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In English, we strive to give our students the knowledge, opportunities and analytical tools to speak, read and write confidently in a range of mediums and situations. Our wish is for students to view literature as the gateway to new ideas and perspectives and the means through which they can satisfy their intellectual curiosity. As such, our curriculum draws on a wide range of texts from different periods, places and traditions.

In Y7, students will study ancient myths and legends, a diverse range of poetry, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a nineteenth century novel.

However, learning is not just confined to the classroom.  We offer a range of stimulating extra-curricular opportunities, including a debating society, a creative writing forum and a book club, as well as exciting trips to the theatre. Indeed, we are passionate about providing an array of creative outlets for students, whether that be in the form of poetry slam workshops, national writing competitions or our very own school magazine, ‘The Chronicle’.

Our latest endeavour is a script writing competition, with the winning entry being performed by Sixth Form Drama students. We also have a wonderfully welcoming library, where students can enjoy reading at their own pace. We are dedicated to providing a challenging and rigorous curriculum which inspires and engages students, as well as a community that relishes in independent thought and imagination


Our KS3 curriculum is challenging and ambitious and draws on a wide range of texts from different periods, places and traditions. We strive to empower students with knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, genre, form, literary theory, the craft of writing and much more.

KS3 Long Term Overview

In year seven, our units revolve around the central theme of identity. Students begin with our ‘Origins of Literature’ unit, where they grapple with big ideas regarding how humans established their identity in the ancient world. This is followed by a unit on Shakespearean drama, using A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a vehicle through which students can explore comedic convention and early modern theatre. This unit is followed by a study of 19th century literature, as students explore A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. We finish the year with students exploring a wide range of powerful poetry and prose that revolves around different views of identity.

In year eight, our units revolve around the central theme of power. Students begin with a foundational unit on ‘The Art of Rhetoric’. This study of oratory is underscored by a speaking competition, in which students deliver their speeches as part of a house tournament. This ensures students not only study the power of language but experience it for themselves, researching, planning, drafting and editing a speech before delivering it in front of their peers. Students then study Animal Farm by George Orwell, considering how persuasion can become a tool for political manipulation. As we move into the Spring term, students explore poetic form by studying a collection of war poetry alongside the verse novel ‘Long Way Down’ by Jason Reynolds. This is followed by a unit in which students study the art of short stories. The final short story in the unit links to the next unit students will be studying – the Gothic. Here, students explore the generic conventions of the Gothic through a series of extracts, considering how power is exerted in the supernatural world.

In year nine, our units revolve around human beings in crisis. In the autumn term, students study the Shakespearean drama, Macbeth, building on the knowledge they gained in year 7 of early modern theatre and genre. This unit is immediately followed by a study of Romantic poetry, with a focus on ideas of nature and rebellion. In the Spring term, students consider the themes of discrimination and what it means to be human by studying a modern play, Blood Brothers by Willy Russell, and modern novel Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. In the former, students can explore how class functions within society. In the latter, students focus on understanding advancing technology in dystopian writing. After the end of year exams, students embark on a unit on journalistic writing, adopting a polemical style to express their viewpoint on the many issues they have encountered throughout the year.


Please note, students are welcome to purchase their own copies of the set texts for years 7-9 and take notes directly into their books. This prepares them well for KS4 and beyond.


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Assessment and revision information

As a department, we feel that feedback should explain clearly what the student is doing correctly and incorrectly, and it should revolve around four main questions: What can the student do? What is the student struggling to do? How does the student’s work compare with that of others? How can the student do better? Students may receive feedback in a number of ways – verbally in the lesson, via written comments in their books, from their peers, as part of low-stakes quizzes which reveal gaps in learning or via the scores they receive for end of unit assessments. All of our unit tests follow the same format and our feedback sheets always specify the class average so students have a benchmark against which they can measure their performance.

Recommended Reading for KS3

CSGS KS3 Reading List 2022-23

Revision guidance for KS3


KS4 English Language and English Literature

Our 2022 outcomes:


English Language: 98% of students achieved a level 5 or above. 70% of students achieved a level 7 or above.


English Literature: 95% of students achieved a level 5 or above and 67% achieved a level 7 or above.

At KS4, we teach English Language and English Literature following the AQA specification. At this level, we aim to build on the foundational work which has taken place at KS3. We strive to ensure students leave CSGS with a critical understanding of how language functions, so they can articulate themselves in ways which serve their academic, professional and personal lives.

  • Classes are taught in sets throughout to ensure appropriate support and challenge
  • Students have eight lessons over a two-week timetable
  • Homework is set three times a fortnight and students are expected to spend approximately 45 minutes on each piece
  • Students are prepared for both the English Language and English Literature GCSE.
  • English Language is a combination of assessing a range of critical reading and comprehension skills, as well as those related to writing in response to a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts. All texts in the examination will be ‘unseen’: students will not have studied them during the course. They will be high-quality, challenging unseen material, drawn from the last three centuries and include literature and extended literary non-fiction, and other writing such as essays, reviews and journalism (both printed and online)
  • Students will have written work assessed twice a term and will sit mock GCSE examinations in English Literature and English Language at the end of the year 10 and year 11 will sit mock GCSE examinations in English Literature at Christmas and English Language in February.

