English, Media and Film Studies

The English Department is based at Penn House, a short distance from the main school. The teaching accommodation is both beautiful and unusual; all rooms are idiosyncratic, whilst Penn House provides a pleasant and inspirational working environment for the staff and students.

The English Department is a team who enjoy sharing diverse enthusiasms and lively exchanges about the art of good teaching and effective learning. Our approach to teaching and learning is built on mutual respect and preparedness to learn from each other. We recognise the role we have as teachers and as members of the team in sustaining high expectations and success. We seek to provide equal access to a relevant and wide-ranging curriculum whilst recognising that students have differing potentials. We seek to provide an enriched curriculum for all our students.


Teaching and Learning


All English teaching in Years 7 and 8 is in mixed ability groups. The curriculum is based around units which develop skills and understanding required for the GCSE courses.

In Years 10 & 11 there is one ‘top set” and three parallel groups of mixed ability. All mixed groups follow the same exam board but the top set will be given more challenges, difficult texts and the teacher will have higher expectations for their eventual attainment.

'A' level
We have groups studying English Literature, English Language, Film Studies. Courses within the Faculty are consistently popular with the students and the results reflect the interest the students take in these.


The English KS3 curriculum has been written collaboratively, monitored and revised by the teaching team over the last years. The current scheme of work consists of a veriety of units in each year with the aim of providing continuity and progression whilst allowing individual teachers to select their own ‘route through’ according to individual preferences and strengths. The Department regularly reviews and rewrites  the KS3 curriculum in the light of the changes to GCSE and the needs of the students.

All students complete core assessments six times a year and their achievements are stored centrally for analysis of underachievement, re-grouping students etc.

English KS3 Scheme of Work

Year 7

1. Introduction unit – First Person Narrative
2. Poetry & Reading for pleasure

3. Shakespeare; Hamlet
4. Reading for Meaning unit

5. Media
6. Non-Fiction Writing unit

Year 8

1. Pre 1914 Poetry
2. Gothic Horror

3. History of Literature
4. Non-fiction unit

5. Media
6. Shared Fiction - modern

Year 9

1. Representation in the Media
2. Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet

3. Non-Fiction
4. War Poetry

5. Shared Fiction
6. Writing unit

The KS4 curriculum for mixed groups is dictated by the WJEC whose syllabus we follow for English Language, English Literature and Media Studies.

WJEC English Language and English Literature GCSEs

Year 9

Term 5
Writing to describe and narrate, controlled assessments

Term 6
The study of a full multi-culteral text.

Year 10

Terms 1, 2 and 3
Development of skills required for the end of course examinations in Reading, Writing and Literature.

Term 4
Speaking and Listening presentation assessment.

Term 5
Poetry analysis.

Term 6
Reading of the set Drama Text.

Year 11

Terms 1 and 2
Lord of the Flies: Study of prose set text for English Literature examination and controlled assessment for English

Term 3
Examination preparation for Reading Mock exam
Blood Brothers: English Literature set text

Term 4
Examination preparation for English Language and English Literature set texts.

Sixth Form

In the Sixth Form, Film Studies, English Literature and English Language A levels follow the WJEC syllabi.

The Department is keen to provide courses which are of interest and relevance to the students. Units are frequently revised, new texts selected and interesting resources created to engage the students.

 A range of opportunities for Gifted and Talented students are available throughout the years and all students are involved in a number of enrichment events, both in school and provided by other organisations.

Media and Film Studies

Students follow the WJEC A level specification which involves both practical and theoretical units. The GCSE establishes a good basis for students to develop at A level but it is quite easy for students to take up the A level without prior knowledge. Practical work develops and evolves through the use of Photoshop, manipulation of images, to Adobe Premier Film Editing.



Wondering how to help your child develop their English skills at home?

Well, look no further…these sites contain a range of interactive resources suitable for students of all ages and abilities:


In addition, students should be reading regularly at home – we’d recommend 20-30 minutes per night.

International research suggests that there is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment and attainment. In fact, reading enjoyment has been reported as more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status. Most importantly, it’s fun and provides a break from the Smart phone!

If you’re struggling for inspiration, why not take a look at our Key Stage 3 and 4 Recommended Reading Lists:

Key Stage 3 Reading List

Key Stage 4 Reading List


Arts specialism: English, Media Studies Drama and Art

In September 2004 we achieved Arts specialism from the DCSF, with English and Media Studies the focus curriculum areas.