‘Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.’

Edwin Whipple

Curriculum Intent

The English Department strives to inspire an appreciation for the English language and its literature, and to cultivate its effective use in creative expression and day-to-day life.  As a Department we encourage intellectual independence by stressing creative, critical thinking combined with informed reading and interpretation. The English Department team seek to teach language and literature from a range of perspectives while developing inquiring, knowledgeable and independent young learners.

At Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 we have a varied and diverse curriculum that allows our students to improve their literacy skills as well as develop the skills of reflection, resilience and resourcefulness.

Key Stage 3 English 

St Bonaventure’s English Department KS3 Curriculum
Year 7 English Programme of Study 
Term Topic
Term 1.1 Transition to KS3: 

Prose Fiction and Short Stories

Term 1.2 Drama and Verse: 

Studying Shakespeare’s Macbeth through drama, reading and analysis

Term 2.1 Non-Fiction Speechwriting:

The Art of Rhetoric and Persuasive Writing

Term 2.1 – 3.1 Prose-fiction and Novel Scheme: The Other Side of Truth
Term 3.2 Prose-fiction and Non-fiction: 

Travel and Adventure Writing

Students in Year 7 will have a discrete lesson every fortnight that focuses on grammar, spelling, vocabulary, punctuation, and sentencing. 
Year 8 English Programme of Study 
Term Topic
Term 1.1 Prose and Verse Fiction: Gothic Literature
Term 1.2 Prose fiction and Novel Scheme: Coram Boy 
Term 2.1 Verse: Poetry from around the World 
Term 2.2 Prose-fiction and Non-fiction: ‘Truth is Stranger than Fiction’
Term 3 Drama and Verse: Shakespearean Drama and ‘The Merchant of Venice’
Year 9 English Programme of Study 
Term Topic
Term 1.1 Drama: ‘A View from the Bridge’ 
Term 1.2 Prose fiction: Dystopian Writing and ‘The Giver’ 
Term 2 Prose and Verse fiction and Non-Fiction: The Age of Imperialism 18th -19th century literature 
Term 3 Prose Non-fiction and Verse: Rhetoric, Power and Conflict
All students are set homework weekly on Satchel One.

This must be completed at the back of the students’ red book. 

Key Stage Three Recommended Reading

Key Stage 4 English – Overview

As part of their two-year KS4 course at St Bonaventure’s, pupils study towards GCSEs in English Language and English Literature under the combined theme of Power and Conflict. We teach the AQA syllabus, details of which can be found at the bottom of this page by clicking the exam specifications link.

In Year 10, pupils study fiction and nonfiction texts for Paper 1 and 2 of the English Language course, and, for English Literature Paper 2, the play An Inspector Calls, poems from the AQA Poetry Anthology and Unseen Poetry. 

In Year 11, pupils study a play by William Shakespeare and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens for English Literature Paper 1, and then go on to complete extensive revision for their final exams.


More recommended reading:

Mr Pip by Lloyd Jones

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

I’m the King of the Castle by Susan Hill

The Collected Stories by Katherine Mansfield

Children of Men by P.D. James

Key Stage 5 English Literature – Overview

Students study a range of literature texts, including poetry, plays and novels, developing their analytical and critical responses to these texts. They follow the OCR syllabus, and the link to the specification is provided on this page.


Component 1; Hamlet, A Doll’s House and The Poetry of Christina Rossetti

Component 2: Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Handmaid’s Tale 

Component 3:  Small Island and Translations, The poetry of Langston Hughes, Fatimah Asghar, Sylvia Plath, Sujata Bhatt and Derek Walcott 


Wider Reading: 

The Time Machine [1895] by H.G. Wells

The Machine Stops [1909] by E.M. Forster

We (1921) by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Brave New World (1932) by Aldous Huxley 

The Day of the Triffids [1951] by John Wyndham

Fahrenheit 451 (1953) by Ray Bradbury – could be read in a couple of sittings

I am Legend (1954) by Richard Matheson – could be read in a couple of hours

Invasion of the Body Snatchers [1954] by Jack Finney

A Clockwork Orange [1962] by Anthony Burgess

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (1968) 

Children of Men (1992) by P.D. James

The Road (2006) by Cormac McCarthy (post-apocalyptic)

The Hunger Games (2008) by Suzanne Collins

Key Stage 4 Reading List

The Man Who Smiled by Henning Mankell

After killing a man in the line of duty (in The White Lioness), Inspector Kurt Wallander finds himself spiralling into an alcohol-fuelled depression. He has just decided to leave the police when an old friend, Sten Torstensson, approaches him to secretly investigate the recent death of his father in a car accident. At first Kurt dismisses his friend’s suspicions as unlikely, when Sten is found dead, murdered with no doubt, in exactly the same manner as a Norwegian businessman shortly before. Against his previous judgement, Kurt returns to work to investigate what he is convinced is a case of double murder.

Happy as Larry by Scot Gardner

When a search for the happiest person on earth thrusts Larry into the spotlight, he becomes the planet’s newest superstar. His face is splashed across newspapers, magazines and cheesy merchandise, and soon millions of fans are following his life on TV, online, on demand. But fame brings new temptations, and soon Larry finds his relationship with his girlfriend falling apart. As the media reports every move and mistake he makes, he struggles to stop things spiralling out of control. There may be no happy ending for the worlds’ happiest man.

Key Stage 5 Reading List

Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell

The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres Wildthorn

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

The Time Machine by HG Wells

Specifications Used In English

For KS5:

OCR Specification for A Level: Dystopian Literature

A Level Specification

For KS4:

AQA GCSE Specifications:

GCSE English Literature Specification At A Glance

GCSE English Language Specification At A Glance