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Yewlands Academy



English Curriculum Purpose and Principles

Our curriculum is a creative, broad, rich and ambitious offer that enables all learners to:

  • Understand the core knowledge that underpins our written and spoken language.
  • Become willing, confident and sophisticated readers across the curriculum who can read for meaning and enjoy reading for pleasure.
  • Enjoy the best literature that has been created in English over the last millennium, including a variety of texts in a range of themes and genres.
  • Write and form opinions for themselves, making their writing articulate, purposeful, clear and imaginative.
  • Become effective communicators by using spoken language fluently and articulately.
  • Build on their previous learning at primary school and be ready for their next stage of learning and work.

In and outside their English lessons, students are provided with the opportunities to develop their social and emotional wellbeing, enabling them to be lifelong readers and learners.


Key Stage 3

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum lasts from the beginning of Year 7 to the end of Year 9. It aims to develop key skills and knowledge, whilst fostering enjoyment and intellectual curiosity.

The curriculum has various underpinning principles:

  • It is thematic, covering the big ideas which have permeated literature since the beginning of the written word. We intend to develop students’ cultural literacy and deepen their knowledge of concepts that allow students to become more perceptive readers.
  • It is knowledge-rich, with students aiming to gain fluency in their English subject knowledge through undertaking daily knowledge recall starter tasks.
  • It is skill-focused, as each unit of work develops key skills in English through teacher-led modelling and opportunities for independent practice.
  • Students study poetry, prose and drama in their Literature lessons, and a range of fiction and non-fiction texts in their Language lessons, ensuring that students are exposed to different text forms throughout KS3.
  • It is ambitious – students study a range of literature from Homer to the present day. Students gain early experience of nineteenth century texts, three of Shakespeare’s works, as well as literature from ancient origins.
  • We aim to give KS3 students a sense of the English Literature canon, including classic works of Literature and ancient origins. In addition to this, we have included voices beyond the traditional canon, to expose students to a wide range of experiences and perspectives.
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar are further developed throughout the KS3 curriculum to close gaps in learning and develop students’ ability to use them for effect, as well as in their basic form – these skills are spiralled throughout the course, allowing students to constantly revisit and refine them.
  • Students are given a range of opportunities to create extended writing for a variety of audiences and purposes. In our creative writing units, students will be supported in creating their own dystopian, gothic, fantasy and adventure narratives.
  • We develop skills and knowledge from lessons through weekly homework which is reviewed in lessons.


Key Stage 4

Our KS4 course starts in Year 10 and develops until every student has taken their GCSE exams in English Language and Literature. We follow the AQA courses for both Language and Literature. Our KS4 course is underpinned by the following principles:

  • It is designed to give students a broad experience of different text types – from the nineteenth century to the present day. We teach Language Paper 1 through a variety of genres (dystopian fiction to horror to classic). We teach Language Paper 2 through the language of protest and debatable issues.
  • Knowledge is interleaved throughout the course, with students carrying out weekly knowledge recall tests on the Literature set texts.
  • Writing is a key focus to support students in developing their ability to write strong responses to the English Language 40-mark writing questions: creative/narrative writing and non-fiction/viewpoint writing.
  • Students build on the knowledge they acquired in KS3. They use the skills acquired through the KS3 schemes of work and develop them to meet the demands of the GCSE exam questions.
  • We have chosen to study the following texts for GCSE Literature:
    • o Post-1914: ‘An Inspector Calls’ by JB Priestley.
    • o Nineteenth century: ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.
    • o Shakespeare: ‘Macbeth’.
    • o Poetry Anthology: Power and Conflict.



A Curriculum of Quality

We aim for our curriculum to be academically rigorous and to foster a love of the English discipline.

