English at the Core of the National Curriculum
English is vital for communicating with others in school and in the wider world, and is fundamental to learning in all curriculum areas. In studying English, pupils develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing that they will need to participate in society and employment. Pupils learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others confidently and effectively.English as a subject helps pupils to access the National Curriculum and therefore allows schools to raise standards and help all their learners meet the challenges of life in our fast-changing world.
Extra-curricular activities are a good way for students to get “real world” experience. The English department takes a leading role in planning the school productions, which in recent years have included ‘Joseph’, ‘The Canterbury Tales’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. We think it is important for students to be introduced to the theatre and quality films so we organise trips to encourage this interest. We also join the Readathon and World Book Day.
Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3 we endeavour to provide an interesting and stimulating curriculum. All students are given the opportunity to develop their language and literature skills and this is done through a variety of written tasks and drama based activities.
In Year 7 students study a range of topics from the Essay to Shakespeare plays, as well as exploring current issues in the news.
Year 8 further develop their skills by reading and researching Dickens and enjoy writing their own horror stories.
In Year 9 a more in-depth approach to Shakespeare is encouraged by exploring modern interpretations. Students are also introduced to Dystopian fiction, which have proved to be popular areas of study.
Key Stage 4
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred
Hopefully this isn’t how our students feel about approaching GCSE English – it’s part of one of the dramatic and exciting poems we study. At Key Stage 4 students study for two GCSEs; English Language and English Literature. The focus on Year 10 is Literature and in Year 11 on Language, although there are some overlapping elements. GCSE English Language at Grade C or above is a requirement for most courses and professions, which is why we concentrate on this when our students are hopefully at their peak. There are several Controlled Assessments throughout the course: ‘Of Mice and Men’; Spoken Language; Original Writing; Shakespeare and the Literary Heritage. The Speaking and Listening element is assessed throughout the course.
Key Stage 4 Examinations
All the exams are terminal, meaning they are assessed at the end of the course in Year 11. To prepare for the final exams, students will experience a number of mock exams.
- Year 10 May: English Language exam
- Year 11 November: English Language mock exam 1
- Year 11 January: English Language mock exam 2
- Year 11 March: English Language mock exam 3
- Year 11 April: English Literature mock
Although our primary aim is to enable all students to reach their potential in the GCSE exams, we also hope that we can prepare students for their future: for further study at ‘A’ level and degree level; for intelligent reading of the media; for a love of the theatre and cinema; for a lifelong habit of reading for pleasure.
The Saint John Houghton Writing Wall Blog
Year 7 Spelling Lists
Year 8 Spelling Lists
Year 9 Spelling Lists
English Takeaway Homework
English Takeaway Homework Part 2: Non-Fiction
|Year 11 Revision Materials|
|English Revision – Foundation||View/Download|
|English Language Revision Booklet||View/Download|
|Revision Cards: Of Mice and Men (1 of 2)||View/Download|
|Revision Cards: Of Mice and Men (2 of 2)||View/Download|
|Revision Cards: Poems (1 of 3)||View/Download|
|Revision Cards: Poems (2 of 3)||View/Download|
|Revision Cards: Poems (3 of 3)||View/Download|
|Revision Cards: To Kill a Mockingbird (1 of 3)||View/Download|
|Revision Cards: To Kill a Mockingbird (2 of 3)||View/Download|
|Revision Cards: To Kill a Mockingbird (3 of 3)||View/Download|
|Revision Cards: Woman in Black||View/Download|