Secondary > English

English Welcome

The English Area incorporates the teaching of English, English literature, drama, film studies and media. As a team, we seek to make all of these strands and subjects enjoyable and rewarding for students. The curriculum is designed to challenge all students, both in terms of their skills in use and understanding of different modes of communication and also in their broader thinking about the world in which we live.

We aim to develop in our students the ability to communicate effectively in talk and in writing and provide ample opportunity for students to work individually and in group settings to this end. Similarly, we endeavour to enable students to be analytical participants in society, able to explore the meanings in texts that they read and images that they see in the media as well as evaluating the effects intended by writers, advertisers and movie makers to name a few.

This year, we have encouraged students to get involved in more national writing competitions and we are proud to report that many of our students have been selected for publication in a regional anthology due out in August 2012.

English News

English Staff

  • Ms C Woodhouse – Learning Director of English
  • Mr S Hutchinson  – Assistant Learning Director of English
  • Ms V Roberts – Assistant Leanring Director of English
  • Mr G Ellis – Teacher of English
  • Miss M McCabe – Teacher of English
  • Mrs L Palmer – Assistant Headteacher and Teacher of English
  • Mrs S Parekh – Teacher of English
  • Mrs T Patrick – Teacher of English
  • Mrs G Penny – Assistant Headteacher and Teacher of English
  • Mr M Turner – Teacher of English
  • Miss A Bloor – English HLTA

English Visits

Year 7 visit

  • Warwick Castle
  • Pantomime
  • Cinema
  • Walesby
  • Derby Gaol

Year 8 visit

  • Theatre and/or cinema

Year 9 visit

  • Theatre and/or cinema

English Course Outline

KS3 course description

KS3 English at The Bemrose School builds on what students have achieved at primary school. Our course is designed to be clear, accessible and stimulating for each student, with an emphasis on providing students with feedback on where they are at and showing them how to progress. Our aim is to develop each student’s ability to interpret and use English imaginatively, effectively and successfully. As well as preparing students for the GCSE in KS4, we also equip them with language skills for life beyond school.

Year 7 students follow a competence-based curriculum in which cross-curricular projects provide creative and exciting learning opportunities to develop key skills in English and Humanities. Students actively create, design, research, test, build, present and perform. Students learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts, gaining access to the pleasure and world of knowledge that reading offers.   Looking at the patterns, structures, origins and conventions of English will help students understand how language works. Using this understanding, they develop their ability to choose and adapt what they say and write in different situations, as well as appreciate and interpret the choices made by other writers and speakers. We also encourage students to develop essential social skills so that they can shine in group activities. Having developed students’ ability to learn, Year 8 and 9 provide opportunities for students to extend their study of more complex areas of English. Topics include media representation and author’s craft. Pupils are assessed rigorously throughout the year and are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and development through the use of clear assessment focuses. Assessment covers a range of skills and is used to help pupils in the transition between KS3 & KS4 at the end of Year 9.

In Key Stage 4, students follow the AQA GCSE in English. Students explore a variety of poetry, prose and drama texts in preparation for written controlled assessments across the two-year course. Popular texts among the programme of study include Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men and the poetic works of Robert Browning, Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy, Sylvia Plath and WB Yeats, among many others. Students also explore and develop their own creative writing skills in preparation for other controlled assessments. These written controlled assessments make up 40% of the GCSE. A further 20% of the course is based on speaking and listening skills. Students undertake a variety of tasks centred around role-play, group discussion and presentation. The final 40% of the GCSE is an examination based on non-fiction and media texts. In preparation for section A, pupils will read and analyse a variety of non-fiction and media texts, such as newspapers, magazines, online blogs, websites, leaflets and letters. In section B, students focus on their written communication skills to create their own non-fiction text. Pupils are assessed both internally and externally at different stages of the two-year course, tailoring teaching to suit each student’s ability. Students will sit either the foundation or higher tier exam paper. The GCSE in English counts towards the English Baccalaureate.


KS4 options

English Literature

Students will enjoy reading for pleasure, appreciating the vastbenefits that come from being a powerful and thoughtful reader. Coursework will be completed at different points on the students’ journey through the exciting world of literature.

There are TWO English Literature examinations:

  • Paper 1: Exploring modern texts
    • Section A : Modern Prose or Drama; Section B: Exploring Cultures
  • Paper 2: Poetry across time
    • Section A: Poetry comparison essay Section B: Unseen poetry essay

GCSE Film Studies

Students will need to conduct written and practical assignments which will test key areas/skills such as:

  • Their understanding of the film industry and how their chosen film communicates meaning and creates a personal response from the audience.
  • A demonstration that they can research, plan and present and develop creative and technical skills to make film products.

Their examination will require them to explore, respond to and evaluate a range of films and topics. These films will include Superhero movies and film which are made Outside Hollywood.

English Assessment – Part 1

Key task titles for each year

Year 7:

  • Aut 1: Study of a novel
  • Aut 2: Poetry
  • Spr 1: Harry Potter media study
  • Spr 2: Oracy project/Non-Fiction
  • Sum 1: Creative writing: Midsummer Night’s Dream


Year 8:

  • Sum 2: Novel/Author study
  • Aut 1: Poetry
  • Aut 2: Media
  • Spr 1: Conflict
  • Spr 2: The Odyssey
  • Sum 1: Historical Mysteries


Year 9

  • Sum 2: Heroes and Villains in prose
  • Aut 1: Macbeth
  • Aut 2: Poetry (Conflict)
  • Spr 1: Campaigns
  • Spr 2: Creative writing
  • Sum 1: Exploring language

Key Task titles across Key stage 4 change each year in line with the GCSE task banks. The task bank headings are as follows:

English Assessment – Part 2

Creative writing:

  • Prompts and recreations
  • Moving images
  • Me. Myself. I.

Analytical reading:

  • Prose from another culture (Of Mice and Men)
  • Shakespearian drama (Romeo and Juliet)
  • Poetry from the English Literary Heritage

Speaking and listening:

  • Interacting and responding (discussion)
  • Communicating and adapting language (presenting)
  • Creating and sustaining roles (role-play)
  • In preparation for the exam, students will also undertake a full mock exam.
  • The English team offer regular catch-up sessions and after school classes for all students in KS4.

English Extra – Work

Extra curricula activities

  • Lunchtime reading clubs
  • After school revision sessions for KS4 students
  • BBC School Report
  • Story writing competitions
  • Discussion club
  • Homework Club