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What’s it all about?

At Orchard School, our Key Stage 3 programme of study has been designed to develop literacy skills as well as promoting the belief that all students can achieve success in English. 

This is achieved by a careful approach which encourages interactive lessons and dynamic teaching. 

Students are taught in mixed ability groups and are regularly assessed to ensure that they are taught according to their specific learning requirements.

Key Stage 4 students are set by ability and follow both GCSE English Language and English Literature. 

IN BRIEF: English is a vital subject in which you develop your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills – essentially it is all about communicating successfully.

You can see what topics are studied across each year group below:

Year Curriculum content
7 Northern Lights by Philip Pullman • Destrocom non-fiction writing • Selection of poems by Duffy and Armitage • Frankenstein - playscript/novel • Shakespeare's comedies • A journey back in time - non-fiction unit • Individual Speaking and Listening Exams
8 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (Topsets - To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee) • Captivity:cruel to be kind? - non-fiction writing • Hamlet by William Shakespeare • Creative writing through poetry • The Lie Tree - Frances Hardinge • A journey back in time (1920-1940) - non-fiction unit • Individual Speaking and Listening Exams
9 Unwind by Neal Shusterman • Anthology of 12 poems • Power and Betrayal in Shakespeare • Creative Writing • Lord of the Flies by William Golding • Are we born evil? - non-fiction and speeches
10 AQA English Literature - preparation Macbeth by William Shakespeare • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde • An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley • Anthology of 15 poems - AQA Power and Conflict
AQA English Language GCSE - preparation
• Spoken Language Exam
• Reading - Students use a variety of fiction and non-fiction extracts to cover the key reading skills: identifying and interpreting information, language and structural analysis, comparison, and evaluation.
• Writing - Students will develop their written communication skills in creative writing (description and narrative) and transactional writing (articles, letters, speeches).-
11 AQA English Literature - consolidation 
• Unseen Poetry
• Revision and consolidation of the four component texts studied in year 10. Student will focus on exam technique and revision skills to ensure that they have a secure grasp of all of the texts.
AQA English Language GCSE - consolidation
Students have a language lesson once a week where they work on exam questions and consolidate the skills they have developed in year 10. Later in the year, students are split into ability groups for Language (based on their PPE performance) where they will focus on improving a specific question/skill each week.


  • Jennifer Marsh BScEcon, MSc, PGCE - Head of Department
  • Estella Nelson, BA, PGCE - Second in English
  • Florence Wood, BA, PGCE - Key Stage 3 Co-ordinator
  • Arun Sharma, BA, PGCE
  • Sophie Wiltshire, PGCE
  • Robert Flitter, BA, MA
  • Abigail Cooper, BA, PGCE
  • Kirsty Newcombe, BA, PGCE
  • Emily Redman
  • Cathryn Leigh, BA, PGCE

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