English - Key Stage Five

A-level English Literature (AQA specification A)

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Unit 1:  Texts in Contexts - 30%

2 hour written examination (open book)

LITA1C: The Struggle for Identity in Modern Literature

Unit 2: Creative Study - 20%


Two tasks – one on prose text and one on drama text.

2000-2500 words in total.

Unit 3: Reading for Meaning - 30%

2 hour 30 minutes written examination (closed book)

Two questions involving unprepared extracts and wider reading on the unit theme of Love Through the Ages.

Unit 4: Extended essay and Shakespeare study - 20%


Extended comparative essay of 3000 words.


A-level English Language (AQA specification A)

Exam Board Link: Click here

ENGA1:  Seeing through language -  30%

2 hour written examination.

Section A – Language analysis task

Section B – Language development essay

ENGA2: Representation and language -  20%


Investigation into representation of an individual, group, event, institution.

Production task plus commentary

2000-2500 words in total.

ENGA3: Language explorations -  30%

2 hour 30 minute examination.

Language Variation and Change task and Language Discourses task.

ENGA4: Language Investigations and Interventions - 20%


One spoken language investigation task plus one language intervention task.

3000-3750 words in total.


English - Key Stage Four

Edexcel English Language and Literature (2 GCSE grades)  OR Edexcel English (1 GCSE grade)


There are two routes through GCSE English following either the Language and Literature dual certificate course or the English only course.  The content of the dual certificate course is challenging and the pace fast-moving.  We recommend that students take this course if interested in studying English at a more advanced level at post-16.  The majority of our students will take the English only pathway.  Wherever possible, we will work in partnership with students and parents to ensure that students follow the correct course for them.  Due to timetabling and class sizes, the English department will make the final decision about which course is most suitable for individual students.


Edexcel English Language and Literature GCSE course content

English Language unit 1:  English Today - 20%

Controlled assessment reading and writing tasks. 

Responses to pre-released tasks and materials.

English Language unit 2: The Writer’s Voice - 40%

Exam unit.

Section A – one reading response to either an extract from a different cultures prose text or an extract from a non-fiction text.

Section B – Writing task (expressing attitudes and opinions)

English Language unit 3: Spoken Language – 40%

Controlled assessment

3x speaking & listening tasks

One spoken language study

One writing task – writing for the spoken voice

English Literature unit 1: Understanding Prose – 50%

Exam unit.

Section A – four-part question based on a given extract from a previously studied Literary Heritage text. 

Section B – essay response to different cultures text.

 Clean copies of both texts are provided for the exam (open book exam)

English Literature unit 2: Understanding poetry – 25%

Exam unit. 

Section A – response to unseen poem. 

Section B – essay comparing 2 poems from a previously studied poetry collection. 

Clean copies of the poems are provided in the exam (open book exam)

English Literature unit 3: Shakespeare and Contemporary Drama – 25%

Two controlled assessment tasks.

Shakespeare:  Comparison between original play and modern adaptation.

Contemporary Drama: Response to task set by Edexcel on themes, characters or staging.

Edexcel English GCSE course content

Unit 1: English Today – 20%

Controlled assessment reading and writing tasks. 

Responses to pre-released tasks and materials.

Unit 2:  The Writer’s Craft – 40%

Exam unit.

Reading response to a different cultures text

Reading response to a Shakespeare text

Writing task (expressing attitudes and opinions)

This is a closed book exam.  Copies of the texts are not allowed (key extracts are provided for some questions).

Unit 3: Creative Responses – 40%

Controlled assessment.

3x speaking & listening tasks

Response to poetry

Writing task (imaginative response to stimulus provided by exam board).


English - Key Stage Three

Our Key Stage Three curriculum encourages students to read widely, to write in a range of different styles and to develop speaking and listening skills in a range of different contexts while exploring a diverse range of topics and issues.

We pride ourselves on our flexible grouping arrangements and will make decisions to teach either mixed ability or ability groups depending on the profile and needs of each year group of students. 

Our provision at Key Stage Three encourages each student to enter a range of regional and national writing competitions, offering the opportunity for every student to become a published writer. For those who enjoy public speaking and drama we enter groups and individuals into the Devon Performing Arts festival every year. In recent years we have hosted author visits from Darren Shan, Julie Hearn, Sophie Mackenzie and John Townsend, which has given our students the chance to access a range of fiction and non-fiction texts on a whole new level of exploration, while collecting some cherished autographs at the same time! 


Year 7

Other Worlds

Beginning with a focus on writing and then moving to independent reading projects, students will create and discover whole new worlds through a range of literary texts.

Write a Life

A non-fiction unit which explores the ingredients of life writing.

Crooked castles and mystery manors

Delving into the world of gothic writing and radio adverts.

A ‘novel’ experience

Dramatic responses to ‘Coraline’ by Neil Gaiman or ‘Skellig’ by David Almond.

Great Expectations

Discover key media terms that will make you sound like an instant expert!  Be enchanted by the classic Dickens tale of the orphan Pip, brought to life and screen by legendary director David Lean.

Slammin’ and jammin’

Explore a number of key poetic texts and techniques, write your own and deliver them with attitude at the poetry slam.

What’s your point?

Learn how to use a range of different persuasive techniques to make your point and get your own way!

Create a Storm

…quite literally with our drama unit exploring Shakespeare’s play ‘The Tempest’. 


Year 8

Every Picture tells a story

Writing stories from images

Make yourself heard!

The art of persuasive speech writing

A Christmas Carol

Discover the magic of Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas tale

Playing with words

Explore how poets play with words to create their poetry.  Have a go at writing a range of different poetry styles.

Reviewing fiction

Read ‘The Tulip Touch’ by Anne Fine or ‘Weirdo’s War’ by Michael Coleman.  Learn how to share your responses by writing a book review.


Learn the ingredients and skills behind good magazine design and article writing.  Have a go at creating your own magazine.

The Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty

Drama and discussion based responses to David Calcutt’s gripping play.


Year 9

‘Stone Cold’ by Robert Swindells

Discussion work surrounding homelessness and morality of the press. Learn how to write scripts for drama work.

‘Much Ado About Nothing’

Comparing Shakespeare’s play with a modern film version.


A unit based on issues surrounding the theme of charity which will lead to writing to analyse outcomes and speaking & listening discussions.

Poetry preparation

Build your skills of poetry analysis ready for the challenge of GCSE.  Learn how to write about unseen poems and how to compare poems on similar themes.

English Today

An introduction to the GCSE skills required for this media and non-fiction based unit.

One of the Greats

A close study of a literary heritage prose text in preparation for GCSE study.



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