English 2017-11-07T09:34:47+00:00


‘Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic’ – JK Rowling

Welcome & Ethos

The English department aims to be an enlightening environment in which all students are inspired by literature and language whilst developing a love of English. The department strives to ensure that all students achieve not only academic success, but that they develop and cultivate an innate passion for the study of English that will carry them much further than the confines of a classroom. We actively encourage reading for pleasure and support students with an array of external opportunities, inclusive of theatre expeditions, poetry workshops and short story competitions amongst others, which could potentially see them as published writers by the time they are 12 years old! Within Nunnery Wood’s English department, students will find themselves challenged and inspired amidst a creative and extremely successful backdrop of experience and enthusiasm. The department is host to a wealth of experience and consists of a large and extremely effective cohort of English specialists that will go above and beyond for their students’ education, both academically and pastorally.

Context of the Subject

The English department, working in conjunction with the school library, strives to ensure that all students have the opportunity to become fully equipped with the knowledge and skills that are essential for them to understand and interpret the world around them. English operates as the bedrock of each student’s education and the literacy skills that are acquired and enhanced over the course of their five years at Nunnery Wood provide each student with the ability to access not only English, but other key areas of the curriculum also. Students are encouraged to approach texts creatively and analytically in order to become independent thinkers who can generate their own opinions, viewpoints and perspectives whilst empathising with the opinions of others. The myriad of skills required for the study of English helps each student to be able to construct logical arguments; evaluate and examine multiple texts and explore how each text fits into its socio-economic context. In conjunction with this, students are encouraged to think creatively and imaginatively and exercise these skills on a regular basis. Whilst key attention is given to reading and writing skills, there exists a significant number of opportunities for students to develop their speaking and listening skills within lessons too. We actively promote the use of modern technologies in order to support learning and provide a broad platform for students to experience the vast array of cultural and contextual differences existent in the world through the active exploration of literature and other textual formats. Students will ask perceptive questions, think critically and interpret evidence until they become insightful analysts with a keenly creative aptitude. The ultimate aim for the English department is to contribute to the overall growth of the student to develop their verbal, cognitive and written skillset, whilst instilling within them a passion for literature that will remain inherently for years to come.

Staffing Structure

Curriculum Leader
Mr E Low
Email: e.low@nunnerywood.worcs.sch.uk
Phone: 01905 363660

Team Structure
Curriculum Leader
2 Assistant Curriculum Leaders
1 Intervention Co-ordinator
2 Teaching & Learning team members
2 full time teaching assistants
1 full time specialist Learning Supervisor
4 specialist GCSE exam assessors.

Curriculum Facilities

English is housed in its own specially designed block within the school consisting of ten well-equipped classrooms accompanied by a central departmental office. Furthermore, the English Department has recently acquired an additional small subsidiary building adjacent to the main English block to accommodate the appetite for the subject. Each classroom is vibrantly decorated and has an interactive whiteboard, whilst classroom teaching is supported by up-to-date textbooks, resources and material that match the new specification GCSEs and the KS3 National Curriculum. Staff and students have ready access to online materials that are used to enhance the teaching and learning of English both in and outside of the classroom. Close ties exist with the school’s library and these are utilised in order to promote reading across the curriculum.


KS3 Description of the key skills, knowledge and understanding that are a prime focus of KS3 teaching in the subject area

The KS3 curriculum at Nunnery Wood is designed to prepare our students for the rigours of GCSE assessment. In this respect, students will study a variety of literature forms inclusive of plays, poetry and novels where they will be taught to explore the texts they study. A key focus will be placed on the enjoyment of learning, creative thinking and analysis of a writer’s intentions when studying each text. In addition to this, students will also be exposed to and study non-fiction materials including autobiographical writing, travel writing and various forms of writing for a clear purpose and audience. Through this, students will be able to craft and cultivate their skill set which will include writing with technical accuracy, correct grammar and flair. The KS3 course provides the key foundation for each student’s future success at GCSE level assessment.

Organisation of the KS3 curriculum and how students are assessed (brief summary of long term plan of units and very approximate timings.

Students are assessed on a variety of topics and units of work studied over the course of Year 7 and Year 8. Each assessment is specifically designed to support and prepare students for the rigours of the new GCSE specifications. Students will be assessed at KS3 in the following ways:

Year 7

  • Travel Writing – writing assessment – autumn term 1
  • 21st century prose – closed book comprehension and analytical reading assessments – (mini-assessment) autumn term 2 and spring term 1
  • Fictional Text Reading Exam – reading and writing assessments – spring term 2 
  • Comparative Poetry – reading assessment – summer term 1
  • Shakespeare Unit – reading assessment – summer 2

Year 8

  • Gothic text – creative writing assessment – autumn term 1
  • Gothic text – reading assessment – autumn term 2
  • Autobiographical writing – writing assessment – spring term 1
  • Non-fiction reading exam – reading and writing assessment – spring term 2
  • Comparative Poetry – writing assessment – summer 1
  • Persuasive Speaking – writing assessment & speaking and listening assessment – summer 2


English Language – AQA – 8700
English Literature – AQA – 8702

KS4 Description of the key skills, knowledge and understanding that are a prime focus of KS3 teaching in the subject area

English Language
The English Language qualification will demonstrate higher order reading and critical thinking skills where students will read a wide range of texts from 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.  In Paper 1, students cover explorations in creative reading and writing.  This will comprise of reading questions based on a literature fiction text in which students will be assessed on their comprehension and analytical skills. In section B of Paper 1, students will be expected to produce a piece of descriptive or narrative writing. The key skills being assessed in this section will include creativity, accuracy of spelling, grammar and punctuation and the ability to write for a particular purpose and audience.

In paper 2, students will cover writers’ viewpoints and perspectives through one non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text. The key skills being assessed within this unit are comprehension, analysis, synthesis and comparative understanding. In addition to this, section B of Paper 2 requires the students to write to present a particular viewpoint or perspective. In this section, students will be assessed on their ability to write for a particular purpose and audience, whilst writing with technical accuracy inclusive of spelling, grammar and punctuation.

In addition to these linear exam components, there is a non-exam spoken language assessment where students will achieve either a pass, merit or distinction grade based on their speaking and listening capabilities.

English Literature
In addition to English Language, students will also be entered for English Literature. The English Literature qualification will demonstrate literal and inferential comprehension skills, critical reading, and evaluation of the writer’s choice of vocabulary, grammar and structural features. Students will be expected to: compare texts; explore how texts are relevant to and a reflection of their contextual period; analyse key extracts and link these to ideas explored in whole texts and ultimately produce clear and coherent writing for a range of purposes.

Organisation of the KS4 curriculum (brief summary of long term plan of units and very approximate timings):

Students undertake a three year KS4 course where the first two years are designed to prepare them for the early entry English Literature GCSE which they take at the end of Year 10. This allows for students to focus purely on English Language at the end Year 11.

English Literature – Year 9

  • 19th Century Text – (The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde/A Christmas Carol) – autumn term
  • Shakespeare Unit – (Macbeth/Romeo & Juliet) – spring term
  • Modern Text – (An Inspector Calls) – summer term

English Literature – Year 10

  • Modern Text Continued – (An Inspector Calls) – autumn term 1
  • Poetry – (Comparison & Unseen) – autumn term 2 and spring term 1
  • Revision of all modules and units – spring term 2 and summer term 1

English Language – Year 11

  • Analytical comprehension of creative writing texts for paper 1 – autumn term 1
  • Construction and practise of writing creatively, descriptively and producing narratives – autumn term 2
  • Analytical comprehension and comparison of non-fiction and literary non-fiction texts for paper 2 – spring term 1
  • Construction and practise of writing persuasively and constructing perspectives or viewpoints – spring term 2
  • Revision of all modules and units – summer term 1


  • The English literature course comprises of two exams that are worth 100% of the overall GCSE grade.
  • The first exam is 1 hour and 45 minutes long and assesses the 19th century text and the Shakespeare units.
  • The second exam is 2 hours and 15 minutes long and assesses the modern text and poetry units.


  • The English language course comprises of two exams that are worth 100% of the overall GCSE grade.
  • The first exam is 1 hour and 45 minutes long where students will be asked to understand implicit and explicit information from a piece of fictional prose. The exam will also feature a writing section.
  • The second exam is 1 hour and 45 minutes long where students will be given a 19th century non-fiction text and either a 20th or 21st century non-fiction text. They will be assessed on their ability to understand implicit and explicit information, whilst the exam also features a writing section.
  • There is also an additional spoken language assessment where students will achieve a pass, merit or distinction grade based upon their speaking and listening capabilities over the course of a particular task.