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Upper Batley

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Team Leader: Ms Jo Forster

Subject Description

The English department at Upper Batley High School consists of 4 dedicated members of staff whose aim is to achieve the highest possible standards for all of our learners. We are a forward- thinking department who strive to ensure that our curriculum offers a rich and diverse range of learning experiences both at KS3 and KS4. Our curriculum is designed especially to engage and support the achievement of boys by equipping them with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

Department Facilities

The department consists of 5 teaching rooms with a wide range of materials and resources available for learners to enhance their learning.

Curriculum Overview

Key stage 3

Throughout the Key Stage, learners study a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts and develop skills in being able to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. 

Year 7 topics include:

In Year 7, units of work range from Autobiographical Writing to the study of Shakespeare where learners focus on a textual analysis of character in three of his plays.

Year 8 topics include:

In Year 8, learners will study units of work such as John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men to Poetry from Other Cultures. Each unit of work culminates in a common assessment piece which is awarded a National Curriculum level every half term.

Year 9 topics include:

In Year 9, learners begin a general coverage of the study of the literature texts required for the GCSE Language and Literature Controlled Assessments. They will also practice and develop exam skills needed for the linear exams in Year 11. Units of work range from Romeo and Juliet to Creative and Transactional Writing. Each assessed piece is directly linked to the GCSE assessment objectives and is carried out under controlled conditions enabling learners to embed skills required for Years 10 and 11.

Key stage 4

The department uses the AQA exam board and all learners will study for 2 GCSEs; English Language and English Literature. Learners are assessed entirely through written examinations. English Literature is taken at the end of Year 10 and English Language is taken at the end of Year 11. There are no tiers of entry so all learners will sit the same exam and will be awarded in grades 1-8, a grade 5 being the equivalent to a grade C and a grade 8 being the highest award.

Course Breakdown

For English Language, key areas of study are Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing and Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives. There are 2 exams, both are 1 hour and 45mins long and worth 50% of the final mark. The exams consist of short and long form questions and extended writing questions.

For English Literature, key areas of study are Shakespeare and the 19th Century novel and Modern Drama and Poetry. There are 2 exams; The Shakespeare and 19th Century novel paper is 1 hour and 45 minutes long and the learner is required to write in detail about an extract from the text and then to write about the text as a whole. The Modern Drama and Poetry paper is 2 hours and 15 minutes long and requires the learner to answer an essay question on the drama text, a comparative question on the poetry anthology cluster, a question on an unseen poem and a question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.

Extra Curricula Provision

The department runs theatre trips to see the GCSE set texts in performance and learners have enjoyed productions of Of Mice and Men, Blood Brothers and An Inspector Calls.

The department also encourages learners to take part in national writing, poetry and literacy competitions such as The Poetry Games and Spelling Bee.

Resources to support learning

All learners in Key Stage 3 take part in the Accelerated Reading Scheme which enables staff to monitor and manage their independent reading while promoting reading for pleasure.

After school and holiday revision and catch-up sessions are run throughout the year and CGP revision guides are available to purchase through the department at any time.

ICT Resources

Useful revision websites


BBC GCSE Bitesize


Recommended Revision Guides

CGP AQA English Revision Guide/Workbook

CGP GCSE English Writing


CGP GCSE Literature Text Guides