Team Members

Miss H Bowers – Head of English

Miss L Bishoprick – Second in Department

Miss K Evans – Vice Principal

Miss O Wyss

Miss C Coldwell

Miss B Glover

Mrs N Randall

Miss H Paton

Miss H KIlligrew

Miss M James

Mrs J Lewis

Mrs L Handley

Mrs S Percival – HLTA

Mrs F Dawson – Librarian

KS3 Curriculum:


The English dept offers a ‘broad and balanced curriculum and is clear on the big ideas [we] want our [students] to understand’ (Ofsted blog June 2016) which includes Speaking & Listening, Reading and Writing skills. The following descriptors are adapted from the WJEC English Language Specifications:

Reading skills: A01, A02, AO3, AO4 (see Appendix 1)

  • Respond, reflect and analyse a wide range of written texts (continuous and non-continuous).
  • Analyse and respond to texts and their subtexts, using inference and deduction and linking ideas within or across texts.
  • Demonstrate independence in synthesising and summarising information effectively from a range of texts.
  • Interpret themes, meaning, ideas and information in a range of texts and challenging writing; reading in different ways for different purposes, and comparing and evaluating the usefulness, relevance and presentation of content.
  • Support a point of view by referring to evidence within texts; identifying bias and distinguishing between statements that are supported by evidence and those that are not.
  • Evaluate and reflect on the ways in which texts may be interpreted differently according to the perspective of the reader and distinguishing between facts or evidence and opinions, bias and argument.
  • Understand and recognise the purpose and reliability of texts, e.g. texts for personal, public, occupational and educational use.
  • Demonstrate verbal reasoning skills in synthesising and summarising information from a range of texts.


Writing skills: AO5, AO6 (see Appendix 2)

  • Produce clear and coherent written texts.
  • Write effectively for different purposes and audiences and in different forms, e.g. explain, instruct, recount, inform, discuss, persuade, argue.
  • Select vocabulary, grammar, form, and structural and organisational features thoughtfully to reflect the audience, purpose and context.
  • Vary sentence structures to engage and sustain the reader’s interest and write with grammatical accuracy.
  • Use a full range of punctuation in order to vary pace, clarify meaning, avoid ambiguity and create deliberate effects.
  • Organise writing in an appropriate form, ensuring content is detailed within and between paragraphs or sections, developing and sustaining ideas coherently.
  • Use language creatively and with precision.
  • Use information gleaned from a range of sources to write coherently in different forms.
  • Write for effect by selecting, organising and emphasising facts, ideas and key points and citing compelling evidence to support views.


S&L skills: AO7, AO8, AO9 (See Appendix 3)

  • Present information and select/organise information and ideas effectively and persuasively, e.g. for a prepared spoken presentation or group discussion.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the conventions of spoken language in both formal and informal situations.
  • Speak accurately and fluently, adapting style and language to a wide range of forms, contexts, audiences and purposes.
  • Experiment with language and techniques to express opinions, create effects and engage audiences.
  • Pay appropriate attention to accuracy of syntax and expression; convey experiences, ideas and information clearly, precisely and appropriately.
  • Use verbal reasoning skills, form independent views and demonstrate effective listening skills by summarising key points, challenging what is heard on the grounds of reason, evidence or argument.
  • Respond constructively and critically to a wide range of written and digital/dynamic texts, making effective contributions, using creative approaches to exploring issues, solving problems and developing ideas.
  • Reflect and comment critically on their own and others’ use of language, participate in a range of real-life contexts and adapt talk appropriately to the situation and audience.

It is important that we recognise that students are able to develop their ability to use English as active and informed citizens and be able to speak, listen, read and write fluently, appropriately, effectively and critically – for a wide range of personal, functional and social purposes.

KS3 Overview:

Reading and Writing KS3 levels and Assessment Focuses have now been replaced by Assessment Objectives and the dept has tracked this journey from KS3 to KS4 (Years 7-11) – (see appendices 1 & 2).

Every teacher focuses on the same scheme of work (differentiated) which allows for sharing of ideas and collaboration between staff as well as students.  We also attempt to match as many elements as we can to National days such as Poetry Month, World Book Day and Shakespeare’s birthday. This allows for special enriching events to take place.

