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Head of English & Literacy: Miss L Murphy

The aim of the English Department at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy is to ensure that our students are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to become informed and independent students who are able to succeed in the modern world.

Key Stage 3 

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is broad, balanced and innovative and provides all students with an opportunity to develop a love for the English language and English literature.

Our year 7 students are enrolled on the English Mastery Programme which has been designed specifically to help students to master the ideas, concepts and stories that shape the world. The course also allows for rich vocabulary teaching and dedicated teaching of grammar. The teachers at Sir Christopher Hatton have been trained to deliver the English Mastery Programme and are excited to see the results it produces.

Our year 8 students build on the knowledge and skills gained in year 7. They are exposed to questions and concepts which challenge their knowledge and understanding and their ability to analyse language. Our aim is to make Key Stage 3 as engaging, exciting and challenging as possible to ensure our learners become passionate about English ahead of their GCSE studies.

The aim of our year 9 curriculum is to prepare our students for the rigours of the new GCSE which requires students to read and analyse a range of previously unseen texts and write both creative and non-fiction texts.

Year 7

Autumn Term

‘Oliver Twist’ – Charles Dickens

Spring Term

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ – William Shakespeare

Summer Term

Poetry Anthology

Year 8

Autumn Term

‘Animal Farm’ – George Orwell

Spring Term

‘The Tempest’ – William Shakespeare

Summer Term

 Victorian Literature and Poetry 

Year 9

Autumn Term

‘Macbeth’ – William Shakespeare

 Creative Writing

Spring Term

Dystopian Literature Anthology

Transactional Writing 

Summer Term

Romantic Poetry

Spoken Language  


DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read) is part of our curriculum (year 7-9) that allows the students to read for pleasure and experience a breadth of novels and authors. This year we have hand selected the best young adult fiction for the students to read with their teachers every lesson.

Key Stage 4

All year 10 and 11 students follow the AQA GCSE Literature and the AQA GCSE Language 

All students are entered for GCSEs in English Language and Literature. The reformed AQA GCSE English Language and English Literature specifications are assessed using the 9-1 grade scale and will be 100% examination based. There is a compulsory Speaking and Listening element to the course but this does not contribute to the final grade.

The GCSE English course has been designed to include the study of a range of prose and drama extracts in order to consolidate analytical and evaluative reading skills, one Shakespeare play, one 19th Century Prose novel, an anthology of modern poetry and one modern play. The course also involves the teaching of a plethora of writing skills in order to create confident, accurate and imaginative writers.

Students will study Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and J B Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls’ in Year 10 alongside interleaved English Language skills lessons, plus the AQA ‘Power and Conflict’ Poetry Anthology. In Year 11, students will study a 19th Century Prose novel by Charles Dickens, either ‘Great Expectations’ or ‘A Christmas Carol’ and revise all key topics in preparation for their final examinations.

Students will be encouraged to read widely during the course of their studies and attend supplementary revision sessions throughout the school year. Students are assessed through a combination of formative and summative assessment and regular FMW (Formally Marked Work).

There will be end of year examinations for Year 10 in the Summer Term focusing on both Language and Literature skills.

Year 10

Autumn Term

‘Romeo and Juliet’ – William Shakespeare

Language Paper 1 –  Section B

Spring Term

‘An Inspector Calls’ – J B Priestley

Language Paper 1 – Section A

Summer Term

Power and Conflict Poetry

Spoken Language & Language Paper 2 – Section B

Year 11

Autumn Term

19th Century Novel

Language Paper 2 – Section A

Spring Term

Exam Preparation

Summer Term

GCSE Examinations

Key Stage 5

We offer two A level options in the English Department:

  • English Literature (Edexcel Specification)
  • English Language and Literature (Edexcel Specification)

A Level English Literature:

English Literature at GCE Advanced Level involves the study of a range of literary texts across time, genre, race, religion and gender. The two-year course develops and extends the skills of GCSE Literature in a challenging and rewarding way. In year 12 students study all of their exam texts which include: modern texts from other cultures (A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini), canonical texts (Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy), Shakespeare (Othello), modern plays (A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams) and a range of poetry – both modern and part of the literary canon. In year 13 students get the opportunity to refine their skills, compare texts and delve deeper into the nuances of the texts they have previously studied in year 12. As well as studying the literary texts selected by the exam board, students also have the opportunity to study two texts of their own choosing.

A Level English Language and Literature:

English Language and Literature combines the best elements of GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature and brings them together in one exciting, challenging and rewarding course. This course is for students who enjoy the opportunity to read and write and those who want to develop their skills further as a critical reader and writer.