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Subject Head: Sue Simmonds


KS3 English

Course Outline

During their first three years at Farmor’s all students will study English for five periods each week in Years 7 and 8 and six periods each week in Year 9. English is a vibrant subject which helps students to engage with and communicate in the world around them. The English department recognises the fundamental importance of language and the need to make sense of the rich and varied ways in which we exchange ideas. English is a skills-based subject, and we want students to read and explore a range of writing from early English through to 21st century texts as well as developing and adapting their own writing for a variety of purposes. 

In responding to the new National Curriculum at Key Stage 3, the department has redesigned its schemes of work. In Year 7 and Year 8 students study topics which incorporate a wide variety of text types and reading and writing activities that are linked by theme (with Fiction and Non-Fiction coverage in all.) Furthermore, the new schemes insist on the importance of grammar knowledge to improve writing skills and SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) is now embedded more explicitly into the schemes of work. To supplement this, students in Year 7 and Year 8 are encouraged to purchase SPaG workbooks to help develop these fundamental skills. In Year 9, students prepare for future GCSE study by working through a variety of schemes that address the main literary and language components, ie novels, poetry, non-fiction, drama etc. (Teachers are free to teach these units in any order.)

Course Detail
  Topic 1 Topic 2 Topic 3 Topic 4



Selection of texts: 

My Left Foot 


Pigheart Boy 

Huckleberry Finn. 

Writers of the British Isles 

Shakespeare, Dickens, Laurie Lee and Dylan Thomas are included in this unit. 


Variety of writing explored including Shelley, Shakespeare and Ray Bradbury. 


Main text: Journey to the River Sea. 



Main text: The War of Jenkin’s Ear or Private Peaceful. 

The Island 

A variety of Non-Fiction texts are explored, plus some Fiction extracts. 


Main text: The Tempest (Shakespeare) 


A variety of texts including Jamie Oliver recipes, Roald Dahl fiction and media/film included. 


Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Term 4

Term 5

Term 6

The Novel 

Stone Cold. 

Of Mice and Men. 

Stranger with my Face 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. 




Films such as The Princess Bride can be used to explore narrative theory. 


Much Ado About Nothing. 

Romeo and Juliet. 

Short Stories 

Various writers. 


Contemporary poets such as Heaney, Duffy and Armitage. 

Modern Drama 

Blood Brothers by Willy Russell. 

KS4 English

GCSE English language 

Specification: Edexcel 1ENO

Course outline

These are new GCSEs which ran for the first time in September 2015.  Students will study the courses over two years and will be assessed by examinations at the end of Year 11.  There is no coursework or controlled assessment; assessment is by examination only.  It is anticipated that all students will take both GCSEs: English Language and English Literature.

What should students expect to do during the course?

Reading skills: you will study a range of texts including C19th fiction and non-fiction writing from the C20th and C21st. You will develop the skills to analyse and compare these texts, building upon the skills you have developed at Key Stage 3.

Writing skills: you will develop your creative writing skills as well as your ability to write for specific audiences and purposes. You will also develop your written accuracy. (Spelling, punctuation and grammar are worth 20% of the marks).

Spoken Language:  You will also be required to give a presentation to the class and take questions. This will not count towards your final English Language grade, but you will be given Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Assessment (graded 9- 1)

Section A: 

Questions on an unseen C19th fiction text

Section B: 

Choice of 2 writing tasks  -Imaginative/Recount/Narrative

(thematically linked to Section A)

Section A

Questions on 2 thematically linked C20th & C21st non-fiction extracts.

Section B

Choice of 2 writing tasks for specific purpose/ audience (letter/article etc.)

(thematically linked to Section A)

Progression into Sixth Form

Either English Language or English Literature at Grade 4 or above is required by most colleges and universities and universities, regardless of which subject or vocation you choose.

GCSE English literature

Qualification: GCSE

Specification: Edexcel 1ETO

Course outline

See outline above under ‘English language’.        

What should students expect to do during the course?

You will study:

  • A play by Shakespeare
  • A British play or novel written after 1914
  • A C19th British novel
  • A selection of poetry written between 1789 and the present day

You will develop your skills, building on the work you have been doing at Key Stage 3.  You will read, interpret, analyse and compare texts and gain confidence in applying your skills to unseen texts.

Assessment (graded 9- 1)

Edexcel English Literature GCSE Examinations

Paper 1

Shakespeare & Post 1914 Literature


1 hour 45 minutes

Closed Book

Paper 2

C19th Novel & Poetry since 1789


2 hours 15 minutes

Closed Book

Section A: Shakespeare

2 questions – 1 on a passage from the play, one linking the passage to the play as a whole


Section B: Post 1914 British play or novel

1  essay question


Section A: C19th Novel

1 question on extract from novel, 1 question linking the passage to text as a whole


Section B:  Poetry since 1789 

Q1: Comparing printed poem from their anthology and one other poem from their chosen cluster.


Q2: One question comparing 2 unseen contemporary poems

Progression into Sixth Form

Either English Language or English Literature at Grade 4 or above is required by most colleges and universities, regardless of which subject or vocation you choose.