In English we acquire the knowledge to unlock the literary treasures of the world.

Our Faculty:

Miss Osborne – Head of Faculty (English and Media Studies)

Ms Upton – Senior Assistant Headteacher (Teaching and Learning and English Senior Leader)

Mr Wells  – Assistant Headteacher (CIEAG, Humanities and MFL)

Mrs Nazareth-Kay – Deputy Head of Faculty

Mrs O’Donnell – Teacher of English 

Mrs Harrison – Teacher of English

Mrs Matthews – Teacher of English

Miss Barclay – Teacher of English and Media Studies

Mrs O’Connor – Teacher of English

Mr Higgins – Teacher of English

Miss Vance – Teacher of English

Ms Willis – Teacher of English (ECF School Lead)

Key Stage Three

The Key Stage Three curriculum has been shaped to meet the high standards of the new curriculum and to provide ambition for all in a rich, broad and deep programme of study in English, Literature and Literacy, to meet the needs of the students in our particular school and to build on and provide continuity from the excellent teaching and learning in literacy in our partner primary schools to engage and inspire all learners regardless of their starting points. In addition to meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum, our curriculum is driven by our faculty intents.

Year 7

Year 7 Term 1
Study topicKnowledge and skillsAssessmentHow to support your child
Greek MythologyStudents read a range of Greek myths and focus on the themes of: creation, greed, wishes, judgment, relationships and vanity. The focus is on developing students understanding of the origins of these stories as well as developing their reading skills by learning how to make inferences, predictions and select relevant evidence from the texts.  Formative Assessment: Section 1: students answer a series of knowledge questions based upon their understanding of the Greek myths; Section 2 students match the correct definitions to the key vocabulary taught in the unit; Section 3: students write a structured response exploring a given extract from a Greek Myth which they have studied.Use the literary devices section on the Knowledge Organiser list to test your child’s understanding of this features.     Reading Challenge: Jules Verne Twenty Thousand Leagues under the sea; JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit; Phillip Pullman’s Northern Lights
Literary Detectives, Crime and Mystery Short StoriesStudents will develop their narrative writing skills by studying a selection of crime and mystery short stories. Students study a range of stories from The Man with the Yellow Face by Anthony Horowitz to The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie. Study of these texts will spark their imagination and enable them to experiment with their writing style. Building on their previous reading; students will develop their understanding of structural features including using paragraphs and sentences for effect in addition to understanding how a writer creates and sustains tension.Students will be asked to write a short piece of narrative writing emulating the style of the short story and paying careful attention to a success criteria for descriptive writing which they have built an understanding of throughout their study of short stories.    Ask your child to read their homework to you before they hand it in. Students should be able to review the aspects of crime or mystery in their writing and how they satisfy the conventions of this genre.     Reading Challenge: Oxford’s How to be a Young #Writer; Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse; Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone – Legacy of Orisha  
Year 7 Term 2
Study topicKnowledge and skillsAssessmentHow to support your child
Travel the World! – Non-fiction reading and writing on the theme of travel and adventureIn this unit, students will read a range of non-fiction texts on a variety of topics including holiday brochures; complaint letters; travel blogs. Each text will be explored and analysed so that students are familiar with the requirements of this style of writing. Students will then produce their own pieces of formal writing including a group work task where they will produce a persuasive campaign which they will deliver to their peers.Formative feedback given on extended writing pieces throughout the half-term with supplementary peer and self-assessment.   Spoken language skills informally assessed through group work and presentations.   Assessment: Analysis of how a writer of a travel website engages the reader; followed by students creating their own travel writing on a destination of their choice.  Visit Manchester Museum and explore how life around the world to use for inspiration in your child’s writing.   Discuss with your child places which you have visited or holidayed.   Use the Lonely Planet Website to research far flung places.   Reading Challenge: Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days; Lonely Planet’s The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World  
Friend or Foe: Exploring and writing animal poetryIn this unit students will study an anthology of poetry linked through the theme of animals.. The aims of this unit are for students to develop an understanding of poetic devices; to enjoy reading poetry and to enable students to experiment with form and language in their own poetry writing.Students will receive written feedback from teachers and peers on their poetry with a focus on how they have used poetic techniques such as imagery, rhyme and rhythm to convey meaning. Students will be given opportunities to develop and redraft their poems as they develop their skills throughout the unit.  Visit Manchester Museum and see a diverse range of animals. Children should use their imagination to bring these animals to life: if they could talk, what would they say?   Reading Challenge: CS Lewis ‘The Jabberwocky’; TS Elliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats; Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse; Matt Haig’s  Evie in the Jungle
Year 7 Term 3
Study topicKnowledge and skillsAssessmentHow to support your child
Adventures in SpaceStudents will revisit and strengthen their writing skills. Students will explore a range of texts about space in the form of short stories, poetry and non-fiction articles. The main purpose of this unit is to develop students’ non-fiction writing skills. Each week students will focus on a different form of writing about the subject of space. Each week will provide a model for a particular style of writing which students can emulate in their own creative pieces.At the end of this unit students will select their best piece of writing and redraft following teacher feedback. Students can compile their short stories into a class anthology.Visit Ashton Library, check out their current events to inspire young readers and writers.   Use the BBC Bitesize KS3 English Website to understand how to structure a non-fiction piece of writing.   Use the BBC Bitesize KS3 ‘astronomy and space science’ page for further information about space.   Write a 500 Word Story for BBC Radio 2’s short story writing competition  
Treading the Boards: A Midsummer Night’s DreamAfter completing their exams, students will study a short unit exploring Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This unit will foster a love of Shakespeare by introducing students to the fun of the bard. Students will explore the themes, characters and events of the play through a drama centred approach. They will discover the comedic and entertaining side of Shakespeare’s language, gaining an understanding that, above all, Shakespeare was an entertainer.Students will receive oral feedback on their presentations and drama work with a focus on how they use their voice and gesture to convey character and engage with their audience.Watch a play at Oldham Coliseum; how has the theatre changed since Shakespeare’s plays were first being performed at the Globe Theatre?   Watch Shakespeare’s animated tales (available on Youtube)   Reading Challenge: Leon Garfield’s Shakespeare’s Stories; Marcia Williams’s Mr William Shakespeare’s Plays

