English has primacy in any discussion or evaluation of qualifications. It is one of the most important GCSEs of all. It is not only the key to other subjects and academic pathways but it is a basic requirement for any student in any field of higher education, training and employment. Furthermore, English is an exciting subject to study. We value independent reading and sharing our experiences of the books we have read. Students could go on to take an AS Level or A Level in English Language or English Literature. Alternatively a joint A Level in English Language / Literature is available.

Examination Board

EDUQAS English

Revision Links

English teachers and directors from across the Trust have created a revision website which is closely tailored to the messages students receive in their English lessons. We have a wealth of expertise in delivering the WJEC/Eduqas specifications that all our academies use for English and our website ensures that students can access advice and materials which will help them to achieve the best grades they can at any time. Students will need their academy Google login details to access the website.

Homework Expectations

For all Year 10 and 11 students, the English Department continue to place emphasis on reading as part of home learning. We continue to discuss reading with students and advise that reading and re-reading of the core GCSE Literature texts is completed. This allows students to revise key themes, characters and events as well as writing style and use of literary technique. Therefore, for Year 10 and 11 students, we advise that students become increasingly familiar with the following texts to support their GCSE learning:
  • ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens
  • ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare
  • ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J. B. Priestley
  • EDUQAS GCSE Literature Poetry Anthology
As well as Reading, Homework in English helps to prepare students for GCSE examinations. It may consist of short tasks such as SPaG activities, exam questions based on reading materials, Pieces of exam style extended writing and a research task.

Information about the course

EDUQAS GCSE (9-1) in English Language

In English Language, learning focuses on developing the skills for two exam components. The reading elements require students to read and answer questions on twentieth-century fiction and nineteenth and twenty-first century non-fiction writing. The writing tasks include narrative and transactional writing.

For the English Literature specification, students will read and analyse ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens and ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J B Priestley. They will also be tested in their understanding of prepared and unseen poetry.

English Language is assessed in the following way:

Reading – 50% final exams.
Writing – 50% final exams

Spoken Language – a grade will be given on the GCSE certificate for a presentation/speech, including responses to questions and feedback.

EDUQAS GCSE (9-1) in English Literature

English Literature is assessed in the following way:

Shakespeare (Romeo & Juliet and Poetry from Eduqas anthology) – 40%
A Christmas Carol, An Inspector Calls, Unseen Poetry – 60%

If you would like further information about the topics, themes or assessment for this course please contact:

Year 7 / Year 8 English

Homework Expectations

Within English lessons, students in Years 7, 8 and 9 are provided with reading time for Accelerated Reader. In lesson, this means that students read a book of their choice, within their ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development). A student’s ZPD is allocated through the completion of a comprehensive STAR Reading test, which guides students in selecting appropriate reading material in line with their reading age. As part of Accelerated Reader time in English, our teaching staff listen to students read, help them to track their reading progress and discuss reading materials; this assists students in making positive reading choices appropriate to their ability. Reading every day enables students to succeed in boosting both their reading ability and confidence. As we highly value the importance of Accelerated Reader and reading in general, we recommended that students ensure that reading takes place within the classroom but also as part of their home learning, so that their reading skills become increasingly more secure.

As well as Reading, Homework in English supports the development of the specific unit of work being studied. It may consist of short tasks such as SPaG activities, Longer projects or pieces of extended writing and a research task. Short tasks may have a deadline of one week, whereas longer projects may have a deadline of half a term.

Information About The Course

Accelerated Reading

The Accelerated Reader programme is now well established at Outwood Academy Freeston. The programme aims to develop a lifelong love of reading, motivate students to read more challenging books and most importantly raise literacy standards for students of all ages and abilities which will benefit them not only in English but also across our curriculum.

With a greater emphasis on literacy across all subjects, Accelerated Reader is a vital part of our Key Stage 3 curriculum to develop not only reading skills but also their range of vocabulary and comprehension skills. The programme provides an advanced monitoring database that interprets comprehension skills, reading progress and estimates reading ages for each student. The Academy already has evidence of progress in students’ estimated reading age across different ages and abilities and continues to support and invest in a wide and varied number of reading resources.

The English course at Key Stage 3 provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge to access the GCSE course in Key Stage 4. Key Stage 3 English is taught in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9. Work builds on the students’ existing knowledge and skills, developing increasingly sophisticated reading and analytical skills through the experience of studying a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts as well as developing creativity, awareness of context, and rigour in technical accuracy in writing. Years 7, 8 and 9 are seen as the beginning of a continuous learning journey through to GCSE with the increased demands of the new GCSE in mind.