Which subjects are in our faculty?

  • English language
  • English literature

What do we do?

At Key Stage 3, students access high-quality English lessons which aim to teach them how to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions with confidence and accuracy. Through reading a range of texts, students have plentiful opportunities to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Our curriculum is built around reading brilliantly crafted novels, plays and poetry across time. All students will acquire new vocabulary, extend their knowledge and reflect upon what they already know.

We build on their experiences of English from primary schools and students begin year 7 with a focus on ’Heroes and Villains’. Students read and study a range of texts including War Poetry; Shakespeare and modern novels which help shape our moral compass.

In year 8, students will build upon their knowledge and explore texts with a focus on ’People and Perspectives’. Students deepen their appreciation of Shakespeare and what it means to perform to an audience. We read and study a range of texts including those within the Gothic genre and from different Cultures and Traditions.

Year 9 takes students on a journey of self-discovery with a focus on ’Identity’. Students read and study classic texts such as ‘Of Mice and Men’, ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Animal Farm’ in preparation for GCSE.

All texts, across all years, act as springboards for engaging students in writing for different purposes (including: stories, poems, letters, diaries, and non-fiction) and build upon their speaking and listening skills which underpin the development of reading and writing. We endeavour to support all students to develop personally and embrace a love of language.

Students are encouraged to be reflective learners in English at Key Stage 3 and build resilience, especially in reading. As such, we invest time for ‘Robust Reading’ so that students read challenging, insightful and inspiring novels in addition to their core curriculum text.

Students study AQA English Language and English Literature. They also work towards achieving a Spoken Language Endorsement.

At Key Stage 4, students learn how to read, analyse and critique a range of inspirational texts from the late 16th Century to modern day. These texts are in the form of poetry, novellas, plays and, of course, Shakespeare. Students learn how to read with a critical perspective, analyse literary devices and understand how different writers’ intentions, and their use of language and structure, create meaning.

Our main focus within English is to inspire our students to embrace language, be inquisitive and to secure a belief in their own ability and talents. We have a ‘no glass ceilings’ approach to learning; students are encouraged to develop an appreciation for the written and spoken word and build resilience as a central skill for learning.

We value and recognise diversity, individuality and creativity within our curriculum and endeavour to grow competent readers and sophisticated writers whilst encouraging each student to find and develop their ‘voice’.

Recommended Reads

What enrichment is on offer?

Students have opportunity to visit the theatre to see plays and ‘Poetry Live’ come alive on the stage. We also have guest speakers who offer workshops and academic lectures on philosophical topics linked to the texts we study.

Also we celebrate: Myths and Legends workshops; National Poetry Day; Black History Month; World Kindness day; National short story competition; World Book Day; Shakespeare Day; World Book Night; Pride Month and Summer Reading Challenges.

What the students say…

“…English is brilliant. It gives us a chance to use our imagination.”

“…I enjoy being creative, and considering different points of view.”


Head of faculty – Miss Joanne Walker

Email address: jwalker@kirkbycollege.notts.sch.uk