Links to KS2: Taken from The National Curriculum – Handbook for Primary Teachers:

By the end of year 6, pupils’ reading and writing should be sufficiently fluent and effortless for them to manage the general demands of the curriculum in year 7, across all subjects and not just in English, but there will continue to be a need for pupils to learn subject-specific vocabulary. They should be able to reflect their understanding of the audience for and purpose of their writing by selecting appropriate vocabulary and grammar. Teachers should prepare pupils for secondary education by ensuring that they can consciously control sentence structure in their writing and understand why sentences are constructed as they are. Pupils should understand nuances in vocabulary choice and age-appropriate, academic vocabulary. This involves consolidation, practice and discussion of language.

Subject-specific vocabulary and spelling at KS2 (Appendix 4) is consolidated in Year 7 in lesson starters, Literacy Boost lessons.   Also, a greater emphasis on grammar at KS2, with students being able to use the terminology should be applied to KS3. Students should come to secondary school equipped with the knowledge of grammar which can be transferred into different genres of writing.  A hard copy of the English curriculum can be found within our English dept for teachers to refer to.

At KS2, Schemes of Work are thematic, which allows teachers and students to experiment with different genres of writing. At KS3, we have adopted this approach, particularly in Autumn 1.

Links to KS3 Ark Mastery Information

Specific requirements for pupils to discuss what they are learning and to develop their wider skills in spoken language form part of this programme of study. In years 5 and 6, pupils’ confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language should be extended through public speaking, performance and debate.

This is extended further at KS3 with opportunities for class debates, public speaking competitions and performance, for instance, using Shakespeare as a stimulus.

At KS2, schools have now moved away from levels and all students are assessed differently:

  • Pre key stage – (below 2b)
  • Working towards (less than 4b)
  • Expected (4b+)
  • Greater Depth (5b+)

In terms of Assessment on entry into KS3, the English dept sets KS3 tests for all learners in order to establish Reading and Writing ability. This informs setting from September. Throughout KS3, students complete assessments after completion of units of work. The results of these assessments inform data collection in line with OCA policy; progress is then analysed and interventions, where necessary, are put in place.

To support this, the dept uses Accelerated Reader and Reading Age tests to track the development of these specific skills throughout Years 7 and 8.   The AR scheme is also used in most primary schools, and in particular, is used effectively in our link school (All Saints). This ensures that students are able to develop and consolidate these skills further at KS3.

Our KS3 curriculum is differentiated and success criteria is based around ‘Working towards’ to ‘Greater Depth’. Students at ‘Pre- key stage’ would normally enter into a Nurture group and follow a simplified version of the SOW. The class teacher may even follow the KS2 curriculum depending on the students’ needs.

It is clear from discussion with KS2 teachers that students working at ‘Greater depth’ need stretch and challenge particularly when it comes to reading. Quite often, texts at KS3 have been read by these students. Therefore, we have acquired a list of age appropriate yet challenging texts that will stretch this group of students. We are also purchasing 19th/20th century texts which will also prepare students for GCSE.

Links to KS4:

Within our KS3 Curriculum, each year consolidates and enriches prior learning. Each term we focus on the same AOs across the year groups which also have links to the English Language and Literature Components in the GCSE specification (Appendix 5). For details of the GCSE components, see Appendix 6.

Prior learning allows us as a dept to lead into the GCSE specification which builds on and progress from the levels of literacy expected at the end of Key Stage 3. As stated in the WJEC specification document ‘subjects such as English language, where topics are taught in progressively greater depth over the course of Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, GCSE outcomes may reflect or build upon subject content which is typically taught at Key Stage 3. There is no expectation that teaching of such content should be repeated during the GCSE course where it has already been covered at an earlier stage’. However, we firmly believe that, with the introduction of the AOs, and if we are to show this progression along the learning journey, this is common sense and can only enhance the education of our students.

Marking, feedback and extended learning for English

Purpose and Aim

Marking and Feedback – The department aims to provide all students with timely, high quality feedback on the work they produce both in lesson time and at home. Marking should provide feedback with regards to how well a student has performed during a particular piece of work and include their progress to date. All students are expected to respond to their teacher’s feedback to enable them to make improvements to their work and ensure further progress. This process ensures that any misconceptions are addressed in students’ learning.


