"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."

Dr. Seuss : 'I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!'

English Department Objectives

The aim is to empower all students with the ability to use language effectively and to inspire in them a love and a passion for literature. Our progressive curriculum offers a solid foundation for a rich and challenging programme for GCSE English and English Literature.

Beyond the curriculum there are regular features such as reading support, performance poetry and Dramatic Performances - click on the link below to see some of our recent events and celebrations.

Accelerated Reader

Since September, Years 7, 8 and 9 have been working hard in order to improve their reading skills with the support of a programme called Accelerated Reader. Having sophisticated skills in reading helps students to not only appreciate the joy of books, but will also benefit them in all areas of their life and their school career.

Key Stage 3

The English department at KS3 aims to inspire a love of reading and writing whilst also building a foundation of key skills in preparation for GCSE.

Students read a variety of texts to support their reading across all subjects. They are encouraged to be critical readers and to formulate their own opinions.

We are committed to improving students’ writing and have a clear focus on improving basic skills of technical accuracy. Our approach to teaching grammar emphasises the function of words, phrases and clauses in context.

The department uses a combination of Formative and Summative Assessment ensuring effective ongoing monitoring of student progress and the diagnosis of areas for development. We have introduced a Mastery Curriculum to Year 7 this academic year focused on reading and writing skills, in line with National Curriculum changes, to ensure students are aware of their next steps for progress.

In order to embed a culture of reading in preparation for the new style GCSEs, KS3 students read for 15 minutes at the start of every English lesson. Moreover, all pupils have one lesson in the Book Loft every cycle dedicated to reading; this is a personalised programme that supports student progress with regards to improving their reading ages and develop their love of reading.

In addition, all pupils are set regular reading homework alongside quizzes and challenging reading comprehension tasks. We encourage students to read aloud to parents or guardians three times per week.

Key Stage 4

At GCSE we follow the AQA English Language GCSE & AQA English Literature GCSE (Core Subject).

Our exciting and innovative two year course builds on the skills that you have developed in KS3. We thrive on nurturing and developing future leaders who are skilled independent, critical thinkers.

AQA English Language GCSE

Paper 1 is ‘Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing’

Paper 2 is ‘Writer’s Viewpoints and Perspectives’

All examinations take place at the end of Year 11

AQA English Literature GCSE

Paper 1 is ‘Shakespeare and the 19th Century novel’

Paper 2 is ‘Modern prose, drama and poetry’

All examinations will take place at the end of Year 11

Spoken Language

A separate endorsement is given for the Spoken Language assessment

What is assessed:

  • presenting
  • responding to questions and feedback
  • use of Standard English

How is it assessed:

  • set by the teacher throughout the course
  • marked by the teacher

Key Stage 5

Edexcel English Literature A-Level

Our exciting and innovative two year course builds on the skills that you have developed in KS3 and KS4 as part of our all-through curriculum. We believe in our young leaders leaving Aylward Academy as confident, well-rounded citizens of society.

Paper 1: Drama

You will cover a modern play as well as a Shakespearean text.

Paper 2: Prose

You will compare two texts that link thematically. One of these texts will be pre-1900 whilst the other is a modern text.

Paper 3: Poetry

You will study a range of poetry from the Victorian era to the modern day. Pupils will also be asked to analyse unseen poetry.


Pupils form a critical exploration of two texts; one of which is a Shakespearean text.

Independent Learning Tasks: Homework is an important part of the curriculum and the use of a projects and sketchbook encourages independence, imagination and good practice. Students should click the Show My Homework icon to login.