Purpose of study

English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.


The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas

are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.


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.

Key Stage 3

Suggested Reading List for Key Stage 3 – Click Here

Year 7
Term 1 – Gothic Genre- Darkwood Manor a transitional unit that develops skills of understanding, inference, language analysis and creative writing. (AO1, AO2, AO5,AO6)
– 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)
Poetry- Nature poems (Lit AO1, AO2, AO3)
Term 3 – Writing the World (Introduction to persuasive writing) (AO5, AO6)
– Contemporary Novel (Lit AO1,AO2)
Year 8
Term 1  -–Disney- Diversity and equality- develop skills of comprehension, inference, language analysis and descriptive/narrative writing (AO1, AO2, AO5, AO6)
– Grammar for Learning (Pt 2) (AO6)
– Texts and Contexts- The Boys in the Striped Pyjamas. (Lit AO1, AO2, AO4)
Term 2  – Shakespeare study (Lit AO1, AO2, AO4)
– Poetry- Romanticism (Lit AO1, AO2, AO3)
Term 3 – Making it Clear (Writing to explain) (AO5, AO6)
-Prose- The Writer’s Voice- (Lit AO1, AO2, AO4)
Year 9
Term 1  Short stories (AO1, AO2, AO3, AO4) Preparing for Language Paper 1
– Novel study- extended academic writing. (Lit AO1, AO2, AO3, AO4) (Lang AO5, AO6)
Term 2 – War and Conflict poetry (Lit AO1, AO2, AO3)
-Detective genre- (Lit AO1, AO2, AO3, AO4)
Term 3  -C19th-C21st Non-Fiction. Texts and contexts. Comparative Writing Continued. (AO1, AO2, AO3, AO4)
-Writing Triplets (Writing to argue, explain, persuade and inform) (AO5, AO6)
-Iconic speeches (AO5, AO6, AO7)

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 & 2
Text  The Sign of Four
Poetry  Anthology poetry (6 poems)
Assessment  Inspector Calls, Sherlock, Anthology
Half-Term 3 & 4
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 5
Exam preparations Revision, Planning, Timings


Last updated: November 13, 2018 at 17:41 pm

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