English Department


Effective communication draws people together and is a source of inspiration and wisdom but, as technology develops, some methods of interaction change whilst new ones appear. At St Columba’s we therefore ensure our pupils are taught to thrive in such a varied landscape and to become confident, versatile communicators, grounded in the fundamentals of grammar and punctuation.

Great literature is the birth right of all and by exposing our boys to a range of texts from across the centuries and around the globe, we help them explore not only some of the greatest stories but also some of the most profound ideas, puzzles and enlightenments of our age and of the human condition.


These rights to communicate and to access great literature are universal so we ensure that whatever barriers a pupil may face, whatever their individual requirements might be, their lessons will be tailored to their needs. At St Columba’s, all pupils will experience the amazing opportunities and rewards that studying English has to offer.


We recognise that in the real world we do not experience subjects as ‘discrete’ units, but as intertwined and interconnecting. As such, the English department at St Columba’s takes care to draw links between our own schemes of work and material covered in other subjects. Where possible, we will link with concepts of science and of mathematics: the maths of poetic form, for example.

Year 7
Term 1 – Language detectives- a transitional unit that develops skills of understanding and inference. (AO1, AO2)
– Grammar for Learning (Pt1) (AO6)
– C19 Literature- A Christmas Carol (Lit AO1, AO2, AO4)
Term 2 -Shakespeare study (Lit AO1, AO2, AO4)
-C19 Non-Fiction- Childhood and Family (AO1, AO2)
Term 3 – Writing the World (Introduction to persuasive writing) (AO5, AO6)
– Poetry (Lit AO2, AO2)
– Contemporary Novel (Lit AO1,AO2)
Year 8
Term 1  – The craft of the writer- reading and writing. (AO1, AO2, AO5, AO6)
– Grammar for Learning (Pt 2) (AO6)
– Texts and Contexts- Of Mice and Men. (Lit AO1, AO2, AO4)
Term 2  – Shakespeare study (Lit AO1, AO2, AO4)
-C19 Non-Fiction- Adventure and Mystery (AO1, AO2, AO3, AO4)
Term 3  – Making it Clear (Writing to explain) (AO5, AO6)
-Greek Mythology and poetry- Introduction to comparative writing. (AO1, AO2, AO3, AO4, AO5, AO6)
Year 9
Term 1  – Novel study- extended academic writing. (Lit AO1, AO2, AO4)
– Creative writing: Short stories and poetry. (AO5, AO6)
Term 2  – An Introduction to paper 1 (assessment) (AO1, AO2, AO4)
– C19 Non- Fiction- 19th Century settings. (AO1, AO2, AO3)
Term 3  – News writing (Writing to argue and writing an article) (AO5, AO6)
-C19th Fiction. Texts and contexts. Comparative Writing Continued. (AO1, AO2, AO3, AO4)

Key Stage 4

At St Columba’s we split the English subjects in two, meaning that pupils will sit GCSE English Language at the end of Year 10 and GCSE English Literature at the end of Year 11. In this way we can focus on developing the core skills of inference, analysis, evaluation and comparison using shorter extracts in year 10, which makes the study of- and extended writing about- challenging GCSE texts much easier in Year 11.

Year 10- GCSE English Language

Half-Term 1
Writing  Paper 1- Writing to describe
Reading approaches to C20 and C21st texts: Reading for meaning; explain/comment/analyse effect of writers’ methods (AO1, AO2)
Speaking and Listening Presentation skills
Half-Term 2
Writing re-visit narrative writing. Planning and executing a timed task
Reading skills Critical evaluation of texts (AO4)
Speaking and Listening Assessment
Pre-Public exam paper 1- 1 hr 45; Speaking and listening assessment
Half-Term 3
Writing Writing to Explain/Argue/Persuade
Reading  Non-Fiction C19, C20, C21 texts. Focus on synthesis (AO1), comparing readers’ ideas and perspectives (AO3)
Half-Term 4
Writing Explain/comment/analyse effect of writers methods, C19 focus (AO2)
Reading Advanced skills for creative and transactional writing
Pre-Public Exam  Paper 1 (1hr45), Paper 2 (1hr45)
Half-Term 5
Exam technique  timings, planning, Assessment Objectives, timed responses
Half-Term 6
Writing  An Inspector Calls (GCSE English Literature set text) Anthology Poems x 4

Year 11: GCSE English literature

Half-Term 1
Text  The Sign of Four
Poetry  Anthology poetry (6 poems)
Assessment  Inspector Calls, Sherlock, Anthology
Half-Term 2
Text  Macbeth
Poetry  Anthology poetry (5 poems); Unseen poetry
Assessment  PPEs: Paper 1- Macbeth/ The Sign of Four (1hr45); Paper 2- An Inspector Calls, Unseen Poetry (2hr15)
Half-Term 3
Exam preparations Revision, Planning, Timings 


Last updated: June 20, 2017 at 9:39 am

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