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The English curriculum aims to support our learners in their literacy development and in developing their passion for the subject.  We focus on good quality literary texts as a basis for reading and we nurture high quality writing skills - to ensure pupils feel fully able to express themselves in any capacity.  Our curriculum is innovative and supportive and allows students to make progress, whilst learning about the foundations of language.  We also want our students to learn the importance of English and the role of articulation in the modern world.

Lower School (Year 7 and 8)

In Key Stage 3 students will explore Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening through a variety of different themed units.  These allow us to address core skills across a topic base that allows students to experience high quality literary texts and also a passion for writing. We aim to teach a range of texts and ensure that through exploring the very best writing, pupils are in a stronger position to create their own very best writing.

Year 7

Identity Unit - Exploration of poetry and Non-fiction texts along the theme of ‘Identity’

Gothic - Exploration of different Gothic texts, developing understanding of genre and creative writing.

Shakespeare-Comedies - A look at some of the classics from the genre

In the News - A unit exploring a range of Non-Fiction texts from different eras

The Novel - A class reader

Pupils in Year 7 also follow the Let’s Think in English programme, led by King’s College London.

Year 8

19th Century Fiction - Classic Texts

Shakespeare and Tragedy - Exploring Shakespeare’s themes in Macbeth/Julius Caesar

Dystopian Worlds - Analysing modern texts and developing creative writing

Transformations! Expressing a view point in reading and writing

Modern Novel - 20th Century Texts - Of Mice and Men/Inspector Calls

Upper School (Year 9, 10 and 11)

Year 9

The Modern Novel - Animal Farm/Lord of Flies/Blood Brothers

Shakespeare - Tragedy- Macbeth/Julius Caesar

Conflict - A range of texts exploring the theme, including poetry

Journeys - A range of texts along the theme, with creative writing 

In Upper School we study the new AQA GCSE in Literature and Language from Year 10.

The course is broken down into four main exam components, taken at the end of Year 11.

  • Writers’ View Points and Perspectives
  • Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing
  • Shakespeare and the 19thCentury Novel
  • Modern Texts and Poetry

Students study these components in individual units with ongoing assessment to help prepare for the final examinations.  The course addressed the demands of both Language and Literature concurrently, and all core units are delivered by December of Year 11 - so the ongoing focus is revision after that.

We are fully committed to continuing to improve the learning experience for our students in English and we aim to develop a love of Literature and learning in our lessons.  The English curriculum is challenging and varied and we aim to develop a range of skills in Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. 

Advice for Parents – Please have a look at our new GCSE English Language and Literature Specifications, for current key stage 4 students.  These are linked here- www.aqa.org/english.  We will also be running from September 2016 a new thinking skills programme in Year 7, details of which can be found here: https://www.letsthinkinenglish.org/


Pupils will be given homework at least once a week in English.  We do try to set a range of tasks and incorporate revision strategies into work set.  All homework is set on Show My Homework, so you can see the range of work set.  Often staff accompany homework tasks with links to website/ youtube clips etc.  Homework should be recorded in the student planner and we would support your help with checking this.

If students are not working on homework tasks, ideally they should be reading and developing their literacy skills.  Students should be reading for 30 minutes a day.

GCSE Information and Useful Documents

Students at Newfield take AQA GCSE Language and Literature.  Both course specifications can be found via the AQA website- www.qaqa.org/english  This video tutorial may also be helpful to clarify how the new grading system will work in English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EH2Pp6T2AU

You will also find past exam papers and lots of other useful resources on their website.  We have also issued students with anthologies of texts and revision material - all copies are made available on Show My Homework too.  In most cases, we have provided students with paper copies of texts - containing extracts, so that they can read and annotate for themselves.  This is essential.

Exams are always taken in June.  English Language and Literature will be a total of four exams- including unseen texts, Shakespeare, Dickens, creative writing and poetry.  Students will be supplied with an anthology of poems and access to set texts.  Assessments will take place throughout the year to support preparation and revisions for the final exams.

Resources and Revision Section

Please note the range of texts on the GCSE Specification.  We do try to cover extracts of these in all year groups, so students are familiar with these writers and ideas.  It may be worth using this as a reading list for your child.  Here are a list of texts currently on the GCSE syllabus:

Shakespeare choices:

  • Macbeth
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • The Tempest
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Julius Caesar

19th Century Novel:

Robert Louis Stevenson The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens Great Expectations

Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre

Mary Shelley Frankenstein

Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Sign of Four

Modern Texts:

JB Priestley An Inspector Calls

Willy Russell Blood Brothers

Alan Bennett The History Boys

Dennis Kelly DNA

Simon Stephens The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

(play script)

Shelagh Delaney A Taste of Honey

William Golding Lord of the Flies

AQA Anthology Telling Tales

George Orwell Animal Farm

Kazuo Ishiguro Never Let Me Go

Meera Syal Anita and Me

Stephen Kelman Pigeon English

Revision websites we recommend include:




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0gDzLhfxRI A collection of revision clips for the new GCSEs


As the new GCSEs place so much emphasis on the teaching of SPaG, we are developing many ways to approach the teaching of punctuation, grammar, spelling etc.  We have a focus on Vocabulary in Term 1, Grammar in Term2 and Structure in Term3.

Extra-curricular activities

Regular theatre visits and enrichment opportunities.  We also run a range of after school classes.  Reading is led in Tutor Time by the English Team and pupils read either from an anthology of texts created by us, or they have a class readers.