Reading is at the core of the English curriculum, and you will take a journey through the best literature that has been written in English. You will become a skilled communicator, and you will change the way people think or feel through your words.

“Word up”


In Years 7, 8 and 9 we offer an exciting curriculum that will secure, develop and challenge your ability in speaking and listening, reading and writing. In each year we study a range of texts including poetry, plays, novels, non-fiction texts and spoken language. We experiment with challenging writing in a number of forms from functional letters, through poetry and onto gothic fiction.

Here is sample of some of the things we do in each year:

Year 7
  • Introduce yourself properly by writing a chapter from your own autobiography
  • Explore Dickens’ craft through a study of his seminal classic ‘Oliver Twist’
  • Present a powerfully persuasive speech to save The Village
  • Develop an appreciation of poetic voice and develop your own by studying our original poetry anthology ‘Voices’
  • Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ – explore the struggles between heroes and villains in this tense tragedy
Year 8
  • Discuss the big issues in ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne
  • Become mini-detectives through the study of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous character Sherlock Holmes
  • Explore the cult of celebrity in the media and steer your own creative advertising campaign
  • Get a crash course in an important part of the literary canon – the Romantic poets
  • Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’ – continue to develop your knowledge of tragic conventions and your ability to write a successful literature essay through this engaging and performative unit
Year 9
  • Be moved by the poems, letters, postcards and posters from World War One texts
  • Feel the terror of Gothic literature through a study of some of the most influential authors in English literature
  • Develop an appreciation of world literature and historical and social tension through a study of Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’.
  • Learn about the incredible power of rhetoric and write your own persuasive speech as part of the GCSE Spoken Language Endorsement
  • Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ – debate attitudes relating to gender and relationships via the study of this highly-entertaining comedy


Year 10 and 11 offers a full range of tasks and activities to challenge all abilities. Students study English Language (Edexcel – 2019 leavers and AQA from 2020) and English Literature GCSEs (AQA). GCSE topics include:

  • ‘Love & Relationships’ Poetry (from AQA’s own anthology )
  • 19th-century fiction (‘A Christmas Carol’ – Charles Dickens)20th century drama
  • Modern Texts (‘An Inspector Calls’ – J.B. Priestley)
  • Shakespeare (‘Macbeth’ – William Shakespeare)
  • Reading and interpreting unseen texts (fiction and non-fiction)
  • Writing creatively and analytically

Both GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature are assessed by terminal examinations at the end of Year 11. Formative internal assessments and mock examinations will be issued, standardised and moderated by the Heathfield English department.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Opportunities

In English you will have the opportunity to extend yourself in and outside the classroom, including communicating through talk, writing and multi-media projects.

You will be inspired to develop your independent reading, and explore the world – and different cultures – in an interesting way.

  • The Brunner Creative Writing Competition aimed at year 10s and 11s. This is organised by Richard Huish Sixth Form College for all its feeder schools – we have enjoyed huge success over the last few years
  • Trips to the theatre (have included Stratford Upon Avon, the Tobacco Factory and RSC live stream in recent years)
  • Writers’ Workshops for enthusiastic writers from a range of year groups
  • Year 9 Speech Competition (open to all year 9s)
  • Year 7 slam poetry competition (open to all year 7s)
  • Writers’ club, for keen writers in all year groups
  • Rotary ‘Youth Speaks’ public speaking competition
  • Our English Celebration evening, held at the end of the academic year
Helen Harper Head of English
Simon Bament Deputy Head of English
Kelly Brown Deputy Head of English (maternity leave)
Caroline Barratt Teacher, Literacy: Promoting Reading
Craig Manning Teacher
Aran Vince Teacher
Jacqui Bettles Teacher
Mike Wood Teacher & SLT
Julia Haviland Teacher
Claire Martin Teacher
Clare Tinkler Teacher
Jessica Farbus Teacher
Ashleigh Rice Teacher
Jessica Boyce Teacher
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