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The English Department is an exciting area of the school, with a welcoming environment where students can explore literature, poetry and all aspects of the English language, as well as extending their creative skills.

Our aims are to support and provide for the delivery of the English curriculum, endeavouring as far as possible to maintain continuity with the pupil’s mainstream learning experiences.

We deliver the English Curriculum in a variety of ways, catering for a range of learning styles and to differentiate the Curriculum according to pupil needs during every aspect of their learning in English.

Curriculum content:

Key Stage 3 (national curriculum)

Our learners are encouraged to tackle a variety of writing and reading styles at KS3 so that they are fully prepared for the challenges of GCSE.

Year 8

Term 1/2

Poetry – Culture


Novel study – Oliver Twist

Term 3/4

Modern Drama



Term 5/6

Shakespeare – Romeo & Juliet


End of year revision & preparation for exam

Key Stage 4

Exam board: Edexcel


GCSE English Language 9-1

Functional Skills English Entry Level 3

Functional Skills English Level 1

Functional Skills English Level 2        

The GCSE English Language 9-1 course at Eleanor Smith is taught in a way that draws out the very best from our learners. We encourage the reading of full texts and give students time to consolidate their knowledge and skills. We are aware that students need to develop into mature and confident readers and writers to excel in this subject. 

As we endeavour to support the individual needs of the students we also offer Functional skills English at three levels.

Planning and assessment:

The Functional Skills English curriculum is embedded naturally into the GCSE framework.

The GCSE English Language course has Functional Skills learning and assessment opportunities embedded. Learners are assessed for Functional Skills, routinely, as part of their GCSE programme.

Edexcel English Functional Skills qualifications are designed to equip learners with skills such as comparing the ideas and presentation of texts, writing for a specified audience and purpose, and communicating and adapting language. They’re assessed in three units (Speaking, Listening and Communication; Reading; and Writing) through a choice of paper-based or onscreen, on-demand tests.

Year 9 – GCSE English Language / Functional Skills English Entry Level 3

Term 1/2

Transactional writing: Travel writing


Non – Fiction: Journalism

Term 3/4



Imaginative Writing

Term 5/6

End of year revision & exam


GCSE Language paper 1

 Year 10 – GCSE English Language / Functional Skills English Level 1

Term 1/2

Transactional Writing


Unseen reading (non-fiction and Literary non-fiction)

Term 3/4

Non-fiction and literary non-fiction text comparison


Introduction to exam paper format/ mock questions

Term 5/6

19th-century unseen fiction reading


Imaginative writing


End of year revision & exam

Year 11 – GCSE English Language / Functional Skills English Level 2

Term 1/2

Paper 1 – Reading (19th Century Fiction)

Paper 1 – Writing (Imaginative)

Spoken Language

Writing skills

Term 3/4

Paper 2 Reading – 20th/21st Century non-fiction and literary non-fiction

Paper 2 Writing – Transactional writing skills

Spoken Language

Term 5/6

Revision – Comparison and writing from reading

Reading skills – non-fiction

Writing skills

Cross curricular links:

Opportunities to develop skills in core subjects i.e. Mathematics are indicated in the units/schemes of work where appropriate. These give learners the opportunity to practise these essential skills in naturally occurring and meaningful contexts, where appropriate to unit.

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