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Head of Faculty

Miss C Hunt  




(0115) 9635667 extension (123)


Faculty overview

Through our Language faculty, students access the following subjects:

  • Key stage 3 English
  • English language
  • English literature
  • Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

During the year, students follow a curriculum based on reading, writing and speaking and listening. The focus is on making the study of English real to all students, while promoting excitement and pleasure in reading and exploring language. We combine lessons on specific reading, writing or speaking and listening assessment foci within schemes of work that are thematic or centred around a more general aspect of English.

For example, over the course of the year, students explore the following units:
• myths and legend • Peter Pan • Our Day Out • adventure short stories c19- present • unsung
heroes from across the ages • Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

Within each of the units, students will focus on very specific writing, reading and speaking and listening skills. These build on those learnt in primary school and are centred on preparing students for GCSE study and success in year 11.

Routine and thorough assessing of students’ progress is an essential part of the faculty’s work. Students’ work is marked for effort and for the application of key skills. The key skills are those that are essential to successful GCSE students, though differentiated to be appropriate to each key stage 3 year group.

Accordingly, assessments are carried out regularly in the students’ dedicated assessment book, which tracks their progress and set individual targets throughout each year of key stage 3. Students will not receive a level in-keeping with the academy’s policy but will receive a comment that details what skills the student has demonstrated and a target that indicates what they need to work on next in order to sustain progress.

Furthermore, we use the GCSE marking criteria to assess a half-termly assessment. The assessments and the marks they generate help to track progress and inform the feedback given at key review points to parents/carers. Furthermore, over the last four years we have emphasised the importance of independent reading for pleasure. To this end, one lesson a week is a dedicated reading lesson, where we use the Accelerated Reader programme to track and measure student progress throughout year 7 and 8. This helps nurture another essential skill: the ability to work independently on reading and comprehending a text.

Lastly, all year 7 students are timetabled a dedicated literacy lesson that is taught alongside their four English lessons. This lesson overlaps with some elements of the English curriculum but is also aimed at developing literacy skills needed in all subjects. For example: students develop key reading skills (skimming, scanning, summarising, etc.) needed to engage with texts from any subject; they develop the ability to structure their writing effectively in ways that are again fundamental to most subjects; while they also develop their ability to use key spellings, vary sentence structure, and punctuate effectively.


We celebrate as many of the national and international English and Literary festivals, including National Poetry Day; National Story Telling Week and World Book day. Moreover, last year we had the author Daniel Blythe and performance poet Matt Windle visit the academy and we and hope to invite other professional writers to join us this year.

We also offer students the opportunity to ‘shadow’ the Carnegie Children’s Literature Prize nominees during a dedicated lunchtime reading club. Students read the nominated books and can take part in various activities within school or through national forums.

The faculty also run and coordinate other out of the classroom events/clubs such as: a games club; various creative writing competitions and a word games club.

Lastly, in year 8 students will attend a theatrical production appropriate to one of the units studied. This will performance will change every year depending on theatres and the shows they offer.


The English faculty has seven dedicated teaching rooms, all equipped with whiteboards and projectors to enhance the students’ learning.

Subject specific equipment

As well as the essential school equipment listed in students’ planners, students must have a reading book for use in the weekly reading lessons. These can be brought from home or loaned from the academy library.

We do provide students with an English class book for notes separate to the assessment book and also issue a separate homework book.

English – Key Stage 3 

Throughout Key Stage 3, students follow a curriculum based on reading, writing and speaking and listening. The focus is on making the study of English real to all students, together with promoting excitement and pleasure in reading and exploring language. We combine lessons on specific reading, writing or speaking and listening assessment foci within schemes of work that are thematic or centred around a more general aspect of English.