Year 8

Year 8 Term 1
Study topicKnowledge and skillsAssessmentHow to support your child
The Other Side of TruthStudents study Beverley Naidoo’s young adult novel The Other Side of Truth to further enhance their reading skills and understand what it means to be a refugee and asylum seeker. Students are expected to read in a range of ways including, shared reading with the class; independent self-reading and listening to their class teacher. Through this, students will learn how to explore the importance of the structure of a novel and how a writer uses both linguistic and structural features to achieve their intended effects.Formative assessment based on a series of comprehension questions based upon an extract from the text; building to more extended responses exploring Naidoo’s use of language and the key themes of the novel.  Students can develop their understanding of what it means to be an asylum seeker and refugee by engaging with news articles, news features or programmes on television. Study of this novel will prompt discussion about war and conflict, discrimination and prejudice between you and your child.   Reading Challenge: Benjamin Zephaniah’s Refugee Boy; Mildred Taylor’s Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry.    
Read all About it! Fact or Fiction?In this unit, students will further develop their exploration of the themes explored in the novel. They will consider how language in the media can be used to influence reader responses. They will read and examine a range of non-fiction material from a range of sources. Through this they will learn how to identify and then use bias in writing. Opportunities will also be taken to develop the quality of students’ written communication.  Formative assessment of writing skills including use of appropriate vocabulary and linguistic devices; accurate punctuation; varied sentences; clear awareness of audience and purpose.    Reading Challenge: Angie Thomas’ Find Your Voice; Hendrikus van Hensbergen’s How You Can Save the Planet; Lily Dyu’s  Earth Heroes: Twenty Inspiring Stories of People Saving Our World
Year 8 Term 2
Study topicKnowledge and skillsAssessmentHow to support your child
Great Expectations  This half-term students will read and study Charles Dickens’ literary classic Great Expectations. They will develop their knowledge of Victorian England and the significance of the context. Students will learn how to analyse Dickens’ use of language to create character and setting.  Students will be assessed on their knowledge of key elements of the context, character and plot of the novel through short memory questions. They will also look closely at a key passage of the novel in order to explore how Dickens uses language to convey character or setting. They would write this response in a structured paragraph.Ask your child what they have read so far of the novel. Encourage them to explain how they feel towards characters and to make predictions about what could occur later in the novel.   Reading Challenge: Dickens’ Oliver Twist,
Year 8 Term 3
Study topicKnowledge and skillsAssessmentHow to support your child
Shakespeare’s Twelfth NightThis half term, students will study William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. This unit will foster a love of Shakespeare by developing their understanding and knowledge of the bard. Students will explore the themes, characters and events of the play incorporating drama based activities. They will discover the comic and entertaining side of Shakespeare’s language and how this would have appeared on stage.  Students will receive oral feedback on their presentations and drama work with a focus on how they use their voice and gesture to convey character and engage with their audience. At the end of the unit students will complete a formal assessment which will assess their understanding of the events of the play and Shakespeare’s use of comic conventions. They will also apply this to an extract from the play.Reading Challenge: Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare; Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories Special: Wicked Words.   Watch adaptations of Twelfth Night. How do these modern interpretations compare?
Place and Identity: Exploring PoetryThrough this unit, students will explore a variety of poems linked by how they convey the importance of place. Within this, students will delve into poems by Lemn Sissay, Simon Armitage, Pie Corbett, Norman MacCaig and many others. Students will analyse these poems and explore the messages within them through a combination of independent study; teacher led analysis; group work and oral presentations. Students will also have the opportunity to write poems of their own on the topics which have most inspired them.  Formative feedback given on extended analysis of three of the poems studied, demonstrating an understanding of the poet’s message and use of language and structure.   Formative feedback on speaking and listening skills demonstrated in group work discussions and presentations.   Use the subject terminology list to test your child’s understanding of poetic devices.   Reading Challenge: Ben Rothery’s Hidden Planet; Poetry Anthology: The Works 4; John Agard’s Collected Poems: Hello H2O.

