Curriculum Intent

Our English department aims to provide a challenging curriculum which introduces young people to some of the finest literary texts from around the world. We work to inspire our students’ love of language and their ability to employ it for their future success. We see time and time again that through their learning in English they empower themselves to succeed.  

The English team are fully qualified and well-established; we have a wealth of experience and are passionate about our various disciplines, which include English Language, Literature, Theatre Studies, Creative Writing and Media. Consequently, students benefit from a broad range of knowledge and specialisms as they move through the school. With a dedicated suite of well-equipped English rooms, regular access to an excellent Learning Resources Centre and a full-time librarian, Sunbury Manor students have the perfect environment to begin their secondary Language and Literature studies.  

From reading a map to sequencing DNA, English is an essential subject for decoding the world. At Sunbury Manor we recognise the importance of language and literacy in all subjects and to all future study our young people will graduate to. This is why we work closely with colleagues to make sure literacy is embedded in all lessons – even Maths! We also support students in their wider studies by helping them to master the ability to evaluate, debate, discuss and analyse the complex knowledge learned across the school.

All English teachers have a good working knowledge of the Key Stage 2 curriculum and the teaching strategies used by our primary colleagues. This helps students to make a smooth transition and continue to progress from the very beginning of Year 7. 

Throughout years 7, 8 and 9 students have the opportunity to study novels, poems, plays and non-fiction literary texts. As well as developing strong, confident reading, students explore the social, historical and moral background of texts. They are able to view a wealth of cultural diversity. We explore varied topics: the presentation of disability, the beginnings of colonialism and the socio-political impact of some of our greatest writers.  Students are formally assessed on their reading skills in every unit of work. 

Texts are also used as a springboard into successful writing. We teach students how to write precise, expressive texts for a variety of audiences.  Technical accuracy is core to our teaching. Punctuation, grammar and spelling are all taught. This allows students to catch-up on any missed primary goals and to develop a strong foundation for GCSE success. However, technical ability is only one aspect: our lessons are just as much about students finding their own voices and expanding their imaginations. Again, students are formally assessed on their writing once in every unit of work.  

For GCSE we follow the EDUQAS syllabus and all students study GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature during Years 10 and 11. In Language, students learn to approach complex articles from the 21st and 19th centuries, and how to write functional and persuasive texts suited to the world of work. They consider a range of sophisticated fiction and look more closely at how 20th century writers craft their work for effect. Our Literature course allows for the study of Shakespeare, Stevenson, Priestley and a myriad of poets from the 16th century to the modern day. It is a robust, challenging programme of study and our students thrive. We are so proud of their successes.  

At key stage 3 and 4, students are predominantly taught in mixed ability groups and are not set. Classes are carefully composed to ensure that there is a balanced range of ability, meaning there are always groups of students working at a similar level and no one is isolated. Our lessons are ‘pitched-up’ to meet the needs of the most-able, with differentiated materials available to support others to move towards the same high standards. This way we avoid capping the learning potential of the class and set the highest academic expectations for all.  At GCSE, students in our mixed ability groups attain across the full range of marks and grades, including the coveted grade 9. 

In each year group there is one class composed of students aiming for the very top grades. These students follow the same core curriculum, but it is supplemented by broader and more in-depth study of the English Cannon. The pace and challenge faced by this class is in line with grammar school expectations.  

In every lesson, our multi-directional approach to teaching ensures well-planned, engaging lessons. From the moment students enter the classroom, the focus is on learning with a designated ‘Do Now’ task. Mixed-group work, shared reading, oracy, retrieval practise, IT & Media, drama and supported writing alongside good old fashioned ‘chalk and talk’ teaching are the mainstays of student learning.

Beyond the classroom, our students are encouraged to participate in a wide range of extra-curricular and enrichment opportunities. Our Book Clubs give students an opportunity to share their passion for reading. They run for every year group and are always well attended.

We believe that playscripts and poetry are best enjoyed live so whenever possible students get the chance to attend theatre productions and the annual Poetry Live! events. Students also benefit from visits from professional theatre groups who perform full, unabridged plays and run workshops to support learning and appreciation of the texts in performance.

Many of our students are passionate writers; the words, ‘Would you read my first chapter, please…’ are often heard and nothing pleases us more! There are regular opportunities to take part in writing competitions and whole school participation is encouraged. For those interested in pursuing careers in media and journalism, opportunities continue into Years 10 and 11 with the regional Young Reporters scheme. For those more interested in argument and debate, Youth Speaks is a popular debating competition in which our students have achieved much success in recent years, proudly returning to school with a number of trophies in recognition of their enthusiasm and talent for public speaking.

When they leave Sunbury Manor, many of our students continue to be successful in English at Post-16. Literature and Language A-level courses at Esher, Richmond, and Tiffin are popular choices in which our students continue to excel. For those who progress to apprenticeships and diplomas, their English skills enable them to pursue courses in a wide range of professions.

Curriculum Overview


Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2




Creative Writing and Modern Fiction.

