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Our vision statement:

For every student, we foster a love of learning; we promote curiosity; we broaden horizons.

We have high expectations of ourselves and every one of our students.  We offer an exciting and inspiring curriculum so all students can be stretched to achieve their full potential. The English Department has a positive atmosphere where students want to learn and want to achieve.  Students are encouraged to own their own learning journey and we actively promote a love of reading both within and beyond the classroom. Across our curriculum, we include a wide range of literary and non-literary texts to enhance students’ cultural capital and develop their independent thinking. The key purpose of English at Queen Katharine Academy is to ensure that our students can use language, both spoken and written, with assurance, eloquence and precision.

Welcome to the Queen Katharine Academy English Department.

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” Dumbledore from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling epitomises what the QKA English department is all about! To grow ability, talent and a love of reading through the world around us and in the pages of books.

Malcolm X is famously quoted as saying, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”. Our curriculum takes each of our students on their own journeys, enriching them with not just a love of reading but the necessary skills needed to be successful later in life.

Our vision will be achieved through our consistent approach to teaching and learning and the creation of our collaborative culture enabling staff and students to work alongside each other.


Our curriculum Intent

To provide students with a rich and broad curriculum developing their love of English and a curiosity of learning. To enrich their knowledge and perceptions of the world around them whilst creating an engaging curriculum to enable every student to:

  • Be an individual and celebrate differences
  • Build resilience and become critical thinkers.
  • Develop real world skills.
  • Experience opportunities to develop their talents and skills
  • Be part of an aspirational culture of achievement, allowing everyone to experience success.

For every student, we foster a love of learning; we promote curiosity; we broaden horizons.

Each scheme of work will incorporate the 10 hallmarks of an outstanding Curriculum & the ethos of QKAs RESPECT Charter. Skills are also sequenced from year 7 through to year 11 to enable progress and confidence built ready for the GCSE qualifications.


The 10 Hallmarks of an outstanding curriculum:

  • is underpinned by aims, values and purpose (RESPECT Charter)
  • develops the whole person - knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes
  • is broad, balanced and has clear progression in subject knowledge and skill
  • is filled with rich first-hand purposeful experiences
  • is flexible and responsive to individual needs and interests
  • embeds the principle of sustainability
  • has an eye on the future and the needs of future citizens
  • encourages the use of environments and expertise beyond the classroom
  • makes meaningful links between areas of knowledge across the curriculum and the major issues of our time
  • has a local, national and international dimension


Expectations of conduct.

In the English department, we pride ourselves on developing a calm and purposeful environment, in which we believe all students, can flourish and grow. We want every student, parent and teacher to feel valued and respected.

Part of the way in which we encourage and promote this approach is by having clear and consistent expectations of our students, regarding both the standard of their work at school and their behaviour.

Behaviour in and around the department is based on a set of clear, positive school rules with plenty of praise and recognition for good behaviour. Each classroom displays a ‘RESPECT Charter’ poster which is a visual aid used to reinforce positive behaviours.

From our students we expect them to:

  • To show respect for each other in the corridors and the classroom.
  • To try their best: positive efforts will be rewarded.
  • Present their books with pride; this is a reflection of their learning.
  • Enter the classroom calmly, ready to learn and fully equipped.
  • KS3 have 10 minutes reading at the beginning of every lesson – so require a reading book.
  • Keep bags on the floor and distractions to learning packed away.
  • Follow staff instructions. For example: it as per seating plan.
  • Keep electronic equipment off and away unless your teacher asks you to use it.


We are a community consisting of staff, children and parents and it is important for all staff to foster a family community ethos, through showing a caring positive attitude to all students and working together as a team.

Key Stage 3

Our main aim at KS3 is to deliver an engaging and stimulating curriculum that builds on KS2 knowledge as well as preparing our students so that by the end of Year 9 they are ‘GCSE ready.’

The English department work together to ensure that all students are supported and can therefore reach their full potential and feel confident in all areas of the curriculum.

Our SOWs focus on reading, writing and spoken language skills. Throughout the course of study, students will cover a range of writing styles looking in particular detail at descriptive/narrative writing and argumentative/persuasive writing. Students will practice using a variety of techniques to achieve an effect and emphasise their points.

Students will also read a variety of texts including poetry, prose and drama from the 19th, 20th and 21st century. Through reading extracts and full texts, students will develop the ability to identify key information often using it to support points, make inferences, improve vocabulary, as well as gain an understanding of audience, purpose and different contexts. Students will begin to read critically, recognise a variety of poetic/dramatic conventions, and explore plot, setting and characterisation.

