“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.”

― Alan Bennett, The History Boys.

During Years 7 and 8 we take our students on a journey through Literature over time. Providing opportunities to cover the GCSE Assessment objectives in reading, writing and speaking and listening.

We aim to foster a love of the written and spoken word and encourage students to creatively explore their understanding of our unique and thought provoking language.

Course Outline

Their Literary journey begins with creation stories and an investigation into their own heritage. We then visit Greek Gods and Mythology and embark on a dangerous mission with Beowulf. Roman rhetoric is explored before moving to Shakespeare’s world and Julius Caesar.

Challenging Chaucer is the first stop in Year 8 followed by two Shakespeare plays, studied in depth, to enhance their understanding of how writer’s use of language and structure for effect. Non-fiction is covered by a visit to Tudor times and specifically the diaries and essays of Tudor wives.

KS3 is concluded with Romantic poetry and Sherlock Holmes.

Our curriculum is challenging and aspirational but creates a deep appreciation of Literature and Language required for the new GCSE specifications.

Students will be required to complete a weekly ‘Grammar’ unit.


Year 7 and 8 will complete a formal GCSE AO assessment at the end of each unit (at least half termly), with a formal examination for both reading and writing at the end of each academic year.

Teaching Methods

Students will have eight timetabled English lessons per fortnight. These are used as follows:

  • Year 7 & 8 will use one lesson per fortnight to visit the library.
  • Year 7 & 8 will complete one lesson per fortnight which focuses solely on grammar skills
  • The remaining lessons will focus on the units being studied for the particular half term and will include a range of teaching and learning activities to engage students

Other information

It is part of student equipment requirements for them to carry a book for a five minute reading session at the start of every lesson. Students are able to collect ‘Book Brag’ points to be awarded a bronze, silver and gold certificate.

For more information please visit our English website:

How is the course graded


How to succeed in GCSE Art

Successful students need be imaginative, creative and positive. Students must be organised and prepared to work hard in their own time. Patience and peristence are key virtues, as is the ability to take criticism positively. Successful students need to be open, expressive and committed.

Skill Requirements

GCSE students are encouraged to work over an extended period of time on the development of their projects. This process is broken down into easily understood targets by the Art teacher and requires a mature and independent approach from the student in order to be successful.

Students should always have a set of personal targets to complete – these targets are likely to be detailed on the student’s Progress Log and found on the task lists in their sketchbook.

How can you help?

Ask your son/daughter about their artwork and their ideas. Take them to galleries and to places where they can gather photographs for their work. Provide them with materials and tools, and try to sort out a space in the house for them to study. Finally, ask to see their Progress Logs – it’s all there!

Extra-curricular Support

The Art Department opens its doors daily to students to come and work at break, lunchtime and after school on Tuesdays & Thursdays. We regularly arrange Saturday Workshops, sometimes inviting specialist artists to deliver a master class. There are many other opportunities to be involved more in Art such as mural painting, Rock Challenge set design and Saatchi Online (