English Language & Literature

Within the English department we aim to inspire, motivate and engage all students to develop an appreciation of how language and literature enriches our lives. We aim to engage all students in developing their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills so that they are fully equipped to achieve their full potential. Students are given every opportunity to develop their skills so that they can leave school with qualifications that prove they can communicate clearly and precisely, with confidence, both verbally and on paper.

Key Stage 3

The programme of study for Key Stage 3 has been written in line with the National Curriculum and prepares students for the rigour of the new GCSE qualifications. Our curriculum introduces students to a wide variety of challenging texts, which are chosen by their teachers in order to engage and motivate students. In the classroom, we strive to engage students by using a range of teaching and learning methods and we are also determined to ensure that all students are supported and challenged.

Year 7

Students in year 7 study a novel, have an introduction to Gothic Literature, explore Shakespeare in connection to the theme of the supernatural, and study a selection of short stories. In addition, year 7 students develop their skills in units of work based on the themes of ‘Journeys’ and ‘London’. This includes the study of poetry and also enables pupils to focus on improving their creative writing.

Year 8

Students in year 8 study a novel, read and respond to a range of texts based on the theme of ‘Crime’, and study a Shakespeare play with a focus on conflict. Students are introduced to Dystopian fiction and complete a unit of work entitled ‘Narrative writing based on conflict.’ In addition, students explore a range of texts, including the study of poetry, within the theme of Cultural Diversity.

Year 9

Students in year 9 study a novel and analyse poetry linked to the theme of ‘War’. Students study Shakespeare’s Macbeth and also explore Victorian Literature. In addition, year 9 students study a play and develop their creative writing in a unit of work linked to the theme of War and Conflict. Students also develop their ability to respond to GCSE style English Language exam papers in preparation for year 10.

Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4 all students study GCSE English Literature and GCSE English Language. Students study a wide range of texts in order to complete AQA examinations in both subjects.

English Language enables students to:

  • Read a wide range of texts, fluently and with good understanding
  • Read critically, and use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
  • Write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
  • Use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately
  • Acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.

In addition, GCSE specifications in English Language enables students to:

  • Listen to and understand spoken language, and use spoken Standard English effectively.

Spoken language will be reported on as part of the qualification, but it does not form part of the final mark and grade.

English Literature enables students to:

  • Read a wide range of classic literature fluently and with good understanding, and make connections across their reading
  • Read in depth, critically and evaluative, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often
  • Appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage
  • Write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using Standard English
  • Acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including the grammatical terminology and other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they read.

More details about the English Language and English Literature specifications can be found on the AQA website.

English Language


English Literature


Department Leader

Mrs S Jackson - sjackson@hillsviewacademy.org