writing skills developed at KS2. Pupils will also begin to engage with a greater variety of more challenging fiction texts, including those from the 19th Century. They will develop an understanding of whole texts, their main themes and characters, and engage in greater detail with specifically chosen extracts. They will consolidate their ability to read for meaning whilst developing their inference skills and will also begin to analyse language and linguistic devices. This will build towards the more challenging skills of comparing characters and texts. The texts studied in Year 7 will allow pupils to explore a greater range of challenging themes such as prejudice, identity and belonging and will be used as a springboard to develop their awareness of these issues in wider society; supported through a variety of non-fiction texts. Pupils will also develop their ability to write creatively and will begin to look at varying their writing for effect. The use of Accelerated Reader and fortnightly library lessons will also encourage pupils to read a greater range of texts for pleasure, with the aim to develop a love of English and a passion for Literature.

Year 8

In year 8, pupils build on the knowledge and skills developed in year 7. Pupils develop their ability to differentiate between different genres such as dystopian and gothic. The inclusion of a modern play in year 8 also develops pupils’ familiarity with this type of text. Through this, pupils will continue to develop their analysis skills of language but will also consider how writers structure texts for effect. These texts will also allow pupils to engage with a wider variety of challenging themes from The Outsiders and Noughts and Crosses, such as inequality, cultural appreciation and individual experience. There will be a more explicit focus on non-fiction texts within year 8 to support pupils with their familiarity with these texts. The use of Accelerated Reader and fortnightly library lessons will continue to encourage pupils to read a greater range of texts for pleasure, continuing to develop a love of English and a passion for Literature.

Year 9

In year 9, pupils build on the knowledge, skills and understanding of previous years with a view to being fully prepared for GCSE Language and Literature. To support this, pupils engage more fully with whole texts and being able to link their opinions and views on key themes through texts as a whole. Pupils will also be encouraged to develop their appreciation and understanding of how Literature links to the wider human experience, focusing on authorial intent. Texts have been chosen to help pupils engage with wider societal issues, such as race, conflict, and politics. When considering whole texts, there will be a greater focus on evaluating texts and responding to opinions and statements. A focus on more challenging poetry also begins to prepare pupils for the poetry requirement of GCSE; focusing on not just understanding individual poems but comparing poems as well.  Pupils will also build on their writing skills to not just consider the content of what they write but how they can also structure their writing for effect.  The use of Accelerated Reader and fortnightly library lessons will continue to encourage pupils to read a greater range of texts for pleasure; a further promotion of a love of English and a passion for Literature, which will be used as a basis for success at KS4.


The vast majority of pupils at Burnage will take the following GCSEs:

GCSE English Language (AQA)

GCSE English Literature (AQA)

At KS4, pupils will build on the reading, writing and speaking and listening skills they have developed at KS3. Although studying for two different qualifications, a number of the skills are transferable which means both exam courses are taught concurrently. Much of the content for the exams will be covered in Year 10. Year 11 will be focussed on perfecting exam skills and revising the texts to help pupils succeed in the exams.

GCSE English Language is assessed by two exams taken at the end of Year 11. There is no longer any controlled assessment for this course.

Explorations in creative reading and writing; 50% of GCSE grade

Writer’s viewpoints and perspectives; 50% of GCSE grade

Both examinations have a reading and a writing section. The reading sections of both papers test how well pupils can understand, interpret and analyse fiction and non-fiction texts, from the 19th Century to the present day. The writing sections of both papers test how well pupils can write effectively for a particular purpose and audience, how well they can structure their ideas and the accuracy of their writing.

GCSE English Literature is assessed by two exams taken at the end of Year 11. There is no longer any controlled assessment for this course.

Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel; 40% of the GCSE Grade

Pupils will study two texts in preparation for this exam; Macbeth (Shakespeare) and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (19th-century novel). They will be reading, interpreting and analysing the themes, characters and language in the whole texts.

Modern texts and poetry are equal 60% of the GCSE grade

Pupils will study a modern play called DNA and a ‘conflict’ themed anthology of poems. They will build their analysis skills so that they are able to interpret and explain their impressions of a main ‘unseen’ poem in this exam. Pupils will compare this main unseen poem with a second unseen poem.

Step-Up to English (AQA)

Some pupils who are working towards a GCSE grade in Year 11 will study the Entry Level Certificate in English (Step-up to English). Pupils complete a number of non-exam assessments which contribute to the final qualification. Pupils will develop their reading, comprehension, writing and speaking & listening skills via a range of different texts.

If you require any further information about the Entry Level Certificate in English, please contact your son’s English teacher

The English Faculty:

  • Ms E. Mayer – Head of English
  • Ms H. Carter – Deputy Headteacher / English Teacher
  • Mr J. Shepherd – Assistant Headteacher / English Teacher
  • Ms R. Wadeson – Assistant Headteacher / English Teacher
  • Ms E. Brown – Second in English
  • Ms H. Roberts – Second in English
  • Ms A. Pearson – English Teacher / SENCO
  • Ms A. Seton – English Teacher
  • Ms C. Leonard – English Teacher
  • Ms O. Moran – English / Drama Teacher
  • Ms O. Ball – English Teacher
  • Ms Y. Chowdhury – English Teacher / Transition Co-ordinator
  • Mr J. Compton – English Teacher
  • Mr S. Lloyd – English Teacher
  • Ms E. Simaei – English / EAL Teacher
  • Ms J. Hill - English / EAL Teacher
  • Mr H. Raven - English Teacher
Subject Documents Date  
English Learning Journey 30th Aug 2023 Download
KS3 English Curriculum Plan 11th Sep 2023 Download
KS4 English Curriculum Plan 30th Aug 2023 Download