Fluency in English Language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. KS3 – To instil core skills of reading and writing, spoken language and vocabulary development in a creative, relevant and inspiring way; complimenting previous knowledge and understanding of KS2 and mirroring attributes needed to succeed at KS4.

To this extent we want our students to learn without limits. We aim to give them the opportunities, experiences, knowledge and analytical tools to speak, write and read confidently, appropriately, and on their own terms in whatever context they find themselves in. We want them to see language and literature both inside the classroom and beyond as the opening to achieving their goals, to help build their intellectual curiosity and personal well-being in every aspect of their lives, both now and the future. 

We strive to give pupils the same experiences when they enter our faculty, regardless of prior attainment levels – the same choices in what they read, the same opportunities for response, the same freedoms and constraints, the same access to high quality texts.  This will ensure all pupils expand further their knowledge and understanding of reading and writing, spoken language and vocabulary development to the highest possible quality; equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word.

As a faculty we believe that Extra-curricular opportunities in English are paramount.  Before the pandemic we were

We have offered students the chance to visit the theatre, as well as experiencing we have live performances in school for Year 11. 

Curriculum Aims

       The curriculum is a progressive one that develops thematically over the key stages to ensure subject knowledge is embedded and improved upon.

    The curriculum is designed around key text forms and types of writing. In any given year, pupils are exposed to novels, short stories,    plays, poetry, non-fiction and media texts.

    The curriculum will lessen the gap in students’ cultural poverty as it will provide a way for students to appreciate the depth, context and power within the literary heritage texts.

    Will help to develop an appreciation and love of reading and understand increasingly challenging texts

    Will enable students to read critically across all texts allowing them to make informed personal responses whilst evaluating other peoples’ responses

    Write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length for pleasure and information

    Plan, draft, edit and proof-read their writing 

    Consolidate and build on their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary from KS2 and KS3

    Speak confidently, audibly and effectively

    Will enable students to critically evaluate Media texts and products across various media platforms

5 Year Learning Journey

The English Faculty recognises the importance of quality assessment, record keeping and reporting for the following reasons:

Key Tests and Exams

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 4

Recording of Test Results

Standardisation and Moderation of Tests and Exams

School Values

Ambition Featured in:

      Rhetoric: Challenging ideas in society.

      Macbeth: Inner Conflict.

      Unseen Poetry: Challenging Poetry about identity and place.

      Origins of Literature: ambitious writers.

As an English department, we aim for students to be ambitious and show ambition in their work ethic. We aim to motivate students building positivity through the curriculum with achievements and rewards- seeing ambition as something that is vital in developing the self as a whole.

In "Macbeth," ambition propels the titular character to seize power through regicide, leading to his downfall. Shakespeare intricately explores the destructive nature of unchecked ambition, showcasing its ability to corrupt even the noblest of individuals. Similarly, in "Blood Brothers," the drive for success pushes Mickey and Eddie towards different paths, ultimately resulting in tragedy. Their ambition, fueled by societal expectations and economic disparity, exposes the harsh realities of class division. Conversely, in "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas, Starr's ambition lies in seeking justice for her friend's unjust death, highlighting the power of ambition in driving social change and confronting systemic injustices.

Responsibility Featured in:

      The Danger of the Single Story.

      Speaking and Listening unit on Identity.

      An Inspector Calls.

      A Christmas Carol.

Aiming to build students to be responsible for their learning, responsible for their actions in and out of the classroom. We strive to build on the understanding of responsibility and how that fits in with the wider world. Developing a well-rounded student in English to contribute to self-control and learning that actions have consequences, and how students can monitor this.

 In "Of Mice and Men," George's caretaking of Lennie underscores the burden of responsibility, shaping their bond amidst adversity. Likewise, in "The Tempest," Prospero's governance over the island and his paternal obligations reflect the weight of power and familial duty. Meanwhile, "An Inspector Calls" delves into societal responsibility, as characters confront the repercussions of their actions on others. Each narrative exposes the moral complexities of responsibility, whether personal, familial, or societal, highlighting the interconnectedness of individuals and their accountability in navigating ethical dilemmas within their respective contexts.

Kindness Featured in:

      The Great War.

      A Christmas Carol.

      Of Mice and Men.

      The Tale of a Single Story. 

Through the curriculum, kindness is a key focus point. Kindness shown to others, acts of kindness, understanding of its impact on others, developing students to empathise and delve into the understanding of others. Kindness impacts a child’s mental wellbeing. With opportunities to explore how they can be kind in society and how that can make the world a better place.

