Curriculum intent, implementation and impact: subject English

Staff in EWS English


Ms S Rushe- Head of Department 

BA (Hons) English Language and Literature 

Ms J. Manley – Second i/c of department/ KS5 Coordinator 

BA (Hons) English and Film Studies

Ms T. Zanca- KS3 Coordinator

Ms A. Qureshi- KS4 Coordinator 

BA (Hons) Comparative Literature

Mrs L. Dwyer – Director of Teaching and Learning

BA (Hons) English Literature; MA Victorian Studies

Mrs C. Rice – LLB (Hons) Law​, NASENCO, SENCO

Ms S Wilkins English Teacher

Ms Y Lim English Teacher BA (Hons) English  MA Education

Mr A Dudley English Teacher

Ms E Ross English Teacher

Ms J Harrap English Teacher

Ms S. Drake English Teacher




Curriculum intent and impact of EWS English department.

Our curriculum is designed to enable our students to challenge and critically engage with the world around them through language and literature. We provide a diverse selection of texts to foster a love of reading, where students may see their own experiences reflected but that also engender empathy and understanding of life experiences beyond their own. We also carefully select texts from the literary canon which encourages critical discussions through a contextual lens. This curriculum empowers our students to advocate for themselves and others through their spoken and written language.



Curriculum implementation KS3 in the English department.

-           Students have 7 lessons in the fortnightly cycle (7 hours a fortnight including one library lesson)

-           All students study English at KS3

We follow the National Curriculum Programme of study in KS3


KS3 English offers numerous opportunities for students to develop their writing skills, engage in new and varied texts (both fiction and non-fiction) and explore written and spoken language. We select aspects for more detailed study based on the distinct skills students need to be successful in both literature and language, but also to allow students access to engaging and challenging texts across a number of experiences and perspectives. We assess throughout the course by timed assessment in assessment weeks; developmental tasks, homework reading; STAR reading age testing and speaking and listening tasks. Our curriculum is carefully planned to allow students to build on their knowledge and skills across units with assessments that are designed to scaffold learning and use prior knowledge to accelerate progress.


Autumn term

Spring term

Summer term

Year 7


The Other Side of Truth


Poetry Across Time


Students start by reading The Other Side of Truth, a novel about Nigerian political refugees. Here they are introduced to the reading skills that will help them access texts during their time at EWS. They will use the novel to complete creative and analytical writing tasks- using the novel to track character development.

Alongside this unit, students will be introduced to the history of poetry studying a range of poems from Chaucer and Shakespeare to more contemporary spoken word artists. They will then be asked to choose a poem to learn by heart for a performance before Christmas.







Much Ado about Nothing


Non Fiction



Students study the comedy play Much Ado about Nothing and again build on ideas about character development by focusing on the character of Beatrice. Students will start to learn about how the historical context of a text impacts the audience’s viewpoint and will start to be introduced to the idea of the feminist lens, evaluating Shakespeare’s purpose in his creation of Beatrice.


 Students will end the Spring Term by looking at the conventions of Non Fiction Texts and using models from authors such as Bryson to write their own travel writing pieces.


Dystopian Fiction


History of the English Language





Students study the Dystopian genre and build on their close reading skills whilst developing the language analysis skills from the previous units. They will also have opportunities to use the conventions of the genre to create their own dystopian worlds.


Students end year 7 by looking at the history of the English language and create their own language autobiographies, where they explore the impact their own language journey has had on them and those around them.

Year 8


War Poetry


Jekyll and Hyde



Students start the year by studying a war poetry unit where they develop their confidence in analysing poems and writing responses. They will explore how attitudes to war are showcased in poetry looking at poets from Wilfred Owen to Kae Tempest. After half term, students study the 19th Century novel Jekyll and Hyde and are introduced to the conventions of the gothic, as well as focusing on how setting is used by Stevenson to create atmosphere.








The Gothic


Romeo and Juliet



Students will continue their study of the gothic by looking at a range of extracts from texts such as Frankenstein and Dracula. This will build their confidence in analytical skills and they will also have the opportunity to use these texts as models for their own work.


Students will then continue their Shakespeare study by studying the tragedy play Romeo and Juliet. They will build on their character study in year 7 by practising looking at a thematic overview of the play.


