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Subject Leader English Miss R Griffiths
English Teachers Mr S Barden
Ms S Kelly
Mr M Kirk
Miss J Kirtland
Miss E Smith
Mrs K Turvey
Mrs K Walker
Mrs R Weller

English is central to success, individual growth and progress in today’s society. Through our study of English, we are taught how to communicate our thoughts and emotions, whilst being exposed to experiences which are different to our own and which challenge our ideas and opinions. In particular, reading allows students to develop a rich cultural capital and engage with cultures and concepts far beyond their own experience. In an increasingly digital age, engagement with written texts and verbal communication has never been more important.

Please see our learning journey for a visual representation of the curriculum.


English lessons at Forest introduce students to a wide range of exciting and culturally influential texts. In Year 7, they are introduced to Chaucer and study the art of rhetoric, and in Years 8 and 9 they study a vibrant selection of poetry, plays, novels and non-fiction texts. In Years 10 and 11, all students study DNA, Jekyll and Hyde, Macbeth and the AQA poetry anthology. Over the five year English curriculum, students learn how to compose and articulate their thoughts and ideas both in writing and orally. Lessons at Forest are characterised by high expectations, rich class discussion and debate, the careful development of writing and oracy skills and a relentless focus on the power of words and new vocabulary. Our lessons are designed to pique students’ interest and develop their investigative, collaborative and exploratory skills. We are driven by the aim of helping our students develop a life long love of reading and the skills they need to access a range of challenging fictional and non fictional texts.


As part of our English curriculum offer, during the summer term of Year 6, we aim to visit students from our feeder primary schools.  The purpose of these visits is to deliver an English taster lesson, during which students will be exposed to more ambitious vocabulary and given tasks which challenge their exploratory and investigative skills. The visits will allow students to meet members of the English team and ask any questions.  We hope that by the end of the lesson, the students are just as excited about joining The Forest School as we are in welcoming them into the Forest Family.

Key Stage 3

From the outset at Year 7, students are introduced to powerful knowledge that will allow them to succeed in later years. This first term is centered around “Literary Heritage”. Here, students revisit Greek Mythology, a subject widely taught at primary school, where their prior understanding allows us to study more challenging concepts, such as Aristotle’s Tragic Hero, or the difference between a psychological or aetiological myth, for example. We then progress chronologically over the year, studying Shakespeare and literature surrounding WW1 before looking at the language of the media and exploring concepts of cultural identity. Year 8 and 9 then build on this knowledge, exploring a range of diverse texts that have been carefully selected to provide challenge and the opportunity to broaden horizons whilst exploring what it means to live in today’s society.


Key Stage 4

Years 10-11

The GCSE syllabus starts in Year 10 for all students; they will be required to review and extend their knowledge and skills.  At the end of the two year course they will sit examinations in English Language and English Literature, for which they will receive two separate qualifications.

English Language

The language paper consists of two written exams:

English Language paper 1: Exploration in Creative Reading and Writing.

English Language paper 2: Writers Viewpoints and Perspectives.

Both exams are one hour and forty-five minutes and are weighted at 50% each.  There is no coursework or controlled assessment module; it is 100% examination based.

Students will also gain a Spoken Language qualification in which they will be assessed on their ability to listen to and understand spoken language, and use spoken Standard English effectively. The Spoken Language endorsement will be reported on as part of the qualification, but it will not form part of the final mark and grade.

The aim of the English Language course is to encourage students to read fluently and write effectively. They should be able to demonstrate a confident control of Standard English and they should be able to write grammatically correct sentences, deploy figurative language and analyse texts.

The English Language course follows the AQA syllabus

English Literature

The literature paper consists of two written exams:

English Literature paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th century novel.

English Literature paper 2: Modern texts and poetry, including unseen poetry

Again there is no coursework or controlled assessment module. It is 100% examination-based and the exam is closed book. The aim of this course it to give students the opportunity to develop culturally and acquire knowledge of the best that has been thought and written.

The English Literature course follows the AQA syllabus