Our Department

Our department prides itself on outstanding results based on a mutual and shared responsibility for learning, achievement, and love of language and literature. Our philosophy of inspired teaching, tenacity and professionalism is evident in all lessons. We aim for students to leave us with:
A clear ability to read and interpret the textual world
A critical awareness of texts
A greater understanding of the world around them.

A deep reflection on gospel values such as tolerance and peace through the literary texts we choose.

Key Stage 4

In Year 9, we study GCSE material from the outset. Students show responsibility for their learning from their first day with us.
Students will study a balance of Language and Literature analysis with an understanding of historical and social context. Students study a Shakespeare text, a text from the American literary canon, poetry and gothic literature alongside a focused language approach to understanding how fiction is created. Students are then prepared for their final Year 9 exams based on GCSE papers. The bedrock of Year 9 is our ‘Drop Everything and Read’ programme which allows students to read solidly for 15 minutes in every English lesson. Teachers help students find books and discuss with students their reading choices. Students are also offered support with reading and literacy skills during Year 9.

In Years 10 and 11, students study for two qualifications, AQA GCSE English Language and Literature. Staff have a deep understanding of the assessment objectives, approaches to teaching and the texts as well as a growing list of techniques to attain the highest grades. Should any student fall behind, this is highlighted through regular meetings and a range of catch up strategies are employed to help all students make outstanding progress.

AQA English Language (8700)
Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing:1 hour 45 minutes
Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives: 1 hour 45 minutes
AQA English Literature (8702)
Shakespeare and the 19th Century novel: 1hour 45 minutes. Based on staff preference, students will be taught a Shakespeare play of either Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest. Students are either taught A Christmas Carol or Sign of Four.
Modern texts and Poetry: 2 hour 15 minutes. All students study An Inspector Calls and the Power and Conflict cluster of poetry.

Useful links:
AQA English Language overview
AQA English Literature overview

Key Stage 5

At A Level, our specialist staff make the transition from GCSE over the first half term of Year 12. Students are offered lessons in both qualifications offered to ensure they are on the right pathway and course for the. Broadly, the study of literature is based on fiction texts with a strong basis in the study of political and social protest alongside tragedy. Discussing current affair and understanding how literature is a form of protest is essential for success in this course. Texts from across the canon in the field of tragedy provide students with an academic and classical discussion of tragedy from Shakespeare to the present day.

A Level English Language and Literature is a popular and thriving course. Students are taught in depth linguistics alongside elements of Literature. Students leave the course with a greatly in depth understanding of context (how texts are produced, how they are received and how they reflect viewpoints from across the globe) which has a foundation for future English study of a wealth of careers. The gospel values of the literature studied at GCSE are further embedded in our text choices which reflect dignity and compassion as well as truth and justice to name just a few. Students study poetry from Duffy and American texts The Great Gatsby and Streetcar Named Desire alongside the modern The Lovely Bones and a non-fiction anthology based on experiences of Paris.

Useful links:

AQA A Level Language and Literature
AQA A Level English Literature B

English is a dynamic and growing area of study which we firmly believe is at the beating heart of all we do.


Who are we?

Head of  English

 Mrs L Davis davisl@saintsa.co.uk


Mrs C Paddock

 Mrs F Lake

 Mrs A Passalacqua

Mrs H Beaumont-Dyer

Mrs R Watkins

Mrs A Meenaghan

Miss K Gould