Interesting Introductions


Chosen for You





Students will study a unit called captivating openings studying a number of opening chapters of both award winning YA novels such as The Lie Tree and classics such as Jane Eyre.


Students will end the year with a unit called Chosen for You, which has suggestions of Non Fiction texts from our KS5 students. Students will explore texts such as: Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Marcus Rashford’s letter to the government and Chinese Cinderella and will be given the opportunity to practise their writing skills by using these as models to inspire their own pieces.

Extension activities to do at home in KS3 in English department  


  • Years 7 and 8 are part of our Accelerated Reader programme – remember to take a quiz within 2 days of reading your library book.
  • Read at least 2 non-fiction texts a week.  Have you tried articles, advertisements, newspapers, brochures, biographies?
  • Use a dictionary when you come across a new word in your reading and try to use it in your writing.
  • Join your local library and set yourself a reading challenge – have you read every book by your favourite author?
  • Have a go at writing an article for the school website/newsletter- have you suggested a book for the must read book corner?


Go to the English Department Page on Firefly for more ways to extend your learning outside the classroom.



Curriculum implementation KS4 in English department.

We study two GCSEs  AQA English Literature and Language Specification:

English Language:


English Literature:


We select the texts studied to allow our students to access the vast realm of human experience through the modes of prose, poetry, plays and non-fiction texts. We aim to provide students with materials that provoke their curiosity which are presented in a way that removes any barriers to access thus allowing our students to have the pleasure of grasping difficult ideas well.


Our Literature texts are chosen to build on knowledge from KS3, we study the Shakespeare tragedy Macbeth and the 19th Century text A Christmas Carol a gothic novella by Charles Dickens-both genres students have been introduced to in year 8. We also study the play An Inspector Calls, a popular text with our students as it explores social issues that are applicable to their lives. Love and Relationship Poetry is studied as it provides a springboard to have discussions about an important aspect of the human experience and also allows students to experience the breadth of different poetic forms from Browning’s ‘Sonnet 29’ to the free verse of Nagra’s ‘Singh Song!’


We endeavour to ensure that our English Language lessons use texts from a variety of writers and experiences so that students can both see themselves and others represented. It is important that our students learn how to be tolerant and accepting of viewpoints and experiences that may be different to their own and in both Fiction and Non-Fiction choices at GCSE we try to provide opportunity for discussion and evaluation of different perspectives. They also need to look at different forms so we ensure that across the curriculum they have experience of these both within the classroom and as part of their reading homework tasks.


Ongoing assessment and skill development: We assess throughout the course by regular assessment of both GCSEs in assessment weeks and also through developmental tasks where students are given clear targets to improve and develop their work. Developmental assessments take place throughout the course by giving students opportunities to complete exam style tasks including full exams papers and individual questions.  Skills and topics are returned to throughout the course interleaving the requirements for both GCSEs. Opportunities for memory testing such as mini quizzes are part of lesson routines especially for quotation learning for Literature texts.


Sequence of units:  Elizabeth is studied first since it is the most accessible unit and as such is popular with students. The exam questions in the Elizabeth unit provide students with an introduction to essay writing and short answer memory questions, which are also on other papers in similar or the same structure. We then study Germany followed by the Cold War since the Germany unit provides chronological and political context for the Cold War. We complete the course with the medicine unit which considers change and continuance over a millennia, this unit is supported by the broad understanding gleaned from the other units.


Support Learning: We support our learners by providing our students with booklets, top tips for exam questions, quotation grids and clear resources that guide them to develop the skills needed for both GCSEs. The course is designed to scaffold learning and teachers ensure that students understand the links between different areas of study particularly across the two GCSEs Language and Literature.



Autumn term

Spring term

Summer term

Year 9

Short Stories


A Christmas Carol



Students start the year studying a range of short stories and using these texts as inspiration for their own narrative writing. There is a real emphasis on the crafting of structural elements of short stories and how to analyse these and students will complete an assessment which asks them to analyse the structure and language of an unseen text and produce their own narrative.


After half term, students will study A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and will learn to craft literature essays on theme and character discussing the text as a construct with deeper meanings than just the plot. They build on contextual knowledge of the Victorian period from KS3 through studying non- fiction texts alongside the novella. Quote tests will take place throughout the SOW.

