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English is the foundation for the study of all subjects.

A civilised society depends for its success on an informed population made up of people who can think for themselves and articulate their thoughts. We encourage our pupils to read widely and to develop mature and informed responses to their reading.

Key Stage 3

Students follow a rigorous scheme of work that focuses on the assessment objectives set by the examining board AQA. These include: reading for meaning and understanding; analysing the language and structure of texts; comparing different pieces of writing; evaluating texts. Students also develop their writing skills in order to write accurately for a number of purposes and audiences.

Pupils study a range of novels, plays and poetry from modern times and the nineteenth century. They also study texts on a number of themes including culture and horror.

Speaking and listening skills are also developed in Key Stage 3.

Key Stage 4

Students follow AQA exam board for both Language and Literature.

For English Language, students study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The language, structure, themes and attitudes of these texts are analysed to GCSE standard in preparation for the exams. Students also learn to write in various forms for different purposes and audiences. This includes both narrative and discursive writing. There are two examinations in English Language. Students must sit both papers.

In English Literature students study a variety of texts. Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Golding’s Lord of the Flies and a collection of poetry on the subject of conflict. There are two examinations in Literature. The above texts are studied in preparation for these.

Students must also complete a speaking and listening component. This requires students to write and present a speech on a thought-provoking topic.


The English department offers GCSE masterclasses delivered by members of the examination board, as well as after-school revision. Key Stage 3 students are involved in an annual writing project, which gives them the opportunity to become a published writer. We have literacy leaders who are involved in the production of Fearns Chat, the school newspaper.

Head of Department

Miss L Brown.