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Hadleigh High School


Staff Members

Miss V Wright (Head of Faculty), Mr S Pryke, Mr J Day, Mr A Toon, Miss R Taylor and Mr P Etchingham

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 seven 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 – Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’, Oliver Twist and an Introduction to Shakespeare using extracts from The Tempest.


Year 8 – Animal Farm, The Importance of Being Earnest and Julius Caesar.


Year 9 – Of Mice and Men, Jekyll and Hyde and Romeo and Juliet.


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;
  • Poetry linking to themes and ideas explored in the main texts;
  • Learning and revision of Tier 2 vocabulary (Tier 2 high frequency words are used by mature language users across several content areas. Because of their lack of use in oral language, Tier 2 words present challenges to students who primarily meet them in print) to enable students to communicate their ideas in an increasingly sophisticated style;
  • Reading and writing of fiction and non-fiction texts to develop comprehension, analysis and critical thinking;
  • Regular opportunities for discussion to prepare students for their GCSE Spoken Language certificate and to nurture confidence in oracy skills crucial to wider school life and beyond.


To develop confidence in reading, students will also read different a class novel in addition to the main areas of study. One lesson a fortnight is dedicated to active reading time.


Assessment at Key Stage Three


Formative assessment

Students will complete regular formative assessment in lessons such as quizzes and 200 word challenges. This will allow teachers to identify any gaps in knowledge and address these through teacher feedback and student response tasks.


Summative assessment

Students will sit a summative assessment during knowledge weeks. These will be testing knowledge from the knowledge organisers and their ability to apply it.

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 9-1  grades.


The courses are demanding in assessing both reading and writing, with an increased focus on deep knowledge of literature texts, analysis of unseen texts and writing skills. These are assessed through closed book terminal examinations (there is no coursework).


English Literature

The Literature course is divided into four sections across two exam papers. The texts studied are as follows:


Literature Paper 1

Shakespeare – ‘Macbeth’

19th Century Fiction – ‘A Christmas Carol’ (Dickens)


Literature Paper 2

Modern play or prose – ‘An Inspector Calls’ (Priestley)

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 is invaluable.


English Language

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


English Language Paper 1 – Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

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

Section B: Creative Writing


English 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 and 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.

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.


Excellent communication skills are essential to the vast majority of jobs.