A Christmas Carol






Students complete their study of A Christmas Carol with a timed essay in assessment week.


After this, a range of speeches are studied which have been specifically chosen to allow the students to explore a range of viewpoints and ideas across time from Greta Thunberg’s address to the UN to Martin Luther’s ‘I have a dream’ speech. Using these as style models, students are given the opportunity to write a speech on a topic they feel strongly about and will be assessed both for their written quality and for their performances. 


Love and Relationship and Unseen poetry



We start the summer term studying a nonfiction unit which builds on the reading skills developed in the speech unit and exposes the students to a variety of different voices and viewpoints through forms such as newspaper articles and letters. Students will learn how to analyse these and compare different viewpoints on the same topic. There will be a reading assessment on these skills


Finally, we will end year 9 starting to look at some of the Love and Relationship poetry alongside unseen poetry from a variety of voices to develop confidence in analysing poetry.

Year 10



Students will spend the first term of year 10 studying Macbeth, their Shakespeare text for GCSE. They will build on their literature essay writing skills by ensuring that they have a clear structure to their essays. Quote tests will take place throughout the SOW with an emphasis on judicious evidence used to support arguments.

Language Paper One


Love and Relationship Poetry


Students will build on their fiction analysis skills from year 9 by being introduced to all four questions for GCSE English Language Paper One. They will study extracts from novels such as The Narrow Road and Kite Runner to encourage wider reading and will also practise their creative writing incorporating both description and narrative structures to prepare for their first full Language Paper One Assessment.


Alongside this, as part of their GCSE literature study they will continue to study the love and relationship poetry with a focus on the romantic relationship poems. Comparative skills will be developed and students will also be introduced to the comparative element of the unseen poetry GCSE question.

Language Paper Two


Speaking and Listening


Students end year 10 by studying a unit designed to develop knowledge and skills for the GCSE non-fiction language paper including development of comparison of perspectives and honing their own viewpoint writing across a range of forms: letter writing, speeches and newspaper articles.


We end the year by completing the speaking and listening element of the GCSE with students writing and performing a speech on a topic of their choice and being graded by their class teacher.

Year 11

An Inspector Calls


Language Paper One


Students start the year studying An Inspector Calls their final literature GCSE text. This is interleaved with poetry revision in preparation for a full literature paper two mock in December. As with both other core text unit students will be provided with quotation grids and given quote tests throughout the unit.


Students will also study a revision unit for Language paper one where they will revisit the key reading questions and use question top tips and sentence starters to ensure they are familiar with how to write their answers. They will also experience a Walking Talking Mock of the reading section to practise the timings of the paper before their December mock. Additionally, students will be reminded of how to approach the creative writing element of the paper.

A Christmas Carol


Language Paper Two




Students will start the term revisiting A Christmas Carol and revising the text by looking at exam questions and practising writing analytical paragraphs. They will then sit a timed assessment. Alongside this, students will study a unit on Victorian Childhood which is designed to help with their contextual understanding for the literature text but also to practise their non-fiction analysis and writing skills for Language Paper Two.


They will be assessed on the full paper before the Easter Holidays.


Finally students will revisit Macbeth and practise their literature essay writing skills.



Students will prepare for their GCSE exams be revising key content and completing exam practice for Language and Literature.

Extension activities to do at home in KS4 in English department

Across the whole of KS4 it is vital that students read regularly.  Students should read in advance any texts they know they will be studying (and in Year 11 they should be re-reading all texts!) but they should also get into the habit of reading non-fiction texts as well.  These might include: newspaper articles, blogs, reviews, letters, travel writing.  A good website to find all of the above is The Guardian where you can find archives of all sorts of writing which in the past have been used as material on the actual language exam.  Students are given weekly reading homework so could extend their understanding by researching key ideas in the texts that they read and finding different viewpoints and perspectives.

Pupils are also given a copy of a recommended reading list for KS4 pupils so they could be reading for pleasure from this and set themselves a challenge to read as many books from it.

Go to the English Department Page on Firefly for more ways to extend your learning outside the classroom.












Curriculum implementation KS5 in English department.

