Hertswood academy image 19



English teaching at Hertswood Academy is dedicated to providing students of all abilities the solid foundation they need to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. We aspire to equip them with a broad vocabulary and encourage them to engage with, and interpret, the written and spoken word. We aim to promote a love of learning and reading for pleasure, delivering a rigorous curriculum using a huge range of both nonfiction and fiction material, that spans centuries, to raise debates, promote intellectual curiosity and spark imaginations. With consistently good and outstanding English lessons that involve a range of reading, writing, speaking and listening activities, students at Hertswood develop a range of transferable skills, such as analysis, critical evaluation, inference, contextualisation, explanation and comparison.

In the English Faculty, we pride ourselves on having high expectations and routines where positive relationships are formed between staff and students, based on mutual respect.  This promotes a positive atmosphere that is conducive to meaningful learning. We are dedicated to ensuring students become independent learners and we provide opportunities for students to learn from their mistakes and develop a growth mindset to ‘Aim high, achieve excellence’.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, students explore the way in which writers use language to convey their ideas and respond to fiction, including poetry, prose and plays and non-fiction, from broadsheet newspapers to Twitter. They have opportunities to practise penning their own compositions and expressing their ideas eloquently and clearly.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students further develop their reading and writing skills to a more sophisticated level and apply those skills to GCSE language exam practice. They also begin studying the GCSE literature exam texts.

Key Stage 5

After GCSEs, students meeting the entry requirements may continue with A Level English Literature. This subject is extremely highly regarded at universities for a breadth of degree disciplines. The two year linear course covers prose, poetry and drama from the sixteenth century to the present day. Students also undertake a non exam assessment forming 20% of the final mark.





Year 7

How do we tell stories and why? (Exploring fiction)

How do poets tell stories?

What makes a story creepy and tense? (Gothic fiction)

Why are Shakespeare’s works universal?
(Romeo and Juliet)

How are different opinions and experiences explained? (Real life stories)

Can drama reflect real life?
(Our Day Out)

Year 8

How do writers use language to create opinions and effects?
(Exploring non-fiction)

How do writers use allegories to address social and political issues? (Animal Farm)

How does Shakespeare explore ideas about abuse of power? (The Tempest)

How do poets explore identity? (Poems from around the world)

What language devices are deployed in rhetoric?
(Speakers’ Corner)

How do writers create convincing characters?
(Characters over time)

Year 9

How do poets explore ideas about power? (Power poetry)

How did Dickens and his contemporaries depict Victorian life? (Victorian texts)

How do writers create suspense and tension in texts? (Tales with a twist)

Which writing devices provide a call to action? 
(A voice for the voiceless)

How are socialist ideas conveyed in this play? (An Inspector Calls)

Exploring Shakespeare’s Tragedies (Macbeth context)

Year 10 GCSE

Introduction to GCSE Literature texts: Macbeth and Power and Conflict Poetry

Introduction to GCSE English Language exams (including mock exams) and final Literature text: A Christmas Carol

Consolidation of GCSE Literature texts and Spoken Language Endorsement

Year 11 GCSE

Revision and preparation for the public exams

Revision and preparation for the public exams


AQA English Language 8700
and English Literature 8702 public exams

Year 12 A Level

Introduction to Critical Theories: Marxism, Feminism, Ecocriticism, Post-Colonial Theory and Narrative Theory

Hosseini’s ‘The Kite Runner’

The History of Comedy and Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Ernest’

Tony Harrison’s Protest Poetry

Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’

Anthology of Comedy Poems

Unseen extracts

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

Year 13 A Level


Mock exams

Revision and preparation for the public exams

AQA GCE English Literature 7717B public exams

Independent Learning Resources

  • The Knowledge
  • Quizlet
  • Google Classrooms
  • Century online learning
  • BBC Bitesize
  • CGP Revision and Workbook

Useful Links