Aims of the Department

Pupils will develop high standards of literacy in order to enable them to communicate their ideas and to participate fully as a member of society. Through studying key texts, pupils will have the opportunity to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.

Strengths of the Department

All pupils will be challenged to build upon the progress that they have made at KS2 whilst understanding the importance of reading for pleasure. They will read increasingly challenging material from a range of fiction and non-fiction (both pre-1914 and contemporary) and they will learn to analyse texts independently.

When writing, they will learn how to write accurately and fluently by writing for a range of audiences and purposes. They will also plan, draft and edit their work and consolidate and build upon their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. To develop their spoken English skills they will be given the opportunity to give short presentations and participate in debates.


The English Department consistently achieves results above the National average.

We are also very proud of the partnerships that we have formed with the wider community.

  • We have recently been involved in a project entitled ‘Mother Tongue, Other Tongue’ where pupils worked with the poet Carol Ann Duffy to produce and perform their own poem, which celebrated cultural diversity and bilingual speakers in Manchester.
  • We have worked with Manchester University and The Manchester Museum on various projects.
  • We work closely with other schools in Manchester to share good practice. 
  • Due to our fantastic central location we are able to make full use of all the opportunities that the city offers us such as theatre trips, cinema screenings, author visits and links to the various universities.

KS3 English Curriculum

Year 7

In the Autumn Terms pupils study the novel 'Private Peaceful (by Michael Morpurgo) to develop their inference skills and to explore the methods used by the writer to explore characterisation and key themes. They then move on to a Mythology unit before creating their own narrative pieces. In the Spring Term they analyse 'The Tempest' (by William Shakespeare) in order to understand how the work of a dramatist in communicated effectively. Finally, in the Summer Term they explore how Monsters are depicted in a range of texts before creating their own persuasive pieces.

Year 8

In the Autumn Term pupils study a range of texts linked by the theme of 'Monsters'. They will be introduced to the Romantics before exploring a range of Gothic Literature such as 'Frankenstein' by Shelley. They build upon the analytical skills taught in Year 7 and read critically to explain how language and structure affect meaning. In the Spring Term pupils study the play 'Oliver Twist' (Dickens)- focussing on characterisation and how Bill Sykes is presented. Next, pupils are introduced to the genre of Tragedy as they explore Shakespearean villains. In the Summer Term pupils develop their non-fiction writing skills, after researching the theme of Protests, before writing to describe.

Year 9

Year 9 is a transition year in that it prepares for the demands of GCSE. Throughout the year, pupils will read a range of texts, including prose, poetry and drama. They will write for a range of audiences and purposes and will continue to focus on sentence construction and punctuation. In the Autumn Term pupils study the novel 'Of Mice And Men' (by Steinbeck) to consider context, characterisation, plot and key methods used by the writer. Pupils then use key themes from the novel as a springboard for writing to argue a point of view. After this unit pupils are introduced to a collection of poems, linked by the theme of 'Disturbed Individuals', to develop their comparison skills and prepare them for the GCSE poetry anthology unit. In the latter half of the Spring Term, pupils also analyse Short Stories. In the Summer Term pupils develop their analysis of drama texts by studying 'Blood Brothers' (Russell) and 'Macbeth' (Shakespeare).


KS4 English Curriculum

All pupils will follow both the AQA English Language and Literature two year courses. The courses consist of examinations only. Pupils will be awarded a 1-9 level (with 9 being the highest).


English Language

Pupils will be assessed by two examination papers (of equal weighting) and both contain a Reading and Writing section.


Paper 1 (1hr 45mins)

  • In Section A (Reading) pupils will answer 4 questions to show their understanding of a literature fiction text. They will be expected to identify explicit and implicit meaning and analyse/evaluate the writer’s use of language and structure. In Section B (Writing) pupils will be asked to describe or narrate. In this task they will be expected to communicate their ideas clearly and to use accurate spelling, punctuation and vocabulary. They will also be asked to employ a range of sentence structures in their written work.

Paper 2 (1hr 45mins)

  • In Section A (Reading) pupils will answer 4 questions to show their understanding of one non-fiction and one literary non-fiction text. They will be assessed on their ability to identify explicit and implicit meaning, summarise information, analyse language and compare writers ideas and perspectives. In Section B (Writing) they will be asked to write in order to present a viewpoint. The skills required here are the same as Paper 1.


English Literature

Pupils will sit 2 exams at the end of their 2 year Literature course where they will be asked to write in detail about an extract and the play/novel as a whole. Pupils will be assessed on their ability to analyse the writers’ methods, use subject terminology, support their points with evidence from the text and to explore/compare ideas presented by different writers.


Paper 1 (40% 1hr 45mins)

  • Shakespeare (Macbeth) and 19th Century Novel (Christmas Carol).

Paper 2 (60% 2hr 15mins)

  • Modern Texts: ‘An Inspector Calls’ by Priestley.
  • Poetry: From the AQA ‘Love And Relationships’ Cluster.
  • Unseen Poetry: