Alderman Peel 

High School

Wells-Next-The-Sea   Norfolk


Faculty Staff and roles

Ms S Street: Head of Department

Mr S Leverton: Teacher of English; Whole School Literacy Co-ordinator

Mrs J Doyle: Teacher of English 

Mrs J Hudson: Teacher of English


KS3 Subject overview

The English curriculum at Key Stage 3 has undergone a complete overhaul as of September 2015, in light of the new specifications for both GCSE English Language and GCSE Literature. Key Stage 3 develops students’ skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. The essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling are embedded into our schemes of learning to ensure students are regularly reviewing these critical areas of the syllabus. Regular library lessons in Years 7, 8 and 9 give the opportunity to explore fiction and non-fiction of personal interest, helping students to develop a life-long love of reading. Books read are monitored to ensure our pupils are reading books that challenge their reading ability; we want them to develop a passion for the books they engage with whilst ensuring that they also continue to have their knowledge of words stretched. Homework tasks are set regularly to compliment the learning in the classroom and to demonstrate the essential skill of independent effort.

The English Department follow a spiral curriculum at Key Stage 3, with each assessment focus being addressed at least once in each academic year. Student progress is monitored very closely at Key Stage 3, and any skills gaps are addressed through intervention by the department, tailored to the needs of the individual. Gifted and talented students in English are also identified and challenged to stretch and deepen their thinking.

Schemes of learning at Key Stage 3 include the study of novels, a Shakespeare play, poetry and short stories (both contemporary and from the literary heritage), creative writing, non-fiction writing, individual presentations, group discussions, role play activities and debating.

There is a formal assessment at the end of each year in Key Stage 3, to gauge progress over the year; this supports the half termly assessments during the year, to ensure a full rounded view of each pupil as seen. These annual assessments also start to prepare our learners for Key Stage 4 and the formality of the GCSEs.



The aims of English at Key Stage 4 are to enable all students to:

  • demonstrate skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing necessary to communicate with others confidently, effectively, precisely and appropriately;
  • express themselves creatively and imaginatively;
  • understand the patterns, structures and conventions of written and spoken English;
  • select and adapt speech and writing to different situations and audiences;
  • understand how variations in spoken and written language relate to identity and cultural diversity;
  • become critical readers of a range of texts, including multimodal texts;
  • use reading to gain access to knowledge and to develop their own skills as writers;
  • understand that texts from the English, Welsh and Irish literary heritage have been influential and significant over time and explore the meaning of these today;
  • understand how literature from other cultures is influential;
  • connect ideas, themes and issues, drawing on a range of texts.

(Ofqual 2015)


All students work towards two separate GCSEs in English at Key Stage 4: GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. Both qualifications have undergone huge changes in their specification; this is for the Year 10s and all subsequent years in Key Stage 4.

Both courses consist solely of examinations, which will be sat in the summer of Year 11. There will be 2 written exams in each qualification; progress in key assessment areas will be carried out at regular intervals during years 10 and 11 to monitor pupils’ ability. The examination board for both GCSE courses is AQA.


GCSE English Language – 2 papers, each of 1hr 45 mins. 

Each is worth 50% of overall GCSE English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Section A: Reading

One literature fiction text

Section B: Writing

Descriptive or narrative writing

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

Section A: Reading

One non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text

Section B: Writing

Writing to present a viewpoint

There are also speaking and listening assessments, which need to be recorded  in order to gain separate certification.

Formal examination:

Reading and writing non-fiction (2 hours 15 minutes, 60%)

GCSE English Literature:

Students are assessed through one written controlled assessment (25%) and two formal examinations (75%)

GCSE English Literature – 2 papers

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th century novel – 1hr45 40% of overall GCSE Literature

Section A: Shakespeare: 

Students will answer one question on their play of choice. They will be required to write in details about an extract form the play and then to write about the play as a whole.

Section B: The 19th century novel:

Students will answer one question on their novel of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole.

Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry – 2hr 15 60% of overall GCSE Literature

Section A: Modern texts:

Students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text.

Section B Poetry:

Students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster.

Section C Unseen poetry:

Students will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem



Pupils should be taught to:

    §    develop an appreciation and love of reading, and read increasingly challenging material independently through:

    §    reading a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, including in particular whole books, short stories, poems and plays with a wide coverage of genres, historical periods, forms and authors. The range will include high-quality works from:

    •    English literature, both pre-1914 and contemporary, including prose, poetry and drama

    •    Shakespeare (two plays)

    •    seminal world literature

    §    choosing and reading books independently for challenge, interest and enjoyment.

    §    re-reading books encountered earlier to increase familiarity with them and provide a basis for making comparisons.

    §    understand increasingly challenging texts through:

    §    learning new vocabulary, relating it explicitly to known vocabulary and understanding it with the help of context and dictionaries

    §    making inferences and referring to evidence in the text

    §    knowing the purpose, audience for and context of the writing and drawing on this knowledge to support comprehension

    §    checking their understanding to make sure that what they have read makes sense.

    §    read critically through:

    §    knowing how language, including figurative language, vocabulary choice, grammar, text structure and organisational features, presents meaning

    §    recognising a range of poetic conventions and understanding how these have been used

    §    studying setting, plot, and characterisation, and the effects of these

    §    understanding how the work of dramatists is communicated effectively through performance and how alternative staging allows for different interpretations of a play

    §    making critical comparisons across texts

    §    studying a range of authors, including at least two authors in depth each year.



Pupils should be taught to:

    §    write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length for pleasure and information through:

    §    writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences, including:

    •    well-structured formal expository and narrative essays

    •    stories, scripts, poetry and other imaginative writing

    •    notes and polished scripts for talks and presentations

    •    a range of other narrative and non-narrative texts, including arguments, and personal and formal letters

    §    summarising and organising material, and supporting ideas and arguments with any necessary factual detail

    §    applying their growing knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and text structure to their writing and selecting the appropriate form

    §    drawing on knowledge of literary and rhetorical devices from their reading and listening to enhance the impact of their writing

    §    plan, draft, edit and proof-read through:

    §    considering how their writing reflects the audiences and purposes for which it was intended

    §    amending the vocabulary, grammar and structure of their writing to improve its coherence and overall effectiveness

    §    paying attention to accurate grammar, punctuation and spelling; applying the spelling patterns and rules set out in English Appendix 1 to the key stage 1 and 2 programmes of study for English.


Grammar and vocabulary

Pupils should be taught to:

    §    consolidate and build on their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary through:

    §    extending and applying the grammatical knowledge set out in English Appendix 2 to the key stage 1 and 2 programmes of study to analyse more challenging texts

    §    studying the effectiveness and impact of the grammatical features of the texts they read

    §    drawing on new vocabulary and grammatical constructions from their reading and listening, and using these consciously in their writing and speech to achieve particular effects

    §    knowing and understanding the differences between spoken and written language, including differences associated with formal and informal registers, and between Standard English and other varieties of English

    §    using Standard English confidently in their own writing and speech



    §    discussing reading, writing and spoken language with precise and confident use of linguistic and literary terminology.5


Spoken English

Pupils should be taught to:

    §    speak confidently and effectively, including through:

    §    using Standard English confidently in a range of formal and informal contexts, including classroom discussion

    §    giving short speeches and presentations, expressing their own ideas and keeping to the point

    §    participating in formal debates and structured discussions, summarising and/or building on what has been said

    §    improvising, rehearsing and performing play scripts and poetry in order to generate language and discuss language use and meaning, using role, intonation, tone, volume, mood, silence, stillness and action to add impact.