Year 7
The first aim of year 7 is to allow for a smooth and effective transition from year 6. We engage with reading, writing and speaking and listening skills through thematic schemes of work. Units include:
• identity • Victorian heroes and villains • spies • creative writing • festival project • SPaG • classroom novel • theatre – ‘Our day out’

Year 8
Students follow a thematic program of study, though all lessons are still firmly grounded and assessed using the same key stage 3 assessment foci. A range of literary texts are engaged with while we also aim to underline the modern relevance of English. The schemes of work are:
• class novel • creative writing • dystopian literature • non-fiction – sport • texts from other cultures • media texts • 19th century literature • Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew

Year 9
Thematic schemes of work continue in year 9, with a key focus on preparing students for the move into GCSE study and preparation. The schemes of work are:
• class novel – ‘Of Mice and Men’ • poetry from 1789 to the present day • non-fiction • creative writing • Macbeth • extended reading – ‘Whose Life Is It Anyway’ • gothic literature

English Language 

Following on from the units covered within Key Stage 3, the English Language GCSE course extends students’ development of the key concepts of form, structure and use of language to enable them to adapt and interpret writing for different audiences and purposes.

Key stage 4
Students will study a range of fiction and non-fiction taken from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. They will develop new techniques and build their knowledge of key skills as a writer. Throughout the course, there will be the requirement to write extracts for non-fiction and fiction purposes, studying other writers work to help shape this development. All students will also learn how to adapt their spoken language to communicate clearly and effectively for different purposes.

Key stage 5
English language is a continuation from your English studies at GCSE level, yet there are many aspects to the course which will make it feel like a brand new subject. Most of the study will be based around a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, much of which you will be able to source yourself, and there is ample opportunity for creative and imaginative writing.

For more information about the A-Level and AS course, visit

English Literature 

The study of English literature is the study of how we engage and think about our world. The study of literature is the study of culture, history, human relationships and the history of ideas. Alongside this, you will explore how various writers have used language, form and structure to create their own interpretations and pictures of the world. The course also covers how language, and our ability to exploit it for own purposes, is what truly separates us from other animals.

Key Stage 4
You will study a range of fiction texts that are regarded as important and influential examples of English literature. These are:
• Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet • a 19th century text – A Christmas Carol • a modern play- An Inspector Calls • poetry from 1789 to the present day exploring the themes of power and conflict

Key Stage 5
At AS level you will focus on the specific literary genre of ‘tragedy’. You will study a Shakespeare drama and another tragic drama, together with reading and analysing a novel and a selection of poetry on the same theme.

At A2 level, you will further your understanding of tragedy through the exploration of a Shakespeare text, a modern drama text and a novel. Crime writing is also explored, through the study of two texts, a poetry selection and a novel. Critical theory such as Marxism or feminism is studied, enabling you to analyse a literary text of your own choosing.

For more information about the A-Level and AS course, visit

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) 

In Modern  Foreign Languages  we aim to develop a love of language learning amongst students together with a realisation of the importance of languages in today’s world. We hope to engender an appreciation of French and German culture, and the desire amongst students to discover more about our world and the languages within it.

The four language skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing will be developed with a strong emphasis on communication skills and grammar. We encourage all students to use the languages they are learning in the classroom for greetings and simple instructions.

For more details about the Languages faculty please contact Mrs Radford by email. An overview of the faculty can be downloaded below.

Key stage 3
In year 7, students learn French and study topics including:
• myself and my family• leisure • school • home and environment •

In addition we work to develop cultural awareness of the customs and traditions of France and Germany.

At the beginning of year 8, students in the top set (based on assessment) start an additional language, German and continue with French.. All other students continue with French and develop their skills and comprehension. This continues into year 9 and assists students in deciding on languages they may wish to study at GCSE and beyond.

Key stage 4
Students can opt to study French or German at GCSE. In both languages students are taught and examined in all four skill areas of listening, reading, speaking and writing, studying three themes:
• identity and culture • local, national, international and global areas of interest • current and future study and employment

Key stage 5
Our A-Level and AS level courses in French and  German have a broad educational value. Language is central to human understanding – the course develops communication and grammar skills together with an ability to analyse, interpret and evaluate texts and spoken language.

The A Level and AS courses for French and German include the following units:
• aspects of French/German speaking society • social issues and trends • artistic culture • grammar • literary texts and films

For further details of the A-level and AS courses, visit