Year 9

Of Mice and MenStudents will study John Steinbeck’s American literary classic Of Mice and Men. Through their study of this novel, students will develop their analysis of literature by taking into consideration the influence of the context, including discussing issues such as race, segregation and isolation; and how the writer weaves themes and symbols throughout the novel to convey his ideas.Students will develop their essay writing skills and deliver formal presentations exploring characters and themes.Use the subject terminology list to test your child’s understanding of writer’s techniques.   AFTER READING, watch the film interpretation starring Gary Sinise and John Malkovich as George and Lennie; in what ways does the film differ from the original novel? Why did the director make these changes?   Reading Challenge: Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird; John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath; Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give  
O Brave New World! Dystopian WritingIn this unit students will have the opportunity to read a wide variety of extracts and short stories from the science-fiction and fantasy genres to develop an understanding of dystopian literature. These will be explored as models of writing which students will then use as inspiration for their own narrative pieces.  Students will demonstrate their understanding of narrative structure and the features of the genre by planning a dystopian narrative. They will then write the opening section of this to demonstrate their knowledge of how to write in an effective and engaging way.Visit Manchester Art Gallery and take inspiration from one of the paintings to use as the basis of a description or narrative.   Use the BBC Bitesize KS3 English website for advice on how to structure a narrative.   Reading Challenge: Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games Trilogy; JRR Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring; Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic
Year 9 Term 2
Study topicKnowledge and skillsAssessmentHow to support your child
An Inspector CallsStudents will continue their literary journey through their study of J.B Priestley’s play An Inspector Calls. As well as exploring the themes and issues raised in the play such as social and gender inequality, students will develop their oracy skills through their involvement in dramatic readings and group discussions.  Students will further develop their essay writing skills and deliver formal presentations exploring characters and themes. They will develop their response by using their contextual understanding. Watch a play together at one of Manchester’s theatres: The Lowry; The Palace; The Opera House and see how they use the staging to add to the narrative of the play.   Visit The People’s History Museum in Manchester and explore how Britain and specifically Manchester has fought for equality.  
Our World; Our Future: The Art of RhetoricThe objective of this unit is to enable students to explore, compare and evaluate a range of speeches. Firstly, they will understand Aristotle’s teaching on rhetoric before going on to examine these features in a range of literature and non-fiction examples include Mark Antony’s speeches in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar as well as more modern speeches including those by Churchill, Greta Thunberg and Martin Luther King. Through this, students will learn how to use language to subtly influence their audience and craft their own speeches.Formative feedback will be given on writing skills: crafting of structure; linguistic devices; sophisticated vocabulary; accurate and varied punctuation and sentence structures.   Students will also be assessed throughout the unit for their speaking and listening skills: contributions to discussions; building on ideas raised by others in debates; formally expressing their own opinion.Reading Challenge: Greta Thunberg’s No one is too small to make a difference; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists; Malala Yousafzai’s I am Malala.
Year 9 Term 3
Study topicKnowledge and skillsAssessmentHow to support your child
Voices for Change: Non-Fiction texts and poems on the theme of protest)In this unit, students will consider the idea of protest and how writers use their poems and texts as a medium to oppose changes and ideas in society. Through non-fiction texts and an anthology of poetry covering poets such as John Agard, Benjamin Zephaniah and Christina Rossetti, spanning from 1900 to the modern day, students will explore conflicts both past and present. This unit also enables students to develop their skills of comparison and embed the skills of analysis and revision which will be required for later study.Formative feedback given on extended analysis of three of the poems studied, demonstrating an understanding of the poet’s message and use of language, poetic form and structure.   This will conclude with an extended essay in which students will write a comparison of two of the poems which they have studied.  Visit the Imperial War Museum North at Salford Quays and explore the impact of war both past and present.   Watch Simon Armitage’s We are the not dead which features ex-servicemen and women discussing their experiences and reading poems based on these. Available on Youtube.   Reading Challenge: Sebastian Junger’s Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging: Poetry Anthology: Poems from the Second World War
The World of Shakespeare: HamletBuilding on their introduction to some of Shakespeare’s work in earlier years, students finish Key Stage 3 with a study of Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet. They will explore how Shakespeare used the language and structure of his play to bring it to its tragic conclusion. Students will also consider the wider issues and context of the play.Students will receive oral feedback on their presentations and drama work with a focus on how they use their voice and gesture to convey character and engage with their audience.   They will also complete short pieces of literary criticism, exploring Shakespeare’s themes and context.Reading Challenge: Bill Bryson’s The World as Stage   Visit the Globe theatre in London and experience the magic of Shakespeare as it was meant to be seen and enjoyed.

