English Department

The English Department at Churchdown School Academy is a friendly, inclusive and high achieving department, comprised of nine full time teachers and two part time teachers.

English has a unique place within the curriculum as it is one of those subjects that never had a wrong answer (as long as you can justify the answer that you give!) We place equal emphasis on all of the curriculum sub-strands and spend time equipping students with the skills they need to be able to read, write and communicate orally to a high standard which will set them up to be successful later on in life in whichever path they choose to take.

We are proud of all of our students and take great care to nurture individuals whether this be through small and intensive literacy catch-up groups, or through challenging our most able through a range of stretching texts and theories.

KS3 Overview


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9 (Gateway to GCSE)

Term 1

Who am I? Personal writing and narrative

Travel writing

The Victorian Soldier

Term 2

Novel study

Victorian Fiction

The Family: a study of fiction

Term 3

Writing to describe with a poetry focus

Shakespeare Study: ‘Romeo and Juliet’

The City: a look at Charles Dickens

Term 4

Writing to advise and persuade

Literature of War

Poetry of past and present

Term 5

Shakespeare Study: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

The Language of Food

Exam skills needed for the new language papers

Term 6

Detective! Come in! Inference and deduction skills

The Local Community: presentation skills

Begin to study modern prose text for GCSE year 10


KS4 Overview

The English Department enters all students for:

English Language (AQA)


English Literature (AQA)

The English Language GCSE is comprised of two papers which assess a range of reading and writing skills where reading and writing are worth the same amount of marks. There is also a non-examined assessment for Spoken Language which is a separate endorsement.

The English Literature GCSE requires pupils to study a cluster of poems (we currently offer the conflict and power cluster), a modern text, a nineteenth century novel and a Shakespeare play.

KS5 Overview

English Language & Literature AS/A2. Exam Board: AQA

At AS level, there are two papers that you will sit; paper 1 – views and voices and paper 2 – people and places. Both exams are worth 75 marks and 50% of the course each and are both an hour and a half long.

Paper 1:

Section A – Imagined Worlds

One compulsory question on prose set text

(35 marks)

Section B – Poetic Voices

One compulsory question on poetry set text (40 marks)

Paper 2:

Section A – Remembered Places

One compulsory question on the AQA Anthology: Paris (40 marks)

Section B – Re-creative Writing

One piece of re-creative writing using the extract provided in Section A (15 marks)

Critical commentary (20 marks)

Both of the AS examinations are closed book.

At A2 there are two papers and a non-exam assessment (NEA) element which is much like coursework, but with a different name! Both exams are worth 40% and the NEA is worth 20%.

Paper 1 – Telling stories: (100 marks)

Section A – Remembered Places

One compulsory question on the AQA Anthology: Paris (40 marks) (Closed book)

Section B – Imagined Worlds

 One question from a choice of two on prose set text (35 marks) (Open book)

Section C – Poetic Voices

 One question from a choice of two on poetry set text (25 marks) (Open book)

Paper 2 – Exploring conflict

Section A – Writing about Society (Open book)

One piece of re-creative writing using set text (25 marks)

Critical commentary (30 marks)

Section B – Dramatic Encounters (Open book)

One question from a choice of two on drama set text (45 marks)


A personal investigation that explores a specific technique or theme in both literary and non-literary discourse (2,500 – 3,000 words).

Extra Curricular Opportunities

We currently offer our KS4 and 5 students the opportunity to attend catch-up, revision and intervention sessions at lunch time and after school. Our sixth form students are also afforded the opportunity to work with a member of staff in their study periods to extend their in-class provision by arrangement with the teacher and student.

We run our English house event which is a highlight of the English calendar where students from all year groups are given the opportunity to write their own 500 word short story where the finalists are invited to participate in a live reading before a panel of judges.

There are also creative writing groups which run at a lunchtime alongside homework clubs for KS3.


As a department we are keen to offer pupils the opportunity to extend their knowledge by attending trips. We endeavour to organise theatre trips to enhance our pupils’ understanding and, most recently, our year 8 pupils have enjoyed a matinee performance of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ staged in a modern way.

Next steps or Where the subject leads

As a subject, English is a vital stepping stone for any career path or next steps in education.

English equips our students with the ability to communicate effectively both through written and spoken modes and prepares them with lifelong skills such as CV and letter writing skills.

If our pupils choose to study English through to A Level and beyond then the subject is the perfect foundation for a variety of higher education courses but it does, in particular, fit readily with subjects such as History, Philosophy, Media, Art and Design and Drama.

As English acts as a facilitating subject for university, by studying English, you are well placed to apply for a variety of courses and will be well equipped for any career that requires good spoken and written communication skills.

Having excellent English skills is a key foundation for any successful career and we strive to support our students with their studies in any way possible.


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