KS3 – At KS3 in English, Schemes of Work generally last for half a term. During this time, teachers will deep mark students’ work once every two weeks and award a grade. Students will then improve their work using green pen. This will then be remarked and regraded if further progress has been made. All work must be read and acknowledged with staff initials to ensure that any misconceptions have been identified.

KS4 – At KS4, Schemes of Work can vary in length. Deep marking will also take place once two weeks and a grade will be awarded. Students will then be expected to respond to targets set to improve their work using green pen. The teacher will then check these improvements and where appropriate, re grade their work. All work must be read and acknowledged with staff initials to ensure that any misconceptions have been identified.

When deep marking, teachers should comment on:

• Strengths and Targets or;
• +, Challenge, Exam Tip, Think.

When giving feedback, teachers should remember the following:

• Feedback should make the students think about and reflect on their work
• Feedback should allow students to make further progress


When deep marking students’ work, teachers should check for spelling, punctuation and grammar. When marking work, teachers can apply the following codes:

Symbol Meaning
// New paragraph needed
Sp Spelling mistake
P Punctuation error
G Grammatical error
^ Something missing such as a word or a letter
? Does not make sense


Quality assurance process

Each half term, a book trawl will take place. The Head of Department will collect at random a selection of books from each teacher. These books will then be scrutinised using the whole school policy. Photographic evidence will be collected during the review. Each member of the team will then receive personalised feedback detailing the quality observed in students’ books. A judgement will be made on the quality of marking and feedback along with targets and areas for improvement. If a judgement identifies marking and feedback to require improvement or less, a further book trawl will be repeated within 3 weeks to ensure improvements are made and support is provided. An overall judgement will then be reached about the quality of marking and feedback across the faculty and reported in the DSEF. The Head of Faculty will delegate, on occasion, book trawls to other members of the faculty as and when appropriate.


Homework should be set using the following guidance:

Periods (hour/s) Total Set Day Set – Year 7c Day Set – Year 7o
4 1 hour 30mins 7c1 – Friday 7o1 – Tuesday
4 1 hour 30mins 7c2 –  Friday 7o2 -Tuesday
4 1 hour 30mins 7c3 –  Friday 7o3 – Monday
4 1 hour 30mins 7c4 –  Friday 7o4 – Monday


4 1 hour 30mins 8c1 – Tuesday 8o1 – Wednesday
4 1 hour 30mins 8c2 – Tuesday 8o2 -Wednesday
4 1 hour 30mins 8c3 – Tuesday 8o3 – Wednesday
4 1 hour 30mins 8c4 – Tuesday


Periods Total Set Day Set – Year 9
5 2 hours 9pr/En1 – Wednesday & Friday
5 2 hours 9pr/En2 – Wednesday & Friday
5 2 hours 9pr/En3 – Tuesday & Thursday
5 2 hours 9pr/En4 – Wednesday & Friday
5 2 hours 9pr/En5 – Wednesday & Friday
5 2 hours 9pr/En6 – Wednesday & Friday
5 2hours 9pr/En7 -Wednesday & Friday


Periods Total Set Day Set – Year 10
5 2 hours 10pg/En1 – Tuesday & Friday
5 2 hours 10pg/En2 – Tuesday & Friday
5 2 hours 10pg/En3 – Tuesday & Friday
5 2 hours 10pg/En4 – Tuesday & Friday
5 2 hours 10pg/En5 Tuesday & Friday
5 2 hours 10R/En1 – Monday & Thursday


Periods Total Set Day Set – Year 11
5 2 hours 11pg/En1 – Monday & Wednesday
5 2 hours 11pg/En2 – Monday & Wednesday
5 2 hours 11pg/En3 – Monday & Wednesday
5 2 hours 11pg/En4 – Monday & Wednesday
5 2 hours 11pg/En5 – Monday & Wednesday
5 2 hours 11R/En1 – Monday & Wednesday

Marking Policy

English and Drama Marking Policy