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
  • Help us get to know you better by crafting a chapter from your own autobiography.
  • Delve into a world of adventure through the study of the novel ‘The Girl of Ink and Stars’.
  • Develop an appreciation of poetic voice and develop your own by studying our original poetry anthology ‘Voices from the Animal Kingdom’.
  • Actively study the development of magic arts, revenge, oppression and betrayal whilst stranded on an island in Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’.
  • Explore genres of non-fiction writing by designing your own tutor group island!
Year 8
  • Discuss the big issues in ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne
  • 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’.
  • 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 ( 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.

The English Department Celebration Evening

The CICCIC centre, Taunton was the venue for the inaugural English Department Celebration Evening in July. Students and staff gathered to celebrate a year of creativity in the Heathfield English Department.

The evening was filled with powerful prose from gifted writers, stirring speeches from year 9 speakers and superb performances by magnificent actors. Every child involved contributed to a vibrant evening under the CICCIC centre lights.

Parents were treated to the powerful creativity of writing from Year 7 and 8 writers before the year 9 Drama group performed a memorable scene from Much Ado About Nothing. Not to be outdone, the year 7 trio of Beth, Kyla and Isabella superbly performed their own witches’ spells.

The evening culminated in the results of the Year 8 Writing Competition. Earlier in the summer, year 8 students had spent a day at Fyne Court producing creative writing; local author Ally Kennen judged the entries and announced the winners on the evening. Summer read her winning entry to the audience to round off the evening.

The students performed with merit and it was a wonderful opportunity to witness the exceptionally high standard of English work produced by Heathfield students over the academic year. We would like to thank the CICCIC centre for their warm hospitality and excellent facilities and Ally Kennen for her thoughtful and constructive feedback on the year 8 competition entries.

Mr S Bament

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
  • Our English Celebration evening, held at the end of the academic year
Helen Harper Head of English
Clare Tinkler Deputy Head of English
Simon Bament Teacher of English & Aspire Lead
Caroline Barratt Teacher & Literacy: Promoting Reading
Kelly Brown Deputy Head of English
Jessica Farbus Teacher of English & Head of Year
Julia Haviland Teacher of English
Craig Manning Teacher of English
Claire Martin Teacher of English & Literacy: Promoting Writing
Ashleigh Rice Teacher of English
Holly Skittrell Teacher of English & Literacy: Promoting Oracy
Aran Vince Teacher of English
Sarah Hoban Teacher of English
Mike Wood Teacher & SLT


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