In "A Christmas Carol," kindness is exemplified through Ebenezer Scrooge's transformation from a miserly, cold-hearted individual to a compassionate and generous benefactor. Through encounters with the spirits and reflection on his past actions, Scrooge learns the importance of empathy and kindness towards others. Similarly, in "Blood Brothers," the theme of kindness is depicted through the bond between Mickey and Eddie, transcending social barriers. Despite their contrasting backgrounds, their friendship is rooted in mutual support and compassion. Additionally, in "A Monster Calls," kindness is demonstrated through the understanding and empathy Conor receives from the monster, guiding him through grief with compassion and wisdom.

Respect Featured in:

      The Great War.

      Of Mice and Men.

      Blood Brothers.

  A Christmas Carol.

‘We should all consider each other as human beings and we should respect each other’ Malala.

Respect is integral to learning. Respect shows worth, showing the understanding of value.and its importance within society. Whether that be respect of the law, classroom, teacher or wider aspects of life. Respect creates a positive learning environment, building positive relationships and how self-respect shows you know who you are and how you are important to society.

In George Orwell's "Animal Farm," the theme of respect is central to the power dynamics among the animals. Initially, the pigs advocate for equality and respect for all animals, but as they gain power, they manipulate language and exploit their fellow creatures, betraying the principles of respect they once espoused. Similarly, in Candy Gourlay's "Bone Talk," respect is explored within the context of cultural clashes during the Philippine-American War. Samkad, the protagonist, grapples with notions of respect for his indigenous traditions amidst the encroaching influence of colonial forces, highlighting the complexities of respecting one's heritage in the face of external pressures. Anthony McGowan's "Brock" delves into the theme of respect through the relationship between Nicky and his brother, Kenny, as they navigate the challenges of adolescence and family dynamics. Despite their differences, the brothers learn to respect each other's viewpoints and vulnerabilities, ultimately fostering a deeper bond rooted in mutual understanding and admiration.

Independence Featured in:


      Unseen Poetry.

      The Tempest.

  An Inspector Calls

Being independent in English increases the control you have over your life, work and future. Independence allows you to set goals to achieve without relying on others. Independence is adhered to through many aspects of English.  Supporting the idea of boosting self-esteem and self-confidence. The reward that is gained through independence  is that sense of accomplishment as well as deepening your own learning experience. 

In "An Inspector Calls" by J.B. Priestley, independence is explored through the Birling family's societal standing and moral autonomy. As the Inspector probes their roles in Eva Smith's demise, each family member's independence is scrutinized, revealing the consequences of neglecting social responsibility. In Shakespeare's "Macbeth," Macbeth's pursuit of power embodies the theme of independence, as he succumbs to ambition, forsaking moral constraints and free will, ultimately leading to his downfall. Contrastingly, in "The Guggenheim Mystery" by Robin Stevens, Ted Spark's independence shines as he unravels a complex art theft mystery, relying on his unique perspective and intellect to assert his autonomy amidst societal expectations and personal challenges.

Resilience Featured in:

      The Great War.

      Of Mice and Men.

      The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas.

      Unseen Poetry.


‘Obstacles don’t have to stop you. Don’t give up. If you hit a wall. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.’ Michael Jordan

Resilience is crucial within the English. Developing the ability to stick with something that may be challenging, new or difficult. Resilience is put in place to allow students to strive towards their goals, preventing students from feeling overwhelmed, developing and helping a student’s wellbeing. We all know it is tempting to give up when things get tough. Resilience shows that positive mindset or battling on and knowing you can keep going.

In the trenches of World War 1 resilience became synonymous with survival as soldiers faced relentless adversity. Enduring the horrors of trench warfare and witnessing the devastation of comrades, their resilience was tested daily, manifesting in acts of courage and camaraderie amidst the chaos. Similarly, in Shakespeare's "Macbeth," the titular character's resilience is showcased as he battles guilt and paranoia after committing regicide, clinging to power despite internal turmoil.

Resilience is also featured in Sawbones by Catherine Johnson as the protagonist Ezra demonstrates resilience and determination in pursuing his goals of asserting his place in 18th century London society.


What are the opportunities for SMSC and FBV in your curriculum?

SMSC stands for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. All schools in England must show how well their pupils develop in SMSC.

Fundamental British Values are incorporated into SMSC. I have highlighted where they appear.


Explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.

The idea of respecting other people’s faith and values is key to our curriculum map.  Our students study a range of texts that delve into the questions about the characters ideas about self and belonging.  As they find themselves through their actions and decisions.

Featured in

      The Danger of a Single Story

      The Identity unit

      The Tempest

      The Great War

      The Monster Unit

      What is a story

      Of Mice and Men

      Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

      A Christmas Carol


Recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.

The thematic idea of morals also runs through our first of three Shakespearean plays Romeo and Juliet as students examine who is responsible for the conflict, were Romeo and Juliet right to ignore their families.  The idea of fate is introduced to link with the contemporary play Blood Brothers studied in Year 8. 

The Blood Brother unit links and compares with Romeo and Juliet and the themes of fate and morality whist also focussing on duality and marginality of characters a theme picked up in KS4.   Morality can also be found in Of Mice and Men Students study the characters and the themes surrounding the death of Lennie and 1930s America.  The scheme also focusses on diversity of characters, within the 1930s setting.   The voices in society unit deepens the students’ knowledge of self in today’s society.  Taking inspiration from Kate Clanchy’s book How to Grow your own poem, The EMC’s book of diverse shorts and What is Race Who are racists.  The theme of morality and diversity of characters are studied in The Tempest Where students are asked to reflect as Prospero as he leaves the island.  The detective unit focuses on character assessment and writers’ methods whilst studying a variety of extracts and short stories.

Year 9 deepens the student’s knowledge of the Gothic and links with A Christmas Carol and to some extent The Tempest.  The students study texts written by unreliable narrators, which links, to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.  The nonfiction Rhetoric Unit explores how Logos, Pathos and Ethos are used to influence and position audiences.  The unit focuses on speakers from all eras including modern day champions like Marcus Rashford.  The Great War features texts and poems from World War 1 thematically links morality and the reality of horrors of war.  The end of year 9 links to the KS4 programme as the students work through a component 1 paper and study Macbeth through the study of characters and themes


Use a range of social skills; participate in the local community; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict; engage with the 'British values' of democracy, the rule of law, liberty, respect and tolerance.

The idea of liberty is key to our curriculum map.  It is especially poignant in Years 8 and 9 where the students study a range of texts that delve into the issues of racial prejudice and discrimination particularly regarding to access to education and opportunities based on the character’s back ground.  The texts and schemes of work are as follows:Featured in

      The identity unit

      The Danger of a Single Story

      Blood Brothers

      An Inspector calls

      The Great War

      The Detective Unit

      The Tempest

      The Monster Unit



Appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain's parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.

The idea of cultural diversity is key to our curriculum map.  It is especially poignant in Years 8 and 9 where the students study a range of texts that delve into the issues of racial prejudice and discrimination particularly regarding to access to education and opportunities based on the character’s back ground and colour.  The texts and schemes of work are as follows:

Featured in:

      The identity unit

      The Danger of a Single Story

      Blood Brothers

      An Inspector calls

      The Great War

      The Detective Unit

      The Tempest

      The Monster Unit


Cultural Capital

What opportunities does your curriculum/faculty provide to improve the cultural capital of our students? Specific content/enrichment etc.

Theatre trips for all.  We believe there is nothing like seeing a live performance of a show before COVID we succeeded in visiting the Theatre every month.  On our trip to the playhouse to see An Inspector Calls we took a student and his assistant dog.

Since COVID we have taken part in live stream recordings from the RSC and The Globe to ensure the students still experience the buzz of being in a theatre.

Last year

We were able to visit the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre twice with our year 10 and 11 students.  We were lucky to see An Inspector Calls. We were amazed that 50 students wanted to spend Valentines day evening with us watching it.   A month later we took 30 students to see a student adapted version of Macbeth that also included a question and answer session at the end.  However, I still think the idea of free ice-cream provided by the theatre was a stroke of genius.

This Year

We have welcomed award winning author Sam Pope to host a ghost story writing class for our High achieving KS3 students.  This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.  Watching the students interacting with Sam and verbally giving life to their stories.  We look forward to her visiting us again in the near future.

The whole of Year 11 were able to join the RSC on line to watch the Live Stream of their 2023 production of Macbeth in the Drama Studio.

Next Year

We are taking the current Year 10s to see An Inspector Calls again on 27th November 2024 at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

We are also exploring the idea of an evening trip to The Warner Brothers studios for the Year 13 Film Studies group and year 7.