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Head of Department: Mrs. C Hopkins

If you wish to learn more about the curriculum, please contact the head of Department by email: ­­­­

Department Statement

English is a vibrant, profound and dynamic subject which inspires and underpins every significant aspect of life. Here at Oaklands, English is taught by a dedicated team of innovative and dedicated professionals with a wide variety of expertise and complementary interests.  We share a delight in books and reading but we are also united by our love of language in all its breath-taking richness. It is our aim to convey our enthusiasm and love for our subject to the students in our care, inspiring them to read widely, to fulfil their imaginative potential and to develop their own love of Literature and Language. Our curriculum is carefully designed with this philosophical intention.

Aspirational and Innovative Teaching and Learning

Independent learning and articulate, confident self-expression are outcomes we would aim for all of our students achieve. To achieve this, we read a wide range of texts (classical and modern) and we offer a variety of learning activities, both modern and traditional; we carefully monitor pupil progress with regular assessment and target-based marking. The implementation of the curriculum is achieved through a variety of methods which take into account the different learning needs of our diverse students.

Enrichment activities are an integral part of our curriculum, as well as a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Events such as poetry recitals and groups such as Reading Groups engender a love of these aspects of English, poetry and reading, which are integral to a full, informed experience of this central subject. In the discussion of poems and books, students are given ample opportunity to reflect on issues and themes which touch upon their spiritual experience and help them to develop emotional literacy. The depth of this response varies immensely and touches all years, from year 7 who may well respond creatively to the Anglo Saxon epic text ‘Beowulf’ to 6th form who might reflect on the presentation of mono-theocracies in fictitious dystopic societies. Whatever the experience, in each circumstance there is a sense of celebrating self and of valuing the individual.

These are some of the impacts we aim to create:

  • Inspire a love of reading, language and the word.
  • Embed cultural capital which students can carry with them into their futures.
  • Inculcate a close focus on grammatical accuracy as a tool for clarity and coherence.
  • Enable independent learning.
  • Encourage respect, tolerance and empathy towards others.
  • Cultivate Independent thinking.
  • Engender a desire to make a significant contribution towards their role as active citizens and involvement in the immediate and wider community.
  • Empower students to become articulate, confident speakers.
  • Enrich vocabularies to enable students to reach their full potential.

Our staff uphold these actions as our central priorities:

  • Act as a collegiate body, sharing and building upon good practice
  • Cascade expertise and aim for an equal experience for all students
  • Support and encourage professional and personal development
  • Demonstrate respect towards each other and our students
  • Contribute in a variety of ways to the life of the school
  • Engage in charitable activities which enrich our community
  • Develop links across the communities in which we live and work
  • Aspire to forge links with international communities

Teaching Staff

The diversity and breadth of experience amongst the English staff enrich the department and the school in general. The passion felt for our subject by all members of the English department is evident in all areas of English teaching; it follows that dynamism and creativity enhance all that we do. Every Child Matters is a crucial aspect of school life and this empathy and equality is central to our approach in all areas of English teaching. All students are fortunate to have such attention and commitment, from KS3 to KS5. Our key focus is progression and it is evident from our superb results that such progression is achieved and built upon.


Year 7 Topics

Year 8 Topics

Year 9 Topics

  • Autobiography
  • Beowulf; Narrative Poetry
  • A Charles Dickens novel
  • A Modern Novel
  • Language extracts fiction and non-fiction
  • Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Creative Writing
  • Gothic fiction – A Woman in Black / Frankenstein
  • Shakespeare –  Romeo and Juliet
  • Victorian and Modern non-fiction Texts
  • Medea – Greek tragic drama
  • Sherlock Holmes – pre-20th century literature
  • Poetry classical and modern
  • Charles Dickens - Great Expectations
  • War Poetry
  • Shakespeare Much Ado About Nothing
  • Writing about Personal Experience
  • Volcano Assessment
  • Nature Poetry
  • World Seminal Literature: OF Mice and Men

GCSE Y10-11

Exam Board: AQA for English Language and English Literature

Exam board specification weblink:  

GCSE Reading List

English Language

English Literature

  • Spoken Language
  • Paper 1 (fiction)  including writing to describe or narrate
  • Paper 2  ( non-fiction)  including writing to argue or persuade
  • Shakespeare – Macbeth.
  • 19th century novel e.g. Jekyll and Hyde
  • Modern text e.g. Lord of the Flies
  • Poetry – Power and Conflict Anthology
  • Poetry – unseen