Key Stage Four

Our Key Stage Four curriculum is ambitious for all (including our less advantaged and special needs’ students) and builds on the best of Key Stage Three. Of course, there are important GCSE examinations to sit, but we still provide a curriculum which develops more confident speakers, readers and writers, making use of fiction and non-fiction resources to engage and inspire. We integrate those aspects of Life Skills and Character & Personal Development into our curriculum units to make them more relevant. In addition, we provide for our students at the right stage some of the best that has been thought, said and written in our literary canon. We do this to thoroughly prepare the students for GCSE using the AQA syllabus in GCSE English Language and English Literature for all our students.

With the recent changes in the curriculum, the English Faculty has completely rewritten the curriculum map in order to provide a sharp focus on the new knowledge, skills and understanding on which our pupils will be assessed. The Key Stage Four curriculum follows on from the excellent teaching and learning provided at Key Stage Three (and Two) to provide the pupils with the best possible chance of success in both English Language and English Literature.

Further Information and Full Specifications

Key Stage 4: GCSE English Language & Literature

All students will follow two courses and will be sit two examinations on each course. We follow AQA’s specification for both English Language and English Literature. www.aqa.org.uk

English Language:

  • Explorations in creative reading and writing
  • Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives
  • Spoken Language Endorsement (Non-exam assessment)

English Literature:

  • Study of Shakespeare
  • Study of a 19th Century novel
  • Study of modern prose or a drama text
  • Study of the poetry anthology
  • Unseen Poetry

English Literature Assessment Objectives:

Students will learn how to understand and demonstrate the following skills:

Assessment Objective 1:

Read, understand and respond to texts.

Students should be able to:

  • maintain a critical style and develop an informed personal response
  • use textual references, including quotations, to support and illustrate interpretations.
Assessment Objective 2:

Analyse the language, form and structure used by a writer to create meanings and effects, using relevant subject terminology where appropriate.

Assessment Objective 3:

Show understanding of the relationships between texts and the contexts in which they were written.

Assessment Objective 4:

Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.

English Language Assessment Objectives:

Students will learn how to understand and demonstrate the following skills:

Reading Skills:
Assessment Objective 1:
  • Identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas.
  • Select and synthesise evidence from different texts.
Assessment Objective 2:
  • Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure
  • to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject
  • terminology to support their views.
Assessment Objective 3:
  • Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are
  • conveyed, across two or more texts.
Assessment Objective 4:
  • Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references
Writing Skills:
Assessment Objective 5:
  • Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences.
  • Organise information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features to support coherence and cohesion of texts.
Assessment Objective 6:
  • Candidates must use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation. (This requirement must constitute 20% of the marks for each specification as a whole).
How to support your child:

Intervention and Extra-Curricular Learning

Our teachers know our students very well, and, as a result, they can intervene at the point of need. As well as this, the students study English every day of the week and students who need this get extra English in the longer school day once or twice a week in years 7, 8 and 11. This intervention ranges from one-to-one tuition, lesson 7s, booster sessions, Food-For-Thought, masterclasses and additional teacher support. The intervention is monitored closely to assess its effectiveness and changed where appropriate to suit the needs of the pupils.

As a Faculty, we also offer extra-curricular activities to supplement the learning and progress for all pupils. This includes external agencies providing insight into the Literature texts in new and exciting ways and trips to the theatre to see professional productions of the texts that the pupils are, or have been, studying.

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Ashton-Under-Lyne OL5 9DP
T: 01457 832491
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