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
Miss K Stock
Phone: 01905 363660 Ext. 281

Team Structure
Curriculum Leader
1 Assistant Curriculum Leader
1 x Transition Co-ordinator
1 KS3 & Intervention Co-ordinator
1 Enrichment Co-ordinator
2 Teaching & Learning team members
1 full time specialist Learning Supervisor
5 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. Furthermore, the English Department has recently acquired an additional classroom 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 through the school’s bespoke reading initiative ‘Ready, steady…read!’.


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 develop and/or inspire our students’ love of literature and language that they will have been provisionally exposed to at KS2. Coupled with this, it is also designed to 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. 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. As of 2018, the department has moved to a thematic approach to studying English in years 7 and 8. Students study a variety of text formats as referenced above under the modules of: Journeys & Adventures, Conflict, and Myths and Legends (Year 7) and Gothic Literature, Dystopian Fiction, and Heroes & Villains (Year 8). Through this cyclical form of study, 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

  • Journeys and Adventures-writing assessment – Autumn 1
  • Journeys and Adventures-reading assessment – Autumn 2
  • Conflict – Creative writing assessment – Spring 1
  • Conflict – Comparative reading assessment – Spring 2
  • Myths and Legends – whole year exam covering reading and writing skills – Summer 1
  • Myths and Legends – reading assessment – Summer 2

Year 8

  • Gothic literature – creative writing assessment – Autumn term 1
  • Gothic literature – reading assessment – Autumn term 2
  • Dystopia – reading and creative writing assessment – Spring 1
  • Dystopia – reading and writing assessment – Spring term 2
  • Heroes and Villains – whole year exam covering reading and writing skills -Summer 1
  • Heroes and Villains – reading assessment – Summer 2
  • Heroes and Villains – writing assessment – Summer 2


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 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

  • Modern Text – (An Inspector Calls) – Autumn term
  • 19th Century Text – (The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde orA Christmas Carol) – Spring term
  • Shakespeare Unit – (Macbeth orRomeo & Juliet) – Summer term 1

English Literature – Year 10

  • Shakespeare Unit Continued– (Macbeth orRomeo & Juliet) – 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 skills and narrative/descriptive writing skills developed through the teaching of Of Mice and Men– Autumn term 1 & 2
  • Analytical comprehension skills and writing skills developed through the study of non-fiction texts– Spring term 1 &
  • 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. 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