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English - KS4


Curriculum Intent


Students will draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus and engage with creative as well as real and relevant contexts. Students will have opportunities to develop higher-order reading and critical thinking skills that encourage genuine enquiry into different topics and themes.

This specification ensures that students can read fluently and write effectively. Students will be able to demonstrate a confident control of Standard English and write grammatically correct sentences, deploying figurative language and analysing texts.

GCSE English Language is designed on the basis that students should read and be assessed on high-quality, challenging texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Each text studied must represent a substantial piece of writing, making significant demands on students in terms of content, structure and the quality of language. The texts, across a range of genres and types, should support students in developing their own writing by providing effective models. The texts will include literature and extended literary non-fiction, and other writing such as essays, reviews and journalism (both printed and online).



Shakespeare - Students will study one play from the list of six set texts. Students will study the whole text.

  • Romeo and Juliet

The 19th-century novel - Students will study one novel. Students will study the whole text.

  • Robert Louis Stevenson – Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Sets 1-5)

  • Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol (Sets 6-9)

Modern texts - Students will study one, which includes post-1914 drama. Students will study the whole text.


  • An Inspector Calls

Poetry - Students will study one cluster of poems taken from the AQA poetry anthology, Poems Past and Present, each containing 15 poems. The poems in the cluster are thematically linked and were written between 1789 and the present day.

  • Power and Conflict

Students will study all 15 poems in the cluster and be prepared to write about any of them in the examination.

Unseen poetry - In preparing for the unseen poetry section of the examination students will experience a wide range of poetry in order to develop their ability to closely analyse unseen poems. They will be able to analyse and compare key features such as their content, theme, structure and use of language.


Please find the Curriculum Overview below:

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