The English department at the Wellington Academy aims to inspire a love for the English language and its diverse literary heritage. We deliver a knowledge rich curriculum allowing us to introduce students to new worlds, contextualise their own worlds and try to shape future worlds. The study of English equips students with the competence and confidence to communicate and thrive, whilst also motivating and enabling young people to develop empathy, intrigue and the cultural capital to prepare them for the demands of life in the 21st century.
Students study a 19th century novel, a modern novel, a Shakespeare play, a modern play and a collection of poetry. They will also study a language unit, reading a variety of non-fiction texts to ensure all skills are being practised and embedded. Throughout all units, students complete both literature and language style tasks so that we are working on all the skills students need.
Alongside the English lessons, students have a reading lesson a fortnight. We use the Accelerated Reader programme which monitors and tracks students’ reading comprehension age. Reading is extremely important and we want to encourage all students to improve their reading age so that they are competent and confident readers. This helps them to be successful across the curriculum as well as in their future life.
As students make their way through their learning journey here at the Wellington Academy, their knowledge and skills are strengthened and embedded each year, preparing them confidently for their GCSE study.
The texts chosen in year 7 are linked by the theme of ‘youth’. We begin the year with the play script of ‘The Curious incident of the dog in the night time’ moving on to the classic novel of ‘Oliver Twist’. The spring term begins with the study of ‘Telling Tales’, a collection of short stories, this is followed by a selection of poetry from other cultures and traditions. We end the year with Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ before finishing with a language unit looking at different non-fiction texts and students developing their own writing.
Continuing the learning journey into year 8, we build on skills introduced in year 7 with texts linked by the theme of ‘morality’. We begin with the modern play script of ‘The terrible fate of Humpty Dumpty’, followed by the classic literary text of ‘A Christmas Carol’. In the spring term, we move to studying the novel ‘Animal Farm’ followed by a collection of poems from other cultures and traditions, different to those studied in year 7. Students will study Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ before ending the year with a language unit looking at non-fiction texts and further developing their own writing.
The final year of KS3 study, follows the same pattern as year 7 and 8. In year 9, we strengthen and secure the knowledge and skills students have been taught since year 7. This prepares students for their GCSE study next year. We start the year with the popular modern play ‘Blood Brothers’, before then moving on to the study of the 19th century novel ‘Frankenstein’. We begin the Spring term with the study of the novel ‘Lord of the flies’ followed by half a term studying a collection of poetry from Duffy and Armitage. The chosen Shakespeare play is ‘Much ado about nothing’, ending with studying a language unit with texts related to the same theme that links the texts they have studied all year. Students further develop their own writing, as well as speaking and listening tasks, building up their confidence with the subject before the demands of GCSE study begins.
In year 10, we begin working towards the two English GCSE qualifications:
-AQA GCSE English Language
-AQA GCSE English Literature
We focus on the study of the set literature texts. These are demanding and we aim to instil a good, in depth understanding of these early in the GCSE course. The play ‘An Inspector calls’, the 19th century novella ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ along with the ‘Power and conflict’ poetry collection consisting of 15 poems, unseen poetry study and finally Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Each text is studied, annotated and analysed in detail, bringing together previous learning, skills and contextual knowledge to support these new studies. The Summer term has a Language focus, finishing with the preparation and completion of the Speaking and Listening component of the AQA English Language GSCE.
For students who have enjoyed their GCSE English courses or students who have a love for reading and a passion for literature, this is the course for you. In English lessons, students are challenged by a wide range of literary heritage texts and more modern literature to challenge and interpret their own critical and personal views. We follow the AQA Specification A in English Literature. This fantastic course, we believe, gives students a fully-rounded overview of literature. The course is divided into three units which are connected by wider literary themes.
Unit One: 'Love Through the Ages' is the over-arching theme which encompasses the study of our texts in this unit. (40% of overall A-level)
Although not an exhaustive list of aspects of 'Love Through the Ages', areas that can usefully be explored include: romantic love of many kinds; love and sex; love and loss; social conventions and taboos; love through the ages according to history and time; love through the ages according to individual lives (young love, maturing love); jealousy and guilt; truth and deception; proximity and distance; marriage; approval and disapproval.
Section A: 'Othello' by William Shakespeare
Section B: Comparative Unseen poetry
Section C: 'The Great Gatsby' & a collection of post- 1900 love poetry
Unit Two: 'Modern Literature Post- 1945' (40% of overall A-level grade)
The literature of modern times may include: wars and the legacy of wars; personal and social identity; changing morality and social structures; gender, class, race and ethnicity; political upheaval and change; resistance and rebellion; imperialism, post-imperialism and nationalism; engagement with the social, political, personal and literary issues which have helped to shape the latter half of the 20th century and the early decades of the 21st century.
Section A: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood
Section B: 'A Streetcar Named Desire' by Tennessee Williams and 'Feminine Gospels' by Carol Ann Duffy
Unit Three: Independent Critical Study - 'Texts Across Time' (20% of overall A-level grade)
In 'Texts Across Time', students write a comparative critical study of two texts (2500 words). AQA is committed to the notion of autonomous personal reading and Texts Across Time provides a challenging and wide-ranging opportunity for independent study. Possible themes for the comparison are indicated below, but this is not a set list and students are free to develop their own interests from
Click here for further information regarding the English Literature Specification.
Mrs S Francis
Ms A Buckley-Reeve