In year 10, we begin by studying J.B.Priestley’s An Inspector Calls before moving on to consider the skills needed to tackle English Language paper one. In the spring term, we study a nineteenth century novel, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and interleave this with poems from the ‘power and conflict’ cluster collated by AQA. For our end of year examinations, students are tested on all year 10 content:


English Language paper one – Explorations in creative reading and writing (one hour and forty-five minutes)

English Literature paper one – nineteenth century novel (one hour)

English Literature paper two – Modern texts and poetry (two hours and fifteen minutes)


We finish the year by completing the English language separate spoken language endorsement. This involves students giving a speech on a topic of their choice.


In year 11, we study Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in the Autumn term, whilst interleaving English Language paper one skills so that we are constantly re-visiting knowledge from year 10. In Autumn term two, we complete our Shakespearean study and prepare for the year 11 mock examinations. In English, we split the mocks up so that students are not overburdened. So, at this point in the year they are only tested on English Literature:


English Literature paper one – Shakespeare and nineteenth century novel (one hour and forty-five minutes)

English Literature paper two – Modern texts and poetry (two hours and fifteen minutes)


In the Spring term, we focus on English Language paper two and continue to interleave poetry so that knowledge of both disciplines remains fresh. In March, students sit their English Language mock examinations:


English Language paper one – Explorations in creative reading and writing (one hour and forty-five minutes)

English Language paper two – Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives (one hour and forty-five minutes)


Following these final assessments, class teachers revise the content of both English language and Literature thoroughly, focusing on students needs.

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Programme of Study

Year 10 Programme of Study

Year 11 Programme of Study


Recommended Reading for KS4

CSGS KS4 Reading List 2022-23


Revision Guidance for KS4

Students can attend our booster classes offered throughout the year and can supplement this with use of a variety of electronic resources. Links to websites and recommended revision guides can be found below.

Miss Ballard’s revision website:


Password: Beaumont567


The English department sharepoint area:


Other useful websites:

www.gcsepod.com – A fantastic self-testing website that has quizzes on all the topics we study in English.

MASSOLIT- A website with high level lectures on Literature texts. The school has a subscription to this site so students can set up an account using their school email.


English Language:

Links to useful textbooks and guides:




English Literature

Links to useful textbooks and guides:










KS5 English Literature

Year 12 Programme of Study

Year 13 Programme of Study


Resources for learning

Useful websites:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/may/08/books.booksnews• https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/english-literature-2015.coursematerials.html#filterQuery=category:Pearson-UK:Category%2FSpecification-and-sample-assessments

Students will need a copy of the Literature set texts they are studying so that they can make annotations.

The York Study Guides for AS/A Level are also excellent for set literature texts:


The student shared area (Z drive) also includes PowerPoint presentations of lessons, extra critical reading and example past papers for examination practice. 

Curriculum Information

  • Classes are taught in different groups according to their option block
  • Students have 9 lessons over a two week timetable
  • Students are assigned an hour of homework or independent study for every hour they are taught. They are also expected to engage in independent research.
  • We teach English Literature only and follow the new Edexcel specification.
  • This is a linear course with all assessment at the end of the course.
  • It is also possible to follow a one year A/S English course for enrichment for those student wishing to continue with English Literature in Year 12 but not take it to A Level.
  • In Year 12 students will study a specified list of 20 poems from Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry 2002-2011, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and two prose texts on the theme of ‘Science in Society’: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is the 19th century text and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood is the post 1900 text. They will also make a start on Year 13 coursework and unseen poetry.
  • Students will have written work assessed twice a term and will sit mock examinations at the end of Year 12. The results of these examinations will contribute significantly towards their predicted UCAS grades.
  • In Year 13 students will complete their coursework, study a Shakespeare text (Othello or Antony and Cleopatra) Shakespeare text, study the poetry of Keats and practise analysing unseen poetry. They will also revise the Year 12 content of the specification. 


Recommended Reading for KS5

Research by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has shown that reading for pleasure is a more important indicator of academic success than socio-economic background. We encourage all our students to not only read the texts set for the syllabus but also to read widely from a range of contemporary and classic literary fiction and non-fiction. 

CSGS KS5 Reading List 2022-23



Expected Equipment

Expected Equipment

  • Pencil
  • Writing Pen (Blue/Black)
  • Assessment Pens (Red/Purple)
  • Rubber
  • Ruler
  • Set literature texts


  • Theatre trips on key texts (all year groups)
  • World Book Day celebrations (all year groups)
  • Book Buzz reading scheme (year 7)
  • Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge (year 10)
  • Debate club, poetry club, creative writing club
  • Access to a range of competitions
  • Dedicated Oxbridge UCAS application service.