The English Curriculum Area has gone from strength to strength in recent times, with students levels of progress improving year upon year. A passionate, supportive and approachable set of teachers work hard to ensure that achievement can be made both collaboratively and independently by the students in their care.

The Curriculum Area teaches a wide range of subjects in all Key Stages; such as: English Language, English Literature, Drama and Film Studies. A progressive approach linking to Bloom’s Taxonomy is incorporated into all lessons. The school’s Information Centre (Library) has strong ties with the English Curriculum Area and it is not uncommon for the two to work on projects in unison.

Pupils in English at Wilsthorpe can expect to be equipped with all resources necessary to make their learning experience ‘spring’ to life – whether it is reading books, laptops, or video cameras – there is no shortage of methods to achieve.

Key Stage 3

Wilsthorpe's English department are proud to deliver an engaging and dynamic KS3, which not only develops students' skills in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening, but also fosters independent critical thinkers and a passion for literature. Students explore three themes per year, which will allow them to engage with interesting fiction and non-fiction texts as well as find their voice as a writer.

In Year 7 students will study: Money Matters, Myths and Legends, and Around the World. The Year 8 themes include: War and Conflict, The Gothic Tradition, and Space and Science Fiction. Finally, in Year 9 students will explore: Being a Teenager and Dystopian Worlds before embarking on a skills building term to fully prepare them for GCSE. As part of English lessons, students will also have a Grammar and Vocabulary lesson to build literacy skills, as well as a Library lesson once a fortnight.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 we deliver the AQA GCSE English Language and English Literature specifications. For English Language, students will explore creative writing and reading as well as considering the writer’s viewpoints and perspectives. The aforementioned will be tested by two respective examinations, lasting 1 hour and 45 minutes each. Within the English Language section of the course, students are also expected to perform a Speaking and Listening task that will be certificated separately.

The English Literature element of the course allows pupils to study a Shakespeare text (e.g. ‘Romeo and Juliet’) and a 19th Century text (e.g. ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley) for one examination; lasting 1 hour and 45 minutes. The Second exam paper requires pupils to have understanding of a modern text (e.g. ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell) and poetry in an exam lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Key Stage 5

For A Level English Literature, Students will develop analytical and critical thinking skills through the study and discussion of a variety of literary texts. The course is broken down into three components to allow students to experience a range poetry, plays and novels from pre-19th century to the current day.

Firstly, students will study Literary Genres, Aspects of Tragedy with text such as ‘Othello’ by William Shakespeare and ‘Death of a Salesman’ by Arthur Miller. To further develop their skills students will study Text and Genres: Political and Social Protest Writing including ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood, ‘Songs and Innocence and Experience’ by William Blake and ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini. The poetry of John Keats is also encountered through both years of the course. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to develop independence and confidence when analysing texts. They have the opportunity to choose their own texts and essay titles in the coursework element, Theory and Independence.

For A Level English Language, students will build on the skills they have developed at GCSE, by engaging creatively and critically with a wide range of texts and discourses with discussion being a key aspect. The course is divided into three components: Language, the individual and society (Paper 1), Language diversity and change (Paper 2) and Language in action (Non-exam assessment / Coursework).


Firstly, students will study textual variations and representations analysing many different text types and styles focusing on the intentions and methods of the writer. In conjunction with this, pupils will also investigate language varieties in society, focusing on the following areas: Language & Gender, Language & Region, Language & Occupation and finally, Language & Social Class. In the second year of the course, students begin interesting explorations into Child Language Acquisition (How children learn to speak) and Language Change (the history of the English Language) – as well as continuing to consolidate and expand upon skill learned in the first year. The NEA (coursework) component allows students the freedom to both creatively produce a text of their own choosing and explore a specific area of English Language that interests them.

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