Nunnery wood high school 4



Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic’ 

JK Rowling

“Thank you for everything you have done over my time at Nunnery. I thought English was always a weakness of mine but you helped me to realise it was a strength and regain the joy I once had”Year 11 pupil

At Nunnery Wood, the English Department has an irrevocable belief that every student can, and will, succeed. We work hard to instil the importance of English skills with the aim of embedding, not only a thirst for success and a love of our subject, but the importance of the skills they develop as facilitating to their post-16 and lifelong choices. The high expectations we have of all our students demonstrates our dedication to their success and, as an innovative department, we are reflective and supportive in our own practices to foster an environment conducive to collaboration and improvement. Our personalisation and inclusivity are areas we pride ourselves on and, as historic examination successes clearly demonstrate, every student’s success underpins everything we do.          

Fundamentally, we want our students to have a love of English and enjoy their English lessons over their 5 years with us; building on the skills acquired during KS2 in reading, writing and the spoken word. To be inspired by the range of Literature we cover, as well as understanding the importance of Language in differing contexts, is a key aim within our classrooms. Through our ambitious, diverse, and challenging curriculum, students are encouraged to develop their awareness in a global context and can articulate and develop their own opinions with confidence and assuredness. We pride ourselves in fostering inclusive learning environments where contentious and sensitive issues can be explored freely, enabling students to not only be more culturally aware, but, importantly, self-aware too.

Students are actively supported to approach texts creatively and analytically in order to become independent, critical 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.  However, whilst key attention is given to reading and writing skills, we also see the promotion of Oracy as an essential skill and regularly, within lessons, provide opportunities to expand their repertoire of both verbal and non-verbal communication to ensure they are prepared for life after school in whatever context that may be.

Although our curriculum design develops these key skills, we also promote the benefits of English as a means of escapism where our love of literature and language is infectious and, with close links with our incredible library, allow a vast array of extra-curricular opportunities that we are fortunate to offer: Book clubs; Writers of the month; Book day events; Creative writing competitions as well as numerous occasions to visit the theatre to afford students the chance to see Literature texts come alive. These enrichments allow the vast wealth of expertise and experience we have within the department to be shared with students in all year groups with the hopes of inspiring and demonstrating the passion we have for our own subject area.   

Ultimately, our ethos is to nurture the growth of our students; developing their verbal, cognitive and written skillset, whilst instilling within them a passion for literature that will remain inherently for years to come. Our leadership is supportive, insightful and passionate about the importance of our subject area and, with our fantastic GCSE results in both Language and Literature, demonstrate the vision we have: every student can, and will, succeed.



Staffing Structure
Curriculum Leader: Mrs K Stock 
Phone: 01905 363660 Ext. 281 

Team Structure 
Curriculum Leader 
1 Assistant Curriculum Leader 
2 x Co-ordinator 
2 Teaching & Learning team members 
7 specialist GCSE exam assessors. 


Curriculum Facilities
English is housed in its own recently refurbished, specially designed block within the school consisting of ten well-equipped classrooms accompanied by a central departmental office. Each classroom is vibrantly decorated and has an interactive whiteboard. Classroom teaching is supported by up-to-date textbooks, resources and material that match the specification for 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 where reading is promoted across the curriculum through the school’s bespoke reading initiative ‘Ready, steady…read!’ as well as regular, timetabled lessons accommodated within the library itself. 


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 inspire our students’ love of literature and use of language that they will have been provisionally exposed to at KS2. It is designed to challenge and help 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 critically. A key focus will be placed on the enjoyment of learning, creative thinking and the analysis of writers’ 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. Year 7 students will explore differing genres and their ability to make detailed, personal comments on methods and techniques which develop the skills covered in KS2. Through to year 8, students learn the skill of comparison when studying a variety of literature with elements of the media to enhance their evaluative reasoning and detail when analysing texts. Year 9 students utilise all of these skills and apply their knowledge and understanding to the wider world where more global issues, debates and Oracy skills are further enhanced to allow students to refine their own perspectives and viewpoints as they move towards their KS4 programme of study. 


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 their KS3 study. Each unit of study is specifically designed to support and enhance students’ skills in reading effectively with precision and analysis, as well as writing creatively and effectively for a purpose. See the outline below: 


Year 7 

  • Introduction to studying a Novel – Autumn Term  

  • Shakespeare text (The Tempest) “Myths and Legends” – Spring term 

  • Non-fiction and poetry “travel”– Summer term

Year 8  

  • Gothic literature: Novel (The Woman in Black)- Autumn term 

  • Non-fiction and poetry “Youth” – Spring term 

  • Shakespeare (Othello) “Heroes and Villains” Summer term

Year 9  

  • American Literature: Novel “Of Mice and Men” / Non-fiction – Autumn Term  

  • Poetry and fiction from different cultures-  Spring Term 

  • Modern Text (An Inspector Calls / Lord of the Flies) and Spoken Language endorsement – Summer Term (GCSE) Summer term 


Sources of information that may be useful:

KS4 - English Language & English Literature

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 two year KS4 course where we synthesise both strands of their course to allow the interleaving of key skills and revision.  

English Literature – Year 9

  • “Modern Text” in Summer term and “Spoken Language Endorsement”)

English Literature – Year 10

  • Shakespeare Unit (Macbeth or Romeo & Juliet) – Autumn term  

  • Poetry(Power and Conflict / Love and Relationships) and Language Paper 1– Spring term  

  • Language Paper 2 and Unseen poetry – Summer term 

English Language – Year 11

  • C19th Literature (The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde / A Christmas Carol) Autumn term 

  • Language Paper 1 & 2 with Modern text / poetry revision focus – Spring term 

  • Shakespeare focus and revision of all modules and units – Summer term  



  • 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. Students will be given 1 source that they are expected to understand and respond critically to. 

  • The second exam is 1 hour and 45 minutes long where students will be given a combination of two of a 19th, a 20th or a 21st century non-fiction text and/or a literary non-fiction text. They will be assessed on their ability to understand implicit and explicit information, whilst the exam also features a writing section. Students will be given 2 sources that they are expected to understand and respond critically to. 

  • 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. 


Sources of information that may be useful