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English Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact.


Intent: English enjoys a rich and varied literary and linguistic heritage that is ever-changing. At Tenison’s we aim to explore this rich heritage across the key stages. We have a progressive curriculum that allows us to develop, deepen and nurture key skills from Key Stage 2, all the way through to Key Stage 5.

At Key Stage 3, we begin with the foundation of literary and linguistic study that pupils need to enable a full and deep understanding of a variety of texts from non-fiction to poetry and prose. Skills developed also include written and verbal communication. Pupils begin to consciously craft responses, paying close attention to their command of vocabulary and sentence forms as well as formulating and articulating personal responses to a text. We continue our skills’ journey throughout the Key Stage, evolving to develop comparison skills and further our consideration of layers of meaning. As we arrive at Key Stage 4, we are well-prepared for GCSE study and begin to apply and deepen the skills nurtured at Key Stage 3, tailoring these to the demands of the question so as to construct a sophisticated response to a text and piece of writing.

At Key Stage 5 the disciplines of Language and Literature are studied separately to enable a deeper study of each. Literature at A’ Level follows a historicist approach that considers the depiction of love through the ages and literature since 1945. Language at A’ Level considers language in the world around us which includes reading texts for meaning, the impact of accent and class, the place of English in the world, how children acquire language and how language has evolved into the entity it currently is.

The study of English opens a world of possibilities. For us, each strand of English supports the individual in better understanding the world around them and allows them to develop the confidence and skills needed to respond to it.


Implementation: Collaborative curriculum planning lies at the heart of our department; we work as a team of subject specialists and research to inform our planning. Our Department are continually reviewing and developing schemes of work to ensure learning is challenging, relevant and engaging.


Our current curriculum covers the different areas of reading and writing fiction and non-fiction, and the study of literary texts each year; across our curriculum, skills gradually deepen, and we regularly spiral back to ensure key content and skills are secure. Discussion and evaluation are a regular feature of lessons, as is extended reading. We engage with real life contexts where possible to enable students to connect their learning with the world beyond.

Building on skills across and within schemes of work is key for our Department, as is supporting our pupils and students in looking forwards towards assessments which build in complexity and expectation across the key stages.



Impact: Pupils and students leave our school with an enriched understanding of Language and Literature which supports them better understand the world around them.

English continues to perform well at Tenison’s with both Language and Literature at GCSE typically contributing to Progress 8 scores year-on-year. At A’ Level, our Language and Literature students perform well, with our ALPs climbing in Language and consistently above a 5 in Literature. Many of our students go on to study English-based subjects at university.

More importantly, students frequently express their enjoyment of the subject and their appreciation of texts and content studied.

Keystage 3

Year 7

  • Transition - ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ - An essay on theme

  • Belonging Poetry - A creative piece with explorative commentary

  • ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ - An essay on character

  • Journeys – A comparison of non-fiction texts

  • The Gothic- A piece of Gothic writing



Year 8

  • ‘The Merchant of Venice’ - An essay on Shakespeare’s use of language to create sympathy for Shylock

  • Rhetoric  - A persuasive speech

  • Love Poetry - An essay on a poem

  • 19th Century Fiction – A piece of original writing

  • ‘A Monster Calls’ - An essay on character and structure


Year 9

  • ‘An Inspector Calls’ - An essay on character and theme

  • War Poetry - An essay comparing two poems

  • 19th Century Prose - A piece of original writing

  • ‘Macbeth’ - An analytical piece on the changes in Macbeth

  • Begin GCSE - Poetry Anthology - A comparative paragraph



AQA 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


Non-examination Assessment: Spoken Language

  • Presenting, responding to questions and feedback and use of Standard English

AQA GCSE English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel

  • Section: A Shakespeare

    • Pupils will answer one question on their play of choice.

    • They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole. 

    • We study ‘Macbeth’.


  • Section B The 19th-century novel

    • Pupils 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. 

    • We study ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.


Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry

  • Section A:  Modern Texts

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

    • We study ‘Animal Farm’ by Orwell.


  • Section B:  Poetry

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

    • We study ‘Love and Relationships’.


  • Section C: Unseen poetry

    • Pupils will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.



A Level English Language (AQA)

Subject content

  • Textual variations and representations

  • Children’s language development

  • Language diversity and change

  • Language discourses

  • Writing skills

  • Language Investigation

  • Original writing


Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society

  • Textual variations and representations

  • Children's language development (0-11 years)

  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities


Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change

  • Language diversity and change

  • Language discourses

  • Writing skills

  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities


Non-exam assessment: Language in Action

  • Language Investigation

  • Original Writing

  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities



AQA A Level English Literature

Subject content

Core content

  • Love through the ages

  • Texts in shared contexts

  • Independent critical study: Texts across time



  • Option B: Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day


Paper 1: Love through the ages

  • Study of three texts: one poetry and one prose text, of which one must be written pre-1900, and one Shakespeare play.

  • Examination will include two unseen poems

  •  We study ‘Othello’ by Shakespeare, ‘Persuasion’ by Austen and pre-1900 poetry.


Paper 2: Texts in shared contexts

  • Option 2B: Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day

  • Study of three texts: one prose, one poetry, and one drama, of which one must be written post-2000. 

  • We study ‘The Color Purple’ by Walker, ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ by Williams and ‘Feminine Gospels’ by Duffy.

  • Examination will include an unseen prose extract


Non-exam assessment: Independent critical study: texts across time

  • Comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900

One extended essay (2500 words) and a bibliography

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