Why is English important?

English unlocks the power of expression. Being skilled in English means being able to express ourselves and to appreciate the importance of the written and spoken word in our own lives and in the lives of those who have lived before us. It means being able to communicate in a variety of different and perhaps challenging situations; it means understanding the world around us and it means understanding other people. Studying English through a range of plays, poems, novels and non-fiction texts enables us to learn empathy and to try to understand people who might have very different perspectives and experiences from our own.

What is the aim of English curriculum at Oaklands?

The English curriculum at Oaklands aims to develop confident speakers and writers who have a deep understanding of different perspectives and viewpoints. It aims to provide students with the analytical skills they need to appreciate how language is used in different contexts to shape meaning. It aims to foster in students a love of reading and a love of language.

How is the curriculum in English structured?

The Oaklands English curriculum introduces students to a wide range of texts from different historical periods and authors from different backgrounds. Every year students study a pre-19th century novel, a collection of poetry, a modern novel, a Shakespeare play and a synoptic non-fiction unit. This range of genres, periods and text types enables our students to develop as readers, writers and thinkers. From Homer to Michelle Obama, Oaklands’ English teachers choose the very best selection of authors, texts and topics to help our students develop a love for English.


Topics covered in Year 7

  • Synoptic Unit: London
  • Modern Novel: The Explorer; Lord of the Flies
  • 19th Century fiction: A Christmas Carol
  • 19th Century fiction and modern play: Frankenstein
  • Poetry: Monsters focus
  • Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Topics covered in Year 8

  • Synoptic Unit: Travel & Migration (fiction and non-fiction)
  • Modern Novels: The Declaration; Lies We Tell Ourselves; Blueback
  • 19th century fiction and modern play: Sherlock Holmes
  • Poetry: Ecological focus
  • Shakespeare: The Tempest
  • Short Stories

Topics covered in Year 9

  • Synoptic Unit: Justice and Mental Health
  • 19th Century Novels (Gothic focus): Jane Eyre; The Woman in Black
  • Modern Novels: Purple Hibiscus; Of Mice and Men
  • Poetry: Character & Voice focus
  • Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet
  • Non-Fiction Viewpoint Writing (Speeches, Articles)

Topics covered in Year 10

  • GCSE English Language Paper 1: Creative writing
  • GCSE English Language Paper 2: Non-fiction and viewpoint writing
  • GCSE English Literature: Modern text: Never Let Me Go or An Inspector Calls
  • GCSE English Literature: Power and Conflict Poetry
  • GCSE English Literature: Shakespeare’s Macbeth

 Topics covered in Year 11

  • GCSE English Literature: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  • GCSE English Literature: Power and Conflict Poetry
  • GCSE English Language Paper 1: Creative writing
  • GCSE English Language Paper 2: Non-fiction and viewpoint writing

KS4 Qualification title

  • GCSE English Language (AQA exam board)
  • GCSE English Literature (AQA exam board)

KS5 Qualification title

  • A Level English Literature (OCR Exam Board)

Practical tips / activities / support learning at home

  • Encourage reading for a minimum of twenty minutes a night
  • Encourage students to participate in creative writing competitions and reading challenges
  • Use the Learning Hub at break and lunchtimes to take our new reading books - all students are given a wider reading list and Ms Lawless in the Learning Hub is always happy to give reading recommendations.
  • Year 7 students can use the Accelerated Reader programme
  • Access additional support such as: Homework Club and GCSE Support Drop-In 
  • Join Film Club to look at stories on the screen
  • Access a range of revision resources for GCSE students on Google Classroom

    Y11 Online Revision Resources

  • Use revision resources for GCSE on our Google Page

English Language GCSE

English Literature GCSE 

English Curriculum Maps