Course ID
A-Level, GCSE, KS3
Subject Leader
Mr J Lee

Subject Overview

We aim to instil students with confidence, to nurture in them an appreciation of the power of language and to encourage them to cultivate a lifelong love of literature. We believe this is most likely to happen when students and teachers demonstrate empathy, kindness and mutual respect in English classrooms. Students read a range of prose, poetry and drama from across the ages, developing their responses through the increasing depth and sophistication of their analysis. They write at length in a number of forms, and for a range of purposes and audiences. Finally, students build confidence in speaking publicly, formally and persuasively.


Mr Johnny Lee

Subject Leader for English

Miss Sarah Caswell/Ms Helen Jauregui

Student Achievement Manager for English

Ms Vanessa Clark

English Teacher

Mrs Lauren Haggerty

English Teacher

Mrs Fiona Morris

English Teacher

Mrs Hannah Rayner

English Teacher

Curriculum Intent

In KS3, students develop an appreciation of prose, poetry and drama from across the ages. Through exposing students to a range of exciting, challenging and enjoyable texts, our aim is to engender in students a lifelong enjoyment of reading. Further – and crucially – students build resilience and gain confidence in dealing with unseen texts independently. Building on the literacy skills acquired in Primary School, students develop the core skills of reading and writing. We concentrate on key writing skills for fluent communication: effective planning and structure, paragraphing, and the difference between commas and full-stops. We harness and develop students’ creative skills through a range of written and spoken activities.

At KS4, students follow GCSEs in both Language and Literature. We aim to develop a trusting relationship between students and teachers, and among students themselves. Teachers’ relationships with students allow them to know when to challenge and when to support. We value students’ varied personalities and strengths and aim to nurture individuals’ strengths and skills. We believe that GCSE English students flourish when they try their best, see the value of failure and believe in their own abilities. This is particularly important in Year 11 between mock exams and study leave. Students at this level are encouraged to develop resilience, to stick at difficult things, to embrace and learn from mistakes and to connect their work in lessons with their experience of the wider world – for example, looking at topical speeches to analyse the use of persuasive techniques in preparation for students’ own formal, spoken language presentations. We know that high achievement at KS4 enables students to build more successful futures, academically and personally, and so we ensure that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to achieve exceptionally well in their English Language and English Literature exams.

At KS5, students build on their prior knowledge and understanding of English Literature and use the KS4 curriculum in part as a grounding for their A level study of Literature. Our intent is for students to develop their appreciation and enjoyment of a range of writers, contexts and genres as they explore and compare poems, novels and plays in depth and using a number of different lenses. Students pursue independent engagement with texts in their NEA (Non-Examined Assessment). Students develop the skills of reading analytically, critically and placing texts within different frameworks and contexts. Our aim is for students to construct increasingly well-structured arguments, exploring complex ideas in a nuanced manner, fluently and with sophistication.

Key Stage 3

KS3 Booklet
Year 7 Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Year 7:

  • Descriptive writing
  • ‘All About Me’
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Class reader
  • Storytelling
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Year 8 Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Year 8:

  • Descriptive writing
  • Class reader
  • Persuasive speaking and debating
  • Poetry – with a focus on comparing poems
  • Genre study: The Gothic
  • Study of a Shakespeare play: Macbeth or Twelfth Night

Key Stage 4

KS4 Booklet KS4 Syllabus (English Language) KS4 Syllabus (English Literature)
GCSE Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Years 9 to 11:

  • Introduction to the study of a novel
  • Poetry, including responding to and comparing unseen poems
  • Exploring and analysing extracts from fiction texts
  • Descriptive and narrative writing
  • Animal Farm
  • Spoken language presentation
  • Exploring and analysing extracts from non-fiction texts
  • Opinionated writing
  • The Sign of the Four
  • 15 poems from the ‘Power & Conflict’ section of the AQA Anthology
  • Romeo and Juliet

Key Stage 5

KS5 Prospectus KS5 Syllabus
A-Level Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Years 12 and 13:

  • Drama through the ages: tragedy or comedy
  • Novels dealing with advances in science
  • Study of a poet
  • Contemporary poetry
  • Independent study of two substantial texts

Extra and Co-Curricular Experiences

  • Trips to e.g. Harry Potter World as a stimulus for creative responses
  • Theatre trips / visits from theatre companies
  • Author visits
  • Trips to Shakespeare’s Globe
  • Debating
  • Exploring the school library
  • A Level and GCSE conferences

Additional Curriculum Opportunities for our High Prior Attainers

  • Reading lists
  • Debating
  • Creative writing competitions
  • Resources in the school library
  • World Book Day
  • Further reading

Waddesdon Church of England School’s Assessment and Feedback Policy. At Waddesdon our aim is for assessment to be:

  • Meaningful
  • Motivational
  • Manageable

We are currently consulting on proposed changes to our admissions arrangements.