In order to foster a love of reading all KS3 students will complete 10 minutes reading at the start of the lesson. On some occasions the reading will be linked to the lesson however, it is important that students learn to read independently and are therefore expected to bring a book of their own choice to lessons. Students can make use of the library. As a school, we are fortunate enough to have such a resourceful library, which contains a variety of books across all genres where students are bound to find something they enjoy or alternatively students can bring a book from home. Students will regularly complete reading logs, which will enable teachers to monitor their progress.

Students will also work to improve communication skills by taking part in presentations. As part of the English Language GCSE, students are expected to complete a Spoken Language Exam. We recognise the importance of preparing our students for this, which is why we feel it is vital that this feature regularly in our KS3 SOW. Students will feel confident and familiar with the process and consequently able to communicate with accuracy and fluency.

As a department, we also recognise the importance of spelling, punctuation and grammar especially due to its weight in the GCSE exams. As a result, students will complete fortnightly spelling tests- it will be part of their homework to learn the spellings before they are tested the following week. Students will encounter new vocabulary through teaching and modelling, reading and research. Students will also receive regular feedback through book, homework and assessment marking and given the chance to correct and learn from their errors.

We hope to see our students thrive throughout the years as they prepare for their next step.

If you have any questions regarding the KS3 Curriculum, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at (KS3 Curriculum Coordinator)


Top ten skills for the end of KS3

  1. Students will be able to search for meaning.
  2. Students will experiment with ideas.
  3. Students will analyse patterns and relationships.
  4. Students will work collaboratively as well as independently.
  5. Students will have a chance to explore their imagination.
  6. Students will become more self-directed in their learning
  7. Students will feel confident writing in a range of styles. Expository, descriptive, persuasive and narrative.
  8. Students will broaden their vocabulary through studying a variety of texts.
  9. Students will develop their spoken language skills- communicating with clarity and precision.
  10. Students will discover how history and culture influences famous writers.


Year 7 Spelling list Autumn, Spring and Summer 

Year 8 Spelling list Autumn, spring and Summer

Year 9 Spelling list Autumn, spring and Summer


Curriculum Overview  2019-20


Key Stage 4

KS4 curriculum intent:

Our Key Stage Four curriculum intent is to build on the solid work and the successes of the KS3 curriculum. Each key stage lead in the QKA English department works closely with each other to allow smooth transitions from one key stage to another.  This is to enable maximum progress for students. Key stage 4s clear and consistent focus is to prepare students for their English Language and Literature exams.

 In key stage 4 we cover all of the literature texts needed for the Literature GCSE, whilst interleaving language skills as recommended by the exam board (AQA). We work closely with the exam board to make sure our staff and students get the most up to date feedback. We also work with a company called PiXL (Partners in Excellence) that promotes strategies that lead to an increase in student attainment and progress. 

The texts are outlined below and will be the texts that students will answer questions on in their year 11 exams.

Year 11 are studying: Macbeth, Jekyll and Hyde and An Inspector Calls. Poetry Cluster: Power and Conflict.

Year 10 are studying: Macbeth, Christmas Carol and An Inspector Calls. Poetry Cluster: Love and Relationships.

We conduct one mock exam in year 10 (June) and two mock exams in year 11 (November and February). We will use data to inform our teaching, and the content and resources we produce will allow us to embed the skills our students already have. This data alongside assessment data will inform us about student inventions to boost students to attain their targeted grade, allowing us to maximise their progress and attainment.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any queries regarding the KS4 Curriculum via email at (Subject Lead)

Top ten skills for the end of KS4

  1. Clarity in written expression.
  2. Analyse language and structure for meaning and impact.
  3. Synthesise and summarise information from a range of texts.
  4. Evaluate and make judgements on text read.
  5. Comparison of ideas and perspectives from texts.
  6. Technical accuracy in their writing.
  7. Use of a range of linguistic devices in their writing.
  8. Structural features in their writing for impact.
  9. Respond to unseen texts confidently and proficiently.
  10. Link contextual ideas to the production and reception of texts.

Useful KS4 links:

Language GCSE exam information -

Literature GCSE exam information -

BBC Bitesize Language:

BBC Bitesize Literature:


Curriculum Overview 2019-20


Key Stage 5

At KS5, the English department features both English Language and English Literature. Students wishing to take these subjects at A-level will build upon the vital skills they have learned at GCSE.

