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English and Media

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8, 9)

In Years 7, 8 and 9, students explore a wide range of engaging fiction and non-fiction texts across the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, with a strong focus on developing reading, writing and speaking and listening skills. We have a strong focus on independent learning, and on students having a strong sense of their strengths and weakness as an English student. We want students to feel empowered to improve their skills as they move through the school. Due to this focus on skills (writing skills, reading skills and speaking and listening skills), a student’s achievement may vary depending on the current skills that they are developing. For example, they might be working on writing skills in the first term – an area of strength for them - however, they could then find the reading skills more challenging: the assessment level will reflect this. At the end of each year, the department look at the achievement of students across each of the equally weighted key areas (writing, reading and speaking and listening) and then come to an overall assessment. What makes English different from other subjects is that the skills required for effective writing or analytical reading are the same whether you are in Year 7 or Year 11. This means that we teach a spiral curriculum, whereby key skills are consistently re-visited over the years, but students are asked to apply them with increasing confidence, insight and sophistication to increasingly more challenging range of texts.


Key Stage 4 (Years 10, 11)

KEY STAGE 4 (YEARS 10, 11)

We are in the second year of significant national curriculum change in English. This means that there are no longer any tiers of entry, there is no longer any coursework or controlled assessment in the subject at KS4, and all assessment is done by four examinations at the end of Year 11.

English Language and English Literature are compulsory subjects at Key Stage 4, and almost everyone is entered for two Single Award GCSEs. In Year 11, students are working towards the following qualifications:

  • English Language (GCSE)

Specification: AQA GCSE in English Language (8700)

  • English Literature (GCSE)

Specification: AQA GCSE in English Literature (8702)

Full details in KS4 brochure


Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form)

We enter students for the A level in either English Literature or English Language and Literature at the end of Year 13. We also offer Media Studies, which currently has both AS and A2 exams.

In Year 13, we are offering:

  • English Language and Literature

Examination board: AQA (B)

  • English Literature

Examination board: AQA

  • Media Studies (GCE AS leading to A2)

Examination board: OCR

Other opportunities at KS5 in English

  • King Prize for Creative Writing
  • Reading Buddy Scheme – Citizenship Award
  • English classroom support scheme  - Citizenship Award
  • Author visits
  • Sixth Form Book Club
  • Oxford University English Days
  • An introduction to what studying English at Oxford is really like and insider knowledge about how to gain a place.
  • Theatre trips and visits

Trips are organised to support the key texts throughout the two years.

Full details in Sixth Form brochure


Departmental Team

Ms K Mathiesen (Head of Department)
Miss C Lingwood (Deputy Head of Department, Key Stage 3 co-ordinator)
Mrs N Banks (Key Stage 4 co-ordinator)
Mrs L Norton (Key Stage 5 co-ordinator)
Miss E Bromley
Mrs E Frank
Mrs M Gosnell
Mr C Hart
Mr J Pelling
Mrs C Cutter

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