Year 7

All units are themed around 'the world around us' to include childhood and the environment

Autumn 1: novel study

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick or Wonder by RJ Polacio or The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Autumn 2: creative writing

Creating characters and settings within the hero and villain genre     

Spring 1: poetry study

A range of poetry from across the 20th and 21st centuries that explore the theme of childhood

Spring 2: transactional writing

Speech writing around issues to do with the world around us and a focus on the environment     

Summer 1 and Summer 2

Shakespeare study of A Midsummer Night's Dream

Year 8

All units are themed around the idea of marginalisation and discrimination

Autumn 1: novel study

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman     

Autumn 2: creative writing

Writing a dystopian description based on a picture

Spring 1: poetry study

A range of poetry from across the 19th to 21st centuries that explore marginalisation and discrimination

Spring 2 - transactional writing

Article writing around issues to do with marginalisation, discrimination and prejudice

Summer 1 and Summer 2

Shakespeare study of Romeo and Juliet or The Merchant of Venice      

Year 9

All units are themed around the topic of gender    

Autumn 1: novel study

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Autumn 2: creative writing

Gothic creative writing based on Language Paper 1 skills

Spring 1: poetry study

A selection of poetry from the Love and Relationships cluster of the GCSE paper

Spring 2: transactional writing

An introduction to the English Language Paper 2, using extracts that explore gender across time

Summer 1 and Summer 2    

An introduction to GCSE Shakespeare exploring female characters in Macbeth 

GCSE English Language / English Literature


Through selected extracts of both fiction and non-fiction texts, we not only prepare students for their English language GCSE qualification, but develop their skills to interpret the world around them. Students are exposed to topical issues of society in a variety of text types and media resources, from online newspaper articles to watching thought-provoking documentaries that will challenge and push their own understanding of the world. Students also have the opportunity to research topical societal issues in preparation for their Speaking and Listening endorsement in the summer term of Year 10, following the study of the morality play An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley. Alongside this students will have the opportunity to develop and refine their creative writing skills though descriptive and narrative pieces. Transactional writing also allows for student voice. Practising spoken communication ensures students can speak and write fluently and clearly – invaluable tools for the modern world. 

The novels, plays and poems we teach at Taverham represent diverse cultures and the English literary heritage, showcasing the best of what has been written in previous centuries. Students will study a Shakespearean play, a 19th century novel, a modern text and collection of set poems from an anthology. Through the study of literature, we hope to enrich students understanding of our multi-cultural world and how Literature, through its characters and themes, has transformed society over time. Through exam practice students will develop their essay writing skills and processing of ideas to formulate cohesive arguments. 


Year 10

  • Autumn 1 literature: Shakespeare Macbeth
  • Autumn 2 language: explorations in creative writing
  • Spring 1 literature: conflict poetry
  • Spring 2 language: writers' viewpoints and perspectives
  • Summer 1 literature: JB Priestley An Inspector Calls
  • Summer 2 language: spoken language endorsement

Year 11

  • Autumn 1 literature: Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol
  • Autumn 2 literature: unseen poetry
  • Autumn 2 language: paper 2, section B
  • Spring 1 literature: literature revision
  • Spring 2 language: language revision

There are two separate qualifications offered as part of the core subject of English: English Language and English Literature.

How are you assessed?

100% examination
Where will this take me post-16?

English is a requirement for the vast majority of post-16 courses and employers look for it too. Having a GCSE in English will help you in all career paths in the future. Want to take it further? English and literature can help you towards a career in the legal profession, broadcasting (film, TV and radio), publishing, journalism, marketing, editorial work, public relations, copywriting, library work, acting, translating, TV or theatre directing, advisory work and teaching, to name a few.

A-Level English Literature

Examination Board: Edexcel


Course summary

Our A-Level English Literature course provide students with a challenging and engaging development of their study in the subject. They encounter and explore a variety of poetry, prose and drama across history, from Chaucer to the present day, to give them an overview of the way writings in the English vernacular have developed into and contributed to the English literary canon, as well as the way different contexts have shaped these texts.

Our course is predicated on the development of students’ own conceptual and critical positions: they consider different literary theories and apply these as lenses through which to explore different interpretations of their set texts, as well as responding to different critical views from famous literary critics such as F.R. Leavis and A.C. Bradley. Alongside this, students refine their analytical and interpretational skills through close reading and the constructions of arguments across exam responses and the non-exam assessment. Through the NEA our students advance their independent research skills, as well as their ability to shape an inquiry: they have the freedom to choose and explore an area of investigation in relation to The Handmaid’s Tale and comparison text of their choice.

By the end of the course our students will have acquired a range of critical and inquiry-based skills that thoroughly prepare them for academic study in further education.


Introduction and Structure

A-level in English literature enables you to engage critically and creatively with a wide range of texts, whilst developing your knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation. You will study eight literary texts plus unseen poetry. It is expected that you will purchase your own copies of the set texts to use throughout the course. There will be a great deal of reading as preparation for discussion work in lessons, so you must have constant access to the texts.


Component 1: Drama

You will study Othello by William Shakespeare alongside an anthology of critical essays. This is followed by the study of A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.

Written examination 2 hours 15 minutes/60 marks/30% of total qualification

Component 2: Prose

You will study two prose texts: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells to explore and compare the way they present science and society.

Written examination 1 hour/40 marks/20% of total qualification

Component 3: Poetry

You will study poetic form, meaning and language including a selection of post 2000 specified poetry from Forward’s Poems of the Decade and The Wife of Bath’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer.

Written examination 2 hours 15 minutes/60 marks/30% of total qualification

Component 4: non exam assessment

In class you will study The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Once study of this text is complete, you will choose a text to compare to The Handmaid’s Tale and generate your own question to compare and explore the links between the two texts.

Internally assessed, externally moderated/60 marks/20 % of qualification

Careers and Progression

The course is known as a facilitating subject which prepares students for future study in literature and supports other studies in the arts and humanities. Students have gone on to successful careers in television, law, accountancy, business and teaching.

Entrance Requirements

Minimum requirement: 6 GCSEs Grades 9-4 (or equivalent), including Grade 4 or above in English and maths

Strongly recommended: Grade 5 in English literature

A-Level English Language

Examination Board: AQA


Course Summary

A-level English language provides students with the opportunity to delve into the inner workings of the English language and the contexts and attitudes that shape it. Across the course our students frequently collect their own data and conduct their own inquiries into language use, learning that we are surrounded by language, as well as encountering a variety of forms from text messages to newspaper articles, shopping lists, to transcripts of written speech in class.

Through interrogation of these different text types, our students develop and apply a compendium of specialist linguistic concepts and approaches which encourage them to view language, not only as a way of conveying meaning and intention, but also in creating identities for their users. These skills are consolidated in two further areas of the course. In the study of child language acquisition, students explore how children develop their spoken and written skills and apply the study of language levels, genres of spoken and written texts, as well theories and research about language development. In the original writing component, students create their own writing based on the power of persuasion, story-telling or information, using the wealth of knowledge from their interrogations of style models and employing this knowledge to write convincingly.

By the end of the course, students will have a range of investigative and creative skills enabling them to view language use from both sides of the same coin.

Introduction and Structure

English language at A-level is a broad, engaging and stimulating course where you will learn a wide range of new concepts and skills. It enables you to explore in-depth the study of language and how it is used to communicate meaning.


Paper 1: language, the individual and society

Component 1: textual variations and representations

  • how language varies depending on mode, field, function, audience and context

  • how language choices can create personal identities

  • comparisons of language variation in English from c1550 (the beginnings of early modern English) to the present day

Component 2: children's language development

  • spoken language acquisition and how children learn to write between the ages of 0 and 8

  • the relationship between spoken language acquisition and literacy skills that children are taught, including the beginnings of reading

  • appropriate theories of children’s language development

Written examination 2 hours 30 minutes/100 marks/40% of total qualification

Paper 2: language diversity and change

Component 1: diversity and change

  • how language has changed in texts that use different sociolects and dialect to represent different groups 

  • using items from collections of language data such as dictionaries, online resources and language corpora 

  • analysing how and why language changes and varies in different personal, social, geographical and temporal contexts  

Component 2: language discourses

  • studying a range of texts that convey attitudes towards language diversity and change 

  • how these texts represent language, create an identity for its producer, influence the reader and are connected to discourses about language

Written examination 2 hours 30 minutes/100 marks/40% of total qualification

Non Exam Assessment: language in action

  • choosing and investigating an area of interest, for example representation of a specific social group, gendered talk, or the language of the media. 

  • producing one piece of original writing based on one of the following three areas:  

    • the power of persuasion (investigative journalism, speech or letter) 

    • the power of storytelling (a short story, extract from a biography or dramatic monologue) 

    • the power of information and one accompanying commentary (a piece of travel journalism, a blog focusing on social issues, or a piece of local history) 

Careers and Progression

The course prepares you for future study in language, linguistics and supports other studies in the arts and humanities.

Entrance Requirements

Minimum requirement: 6 GCSEs Grades 9-4 (or equivalent), including Grade 4 or above in English and maths

Strongly recommended: Grade 5 in English language