Students engage creatively and critically with a wide range of texts and discourses at this level. Flexible specifications ensure that we work towards the best possible results for our students, bringing our own unique skills, as well as specialisms, to the classroom.

As at KS4, we work closely with the exam board in order to build upon our success and make progress continually. Staff who mark for the examination board at this level provide a valuable insight into relevant techniques and responses.

Overview – English Language

Year 12




Introduction to Language Study

• Using mini-texts, introduce students to language methods and concepts

• Focus specifically on language and mode, drawing comparisons and connections between different modes

• Using mini-texts, introduce students to language methods and concepts

• Focus specifically on representation, considering the use of noun phrases/ labelling in creating and shaping meaning


Textual Analysis

• Develop students’ ability to analyse a range of texts/modes, using appropriate language methods and accurate terminology • Develop writing skills: analytical writing and directed writing

 • Use this opportunity to also teach some key skills that would be useful for production of creative writing – e.g. writing with an understanding of the power of information/persuasion

Language Varieties: Occupational Groups

• Develop students’ understanding of key concepts e.g. allowable contributions, specialist lexis/jargon • Use examples of mini-data to examine different occupational varieties and usage

 • Develop students’ ability to analyse and interpret data

• Encourage students to bring own data examples to lessons – useful for investigation etc. Spring

Revision: Paper 1

 Specific focus on essay structure, addressing each question separately and comparative aspects for question 3.


Revision: Paper 2

 Specific focus on discursive essay writing and directed writing.

Language Varieties: Regional and National Variation

• Introduce key concepts e.g. standard/non-standard forms, attitudes, prestige, levelling, loyalty etc.

• Begin to introduce students to different types of exam response: directed writing; analytical writing 


Language Varieties: Social groups/status

• Focus on key concepts e.g. hierarchies, status, prestige, social networks etc.

• Develop students’ ability to analyse and interpret data

• Encourage students to bring own data examples to lessons – useful for investigation etc.



Language in Action: Original Writing

• Working with style models

• Considering audience, purpose and genre in the production of creative writing

• Consolidate work completed earlier in the year on power of information/power of persuasion

Language Varieties: Gender

• Examine deficit, dominance, difference, diversity models

• Begin to introduce students to different types of exam response: directed writing; analytical writing

Textual Analysis

• Develop students’ ability to analyse a range of texts, using appropriate language methods and accurate terminology

• Focus specifically on representation issues

• Develop writing skills, in particular focusing on comparison between texts

Language in Action: Investigation

• Methods of data collection

• Working with data

• Writing up findings from a mini-investigation

Year 13




Child Language Development

• Stages of spoken language development

• Theories surrounding CLD e.g. innateness etc.

 • Develop students’ ability to work with extended data sets

• Apply relevant language methods and accurate terminology

• Focus on discursive essay writing skills thus enabling students to move beyond the data appropriately

Language In Action: Investigation

• Students to concentrate on devising their own methodologies, collecting data sets, analysing data and drawing conclusions

• Balance of independent study and teacher guidance/support

• Evaluation of data types – quantitative/ qualitative; case study etc.

• Application of relevant and suitable language concepts

• How to write an investigation

Child Language Development continued

• Stages of literacy development

 • Theories surrounding CLD literacy e.g. Rotheray, Barclay etc.

 • Develop students’ ability to work with extended data sets

• Apply relevant language methods and accurate terminology

• Focus on discursive essay writing skills

Language Change

• Focus on different aspects of change – lexis, semantics etc. and attitudes shown towards these

• Consider some of the debates surrounding change e.g. Aitchison, contemporary issues etc.

• Begin to develop range of writing skills: discursive, analytical, directed in response to arguments in source


Language in Action: Original Writing  • Re-visit creative writing • Continue working with style models to inform production of own work • Writing a commentary


Finalise original writing – submit for final assessment


Language Change continued

• Continue examining different aspects of change, standardisation etc. 

• Examine range of mini-texts/data to illustrate the nature of language change [consider how this can be linked to analysis of texts for Paper 1]

Language Diversity

• Revisit varieties covered in year 1 • Begin to consider wider varieties: o Ethnicity and international varieties

• Develop students’ writing skills – analysis, evaluation etc.

World Englishes and consolidating Exam Skills

• Consider key concepts e.g. lingua franca, global varieties etc.

