Our aims are:

  • To build and develop high standards of literacy amongst all students
  • To encourage an enjoyment of reading
  • To understand how literature shapes our understanding of the world
  • To help students to communicate effectively through the use of writing, reading, speaking and listening
  • To develop a student's ability to question and argue rationally

Key Stage 3 Syllabus

The English syllabus at KS3 follows the recommendations provided in the National Curriculum Programmes of Study. It aims to develop skills in reading, writing and spoken language. Pupils learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others confidently and effectively. Pupils are also encouraged to become enthusiastic and critical readers of both fiction and non-fiction texts. A broad range of topics are studied throughout the key stage with every year including the study of a novel, a play and a range of poetry, all from different eras.

Teachers in the English Department use shared long and medium-term plans for units of work that offer comprehensive coverage of both the required KS3 skills and also preparatory work towards all of the key GCSE assessment objectives. Teachers can then personalise these plans in their short-term planning, differentiating elements necessary for their particular teaching groups.

Students are taught in mixed ability form groups in year 7 and then streamed in years 8 and 9. They receive 7 English lessons a fortnight in year 7 including a dedicated reading lesson and literacy lesson. In year 8 students have 6 lessons of English a fortnight which then increases to 8 lessons in year 9.

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Free play script – writing assessment

Entry exam

Novel study – reading assessment

Heroes and villains characterisation study – writing assessment

Poetry skills – reading assessment

Introduction to Shakespeare – writing and spoken language assessment

Shakespeare play – reading assessment


Short stories – writing assessment

Gothic horror – reading assessment

Victorian literature – writing and reading assessments

War novel – writing assessment

War poetry – reading assessment




Novel study – writing assessment

Poetry – reading assessment

Fiction skills – writing assessment

Non-fiction skills – reading assessment

Exam Skills

Shakespeare Study

Key Stage 4 GCSE Syllabuses

The English Language and English Literature syllabuses followed at Key Stage 4 aim to build on and develop the National Curriculum Programmes of Study taught at Key Stage 3. There are 9 English Language assessment objectives and 4 Literature assessment objectives – all of these are covered in depth during the 2 years.

The GCSE English Language course followed is the AQA syllabus Specification 8700. The course includes 2 exam papers – Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing, and Paper 2: Writer’s Viewpoints and Perspectives. Each exam lasts 1 hour 45 minutes and carries a weighting of 50% towards the final grade. Within the exam, texts may be drawn from the 19th, 20th or 21st centuries. Students also complete a Spoken Language presentation which they are accredited for separately.

The GCSE English Literature course followed is the AQA syllabus Specification 8702. The course includes 2 exam papers – Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel, and Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry. Paper 1 lasts 1 hour 45 minutes and carries a 40% weighting of the final grade. Paper 2 lasts 2 hours 15 minutes and carries a 60% weighting.

All students are expected to study towards a GCSE in both English Language and English Literature, providing them with 2 GCSEs. Students are set by ability and receive 8 lessons of English a fortnight. Regular exam revision and intervention sessions are offered to students who may benefit from extra support.

Year 10 Year 11
  • Creative reading and writing (Language GCSE)
  • A Christmas Carol (Literature GCSE)
  • Romeo & Juliet (Literature GCSE)
  • Spoken Language
  • Viewpoints and perspectives (Language GCSE)
  • An Inspector Calls (Literature GCSE)
  • Poetry – anthology and unseen (Literature GCSE)
  • Creative reading and writing (Language GCSE)
  • Viewpoints and perspectives (Language GCSE)
  • Revision 



AQA GCSE English Language - 8700

AQA GCSE English Literature - 8702


If you would like find out more about the English curriculum please contact:
Mrs Clare Duffy, Head of English: duffy_c@ucc.rutland.sch.uk

For updates from English, you can view our Twitter feed : UCC_English

  1. Reading List 2017
  2. Reading suggestions
  3. Suggested Reads KS3 KS4
  4. GCSE 2016+ long term plan
  5. GCSE 2017-2019 long term plan
  6. New KS3 Curriculum Map