Students read widely (for pleasure) including whole texts and major authors. We use class novels and plays and poetry, operating a spiral syllabus whereby students re-visit key ideas and build on them, until they are able to read critically with awareness of the writer’s craft and communicate their understanding and enjoyment in discussion and in writing.  For example, in Y7 we study scenes from Shakespeare, read key parts of Macbeth in Y8 and then the whole of Much Ado About Nothing in Y9. Similarly, for poetry we look at voice in Y7, form - via ballads - in Y8 and theme - via diverse perspectives - in Y9. We want students to experience literature from outside their own experience and to be able to respond to unseen texts.

Students are enabled to recognise the underlying influences on English literature through Greek myths and major Bible stories. We seek to make links with students’ work in other subjects.

We provide opportunities for students to write a range of non-fiction and discursive forms, including essays, and to write for different purposes and audiences; they are also encouraged to write creatively through units such as the village project and subversive fairy tales. We concentrate on key writing skills for fluent communication: effective planning and structure; paragraphing; and the difference between commas and full-stops.

Students are encouraged to develop resilience, to stick at difficult things, to embrace and learn from mistakes and to connect their work in lessons with their experience of the wider world, for example looking at topical political speeches to analyse the use of persuasive techniques.

All this lays sound foundations for KS4 and KS5. All students follow GCSEs in both Language and Literature.

We seek opportunities for all students to see English in the wider world through theatre visits, Stars trips, creative writing competitions and through links with Oxford University’s Outreach team.

English supports and is supported by whole-school initiatives such as #GetReading, books on doors, and literacy marking codes.

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KS3 English

In addition to the topics below, students have fortnightly library lessons.

Year 7

1 Myths and Legends

2 Bible Project

3 Animal Farm

4 Poetry: Dramatic Monologues / Voice

5 Village Project

6 Scenes from Shakespeare

7 Inside Stories: fairy tales / autobiography

Year 8

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon

2 Poetic forms including Ballads and 'The Ancient Mariner'

3 Wallingford Warriors

4 Macbeth

5 Sherlock Holmes - short stories, descriptive writing

6 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
    Writing Skills Focus

Year 9

1 The Ruby in the Smoke - Philip Pullman

2 Argument / Persuasion

3 Much Ado About Nothing

4 Poetry

5 Exam Preparation

6 Poetry and Comparison

GCSE English

Year 10

Term 1

  • Introduction to GCSE English
  • A Christmas Carol

Term 2

  • A Christmas Carol continued
  • Spoken Language Introduction
  • Preparation for Language Paper 2

Term 3

  • Language Paper 2
  • Non-Fiction Writing
    • Planning; form / text types
    • Starting; paragraphing and sentence variety
    • Audience and purpose

Term 4

  • Poetry
    • War Photographer
    • The Emigree
    • The Charge of the Light Brigade
    • Ozymandias
    • My Last Duchess
    • London
  • Revise A Christmas Carol
  • Mock exams

Term 5

  • An Inspector Calls

Term 6

  • Poetry
    • The Prelude
    • Storm on the Island
    • Bayonet Charge
    • Exposure
    • Remains
    • Tissue
    • Poppies
    • Checking Out Me History
    • Kamikaze

Year 11

Term 1

  • Language Paper 1
  • Romeo and Juliet

Term 2

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Poetry revision
  • Mock exams

Term 3

  • Re-visit A Christmas Carol
  • Re-visit An Inspector Calls

Term 4

  • Revision Language Paper 2
  • Revision and assessment: A Christmas Carol
  • Poetry revision - including unseen poems
  • Revision: Romeo and Juliet

Terms 5 and 6

  • Final Exams

A Level English

Year 12

  • Close reading practice (all components)
  • Shakespeare Measure for Measure (Component 1)
  • Orwell Nineteen Eighty-Four (Component 2)
  • Dystopia Genre - including close and wider reading, and Dystopian timeline (Component 2)
  • Begin Tennyson ‘Maud’ and its Victorian context (Component 1)
  • Preparation for coursework (Component 3)
  • Poetry Close Reading for Task 1 Coursework (texts vary but recent ones have included Carol Ann Duffy Collected Poems)
  • Prose and Drama for Task 2 coursework (texts vary but recent ones have included Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart and Brian Friel Translations)

Year 13

  • Poetry Close Reading for Task 1 Coursework (Carol Ann Duffy Collected Poems)
  • Complete Tennyson ‘Maud’ and its Victorian context (Component 1)
  • Mock exams: Measure for Measure
  • Any final revision to Coursework
  • Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale (Component 2)
  • Further Dystopia Genre (Component 2 Section 1 re-visited)
  • Webster The Duchess of Malfi and its Jacobean context (Component 1)
  • Revision and exam essay skills for Component 1 Section 2 and Component 2 Section 2