• Bringing together some of the key topics covered – change and diversity – concentrate on use of stimulus material for questions 3 and 4 of Paper 2 (analysis/comparison and directed writing)

Revise CLD Focus on data analysis, discursive essay writing, evaluative discussion of key concepts


Revise Change Focus on discursive essay writing, analysis and comparison of source material and directed writing


Revise Language Diversity Focus on discursive essay writing, analysis and comparison of source material and directed writing


Revise Textual Analysis Focus on application of a range of language methods




Guidance for Parents

Homework and assessment expectations:

Year 12

In order to consolidate textual analysis skills as part of the AS Level course in Year 12, homework is set on a weekly basis using dedicated homework resource booklets that have been tailored to the needs of our students in close liaison with the examination board.

All students will receive a set of weekly and termly deadlines.

In Year 12 students sit two sets of AS mock examinations in November and February.

Year 13

Homework in Year 13 is primarily concerned with consolidation, revision and last but not least, the NEA (non-examined assessment) aspect of the A2 course which is worth a favourable 20% of the final grade.

Students work as independently as possible to a series of deadlines, which are governed by the requirements of the examination board. This coursework provides a strong foundation for independent study at undergraduate level.

In Year 13, students sit two sets of A2 mock examinations mirroring those sat in Year 12, during November and February.

English Literature A-level, AQA 7717

Students read and explore aspects of a mainstream literary genre. The central focus is on genres which continue to evolve from an ancient past and look forward.  Key to both papers is that students understand and study ‘aspects’ and ‘elements’.  Students learn how to read and write for a closed-book exam.

Aspects of Comedy

Elements of Crime Writing

NEA Critical Anthology*

  • Twelfth Night, Shakespeare
  • The Importance of Being Earnest, Wilde
  • The Nun’s Priest’s Tale, Chaucer
  • Atonement, McEwan
  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Coleridge
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Christie
  • Essay in response to prose.
  • Essay in response to poetry.


*A-level: NEA criteria


  • Students produce two pieces of work, each on a different literary text.
  • One of the texts must be poetry and one must be prose.
  • Each text must be linked to a different section of the AQA Critical Anthology (Narrative Theory, Feminist criticism, Marxist criticism, Post-colonialism criticism, Eco-criticism, Literary Value and the Canon).
  • Word count for each piece of work: 1250-1500.
  • One response will be conventional, the other could be re-creative or a further conventional response.
  • Students may not choose texts from any of the examination set text lists.

A Level Examination

Component 1

Paper 1 7717/1B

Aspects of Comedy

Written Paper


  • 3 tasks
  • 75 marks – 25 marks per task
  • 2 hours and 30 minutes

Closed book

Component 2

Paper 2 7717/2A

Elements of Crime Writing

Written Paper


  • 3 tasks
  • 75 marks – 25 marks per task
  • 3 hours

Open book

Component 3 7717/C

Theory and Independence



  • 2 tasks, each 1250-1500 words
  • 50 marks – 25 marks each

Moderated by AQA


Assessment Objectives

AO1 – technical accuracy; quality of argument; organisation, the use of appropriate concepts and terminology. 28%

A02 – authorial method; analyse how writer shapes meaning. 24%

A03 – relates to the many possible contexts which arise out of the text. 24%

A04 – exploring connections with other literary texts including context and the wider network of texts and contexts to which the genre relates. 12%

A05 – exploring different debate and interpretations of the text to show that interpretation of a text is not a fixed process but a dynamic one.  12%


2020 onwards

Moving forward at KS5, there is potential for expansion into offering the Lang/Lit combined AS and A level. This will add another highly thought of academic qualification to those already offered by the English department and will benefit those students who enjoy both these areas of study.

Relevant websites:


Please do not hesitate to contact us in regard to any queries concerning the KS5 curriculum. (Second in English - KS5 Lead)

Top ten skills for the end of KS5

  1. Advanced linguistic terminology
  2. Secondary (wider) reading
  3. Coherent and creative written expression
  4. Confident participation in discussions and debates
  5. Analysing language
  6. Applying theories and ideas to critiques
  7. Collecting data
  8. Analysing data and statistics
  9. Analyse and evaluate contextual features and language techniques
  10. Explore connections across texts, informed by linguistic concepts and methods


Curriculum Overview 2019-20


Contact List for English:  (Subject Lead) (Second in English and KS5 responsibility) (KS3 Curriculum Coordinator) (GCSE Resit teacher) (English Teacher) (English Teacher and Assistant Principal). (English Teacher) (English teacher and Year 9 Progress Leader).