  • We teach English as both a way of thinking, and as a subject with its own rules and disciplinary knowledge.
  • We include academic writing within our KS3 and KS4 schemes of work.
  • We encourage our teachers to be academic readers themselves, reading not only books, blogs etc about subject pedagogy, but also to enhance their own subject knowledge.
  • At KS3, we seek to develop students’ reading beyond the much narrower focus of KS4. We have chosen an American focus, as students are naturally interested in the history of the USA and it opens students’ minds to a wider experience than their own daily lives.
  • We directly teach the threshold concepts and knowledge that underpin an understanding of the English discipline.
  • We recognise that our students tend to join Yewlands with a reading and writing ability that is marginally higher than their peers. Therefore, the texts we have chosen for our students are deliberately stretching in terms of the language and knowledge required. We use our schemes of work as the starting point for our lesson planning, scaffolding our teaching to ensure that students can access the curriculum and succeed.
  • We tie our texts in with the texts studied as part of the ‘Period 1a’ weekly reading sessions.
  • We have sequenced our KS3 and KS4 curriculum so that skills are spiralled and continually improved, leading from KS2 into KS3, and preparing for students’ success at KS4.
  • We have developed ‘entitlement statements’ which delineate the skills that we expect the vast majority of students to have attained by the end of each year. These are deliberately stretching and aim to ensure that students develop their skills to the maximum of their ability. They can be viewed in the LTPs for each year group.
  • Our curriculum aims to develop the powerful knowledge which explains the way the world operates, and which is not limited to students’ direct daily experience.
  • We aim to enhance students’ knowledge, and ability to use and critique that knowledge, through deliberate and repeated oracy exercises in lesson. These exercises are structured and planned in the same rigorous way that we plan reading or writing exercises.
  • We aim to equip students fully for their next stage of learning, at the highest level open to each student. We encourage students to consider English Language and Literature A Levels, and we deliberately prepare students to be realistic candidates for these courses.   


Yewlands English Department: Our Curriculum

KS3 Curriculum Overview (2021-2022)







Y7 Language

Introduction to KS3 (Reading and Writing Skills) – Growing Up​

Non-Fiction Reading and Writing: Exploration and Travel​

Creative Writing - Fantasy​

Language Study – Ancient Origins​

Language Study - Non-Fiction – Crime and Punishment​

19th Century Short Stories – Murder, Mystery and Madness​

Y7 Literature

Poetry – Love and Relationships​

Poetry – Culture and Communities​

Shakespeare – The Tempest​

Shakespeare – The Tempest ​

Novel – Lord of the Flies​

Novel – Lord of the Flies​

Y8 Language

Exploring Narrative Devices (Reading and Writing)  – Action, Adventure and Epic Journeys​

