Curriculum Intent

Our English department aims to provide a challenging curriculum which introduces our young people to some of the best writing and spoken word from around the world. We work to inspire our students’ love of language and their ability to employ it for their future success. In their learning, we encourage our students to take risks and push themselves to succeed.  

The department staff have a wealth of experience between them. We are passionate about our various disciplines, which include English Language, Literature, Theatre Studies, Creative Writing, and Media. Consequently, students benefit from a very broad range of knowledge and specialisms as they move through the school. We have dedicated and well-equipped English rooms and regular access to the Learning Resource Centre.

We recognise that 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 to every curriculum subject, and to all future study and training our young people will graduate to. Therefore, we support students while they 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. In the first few weeks, students’ ability and confidence is quickly ascertained through focused book marking and classroom observation, helping us to go beyond the primary transfer data and ensure that individual’s strengths and weaknesses are not overlooked.

Throughout years 7, 8 and 9 students have the opportunity to study some of the best novels, poems, plays and non-fiction literary texts written in English. Developing strong, confident reading goes hand in hand in hand with exploring the social, historical and moral contexts. During this time, students are able to explore the richness of a wide variety of cultures and view the world through different eyes.

Reading is taught in its own right, but also 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. Students are taught punctuation, grammar and spelling, giving them a strong foundation for GCSE success and preparing them for the world of work. However, technical ability is only one aspect: our lessons are just as much about students finding their own voices and expressing their imaginations.

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 Century, 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 collection of poets from the 16 Century to the modern day. It is a robust, challenging programme of study and our students thrive. We are so proud of their successes.  

In English, students are 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 adapted resources to support other learners. 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. 

Lessons engage students from the moment they enter the classroom, with a designated ‘DO IT NOW’ task. Pair work, group work, shared reading, oracy, retrieval practise, the use of IT, Media, drama, visual support, guided reading and supported writing alongside good old fashioned ‘chalk and talk’ teaching are the mainstays of students’ learning.

Beyond the classroom, our students are encouraged to participate in a wide range of extra-curricular and enrichment opportunities. Our Book Clubs give our students an opportunity to share their passion for reading. They run for every year group and are always well attended. Alongside this, we offer writing clubs, boosters for KS3, Revision for KS4 and trips throughout the year. 

We all 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 to enhance their understanding. Students also benefit from visits from professional theatre groups who perform full, unabridged plays and run workshops to support understanding.

Many of our students are passionate writers; the words, ‘Miss, can 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 national Young Reporters scheme. Students’ work has been published in The Sunday Times. 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 do well. For those who progress to apprenticeships and diplomas, their English skills enable them to pursue courses in a wide range of professions. Regardless of their progression avenue at Post-16, a firm grasp of English will benefit all students, whether it be composing a CV, application or cover letter, or conducting professional communication in the workplace environment.

Curriculum Overview



Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2




Themes Across Time: The Natural World;

Creative Writing

Modern Novel;

Letter Writing

Poetry of Conflict and Unity (1796-Modern Day)

Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing

Language to Persuade: Speeches, Letters

Themes Across Time: Journeys and Exploration




Drama Study:

Modern Play

Writing Skills: Reports

Victorian Novel

Non-Fiction Studies

The Romantics

The Romantics

Creative narrative Writing

Powerful Non-Fiction: Articles, Speeches, Letters

Themes Across Time: Growing Up




Modern Novel


Poetry from Different Cultures and Traditions

Creative Writing

& Modern Fiction

Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet, or The Tempest.

Non-Fiction Across Time

Stepping up to GCSE – An Inspector Calls




Reading Non-Fiction;

Articles & Reports;

Poetry: Nature

Revision of An Inspector Calls;

Letters & Speeches;

Poetry: War

Reading Fiction and Creative Writing;

Poetry: Relationships and the presentation of Women.

19th century Novel – Jekyll and Hyde

Jekyll and Hyde

Poetry: Power and Control

Mock Exam Preparation

Mock Exams

Poetry: Change

Poetry: People and Place.

Poetry from the Poetry Heritage Exam Anthology is taught in small clusters during Year 10.




Shakespeare – Macbeth

GCSE Language Revision and Mocks

GCSE Language

Literature Revision:

An Inspector Calls, Jekyll and Hyde,

Unseen Poetry

Literature Revision: Macbeth and Anthology Poetry

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.