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Light Hall School - English

Subject Overview

“We read to know we are not alone” – CS Lewis.

Central to the study of English at Light Hall is an emphasis on reading for pleasure and for enlightenment. The best way to become a good communicator and to acquire the skills needed for the modern workplace is to read widely, think deeply, and write in a range of styles for different purposes and audiences. Throughout years 7 to 11, pupils will study a range of literature and non-fiction and be expected to develop extended writing in response to what they have read. There will be tight focus on accuracy and clear communication, as well as independent reading and study across a range of homework tasks. Pupils will be expected to read at least one whole novel independently at home from a recommended reading list each half term.

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers” – Harry S Trueman.



Below is an outline of the topics and assessments covered at Key Stage 3, which has recently been redesigned so that it provides an effective foundation for the demands of the English GCSE. More information can be found on the ‘English’ subject page on FROG.

  Autumn Spring Summer
yr 7

Students will study the novel Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce and explore themes of religion,         
money, death and family. Within this unit students will also study poetry and non-fiction texts linked to the themes featured in Millions.


This term students will study A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare which features the theme of magic. The study of this play will be complimented with literature, poetry and non-fiction extracts linked to the theme of magic and the supernatural.

Students will study the novel Holes by Louis Sacher. This American novel links to issues of crime and punishment and Colonialism which will be explored through American poetry and relevant non-fiction like travel writing.


yr 8 Students will explore Victorian Literature and focus on authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his character Sherlock Holmes and also short stories by Charles Dickens. Alongside this literature, appropriate literature, poetry and non-fiction extracts will be studied to support pupil understanding. Pupils will either study Stone Cold by Robert Swindles or Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson.  In order to prepare pupils for GCSE English Language and Literature exploration of these novels will be supported by related poetry, literature and non-fiction texts.

Pupils will explore war literature through novels like Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo and Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. Also, students will study appropriate conflict poetry and non-fiction texts to support their understanding.

yr 9 Students will study a range of extracts from Literature across time. There will also be a whole text study of ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck. This term will prepare students for aspects of the Language and Literature new specification exams.

Students will study the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare in preparation for the Literature new specification exam. A range of non-fiction and non-fiction literary texts will also be studied and compared for the Language new specification exam.

Students will study the play ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestley in preparation for the Literature new specification exams. Students will also explore language through reading and writing for the Language new specification exam and will complete a spoken language presentation and discussion on a topic of their choice.



Students start preparing for GCSE examinations in Year 9 and follow the AQA GCSE English Language and AQA GCSE English Literature courses, which include a range of reading and writing opportunities, as below. For those taking examinations in 2015 and 2016, students will be assessed through both examination and controlled assessment coursework, but from 2017 onwards, assessment will be by examination only. Students who begin Year 9 in September 2014 will be the first to follow this new style GCSE course, where there will be an increased expectation on reading more independently and widely, and writing with greater development and accuracy.

  Autumn Spring Summer
yr 10

Students will study a Shakespearean play and a Literary heritage text and compare how a theme is presented in both. This will be for their Literature controlled assessment and will form 25% of their final overall grade.

Students will also complete two creative writing pieces which is based on their ability to express themselves with clarity, whilst skilfully employing appropriate stylistic devices to make their writing engaging and enjoyable to read.

Students will then study the English spoken language and focus on how people use language to communicate in different contexts.

Students will also study the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ culminating in a reading controlled assessment which assesses students ability to analyse how the writer uses language and structure to create meanings and convey their ideas. This accounts for 15% of the Language controlled assessment folder.

Students will prepare for their English Language examinations. They will experience an eclectic mix of non-fiction texts, including newspaper articles, diary entries, travel journals, political rhetoric, propaganda etc… They will be expected to retrieve information from a text, focus on how the presentational features of texts create meaning and explore how writers use language to manipulate the reader and convey their thoughts and feelings.

Students will also study a range of unseen poems by poets such as William Blake, Wilfred Owen,

Wendy Cope, Christina Rossetti, Maya Angelou and Owen Sheers for their Literature exam. They will also complete numerous speaking and listening discussions and perform dramatic interpretations.

yr 11

Students will explore a range of literature poetry from various poets and time periods under the theme of ‘Relationships’ or ‘Conflict’. This is in preparation for their Literature exam.

Students will also revise ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck which is a crossover text for their Literature examination.

Students will study ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestley which is also a Literature examination text.

Students will also complete any remaining speaking and listening tasks and continue to prepare for the Language exam by studying a range of non-fiction texts.

This term will involve final preparation and revision for the Language and Literature examinations.



What are the aims of the course?
The course aims to provide all students with the opportunity to become skilled, confident communicators in written and spoken English.

  • Students will learn how to:
  • Communicate clearly and effectively;
  • Listen to and participate in discussion;
  • Structure and organise their speech;
  • Read with insight and engagement;
  • Distinguish between fact and opinion;
  • Write accurately using Standard English;
  • Adapt writing to suit different purposes and audiences;
  • Respond to texts from a wide variety of genres.
  • Select and evaluate information from their reading;
  • Effectively organise and plan their writing;

What topics will I study?
You will study and create a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, including Shakespeare, 20th century drama, creative writing, poems from other cultures, poems of the English Heritage, prose and the media.

What examination will I take?
Pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 are assessed by their teachers, using National Curriculum levels.

Pupils in Sets X, 1 and 2 in Years 10 and 11 will do GCSE English Language and English Literature at the end of the GCSE course.

Pupils in Sets 3, 4 and 5 in Years 10 and 11 will do GCSE English at the end of the GCSE course.

What is involved with the GCSE examinations?

English & English Language:
Coursework: 40%
Speaking & Listening: 20%
Examination: 40%

What independent study will I have to undertake?
There are ample opportunities for independent study and students are encouraged to express their own views and opinions.

Reading a wide range of texts outside school is essential if you are aiming to achieve the highest grades.

The English Department Staff

Mr J Cobley – Head of English
Ms N McPhilimey – English Teacher
Miss L Davies – Assessment and Inclusion Co-Ordinator
Mrs H Close – SENCO (Jobshare)
Mrs E Tunstall – SENCO (Jobshare)
Miss K Howard – Acting Head of Drama & English Teacher
Miss E Wyatt – English & Drama
Mr M Holt – Head of Media & English Teacher
Miss K Birch – English Teacher
Ms J Cook – English Teacher
Ms S Davies – English AST Teacher
Mrs M Daniels – English Teacher
Ms V Ludford – English AST Teacher
Mrs E Ho – English Teacher (Jobshare)
Mrs J Walker – English Teacher (Jobshare)
Miss C Wood – English Teacher