English Department

The English Department at Churchdown School Academy is a friendly, inclusive and high achieving department housed in a purpose built block. We currently have eight full time members of teaching staff, three part time members of teaching staff and a specialist English TA.

English has a unique place within the curriculum as it is one of those subjects that never has a wrong answer (as long as you can justify the answer that you give and use the correct terminology!) 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. We offer both GCSE Language and Literature courses (AQA) and teach English Literature Specification B in the sixth form.

Key Stage 3 - Year Breakdown

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.

Key Stage 4 - Year Breakdown

KS5 Overview

English Literature Specification B. Exam Board: AQA

At A Level, we now offer the linear two year course which means that pupils build on their skills over the two years and then take terminal exams in the Summer of year 13. We offer the crime and tragedy routes and each area is assessed by one exam. The tragedy exam is closed book and is 2.5 hours long with the crime paper being an open book exam lasting three hours.

In addition to the examinations, there is also a non-examined assessment worth 20% where pupils are required to write two essays; one on a novel and one on a poetry collection. These two texts are then linked to areas of critical theory.

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 compete in the highly competitive and prestigious spelling bee!

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

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.


Useful Links