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Hadleigh High School


Staff Members

Victoria Wright, Stuart Pryke, Pete Etchingham, Rebecca Taylor, Sydney Moore, Andrew Toon

Key Stage 3

The aim of our Key Stage 3 curriculum is to develop creativity and passion for reading and writing and to sufficiently challenge students in preparation for the GCSE courses. In Years 7 and 9, students receive six lessons of English a fortnight. In Year 8, students receive five lessons of English a fortnight.

All Key Stage 3 schemes of work blend Language and Literature skills, and are rooted in a fiction text in order to develop an appreciation of reading. These texts have been chosen to deliver a challenging mix of classic and contemporary plays and novels. They are:


Year 7 – Wonder or Private Peaceful, Introduction to Poetry and an Introduction to Shakespeare using extracts from different plays including Hamlet, Julius Caesar and The Taming of the Shrew,


Year 8 – Z for Zachariah or Animal Farm, The Tempest, Love and Relationships poetry


Year 9 – Of Mice and Men, Romeo and Juliet, Conflict poetry


Each scheme of work is developed by the department and incorporates:


  • Creative writing: a hugely enjoyable part of our curriculum and now a significant part of the English Language GCSE.
  • Learning and revision of Tier 2 vocabulary (Tier 2High frequency words used by mature language users across several content areas. Because of their lack of redundancy in oral language, Tier 2 words present challenges to students who primarily meet them in print) to enable students to communicate their ideas in a formal and academic style.
  • Reading and writing of fiction and non-fiction texts to develop comprehension, analysis and critical thinking: all crucial to the new English Language GCSE.
  • Regular opportunities for discussion are included to prepare students for their GCSE Spoken Language Certificate and to nurture the confidence and oracy skills crucial to wider school life and beyond.


Assessment at Key Stage Three

Students will sit a summative assessment at the end of each unit. During the academic year, students will sit a range of reading, writing and literature assessments. Each assessment will be given a ‘most likely grade’ on a 1-9 scale. This is suggestion on what they might get at GCSE if they continue to make the same progress towards Year 11.


Prior to sitting these summative assessments, students will sit formative assessments. This allows teachers to check for any gaps in learning and to then tailor lessons and intervention to address these gaps.

Key Stage 4

Each student will study the AQA English Language and the AQA English Literature courses. These are two separate GCSEs (each comprising two exams) and students will be awarded two separate 1-9 grades.


The courses are much more rigorous than previous English specifications, with an increased focus on deep knowledge of literature texts, analysis of unseen texts and writing skills – all assessed through challenging final exams (coursework is no longer used at GCSE).


Each student will have six lessons of English per fortnight with a greater focus on English Literature in Year 10, enabling students to thoroughly revise the texts before their final examinations in Year 11.


English Literature

The Literature course is divided into four sections across two exam papers. We have opted to study the following texts and poems. We have found that students are enthused by this mix of texts, resulting in higher engagement and a greater chance of success.


Literature Paper 1

Shakespeare  - Macbeth

19th Century Fiction – A Christmas Carol


Literature Paper 2

Modern play or prose – An Inspector Calls

Poetry – Power and Conflict Poetry (15 poems)


In addition to the Power and Conflict poetry cluster, students must also analyse unseen poems and so this skill is taught throughout Key Stages 3 and 4.

Texts will be read in lesson although students are encouraged to pre-read and revisit texts as much as possible. Having their own copy of the text to annotate and to use for revision will be invaluable.


English Language


As in Literature, students will sit two exams for their Language qualification.


Language Paper 1 – Explorations in creative reading and writing

Section A: Reading and analysis of unseen 20th Century fiction

Section B: Creative Writing


Language Paper 2 – Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives

Section A: Reading and analysis of two non-fiction texts

Section B: Non-fiction writing (article, letter, leaflet etc)


Students can further develop their English Language skills through regular reading of fiction and non-fiction (quality newspaper, magazine and website articles).


Students will also undertake a spoken language study where they will give a presentation on a topic of their choice to a small audience and answer questions based on what they have discussed.


Assessment at Key Stage 4

In Year 10, students will sit regular formative assessments allowing teachers to track progress and identify gaps in skills or knowledge. Students will then sit a summative assessment at the end of each unit. At the end of Year 10, students will sit a formal mock examination in English Literature.


In Year 11, students will sit regular mock exams allowing us to gain accurate data on student progress. These will take place in November and February. These will be in the sports hall, allowing students to adjust to the pressures of a formal exam.


Students are expected to attend after school revision sessions in order to help embed knowledge and skills further.

Useful websites and resources

English Language:



English Literature:



Hadleigh High School English Revision Website: https://sites.google.com/hadleighhigh.net/english-revision 


Seneca Learning


BBC GCSE Bitesize

Possible areas of future Studies

A Level English Language

A Level English Literature

A Level English Language and Literature (Combined Course)

English as part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme

Possible future careers

English offers many opportunities for a future career including journalism, law, teaching, writing, advertising and marketing, media and managerial positions.