Welcome to English

It is the aim of the English Department to instil a love of Literature and Language in all students.  We hope that by our choice of texts, students will be enabled to become more creative, articulate, thoughtful, empathetic of others, and show a greater understanding of their place in the world.


KS3 Curriculum

Students will be taught the key skills of skimming, scanning, inferring meaning, analysing language, and making comparisons through the study of a range of texts.  These include works by William Shakespeare, such as ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. Students study a range of19th Century and modern novels, including David Almond’s ‘Skellig’ in Year 7; ‘Stone Cold’ by Robert Swindells and ‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens in Year 8; and ‘Private Peaceful’ by Michael Morpurgo, and ‘The Woman in Black’ by Susan Hill in Year 9.

All pupils will read a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, and will be given opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences.

Cross-curricular links are made with all subjects, but in particular Dance and Drama.

KS4 Curriculum

At John Henry Newman Catholic College, we follow the Eduqas syllabus at KS4.

There are four set texts as part of the Literature course:

‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestley,

‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens,

‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare,

An anthology of poetry from the eighteenth to the present day.

As part of the Language exam, pupils will read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts, and will also develop skills of creative writing and writing non-fiction texts for different audiences and purposes.

The school provides a wealth of resources for students, and parents are kindly asked to help support their child with their learning. We can provide parents with lots of advice on the best ways to do this.

KS5 Curriculum

Those that want to further their knowledge of Language and Literature are warmly welcomed to our AQA English Language and Literature A Level courses.

The following texts are currently studied:

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini,

The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald,

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood,

Othello by William Shakespeare,

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.

In addition to these set texts, students will study ‘love through the ages’, which gives pupils opportunities to see how literature has developed over time.

Enrichment opportunities

Learning does not just happen in the classroom.  Pupils get the opportunity to write for a real audience if they take part in BBC School Report.  Or, if pupils are interested in public speaking, there is the Debating Society.

In addition to regular after school and lunch time clubs, the English Department make regular trips to local theatres. This year, Year 7s have see a play version of ‘The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe’; and have travelled Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare.  Year 8s have developed their creative writing skills by exploring the Warwickshire countryside, and Year 10s have seen performances of their set texts.

Parent guide on how to support your child

KS4 recommended reading list