English lessons at St. Peter’s are active and interesting. Pupils extend their writing, speaking and listening skills and are encouraged to develop a love of reading. They are actively involved in their own learning through lessons which incorporate a wide range of strategies and resources.

English at Key Stage 3 is delivered through an integrated programme of reading, writing and speaking and listening activities. All pupils follow the same core programme with activities differentiated in order to cater for the full range of abilities. In Years 7 & 9 pupils are timetabled for four 100 minute periods of English per fortnight. In Year 8 they receive three sessions of 100 minutes over the fortnight. In KS4 Year 10 pupil have four periods a fortnight whilst this increases in Year 11 so that pupils have five periods across the fortnight.

Pupils are placed into mixed-ability sets on arrival in Year 7. Following the completion of baseline tasks and skills tests, teachers can then tailor their delivery of the curriculum to individual needs whilst following the Curriculum Map for Year 7. Pupils' work is frequently monitored and their progress reviewed at timely intervals during each year to inform further planning and any support strategies.

At Key Stage 3 Pupils work through a series of units during which they focus on the development, enhancement and assessment of key skills in reading, writing, literature and spoken language. They are involved in peer assessment and self-evaluation activities in order to clarify their understanding of how to progress towards and move beyond their target levels in each strand of the subject. At this stage pupils are introduced to the assessment objectives for each strand of the subject in line with the new specification GCSE syllabus and examinations.

Much of the English Language work covered is delivered through the exploration of literature; covering texts from pre and post 1914 and a wide range of genres, with opportunities to analyse prose texts, poetry and drama.

Pupils will also receive a rigorous and uniform delivery of grammar alongside a stronger focus on independent learning in order to prepare pupils for the demands of the new linear exam-based qualification. Reading for pleasure is encouraged via our ‘Magic 3’ reading programme during which pupils are encouraged to select their own reading material and engage in the production of highly creative responses to the texts covered. This supplements the use of Accelerated Reader in Years 7 and 8 which reinforces the integral nature of reading independently to academic success and improved student well-being.

The vast majority of our pupils are entered for both English Language and English Literature GCSE following the AQA Examination Board.  Both qualifications culminate in two challenging examination papers at the end of the courses.

A recent move to linear exams has been thoroughly embedded into the spiral curriculum in order to extend pupils ‘knowledge and understanding of the assessment requirements. Pupils enjoy the integration of Literature study with Language and we feel the benefits of this approach are reflected in the consistently high level of achievement in terms of A* - C grades. GCSE English language and English literature results are consistently well above the national average.

The English Department offers a variety of activities throughout the year across both Key Stages. Pupils are also offered opportunities to develop their public speaking skills and participate in regional and national competitions, areas in which we have experienced regular success. The pupils’ enthusiasm for these activities enriches their experience of the subject as a whole and creates a learning environment in which excellence can thrive.

Head of Department: Mr S McGuire

English - Curriculum Maps & Summative Assessments

Link to specifications

Pupils follow:  the AQA English Language Syllabus (8700).

This course covers:

More information can be found here - language-8700   


Pupils follow: the AQA English Literature Syllabus (8702).

This course covers:

More information can be found here - literature-8702


A number of GCSE English Language revision websites still have content that is relevant from the old GCSE’s.  Whilst some of these will cover the same skills, the questions will not be worded in the same way or have the same focus. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that pupils check the exact requirements of the Syllabus reference number and the examination board.


Some useful sites are:

Gcsepod - Login via username and password provided in school.

Revision/Study Guides


AQA GCSE Language   9781782943693

        & online support  9781782944140

AQA Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar for Grade 9-1 GCSE Study Guide  978847628916

AQA Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar for Grade 9-1 GCSE Study Guide Complete Study & Practice (with online edition)             978847621474



AQA Macbeth 9781841461168

AQA A Christmas Carol 9781782943099

AQA An Inspector Calls 9781841461151

AQA Blood Brothers 9781782943112

AQA Poetry Love & Relationships 976782943624

AQA Unseen Poetry 9781782943648

Where does it lead?

The study of English, both Language and Literature, can lead pupils into fulfilling and challenging careers in areas such as education, journalism, digital copywriter, editorial assistant, lexicographer and writing. It is also useful in the following areas: advertising, administration, and public relations to name a few.

The study of English at degree level does not limit career opportunities to those listed above as many employers value the academic skills demonstrated by successful completion of study in this area.

See your careers advisor for further information.

What our parents and pupils say.

Comments taken from English Department Review November 2016

Updated: Dec 2021