Subject Intent

At Derby Cathedral School we aim to provide a high quality English education that teaches pupils to read and write confidently, speak fluently and listen attentively, so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions. The study of English allows the acquisition and communication of knowledge, across all subjects, preparing our students for the world of work and further education later in life.

The KS3 and KS4 curriculum at Derby Cathedral School is designed to build upon the main strands of the KS2 curriculum: Reading, Writing, Spoken Language and SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar), providing the opportunity for pupils to develop their skills and knowledge.

Derby Cathedral School takes pride in the standard of communication fostered, and its role in helping our pupils demonstrate great Fellowship across the school.

Reading is at the heart of everything we do in English. In English lessons, students have the chance to study a range of texts from around the world and from different points in history to help them gain a full and detailed appreciation of how important literature is in helping us understand the world around us.

Pupils will be challenged at KS3, reading increasingly challenging material such as: Shakespeare, poetry, prose and drama. They will be encouraged to read critically and develop their love for literature.

Our pupils will also develop their written expression, learning to write for a wide range of purposes, such as; scripts, poetry, stories and other creative outlets. Planning and drafting, accuracy and fluency will be at the forefront of their education, to allow them to become independent learners with excellent communication skills and great Tenacity. Mastering English grammar, and developing new vocabulary will be taught alongside speaking confidently and effectively to range of audiences and for a range of purposes, ensuring our students move to the next stage of their learning journey with the necessary skills to succeed.

We will study English Language and Literature at GCSE using a range of genres and texts, such as, tragedy, crime fiction, modern plays and more traditional literary texts to both enliven the English Language and inspire our pupils in their own work. Pupils will create their own texts, ranging from short stories to more formal discussions, allowing them to reflect on their lives and education at Derby Cathedral School and build Aspirations for the rest of their lives.

Our curriculum is designed so that pupil knowledge of key authors, genres and time periods will allow them to widen their appreciation of Literature and provide the opportunity for more in-depth study as they journey through their GCSEs. The sense of Humility gained from studying the wealth of knowledge available from our literary heritage is key in our pupils’ quest for self- improvement.

Our curriculum also provides and encourages our pupils to interrogate the texts we cover. English provides an excellent opportunity for our pupils at Derby Cathedral School to reflect on the spiritual and moral questions raised by great writers such as Shakespeare and Dickens. To use their speaking and writing skills to communicate their own developing opinions on spirituality and religion. They will develop their understanding of Integrity by studying the fairness and equality of others.

English Long Term Plan

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Mrs L Pritchard - Head of English

Mrs R Youens - Assistant Head of English

Mrs V Lynch - Teacher of English/Head of Years 7 and 8

Ms R Winfield - Teacher of English

Mrs R Whitehouse - Teacher of English

Ms C Noble - Assistant Headteacher

Mr S Coucill - Deputy Headteacher


In English, we set homework once a week. There are a range of ways we do this. It might be that programs such as Quizlet or Kahoot! are used to set tasks. Often, a teacher will set a task to be completed in an English Homework Book or by using their Knowledge Organiser. Homework is seen as an opportunity to consolidate learning and in some cases provide challenge and extension work.


We tackle a new topic each half term in English. Pupils will carry out two assessments per half term. The first is a formative assessment that is used to give feedback on progress so far and set targets to improve. Towards the end of the half term a summative assessment will be carried out that allows us to evaluate how pupils have performed in that particular unit, and track their progress over the course of the year.

Study skills & revision

At KS3 we would ask that pupils focus on their Knowledge Organiser in order to aid their homework, and the study texts or topics being covered in class. We would also stress the importance of reading outside of lessons in order to continually improve vocabulary and expression.

At KS4 and 5 we would encourage the use of revision guides (that can be purchased within school) for both their Language and Literature strands of study, as well as their Knowledge Organisers.

There will be a reading list published on the website for both GCSE and A Level English. It would be our strong recommendation pupils purchase their own copies of these class texts to supplement the work completed in class.


Some useful websites to help independent learning at GCSE would be:

Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde Revision Notes

By Gosh: A brilliant website containing digital versions of traditional stories, fairy tales, and out of copyright books.

Online Books: Looking for classic books like Charles Dickens and Jane Austen? This site is great for searching for a free, digital version. 

Many Books: Sci-Fi more your style? Check our Many Books which allows you to download for free classic sci-fi texts by authors like H. G. Wells.

Also, following the link to our curriculum map will allow you to see some of the key texts we will be studying at GCSE for the Literature qualification. Prior reading is always a recommendation:

  • Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet
  • 19th Century Novel – The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  • Modern Play – An Inspector Calls