The English department aims to ensure that all students develop their skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening to the highest possible levels, promoting an enquiring and lively interest in all aspects of the subject.

Head of Department

Miss S Fairburn


In Years 7 to 9, students study a comprehensive range of fiction, plays (including Shakespeare), poetry, media texts and non-fiction. They are taught to write in a variety of styles and develop research skills and wider reading through regular supervised use of the library. A reading list for Year 6 students preparing for Year 7 can be found here: Year 6, Becoming Year 7 Reading List

Useful links for KS3 can be found here:

Year 7

Year 7 Reading List, Year 7 Autumn Term, Year 7 Spring Term, Year 7 Summer Term, Non Fiction Lower School Reading List, KS3 Voracious Readers and Useful resources for parents and children to help improve spelling

Year 8 and 9

GCSE New Specification Outline 2020-2021, English Department Marking PolicyYear 8 Reading List, Year 9 Reading List, Non Fiction Lower School Reading List, KS3 Voracious Readers and Useful resources for parents and children to help improve spelling

For further information please see our Main School Prospectus


In Years 10 and 11 students work towards GCSEs in English Language and English Literature. The examination board is AQA. They study a 19th century novel, a Shakespeare play, modern drama/prose, poetry, non-fiction material and a range of fictional extracts from 20th and 21st century.  GCSE writing tasks require well-crafted narrative and descriptive skills and the ability to put forward a carefully constructed argument.

Useful links for KS4 English can be found here: GCSE New Specification Outline 2021-2022 GCSE English Language and English Literature Further Information, Stretch and Challenge Reading ListGCSE English Literature set text list and Helping your child with their GCSE English courses.

For further information please see our KS4 Options Booklet 2022-2024


At A Level we offer courses in English Language, English Literature and English Language and Literature. The examination board is AQA.

English Language is a fascinating and challenging course which takes a scientific approach to English Language. Being able to read independently a range of linguistic research, non- fiction texts, broadsheet newspapers and spoken transcripts is essential.

English Literature builds on the GCSE skills of responding to a range of literary texts, seeking to broaden and deepen students’ understanding of the writer’s art and of the interpretation of texts and their times. This is a demanding and enjoyable course, requiring students to think independently about their reading and to present convincing and well-supported opinions.

The study of English Language and Literature encourages students to develop their interest in both language and literature as interconnecting and mutually supportive disciplines. Students explore the relationship of language and literature through critical reading of and response to both literary and non-literary texts as well as writing for a variety of audiences and purposes.

Useful information for A Level English Literature and Language can be found here:

Coursework information

Exam specification

Recommended reading list and sets texts

For further information please see our Associated Sixth Form Prospectus

Additional Learning Resources

Please visit Moodle VLE and audiopi podcast resource for English Resources. Alternatively speak to your English teacher regarding additional learning resources within the English department.

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