Biographical Writing: Visionaries and Trailblazers​

Language Study – Women Through Time​

19th Century Short Stories – The Supernatural​

Creative Writing – Dystopias​

Non-Fiction Reading and Writing – Social Class​

Y8 Literature

Poetry – War and Conflict​

Poetry – The Power of Nature​

Shakespeare – A Midsummer Night’s Dream​

Shakespeare – A Midsummer Night’s Dream​

Novel – Animal Farm​

Novel – Animal Farm​

Y9 Language

Exploring Narrative Perspective (Reading and Writing) – Unusual Narrators ​

Non-Fiction Reading and Writing: Gender Inequality ​

Creative Writing –Gothic and Modern Horror​

Critical Evaluation – 19th Century Gothic ​

Language Study –– The Power of Language in the Media​

Non-Fiction Writing – Powerful Speeches​

Y9 Literature

Poetry – Identity

Poetry – Power and Protest

Shakespeare – Othello

Shakespeare – Othello

Novel – To Kill a Mockingbird

Novel – To Kill a Mockingbird


KS4 Curriculum Overview

Half Term 1

Half Term 2

Half Term 3

Half Term 4

Half Term 5

Half Term 6


Literature – An Inspector Calls

Literature – A Christmas Carol

Language Paper 1 Reading and Writing

Literature – Macbeth

Language Paper 1 Writing

Literature – Macbeth

Language Paper 2 Reading and Writing

Literature – Unseen Poetry


Literature – Power and Conflict Poetry Anthology

Language Paper 1 – Dystopian Fiction

Literature – Power and Conflict Poetry Anthology

Language Paper 2 – Social Injustice

Interleaved Practice: Language Paper 1 – Horror

Language Paper 2 – Crime and Punishment

Literature retrieval

Countdown Calendar – interleaving Language and Literature Revision

Countdown Calendar – interleaving Language and Literature Revision

Language and Literature Exams



As well as providing quality learning experiences in the classroom, we strive to offer a range of enrichment activities throughout the year. Activities which have been popular in recent years have included taking part in national competitions, theatre trips, activities for World Book Day, playing host to acting groups who perform and run workshops and inviting local guest speakers to run workshops for students.  We also provide after-school revision sessions for students to spend more 1-2-1 time with their teachers working on knowledge and key skills that they would like to develop further.


In English, reading is the key to success and this is encouraged throughout the year. Pupils have access to a wide variety of texts which they are welcome to borrow from school. Reading at home is also a great way for students to develop their English skills in their own time. 

Teachers will also set homework linked to the topic being studied. At Key Stage 3, we upload weekly homework tasks to Microsoft Teams class groups which allow students to practise the knowledge and skills they learn in lessons. In Year 10 and Year 11 pupils are given knowledge recall homework on the Literature texts, which they are tested on each week. As examinations approach, students should be preparing by practising answers from Language and Literature papers. These can be obtained from class teachers or in their Microsoft Teams class groups.  


Reading Lists and Revision Guides


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher - Drama

Watership Down by Richard Adams - Adventure

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo –Historical

The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins - Drama / Dystopian

Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman - Realism

Wonder by R.J Palacio - Drama

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Historical Drama

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson-Burnett - Classic

His Dark Materials Series by Phillip Pullman - Fantasy

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo – War

Lost for Words, Elizabeth Lutzeier Different Cultures – Different Cultures

The Garbage King, Elizabeth Laird - Different Cultures

Heidi by Johanna Spyri - Classic


Lord of the Flies by William Golding - Dystopian and Adventure

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift – Adventure

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green – Drama

Life of Pi by Yann Martel – Adventure, Different Cultures

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - Classic

Treasure Island by R.L Stevenson – Adventure

Lost for Words, Elizabeth Lutzeier - Different Cultures

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery - Classic

Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit -  Classic

No Turning Back, Beverley Naidoo - Different Cultures

Shadow, Michael Morpurgo - Different Cultures


Little Soldier by Bernard Ashley - Different Cultures

Animal Farm by George Orwell - Dystopian

The War of the Worlds by HG Wells - Dystopian

The Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien - Fantasy

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Classic

To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee – Drama, Gothic

Under the Persimmon Tree, Suzanne Fisher-Staples - Different Cultures

The Time Machine by HG Wells - Dystopian

Zlata’s Diary, Zlata Filipovic - Different Cultures

AK, Peter Dickinson - Different Cultures

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - Classic

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - Classic




English Language Revision Guides

English Literature Revision Guides


·         CGP GCSE English Language AQA Exam Practice Workbook

·         CGP GCSE English Language AQA Complete Revision & Practice

·         Snap Revision Reading and Writing AQA English Language

·         York Notes AQA English Language practice tests with answers



·         CGP AQA Literature Poetry Revision Guide: Conflict Anthology

·         CGP AQA Literature Revision Guide: Unseen Poetry

·         Snap Revision for AQA Literature: An Inspector Calls

·         Snap Revision for AQA Literature: Macbeth

·         Snap Revision for AQA Literature: A Christmas Carol

·         The CGP workbooks for An Inspector Calls, Macbeth, A Christmas Carol, Power & Conflict Poetry and Unseen Poetry



Curriculum Plan