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 war poetry - 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, drawing, for example, on the history of WW1 in Y9 poetry.

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 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

Year 9

1 The Ruby in the Smoke - Philip Pullman

2 Argument / Persuasion

3 Much Ado About Nothing

4 War Poetry

5 War Short Stories

GCSE English

Year 10

Term 1

  • Compare opening of Cider with Rosie (First Light) and Great Expectations; intro to connotations; analyse images in detail
  • Descriptive writing: memory
  • Letter to My Father; Letter to Daniel
  • Write a Letter to Past / Future; Book covers A Christmas Carol;
  • Victorian Context
  • A Christmas Carol Stave 1
  • A Christmas Carol Stave 2
  • A Christmas Carol Stave 3
  • A Christmas Carol Stave 4 (start)

Term 2

  • A Christmas Carol Stave 4 and 5
  • Consolidate extracts/key quotations
  • Spoken Language preparation
  • AQA Reading Resources for Paper 2 Speeches
  • Revise Rhetorical Devices
  • AQA Reading Resources for Paper 2 Texts on the Theme of War
  • Begin Language Paper 2: June 2017

Term 3

  • Language Paper 2
  • November 2017 (Sister Brendan / Ragged Schools)
  • Language Paper 2
  • June 2018 (Surfing)
  • Non-Fiction Writing; planning; starting; paragraphing and sentence variety
  • Non-Fiction Writing – form / text types
  • Non-Fiction Writing – audience and purpose

Term 4

  • Introduction to Poetry: terminology
  • Long Distance II; Bright Star
  • Poetry: A Broken Appointment; Warming Her Pearls
  • Revise A Christmas Carol
  • Revise Language Paper 2
  • Mock exams

Term 5

  • No Lessons week 1 (Work Experience)
  • Poetry: ‘A Song’; ‘Morning Song’; ‘In Paris with You’; ‘Love and Friendship’
  • Poetry: ‘An Arundel Tomb’; ‘Fin de Fete’
  • Poetry: ‘Now’; ‘Love After Love’; ‘Dusting the Phone’
  • Poetry: ‘The Sorrow of True Love’; ‘IWTYFAV’
  • Unseen Poems
  • Begin Romeo and Juliet  : Context & Exam Format and Prologue, (1)

Term 6

Romeo and Juliet

  • Act 1 scene1 extracts (2&3), scene 2 (4) scene 3 (5
  • Act 1 scene 4 (6) Scene 5 (7) Act 2 scene 1, scene 2 (8) Impressions of Romeo and Juliet: how changed by meeting?
  • Act 2 scene 3 (9) scenes 3, 4, 5, 6 Act 3 scene 1 (10,11)
  • Act 3 scene 2 (12) scenes 3 , 4, 5 to Romeo exit (13)
  • Act 3 scene 5 cont. (14) Act 4, Act 5 scene 1
  • Act 5 scenes 2,3 (15,16,17)
  • “Trial”: who/what is to blame for deaths?

(Numbers refer to key extracts)

Year 11

Term 1

  • Introduction to AQA Language Paper 1 - Fiction
  • Fiction Reading Paper 1 June 2017 (Katherine Mansfield)
  • Assessment Reading Paper 1; feedback and understanding the ‘levels
  • Fiction Writing Paper 1 Introduction to descriptive writing
  • Romeo and Juliet – context and exam format
  • Romeo and Juliet Act 1 including key extracts
  • Romeo and Juliet Act 2 including key extracts

Term 2

  • Romeo and Juliet Act 3 including key extracts
  • Romeo and Juliet Act 4 including key extracts
  • Romeo and Juliet Act 5 including key extracts
  • Revise Poetry – key poems
  • Revise Language Paper 1 –question timing and approaches
  • Mock exams:  Language AQA 1(Fiction); Literature (Poetry & Shakespeare)

Term 3

  • Re-visit A Christmas Carol
  • A Christmas Carol key extracts
  • AQA Language Paper 2 Revision
  • Reading Paper 2 June 2019
  • AQA Language Paper 2 Revision
  • Non-Fiction writing

Term 4

  • Extra mock exams: Language Paper 2 (Non-Fiction); Literature Paper 1 (A Christmas Carol)
  • Feedback from Language mock
  • Feedback from Literature mock
  • Complete any poems

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