‘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 2.1-2.2 Non-Fiction Speechwriting: The Art of Rhetoric and Persuasive Writing
Term 2.2 – 3 Prose-fiction and Novel Scheme: The Other Side of Truth
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:GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature

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:

GCSE English Literature Specification at a Glance

GCSE English Language Specification at a Glance

For English Language GCSE, pupils study fiction and non-fiction texts.

For English Literature we study the play An Inspector Calls, poems from the AQA Poetry Anthology ‘Power and Conflict’, Unseen Poetry, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and Shakespeare’s Mabeth OR The Merchant of Venice.

Revision and Homework

  • Revision lessons are fortnightly. We model how to revise in English, and students complete revision tasks in lesson. Students are then expected to continue this revision independently.
  • Revision homework is set each half-term by our KS4 Assistant Curriclum Leader., Ms Laws. Teachers supplement this with revision or study tasks that their class needs to complete.
  • Revision materials are printed for students – see below.

GCSE English Revision Materials Supplied

Each Year 11 student has been given a printed copy of the below help and revision resource booklets, or his teacher has shared them using our shared Google drive or Google Classroom.  These contain help, guidance, example marked answers and practice exam questions.

English Literature Revision Materials

Practice Exam Questions Booklet 1

Practice Exam Questions Booklet 2 (The Merchant of Venice)

Practice Exam Questions Booklet 3 (Macbeth)

English Language Revision Materials

Language Paper 1 Section A Booklet

Language Paper 1 Section B Booklets 

Language Paper 2 Section A Booklet 

Language Paper 2 Section B Booklet

GCSE Revision Timetable for Students – Students can make a copy and edit

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.

More recommended reading:

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 A Level

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) by Philip K Dick
Children of Men (1992) by P.D. James
The Road (2006) by Cormac McCarthy (post-apocalyptic)
The Hunger Games (2008) by Suzanne Collins
The Lonely Londoners, (1956) by Sam Selvon
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

Revision Support and Materials

Revision timetable  – Student have their own copy
List of revision tasks – Students have their own copy

Component 1 Revision Booklet – Hamlet

Component 1 Revision Booklet – A Doll’s House and Rossetti Poetry

Component 2 Revision Booklet – Critical Appreciation of Dystopian Literature

Component 2 Revision Booklet – Comparative Essay Task

Exam Board Specification

A Level Specification – Exam Board – OCR