The English Department at Abbs Cross aims to provide students with a challenging, inspiring and thought-provoking curriculum that allows them to attain their very best. Our targets are to help students to improve their written and spoken literacy, as well as to instil a genuine love of literature, whilst constantly encouraging students to be independent and critical thinkers and to approach their learning with creativity and originality.

The English department plays a central role in teaching students transferable skills that are essential in other subjects and in life. Students are given a voice through their work in English, meaning their work in the subject makes them more empowered, confident and secure in their identity. We are committed to reflecting the experiences of a range of different cultures as well as exploring British values both in the present day and throughout history. The way in which we do this is by placing the student at the centre of their own learning. We firmly believe that students who are enabled to lead their own learning can both meet and exceed their potential.

We expect students to be ready to contribute to lessons both verbally and in written form. Students are also expected to strive for formality and accuracy in all of their written work, as we believe that this forms the best possible habits. We also expect all students to read a range of literature both inside and outside of lessons at an appropriate level of challenge for their ability. To help with this, we have close links with the school library, which we expect and encourage all students to visit regularly.

Homework is set on a weekly basis in English for all year groups, and must be completed on time and to a standard that represents students’ best possible efforts.

Students should be properly equipped for English lessons, requiring a pen, pencil, ruler and reading book as an absolute minimum.


Through Year 7 to Year 9, we aim to provide a balanced and broad-reaching curriculum, encouraging a range of reading to enable students to explore the best of what has been written, thought and said. We aspire to instil in our KS3 students an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.

Our KS3 Curriculum

Half Term: Aut Term 1 Aut Term 2 Spr Term 1 Spr Term 2 Sum Term 1 Sum Term 2
What? Poetry Creative writing Shakespeare Language Reading Skills Novel Study Transactional writing/verbal literacy
Year 7 Introduction to poetry Gothic narrative writing The Tempest Childhood reading Refugee Boy Speech writing inspired by The Titanic
Year 8 Character and voice poetry Inspired descriptive writing Romeo and Juliet Fiction and non-fiction language and structural analysis Animal Farm Motivational writing
Year 9 Love and relationships poetry Writing short stories Shakespeare’s villains Dystopian fiction Of Mice and Men Global ambassadors

As part of our reading curriculum, students will also read a vast range of fiction and non-fiction in class that is supplementary to their core scheme of learning by authors and poets including (but not exclusive to):

  • Darren Shan
  • Harper Lee
  • Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Marcus Sedgwick
  • Malorie Blackman
  • Daphne Du Maurier
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Wilfred Owen


In KS4 all students study two GCSEs: English Language and English Literature. These qualifications have been designed to be fully co-teachable and have a strong focus on a skills based approach. Revision and intervention classes are run at certain points throughout the two years to support students in their learning and their preparation for the examinations in these important qualifications.

At Abbs Cross, we study AQA English Literature and AQA English Language.

Half Term:

Autumn 1


Autumn 2


Spring 1


Spring 2


Summer 1


Summer 2

Year 10


An Inspector Calls


Language Paper 1 Reading Skills


A Christmas Carol



Language Paper 1 Writing Skills- descriptive and narrative writing



Language Paper 2 Writing Skills and Spoken Language Endorsement – Transactional Writing skills

Year 11:

Power and Conflict Poetry


Language Paper 2 Reading Skills (first teaching) and writing skills (revision)


 Language Paper 2 Reading Skills (first teaching) and writing skills (revision)


Language and Literature revision informed by internal assessments





GCSE English Language

The English Language GCSE encourages students to read range of high quality, challenging literature and non-fiction texts from a range of genres and types, including texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

There is an emphasis on making sure that students are able to write clearly and accurately, in clear Standard English. To ensure that this is achieved there is an increased emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar, as well as on the appropriate use of a range of increasingly sophisticated vocabulary and writing techniques.

Students will all be expected to complete a non-examined assessment of their speaking and listening skills, which will be assessed by their class teachers and will be awarded a grade at either ‘Pass’, ‘Merit’ or ‘Distinction’ level.


GCSE English Literature

The English Literature GCSE encourages students to read a wide range of classic literature fluently and will include assessment of:

  • A 19th century novel: ‘A Christmas Carol’
  • A Shakespeare play: ‘Macbeth’
  • A selection of poetry since 1789 including representative Romantic poems, on the theme of Power and Conflict.
  • British fiction or drama from 1914 onwards: ‘An Inspector Calls’
  • ‘Unseen’ Poetry, where students will use the poetry analysis skills they have learnt to independently explore poems they are presented with in their examination.

There is an emphasis on enabling students to express their ideas about texts in a clear and exploratory way, with a discussion of the impact of language, form and structure as well as the contexts in which texts were written.


Future Careers:

Having a grasp of English is vital for any and every career path.

For those that choose to study English or English Literature at A-Level or at degree-level, this appeals to employers who view English students as creative, critical and intuitive individuals. An English degree can open pathways into the media, journalism, publishing, advertising, marketing, PR and teaching.

GCSE Results 2022

Congratulations to the Year 11 students on achieving

  • 79% grades 9-4 in English Language and
  • 72% grades 9-4 in English Literature.

GCSE Results 2023

Congratulations to the Year 11 students on achieving

  • 83% grades 9-4 in English Language 
  • 79.2% grades 9-4 in English Literature

Extra Curricular


In the English department, we have a well-established KS3 Creative Writing Club, in which students have an opportunity to create and share their writing. Students also have the opportunity to enter creative writing competitions, which has led to many of our students being published.

There is a reading group which gives students the space to enjoy their own reading as well as to share the books they have been enjoying and get recommendations for new literature.


Google Classroom:

We make use of Google Classroom by providing a range of revision resources for students to make use of, as well as useful links to where they can find out additional information about what they are studying in English.


Useful Links


BBC Bitesize:

English Revision Quizzes:



BBC Bitesize:

English Revision Quizzes:

Sparknotes (A wide range of notes on the various texts studied for GCSE English Literature):

Revision guides

We recommend the CGP range of revision guides for English Language, and for each of the Literature texts that we study. These can be found on or using the link below: