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English Language

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well. If it is worth having, it is worth waiting for. If it is worth attaining, it is worth fighting for. If it is worth experiencing, it is worth putting aside time for. 

- Oscar Wilde

English Language is the vital backbone for all other areas of study in the curriculum. It is an international language and GCSE qualification in the subject is a requirement for many careers.

Our English curriculum equips our pupils with the skills to become competent readers, writers and effective communicators. Through the facilitation of discussion and exploration of a variety of engaging texts, we develop and extend our pupils’ prior knowledge and provide them with the key skills needed to be successful at GCSE and beyond. Studying English Language enables pupils to improve their metacognitive abilities and critical thinking skills which are vital for onward progression.

Pupils will be able to use English in a clear, pragmatic and confident way in the workplace and in social interactions. English Language study is intended to build creativity, imagination, persuasive techniques and a flair for use of the written word, thereby enriching the experience and enjoyment of life.

Believe, Achieve, Exceed: 

In English at KS4, our contribution to the BELIEVE curriculum is through exploring SMSC through the texts studied and questions posed. We consider BV and Career possibilities when examining characters and lifestyles in the texts. For example, in a creative writing exercise we would examine a photograph of an old man and try to construct his background story and what may have happened to him over his lifetime. English contributes to the ACHIEVE curriculum by being a core subject. All of our pupils are able to study GCSE English Language and will have the opportunity to achieve accreditation at the end of year 11. The study of English GCSE contributes to the EXCEED curriculum by giving the pupils lifelong skills of communication in and understanding of English. This enables them to continually enhance their cultural capital and develop understanding of the wider world.


In KS3 our pupils are with us for a 12-week programme. We have mixed groups in years 7 through 9. Lessons are engaging and stimulate interest. Our focus is primarily on improving and fostering an enjoyment of reading. We use Reciprocal Reading techniques to help improve the confidence of our pupils who often arrive at MMAP believing their reading skills are poor, when all they really lack is confidence. Reciprocal reading encourages pupils to question a text, predict what will happen, clarify what has happened and question in relation to other texts/the real world. Reciprocal reading also helps improve pupils' comprehension of texts, interpretation, and metacognitive abilities.

English lessons are made up of four or five different activities designed to improve comprehension and engagement. One of these activities is participation in a comprehension-based reading programme called Read Theory. Pupils complete 3 – 5 ‘Quizzes’ through reading a passage and answering questions using inference and critical thinking. Differentiation in lessons is addressed through scaffolding, a TA is on hand to assist learners of lower ability to carry out the same tasks as the rest of the group where at all possible, by offering help and assistance, then gradually withdrawing as the pupil grows in confidence. We use this more individualised approach to give our pupils the knowledge and skills needed for successful reintegration. 


In KS4 all pupils study AQA GCSE English Language. The plan below shows the topics studied over years 10 and 11.

Year 10


Term 6 - Creative writing and bridging the gap from KS3

  • Descriptive or narrative writing Q5 (40 marks).

Term 1 - Explorations in creative reading and writing

  • List four things... Q1 (4 marks).
  • Analysis of language Q2 (8 marks).

Term 2 - Explorations in creative reading and writing

  • Analysis of structure Q3 (8 marks).
  • Evaluation Q4 (20 marks).

Term 3 - Explorations in creative reading and writing

  • Whole of paper 1 - Timing and related practice.
  • Pupils write or revise their speech for their spoken language endorsement which is filmed and completed by the required deadline.

Term 4 - Writers' viewpoints and perspectives

  • Transactional writing Q5 or Q6 (40 marks).

Term 5 - Writers' viewpoints and perspectives

  • Choose four statements... Q1 (4 marks).
  • Analysis of language Q3 (12 marks).

Year 11


Term 6 - Writers' viewpoints and perspectives

  • Comparing texts Q2 (8 marks) - Differences or similarities.
  • Comparing texts Q4 (16 marks) - Language and structural analysis.

Term 1 - Writers' viewpoints and perspectives

  • Whole of paper 2 - Timings and related practice.

Term 2 - Explorations in creative reading and writing

  • Paper 1 revision

Term 3 - Writers' viewpoints and perspectives

  • Paper 2 revision.

Term 4 - Examination revision

Term 5 - Examination revision

Examination Information

For the award of the GCSE in English Language pupils must offer all three assessments; Paper 1, Paper 2 and Non-examination Assessment: Spoken Language.

Paper 1: Exploration in creative reading and writing

What is assessed

Section A: Reading

  • One literature fiction text.

Section B: Writing

  • Descriptive or narrative writing.


  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • 80 marks.
  • 50% of GCSE.


  • Reading (40 marks) (25%) - one single text.
    • 1 short form question (1 x 4 marks).
    • 2 longer form questions (2 x 8 marks).
    • 1 extended question (1 x 20 marks).
  • Writing (40 marks) (25%).
    • 1 extended writing question (24 marks for content - 16 marks for technical accuracy).


Paper 2: Writers' viewpoints and perspectives

What is assessed

Section A: Reading

  • One non-fiction text and one literacy non-fiction text.

Section B: Writing

  • Writing to present a viewpoint.


  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • 80 marks.
  • 50% of GCSE.


  • Reading (40 marks) (25%) - two linked text.
    • 1 short form question (1 x 4 marks).
    • 2 longer form questions (1 x 8 marks and 1 x 12 marks).
    • 1 extended question (1 x 16 marks).
  • Writing (40 marks) (25%).
    • 1 extended writing question (24 marks for content - 16 marks for technical accuracy).


Non-examination assessment: spoken language

What's assessed

A07 - A09

  • Presenting.
  • Responding to questions and feedback.
  • Use of standard English.


  • Teacher set throughout course.
  • Marked by teacher.
  • Separate endorsement (0% weighting of GCSE).

Number of pupils at centre 

  • 30 or fewer.

Number of pupils whose presentations must be recorded

  • All pupils. 

(Taken from AQA English Language specification)