The English department is a large team of dedicated and dynamic teachers. We are committed to providing a rigorous and varied curriculum and have high expectations for all students. All of our teachers are subject specialists with a range of expertise. We aim to teach students, whatever their ability, the skills required to communicate both in and outside of school. We also aim to embed a lifelong interest and curiosity in literature and the power of words. 

In the English department we strive to deliver highly engaging lessons and use a range of strategies to ensure students retain the information required. These include: regularly reviewing previously taught material and skills; high quality first teaching; teaching students how to use different revision strategies and specific memory techniques to retain information and sequencing the curriculum to ensure that new content builds on prior learning across Key Stages.

Key Staff

Ms van der Lip - Head of Department
Mrs Blake
Mrs Griffiths (2nd in Department)
Mrs Huxtable
Miss Jones (3rd in Department)
Miss Khazmi
Mr Morton
Mr Plumtree (2nd in Department)
Mr Riley
Mrs Scarr
Ms Smit

Curriculum Intent

The purpose of English is to help students with effective and confident communication as well as being resilient in their approach to learning. Our English students will be analytical and perceptive in their critical appreciation of different texts and will develop empathy and perseverance.

Key Stage 3

Students follow a curriculum based on the requirements of the National Curriculum. All year groups will study a range of texts including Shakespeare, pre-20th century, contemporary and multimodal. In each year, they will also study a selection of poetry texts and a modern play script. Teachers plan their lessons based on the ability and needs of the individuals within their groups so we have a wide range of texts that are available. All Key Stage 3 students have a lesson timetabled in the library once a fortnight in which they work on a range of reading and library skills.

Much of our teaching in Key Stage 3 is in mixed ability groups. Some students are taught in smaller ‘support’ groups in which the teacher will deliver the curriculum at a pace suited to the students’ needs. Some students are challenged by the pace of delivery and the selection of texts in a larger ‘fast-paced’ group.

In Key Stage 3 students will practise the following skills:

  • information retrieval
  • inference and deduction
  • analysis of language, structure and form as well as characterisation
  • commenting on writers’ viewpoints
  • writing descriptively, narratively and discursively
  • speaking and listening: discussion and presentation

Key Stage 3 Curriculum Map

Assessment Bands

Students will follow national guidelines throughout Key Stage 3 to support and prepare them for their Key Stage 4 courses. The school operates a banding system of 1-9 (9 being the highest band). Students will be given a target based upon their Key Stage 2 scores and baseline assessments on arrival at Edgbarrow. The band they are awarded at the end of the Key Stage is intended to be indicative of the grade they may achieve at GCSE.



Speaking and Listening

Summary Curriculum Plan

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4 students will practise the following skills:

  • information retrieval
  • inference and deduction
  • synthesis and summary
  • comparison
  • analysis of language, structure and form as well as characterisation
  • commenting on genre, purpose and audience as well as context
  • commenting on writers’ viewpoints
  • writing descriptively, narratively and discursively
  • speaking and listening: formal presentation and discussion

We teach an integrated course for English Language and English Literature which involves studying novels, short stories, drama, poetry, non-literary and other media texts. There will be opportunities to write in a variety of styles and to participate in many speaking and listening activities throughout the course.
Students are taught in mixed ability groups with the exception of two fast-paced groups of students with Band 9-7 targets. There are also two Set 2 classes.

Each year we review the best pathway for our students at GCSE. All Key Stage 4 students will be entered for both AQA English Language and English Literature qualification. All students are entered for both courses.

Summary Curriculum Plan

Year 10 

Year 11

Highest Ability and Talented Reading List

Key Stage 5

We offer three A-Levels within the department. English Literature, English Language and Film Studies are well established, successful A-Levels that have been running for a number of years

English Language

Students will continue to develop their interest in English through learning about the structure of English, its varieties, different functions and through their analysis of different types of, largely, non-fiction writing. Students will write for different audiences and purposes.

A wide range of skills is developed including research skills using books, magazines, the internet and primary research. Independent learning is an essential part of this course. Students are expected to give presentations as part of the course and to write analyses of texts. Students need to be capable writers and to enjoy exploring the nuances of language.

English Literature

Students will read widely, critically and independently across centuries, genre and gender. We hope to stimulate thought and discussion on a number of issues and ideas. The course also aims to develop the informed, independent reading of literary texts. There is a central emphasis on the analysis of unprepared texts in the exams so students are encouraged to link, connect and compare a wide range of whole texts and extracts.

Students will develop an ability to argue logically on evidence from a range of texts and to approach all forms of literature with awareness and perception.

Film Studies 

Please click here to visit our dedicated Film Studies page.

Summary Curriculum Plan


Year 12

Year 13


Year 12

Year 13



It is our intent that pupils with special educational needs/disabilities (SEND) follow the same curriculum, learn alongside their peers and achieve similar outcomes.
In addition, they may benefit from additional opportunities in the lessons and in the co-curricular activities that are arranged especially for them.

SEND Implementation and Impact

Pupil Premium Intent


Reading Aims:
  • To ensure students are equipped to understand command words in questions.
  • To ensure students are equipped with a range of independent reading strategies to aid comprehension when reading.
  • To ensure students are equipped with a range of independent reading strategies when interpreting how authorial intent/language/structure impact the meaning of a text.
  • To support students in understanding complex vocabulary that they encounter in their reading.
  • To encourage students to read for pleasure outside of the lessons.
Writing Aims:
  • To ensure students are equipped with strategies to construct their answers.
  • To ensure students are equipped with a range of independent strategies to enable them to plan their answers carefully.
  • To equip students with strategies to reflect on and redraft their writing.
  • To explicitly teach spelling, punctuation and grammar to enable students to write fluently.
  • To support students in writing creatively, through teaching them to use ambitious vocabulary, language devices and structural techniques.
Spoken Language Aims:
  • To ensure students are equipped to use a range of vocabulary as well as subject specific vocabulary in their spoken language.
  • To ensure students are equipped with the skills to structure a spoken presentation
  • To support students to use spoken Standard English.
  • To teach students how to listen and respond formally.
  • To provide students with opportunities for structured talk.

Select for Literacy Strategies


Mission Containment
This national writing competition asked students to write a 100-word saga about a contamination epidemic. We are delighted to announce that 34 Edgbarrow students will have their work published!
mission containment

Poetry Escape
‘Poetry Escape’ is a national poetry competition that encourages students to write in any form they choose about liberation and freedom. 20 students have had their poetry published and an anthology is in the library to view. Congratulations to our budding poets!
Poetry escape

Independent Study

Key Stage 4

Select to view current revision material.

Key Stage 5

Select to view current reading lists.

For further information regarding our English Curriculum please contact:
Ms van der Lip (Head of Department) marianne.vanderlip@edgbarrowschool.co.uk