Key Stage 3

The intention of our English curriculum is to provide an excellent education for all and to create successful, resilient, highly literate students who are articulate communicators, attentive listeners and passionate learners. The English curriculum aims to build students’ cultural capital, and develop their reading and writing skills through analysis and exploration of a wide range of genres and culturally diverse texts including non fiction, poetry, 19th century, Shakespearean plays and modern novels. In addition students are offered many opportunities to develop their oracy with presentations and debates on a range of topics.

The English curriculum has a deliberate focus on increasing students’ vocabulary, which is supported by our use of Bedrock Vocabulary and knowledge organisers. There is a strong focus on developing analytical skills across key stage 3 through a rigorous focus on the authorial intention and purpose. Students are encouraged to develop their understanding of how meaning is shaped through writing, and then to practise and develop this themselves in their own work. This builds the required familiarity with the rigorous requirements of the GCSE exams. Frequent and purposeful practise of extended writing and exam-style questions is also built into the curriculum which becomes progressively more challenging.

Key Stage 4

The English Language curriculum has been created to allow students to study a range of literary fiction and non-fiction texts, examining how writers build up description for effect in their writing, use language and structure for specific purposes and how writers convey their viewpoint persuasively. Additionally, students will develop their skills in writing for different purposes: descriptive, argumentative, advisory, explanatory, and persuasive writing. Accuracy in spelling, punctuation, and grammar continues to be a key focus. There is a continued focus on developing students’ oracy skills and they undertake a separate endorsement for Speaking and Listening.

In English Literature, students continue to build on and develop their analytical ability and essay writing skills through the study of key set texts that encompass a range of genres and eras. These include: a Shakespeare play, a nineteenth-century novel, a modern novel or drama text, and poetry. Students are challenged to think deeply and to consider how the writers have used literary devices for effect by closely focusing on key words, elements of structure, characterisation, setting, themes and links to social and historical context that they have incorporated into their works. Students continue to actively participate in debates, presentations and clear articulation of their personal responses to themes, ideas and authorial viewpoints.

English Curriculum Video



Progress will be measured through weekly knowledge map quizzes and the use of Seneca as a knowledge-based homework platform.   Students will sit Cumulative Knowledge Tests and, during key stage 3, a graded United Learning assessment at two points across the year.  The results from these will be shared with students and used to inform necessary intervention and set changes.  In addition, during key stage 4, students will also sit past exam papers at two formal points across the year. These results will be shared with students and parents and used to inform future planning, interventions and set changes.  

At key stage 4, the AQA GCSE qualification is linear, which means that the students’ final examinations will be sat at the end of Year 11. For GCSE English Language, students will sit examinations in both reading and writing where they will need to analyse and respond to a range of texts, as well as compose their own writing pieces.

For GCSE English Literature, students are required to respond to their set texts through extract questions and essay questions based on the entire work.  There is also an ‘unseen’ element, where students must respond to two poems that they have not studied before.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

There are regular opportunities to visit the theatre to see plays and hear poetry performances, such as GCSE Poetry Live! We have had visits by authors such as Michael Rosen who has also run poetry workshops with our students. Coleridge students regularly enter writing and debating competitions, and there is a very popular creative writing club run by the department and the school librarian. We also participate in the Carnegie Award and have a reading club which explores and encourages students to read a diverse range of texts. We participate in Bookbuzz and the department work with examiners to offer revision clubs and after school sessions to our key stage 4 students.

For more information, please visit our Library Page

We also offer the National Tutoring Programme

Key Stage 3 Resources

BBC Bitesize - KS3 English topics including fiction, non-fiction, grammar, Shakespeare and poetry

Sparknotes study guide for The Crucible

Key Stage 4 Resources

BBC Bitesize - revision prompts, advice and examples for key English Language skills

Sparknotes No Fear Shakespeare

Sparknotes study guide for Macbeth

Shmoop - A revision website with text guides to all frequently studied Literature texts.  

Mr Bruff - Videos covering commonly taught Literature texts and Language paper approaches.  

Tuition Kit - Videos covering commonly taught Literature texts and Language paper approaches/skills.  

Revision World - A bank of past papers for English Language and Literature. 

Revision Guide - A Language exam paper revision guide for both Paper 1 and Paper 2.

GCSE English Lanugage and GCSE English Literature Revision Websites

  1. The British Library
  2. BBC Bitesize Exam Specs
  3. Cliffs Notes
  4. Universal Teacher
  5. The Stable Oyster Blog
  6. The Guardian
  7. AQA