We study English Literature A Level using OCR exam board. There are 2 exams and 2 pieces of coursework


Texts have been chosen with the intention of inviting and developing a critical personal response – with a key focus on female voice. The specification’s key assessment objective is the ability to show a consistently developed and consistently detailed understanding of the significance and influence of the contexts in which literary texts are written and received, as appropriate to the question. Students are required and encouraged to consider all contextual aspects of their texts – often working in groups and delivering presentations to the class.

Please read below for explanation of the rationale behind the order in which we teach:-

We assess throughout the course; there are 6 formal assessment weeks and we aim to mark a piece of writing in a developmental way ie: formative assessment at least once every two weeks. Each class has a google reading doc to note their reading and reactions to an article, podcast, film etc, and how it links with a topic. This is a useful way of monitoring the class’s critical insights and ideas as well as a way for the students to share their ideas. We also use firefly for regular informal discussions – encourages confidence in expressing critical ideas.

We support our learners by regular check ins to discuss how the course is going.

We also arrange as many extra-curricular events as possible: Bespoke Globe workshop for Y12 students when they begin their study of ‘Hamlet’. Attending lectures eg: Y13 going to Harrow School for a Shakespeare lecture. The Keats House Summer Creative Writing workshop open to all our Sixth Form and Y11 students.



Autumn term

Spring term

Summer term



Year 12





Teacher 1:

We begin with the comparative coursework, which is a very challenging piece of work, and we want to give students maximum time to focus on this largely independent piece of work. It is a 2000 word essay and worth 12.5% of the A Level. We study Duffy’s ‘World’ Wife’ poetry anthology with which they compare a 21st century novel of their own choice. This is a fantastic opportunity to offer a very diverse, inclusive selection of chocies.  Teacher 1 then goes onto the Gothic which is worth 40% of the A Level – there are 2 exam questions on the Gothic – one unseen (20%) and one comparative essay (20%) comparing Carter’s The Bloody Chamber’ with Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’. Students focus on stories from ‘The Bloody Chamber’ and do some unseen practice.

Teacher 2:

We being by studying the poems of Christina Rossetti – this, as with the Gothic exam, has a contextual focus so the students begin by making presentations looking at the context around these poems. They will eventually be comparing Rossetti with Webster’s ‘Duchess of Malfi’ which we begin in the summer term. We then move on to our study of ‘Hamlet’ – the question is laid out in a similar way to the GCSE – an extract to analyse and a critical idea to respond to.


Teacher 1:

Continue work on the Gothic unseen and ‘The Bloody Chamber’.

Comparative coursework pitstop to see how the students are coming along in preparing for their comparative essay.


Teacher 2:

Continue with study of ‘Hamlet’, then finish off Rossetti poems.

Introduce the 2nd piece of coursework which is either a close analysis of ‘Streetcar Named Desire’ or a piece of recreative writing with a commentary using ‘Streetcar’ as the focal text

Teacher 1:

Begin comparison work - Carter’s The Bloody Chamber’ with Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’

Return to comparative coursework – set up writing the first draft to be handed in on 1st day of Y13.

Revise for Gothic unseen Y12 exam.


Teacher 2:

Continue ‘Streetcar’ coursework. 1st draft marked and handed back. Revise ‘Hamlet’ to prepare for Y12 exam.

Introduce ’Malfi’


Summer holidays: Write final essay for ‘Streetcar’ and write 1st draft of comparative to ensure that Y13 is completely exam focused




Year 13




Teacher 1:

Students hand in 1st draft of comparative essay.

Continue comparative Gothic study alongside regular lessons/assessments on responding to unseen Gothic texts. They will write a comparative essay for their mocks – ie both exam questions have been covered by Christmas.

Teacher 2:

Continue study of Rossetti/Malfi working towards the mock exam comparative questions


All content has been taught at this point.







Focus on Gothic unseens


Return to Gothic comparison – practice comparative essays


Teacher 2:


Practice essays on Malfi/Rossetti comparative.

Revision ‘Hamlet’


Both teachers- revision lessons and practice exam questions

Extension activities to do at home in KS5 in English department (a wider range of activities are available on firefly) Click on this link to look at our English ‘super curriculum’ which has lots of extension activities to do at home and around London.