Contact details:
Name : Mrs K Whitaker

Position: Curriculum Area Leader
Email address :



English Curriculum Overview

english curriculum overview may 2022.pdf



Curriculum Intent:
Our curriculum has been created specifically for the students that we teach to acquire deep and secure knowledge, experience, and skills to be successful learners and young adults equipped for their next stage of life. We aim to:

  • Equip our students with the knowledge, skills and experience to become assured, confident, and independent readers, writers, and speakers.
  • Expose our students to high quality texts and excellent writing to broaden and strengthen their cultural capital.
  • Enable our students to communicate effectively through the explicit teaching of excellent writing.
  • Empower our students to develop their own opinions, identity, character and individuality through classroom experience and extra-curricular activity.
  • Embrace diversity, appreciating British Values, and understanding the communities, society and world in which they live through the attitudes, ideas, themes and viewpoints presented in the texts that we study.

Within our curriculum, we will continually teach, develop, review and recap the required knowledge and skills through our coverage of the national curriculum. We are ambitious in our expectations of all our learners and believe in excellence for all.

At KS3, students will study a broad range of high quality texts that will enable students to develop their core English skills and knowledge following the national curriculum. Y9 is a bridging year between KS3 and 4 where the level of challenge increases to support students as they approach their GCSE courses. Each year is linked thematically: Y7 Identity and experience; Y8 Adventures and Journeys through time; Y9 Power and Conflict: an imperfect world.

Year 7 students will study:

  • Autobiography – Who am I?
  • Iqbal
  • Persuasive skills: Media
  • Narrative and Ballad Poetry
  • Myths and Legends and creative writing
  • Transactional Writing
  • An introduction to Shakespeare

Year 8 students will study:

  • Creative Writing: Travel Writing
  • Victorian Literature
  • Sherlock Holmes and Detective Fiction
  • Shakespeare and The Tempest
  • Poetry across time
  • Slam Poetry and performance

In addition to this, all students in Y7 and Y8 will take part in the Accelerated Reading programme. Students read in form time and have time dedicated in their English lessons to develop a love of reading. Each class has one hub lesson a fortnight to discuss their reading successes with their class teacher. Students in Y8 will also take part in a fortnightly Let’s Think in English lesson, a cognitive acceleration programme developed at King’s College London, designed to help students develop their higher-order skills needed for success in English. These include inference, deduction and analysis together with confidence and resilience when responding to unfamiliar texts.

Students in Y9 will start their foundation year of GCSE although will not study any set texts for their GCSE until Y10 and 11. This year is about further increasing the challenge of the texts that students encounter and study.

Year 9 students will study:

  • The Gothic: Creative Writing
  • Macbeth
  • Identity and Voice: Writers’ perspectives and viewpoints.
  • Of Mice and Men
  • WW1 Poetry study

The English Department at Selby High School offers the AQA syllabus of GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature for Y10 and Y11 students. It is our belief that all students study both courses as reading literature can offer appreciation and understanding of much of the foundations of our society. In addition, the study of GCSE English Language offers students to chance to develop their reading, writing and oracy skills to a high standard, and prepare them for the demands of ‘real world’ situations.

Students will study the following texts at for English Literature: Romeo and Juliet, A Christmas Carol, An Inspector Calls or Blood Brothers (teacher choice) and Power and Conflict Poetry, including Unseen Poetry.

Students will study departmental Schemes of Learning to prepare for the GCSE English Language examinations and develop core knowledge and skills.

A small number of students will also take the Entry Level Certificate, however we endeavour to enter all our students for both GCSEs.

Personal development & cultural capital
As a department, developing our students’ personal development and cultural capital is central to our curriculum intent. Through the texts students study, we explore universal themes and therefore develop, explore, and express personal thoughts, beliefs, opinions and feelings. The curriculum encourages active citizenship by relating text choices to current affairs and issues to promote discussion and debate amongst students exploring evidence and drawing supported conclusions and justifications. Oracy, shared talk and group talk is valued within our curriculum and this supports students’ personal development. Where possible, we seek to find extra-curricular activities beyond the classroom

Clubs / Extra Curricular Activities, visits and trips

Theatre and Visits:

  • Annual Y7 trip to Leeds Playhouse
  • Regular theatre trips for other students
  • Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare Schools visit
  • Visiting authors and workshops
  • Y9 Talk the Talk communication workshop


  • BBC2 500 words
  • Poetry Escape
  • Y8 Spelling Bee
  • Y8 Slam Poetry
  • Public Speaking and Debating competition

Wider experiences:

  • Accelerated Reader
  • Summer reading challenge
  • Poetry Live
  • New College / York College taster classes