Modern Novel

Poetry of Conflict and Unity.

Shakespeare – Script and Media

Media and Non-Fiction

Writing Non-Fiction




Creative Writing and Victorian Fiction

Victorian Novel

Poetry of the Romantics

20th century Drama

Media and Non-Fiction

Writing Non-Fiction




American Literature

Creative Writing

Poetry from Different Cultures and Traditions


Stepping up to GCSE – Reading and Writing Non-Fiction

Stepping up to GCSE – Narrative writing.




Reading and Writing Non-Fiction

20th century Drama – An Inspector Calls

Poetry Heritage – Exam Anthology

19th century Novel – Jekyll and Hyde

Poetry Heritage – Exam Anthology

Reading and Writing Fiction




Shakespeare – Macbeth

Reading and Writing Non-Fiction

Reading and Writing Fiction

Exam Skills and Revision

Exam Skills and Revision

Exam Skills and Revision


Key Stage 4 Specification

Subject Leader:

Mrs S Wright



Exam Specification:

Eduqas GCSE English Language and English Literature

QN Code:

English Language: 601/4505/5 
English Lit: 601/5246/1



Summary of course content

All students follow a National Curriculum course in English leading towards a compulsory GCSE examination at the end of Key Stage 4.

The aim of the English Faculty is to enter all students for GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. These subjects are examined and assessed as separate GCSEs.


The content of the English Language courses will be sufficiently varied to enable learners to:

  • Read a wide range of texts, fluently and with good understanding.
  • Read critically, and use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their writing.
  • Write effectively and coherently using Standard English accurately.
  • Use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately.
  • Acquire and apply a wide vocabulary alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.

The content of the English Literature course will require learners to:

  • Read a wide range of classic literature fluently and with good understanding, and make connections across their reading.
  • Read in depth, critically, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas.
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often.
  • Appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage.
  • Write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using Standard English.
  • Acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including the grammatical terminology and other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they read.


The English Language GCSE

This will be assessed in two ways. There will be two external examinations at the end of Year 11 – these will determine the final grade you achieve. There will also be an assessment of your speaking and listening skills – this is assessed internally, and is compulsory, but does not count towards your final grade.

Each exam component will have two sections – a reading section and a writing section.

Exam (Component) 1 – 20th Century Literature Reading and Creative Writing (1 hour and 45 minutes. 40% of qualification).

This exam will have two sections:

  • Section A will be a series of questions on an unseen prose extract.
  • Section B will be a creative writing task.

Exam (Component) 2 – 19th and 21st Century Non-Fiction Reading and Transactional/Persuasive Writing (2hours. 60% of qualification).

This exam will have two sections:

  • A series of questions about two extracts of non-fiction writing from the 19th and 21st centuries.
  • Two transactional /persuasive writing tasks


The English Literature GCSE

This will also be assessed through two external examinations.

Exam (Component) 1 – Shakespeare and Poetry (2 hours. 40% of qualification).

 This exam will have two sections.

  • Section A will be a question and an essay about a particular Shakespeare play. (Macbeth)
  • Section B will be questions about poetry from 1789 to present, which will have been studied in advance.

Exam (Component) 2 – Post 1914 Prose/Drama, 19th Century Prose and Unseen Poetry(2hours. 60% of qualification).

This exam will have three sections:

  • One question on a particular text from post 1914 prose or drama. (An Inspector Calls)
  • One question on a particular 19th Century prose text. (The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde)
  • Two questions on unseen poetry.



The final grade at GCSE is determined by:


2 final written exam papers


2 final written exam papers



What type of activities take place in lessons?

Students will take part in a range of activities in lessons in order to prepare them for their final exams. They will take part in both small group and class discussions and debates and will be expected to collaborate with their peers regularly. We also make use of ICT for research based activities and students will produce presentations. There will be a lot of emphasis placed on students written work as this will be important for their final exams.

What type of homework tasks will be set?

Students will be expected to complete homework tasks as a support for the work we do in class. They may be asked to carry out some research, make notes or produce an extended piece of writing. They work they do at home is an extension of classwork and also encourages students to become independent learners.

Revision tasks, mind maps as well as timed essays and research activities are encouraged.  

Other Study

Students need to be reading widely. Students are encouraged to re-read the set texts for the exam.

How will it help me in the future?

GCSE English will give you the skills and qualifications needed for entrance to Colleges of Further and Higher Education. Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing are essential skills required for progress in the world of work

How will this course build on what I have studied in Year 9?

In years 7- 9 students have followed a Key Stage 3 course. All of the elements of it feed into what will be covered in Years 10 and 11. What will be developed are your examination skills and appreciation of literature and language, as well as building on your written and spoken communication skills.

Due to the demands of the new curriculum, some of the content of the GCSE courses will be started in Year 9.

What skills will I develop?

You will develop your reading and understanding, planning, writing and communication skills.

We also aim to develop students’ confidence both in their reading and their speaking skills and to encourage them to become independent learners.