English – Key Stage 4

Subject: English

Head of Department: Hannah Shayler

Exam board: AQA

Syllabus code and title: English Literature – 8702

English Language – 8700


Autumn Term (term 1 and 2) Y9 – Dystopian Visions Students will study Animal Farm in preparation for the skills needed for their GCSE English Literature. This is a GCSE set text. Students will explore a range of fiction and non-fiction texts linked to ideas about the future to help prepare for their English Language exam. They will complete a creative piece of writing and a non-fiction piece of writing based on what they have learned.

Spring Term (term 3 and 4) Y9 – Detectives Students will study The Hound of the Baskervilles as a springboard for teaching a range of skills linked to the English Literature and English Language GCSE. They will also be required to engage with 19th Century non-fiction as a part of their preparation for GCSE English Language.

Summer Term (term 5 and 6) Y9Innoncence and Experience – Students will study Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as a well as a range of poetry which focuses on ideas of innocence and experience, youth and age and good and evil. This will inform both their English Language and English Literature GCSE.


Autumn Term (term 1 and 2) Y10

Term 1/2: Macbeth or Much Ado About NothingStudents are required to study the whole play and will focus on exploring characters, themes, action and contexts. As part of this unit they will also practise their skills of extract analysis for a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, as well as the play itself.

Term 2: Poetry: Power and Conflict Students will begin practising skills of unseen poetry analysis and learning the set poems required for study by the exam board. Students will link their study of poetry to a Speaking and Listening presentation and a creative writing piece.

Spring Term (term 3 and 4) Y10

Term 3 and 4: The Modern Novel / Drama – Text to be studied shall be decided by the class teacher. The options available are as follows:

Modern Novel

William GoldingLord of the Flies

AQA AnthologyTelling Tales

George OrwellAnimal Farm

Kazuo IshiguroNever Let Me Go

Meera SyalAnita and Me

Stephen KelmanPigeon English


JB Priestley – An Inspector Calls

Willy Russell – Blood Brothers

Alan Bennett – The History Boys

Dennis Kelly – DNA

Simon Stephens – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (play script)

Shelagh Delaney – A Taste of Honey

Summer Term (term 5 and 6) Y10

Term 5: The focus will be on the consolidation of skills for the English Language GCSE to prepare for the end of year mock exam.

Term 6: The 19th Century Novel

Students will study Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Sign of Four and continue to cover a range of 19th Century Non-Fiction texts.


Autumn Term (term 1 and 2) Y11

Term 1: Developing a Voice in Writing Creative and non-fiction writing unit.

Term 2: Power and Conflict Anthology Poems. – The remaining Anthology poems will be taught to help practise unseen poetry reading skills.

Spring Term (term 3 and 4) Y11

Term 3: Intervention Lessons based around English language skills. Lessons to be adapted for students based on prior assessments.

Term 4: Set Texts Revision for Paper 1 which focuses on Shakespeare (Macbeth/Much Ado About Nothing) and the 19th Century Novel (The Sign of Four)

Summer Term (term 5 and 6) Y11

Term 5 and 6: Set Text Revision of the modern novel/drama text for Paper 2.

How we assess students:

Regular formative assessment takes place in line with the school assessment policy.

Summative assessments take place every term using example questions as provided by exam board and of teachers’ own creation.

Both exams will be covered during the KS4 mock exam week.

How homework is set:

All homework tasks are uploaded to the SIMs learning gateway.

How parents/carers can support their child:

Encouraging reading for pleasure outside of school.

Reading of set texts as advised from the classroom teacher.

Ensure homework is completed by the deadline and to the best of ability.

Ensure students are well equipped for their lessons.

Support students in revision activities for example, using mind-mapping strategies to revise set texts.

Useful links:



Reading list:

Macbeth – William Shakespeare

The Sign of Four – Sir Author Conan Doyle

Other texts listed here will also provide students with a good grounding in the skills they need to engage with challenging unseen texts.

Students should also be encouraged to read a range of non-fiction texts including broadsheet newspapers, travel writing and other literary non-fiction.

Summer reading list

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