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TES-English teacher or team of the year



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English Dept Logo

PTI - Bernice McCabe Logo

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.

We have worked hard to ensure this vision becomes a reality and as a result we have been awarded the Princes Institute Trust’s (PTI) Subject Leadership mark. We have also been nominated for the PTI’s Bernice McCabe Award 2020 and won the TES English Department of the Year award 2021.


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 and 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: sit 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.


Texts studied in the English Department. (2023-24)





Year 7

Literature across the ages: Extracts

Alice in Wonderland

Private Peaceful

Year 8

Percy Jackson

The Giver

Treasure Island

Year 9

Noughts & Crosses

The Black Flamingo

The Tempest


Year 10

A Christmas Carol

An Inspector Calls


Poetry: Love and Relationships

Year 11

Revisiting the three texts and the Poetry cluster.


Year 12 Lang

Language analysis


Social and occupational language

Regional accent and dialect

Year 12 Lit




Comedy: Drama – The Taming of the Shrew & The Importance of Being Earnest.

Comedy: Prose – Small Island & Critical Anthology revision.

Comedy: Poetry – Anthology Poetry & Songs of Innocence & Experience.

Year 13 Lang

Language analysis

NEA coursework (20%)

Child language acquisition

Year 13 Lit


Comedy: Kite Runner, The Handmaid’s Tale & Songs of Innocence and Experience continued

NEA – Independent study/coursework.

Texts are constantly revisited throughout the qualification.

In KS3 Shakespeare extracts and poetry are interlaced thematically throughout units of work.


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 practise 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 weekly 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 us via email at (Key Stage 3 Curriculum Coordinator).


Curriculum Overview KS3 2023-24

What How Why Document

Y7 Spring - Alice in Wonderland KO

Y7 Summer - Private Peaceful KO

Y8 Spring - The Giver KO

Y8 Summer - Treasure Island KO

Y8 Autumn - Percy Jackson KO

Y9 - Spring 1 The Black Flamingo KO

Y9 - Spring 2 The Black Flamingo KO 

Y9 Summer - The Tempest KO

Y9 Autumn - Noughts and Crosses KO


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.


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 4’s 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.

KS4 are studying: Macbeth, A Christmas Carol and An Inspector Calls. Poetry Cluster: Love and Relationships. For all these components the students have access to an online revision platform, Century. This is to support their learning in the classroom. Teachers will be setting homework on Century throughout the year.

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)

Curriculum Overview KS4 2023-24

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:


Key Stage 5  

AQA AS and A Level English Language

English Language is a great course to study because it provides you with a great grounding in the skills you’ll need while you’re studying your other A Level courses, at university and in your chosen career. You’ll be someone who enjoys reading, writing and communicating and who wants to develop their abilities in these areas. You’ll have the opportunity to explore areas which you’re interested in as well looking at the impact language has on society.

Studying AS in the first year and progressing to the full A Level in the second is a great way to study this subject. The English Language A Level course offers students the opportunity to explore the use of English in a range of real-life contexts, investigating how meanings are created. Students will explore a range of texts: spoken, written and multimodal. During this course students will gain a much clearer knowledge and understanding of language as a dynamic and vital form of communication. You can also expect to be inspired by language and have the opportunity to create and investigate areas of your interest.

There is an almost universal career application; English Language facilitates any career or course involving communication. English language, as well as being highly regarded in its own right, is often seen by universities as a ‘gateway’ subject. Students often choose English Language if they have an interest in exploring a diverse range of subjects as the texts studied often encompass many social issues and promote an engagement with the wider world. English Language involves a multidisciplinary approach to studying as pupils engage with language as a quantifiable science as well as its discursive function as a method of representing us as individuals and a society. Students are often inspired by their study of English Language to further their understanding through degree courses such as Linguistics, English Language, Journalism and Language in Education.

This course is perfect if you enjoy analysing spoken and written language and you are a keen reader and writer. Your technical vocabulary and communication skills will increase significantly. It combines well with a wide range of other A Level subjects.

Topics include:

  • Language, the individual and society – with the focus upon language analysis and the language levels, gender, and regional accent and dialect.
  • Language diversity and change – with the focus upon child language acquisition, further analysis, and revision.
  • A non-examination coursework assessment (NEA) which involves a language investigation of your choice, allowing you the freedom to explore your own areas of interest and your creativity in writing – this is worth 20% of the final A level grade.

For more information, please follow the link below or contact our KS5 lead:


AQA AS and A level English Literature

If you enjoy reading, theatre and film, this could be the course for you. You’ll explore different genres and styles of text from comedy to drama, which you will analyse and assess for their cultural and historical significance.

You’ll learn how to give critique, understand the deeper meaning behind texts the impact they would have had in the time they were written. You’ll have plenty of opportunity for wider reading and to bring your own ideas and interpretations into the classroom for discussion and debate with other students.

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”  - Sir Richard Steele

Quite simply, English Literature captures the essence of humanity.  If you want to understand yourself and others, there is no better to place to look than towards plays, poems and novels.   As a subject, it complements any other A Level as you are encouraged to think deeply and write accurately: vital skills for any student hoping to continue into university education. English also develops your analytical skills, close reading and questioning of what you read, looking beyond the obvious and, of course, through writing, it develops your own unique perspective and voice.

What do you need to study A Level English Literature?

A genuine interest in reading and writing is by far the most important factor.  Inevitably, you will have to read a number of hopefully very interesting texts, so you need to be up for this challenge.   An interest in history is also very useful as each text has its own unique historical and cultural context.  You are not assessed for “speaking and listening” but the most successful students often look to get involved in class discussions, through offering their ideas or through raising apt questions.  Finally, being able to think and write quickly, whilst meticulously evaluating your work is a key skill, which will bring exam success.

Course Outline

Students will study the AQA LitB course, which includes a wide range of texts, such as:

AS level Literature:

  • The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  • Small Island by Andrea Levy
  • AQA Poetry Anthology (Comedy)

A level Literature:

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Attwood
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake


English Literature prepares you for most graduate positions.  You develop analytical skills and an ability to express yourself with confidence and precision.  Future lawyers, journalists, doctors, scientists, researchers, businessmen will all hugely benefit from studying English Literature - as, indeed, will artists, budding poets, novelists and actors. 

For more information, please follow the link below or contact our KS5 lead:                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Curriculum Overview KS5 2023-24


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


Contact List for English:  (Assistant Principal for Quality of Education at QKA) (Head of English / English Literature)  (Acting Key Stage 3 Curriculum Coordinator) (English Teacher)  (English Teacher)  (English Teacher)  (English Teacher)  (English Teacher)  (English Teacher)  (English Teacher) (English Teacher) (English Teacher)