For further information about English at St John's please contact L Hayes (lhayes@stjohnsrc.org.uk)

Curriculum information pages:

Year 7 English

Year 8 English

Year 9 English

Year 10 English

Year 11 English


Within our ever-changing world it is crucial that students gain and build upon the skills necessary for success both in English and the world beyond the classroom. Key Stage 3 is where we lay those foundations through the study of a wide range of texts. These include A Christmas Carol, Jane Eyre, Harry Potter, Shakespeare and poetry from William Blake. Our rigorous and engaging curriculum stretches students to achieve success, builds their confidence in a range of English skills and prepares them for the challenges of Key Stage 4 and beyond.

Within three lessons a week pupils will develop skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Reading is a vitally important life skill; it is essential to develop our understanding of the social, historical and cultural world around us. It also allows us to develop our own capacity to write, to explain and give our important opinions on that world around us. The changes to examinations for English in particular mean that reading for examinations is going to get harder. Pupils will be required to read unseen pieces of text so therefore our Key Stage three curriculum offers pupils the opportunity to explore a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Pupils will work towards independently analysing texts and critically commenting on them. Reading also assists your writing more than anything else, so the more you read the better your writing will be and as you are assessed 50/50 on each skill in English this is equally important. Within our curriculum pupils have the opportunity to develop their creative writing skills as well as their non-fiction skills, allowing them to both reflect upon and form their own opinions on the world around them.

The English Curriculum at St John's: Key Stage 3 topics.

KS4 English Literature and Language

All students are currently following the AQA English Language (8700) and English Literature (8702) Specification.

Language specification- https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700/specification-at-a-glance

Literature specification- https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-literature-8702/specification-at-a-glance

Students will study the GCSE course for three years and at the end of Year 11 they will sit four external exams. Literature Paper 1 is worth 40% and Literature Paper 2 is worth 60%. Language Paper 1 and 2 are worth 50% each. Students also have to complete a speaking and listening component.

Literature Paper 1-Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel
For this exam students will answer two essay questions on a Shakespearean play and a 19th Century novel. The current text choices are Romeo and Juliet/Macbeth and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde/A Christmas Carol.

Literature Paper 2-Modern texts and poetry
For this exam students will answer one question on the modern text, An Inspector Calls and three poetry questions. One question will be comparing two poems from their anthology that they will start in Year 9. They will then complete an essay question on an unseen poem and the last question will be a comparison of unseen poems.


Both literature papers are closed book exams so students are advised to know their texts thoroughly and revise a bank of quotations.

Language Paper 1-Explorations in creative reading and writing.
Section A of this exam is worth 50% and students will answer four reading questions on an unseen fiction extract. Section B is also worth 50% and students complete one creative writing question in which they write a story or description using the prompt in the question.

Language Paper 2-Writers' viewpoints and perspectives.
Section A of this exam is worth 50% and students will answer four reading question comparing two non-fiction extracts. Section B is also worth 50% and students complete one writing question in which they write for a purpose in a different style. This could be writing an article to argue a point of view.

Across the Language papers, students will explore texts ranging from 19th-21st Century so it is important that they read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction to help prepare them for these exams.

Spoken language component
GCSE English Language has an endorsed component covering Spoken Language. This endorsement will be reported as a separate grade (Pass, Merit, Distinction or Not Classified) and students will be given guidance about how to prepare for this component.

Sixth Form Courses