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Curriculum overview

Our intention is to inspire our students with a love of English to form roots that lie deep within them which will carry them successfully into their future lives. We want to inspire students to read widely, and deeply, to explore a range of cultures, experiences and opinions that stem from a wide range of social, cultural and political concepts. This will support them to not only form their own opinions of the world in which they live, but to develop their empathy skills, to make sure they are aware of the opinions of others and accept those perspectives.

Not only do we feel the reading of fiction is imperative in developing the young people in our care, but we also seek to ensure that students feel confident and comfortable in reading a range of non-fiction, especially news articles and reports, to allow the opportunity to develop their own cultural capital and feel inspired to keep up with current affairs.

We wish to instil a curiosity within the students which means they seek to find answers and create questions through their breadth of reading. Through exposure to a range of texts from the Literary Canon and beyond, we aim to reveal to students the society in which they are growing up in and the societies that have come before. This reflection and appreciation for reading should help to end the cycle of poverty and disadvantage that some of our students unfortunately find themselves in.

Alongside their appreciation of reading, a love of writing must thrive. Written communication is vital to our students to ensure they can accurately, and eloquently, communicate their own thoughts and opinions. We will ensure students are able to write for a range of forms and purposes, to prepare them for future employment opportunities but to be able to articulate their own feelings to others. Communication is key to success and our students will build on, and master, their writing skills year by year. Students will also write in response to ideas and ideologies raised in texts which they have studied as we encourage students to form their own views of sociological and historical whilst being able to communicate effectively with others about it.

The final strand that will help build our students into English excellency is through the spoken word. Every lesson will have an opportunity for our students to communicate their ideas with others using support and guidance in how to ensure their mode of communication is effective. Students will also have opportunities throughout the year to debate topics of interest, deliver speeches to their peers or communicate their own work to others. We want to build a confidence within the students to use their voice as a method to ensure their opinions are heard and matter.


  • Exam Board: AQA
  • Qualification: GCSE
  • Paper 1: Explorations in creative reading and writing (50% of final mark)
  • 1hr 45 minute written exam
  • Paper 2: Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives (50% of final mark)
  • 1hr 45 minute written exam
  • Spoken Language Endorsement: students give a presentation in a formal context, responding appropriately to questions and feedback

Links to Future Study & Careers

Students who study GCSE Language can go on to study A-Level Language, exploring the wider world, society and the way we use language to communicate.

Due to the wide range of transferrable skills that it equips students with, English Language is highly valued in many career sectors, such as journalism, the media, the government and civil service, heritage organisations, conservation, teaching, archives, museums and galleries; any workplace sector which uses language to inform wider decision making and interactions with the wider world.

Curriculum map

Please click here for the KS4 GCSE English language curriculum map.