To continue to provide students with a pre-eminent place in secondary education and in society through a high-quality, content rich curriculum, one that spans the chronology of the literary canon; in particular, developing an appreciation of texts from different approaches, whether that be Post-Modernism, Neo-Classical or Greek. Students will build on their primary experience of education and will explore the breadth of texts, ranging from The Iliad, Hamlet, The Handmaid’s Tale to Lord of the Flies, Frankenstein, British and World Poetry from the different decades. Throughout their time of English immersion at St Aidan’s, our students will form an understanding of how to correctly form sentences structures with purpose and clarity, selecting appropriate word choices for the intended meaning. Not only this, through reading in particular, students will be equipped with the necessary skills in order to successfully communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening. Our students will also be able to produce mature and cohesive pieces of writing, both academic and imaginative. When leaving secondary education and continuing their academic journey, students will study theories relating to child acquisition, gender and dialect and understanding different theoretical perspectives when studying Jane Eyre and Regeneration. The entire English curriculum will fully equip students with the skills needed to be successful in whatever they choose to do, be that a high quality career or university.

Curriculum Intention:

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • Competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
  • Develop a cultural capital by being able to read and understand signposts across literature


  • A sequential, age-related curriculum, based around key concepts and different literary approaches towards classical and modern texts. Such approaches and concepts will be re-visited and explored in different contexts in order to strengthen their journey through education.
  • Over 7 years, all students will have the opportunity to develop their authentic voice by reading age appropriate texts every year. Their skills will be honed year upon year and the re-drafting process within lessons will help students to understand their own writing ability
  • Curriculum is structured to allow students to see, understand, revisit and explore the underpinning ideas from the subject.
  • The curriculum is ambitious for all students and everyone can achieve, whether DA, SEND or EAL.
  • The curriculum is further built around a process of interweaving topics and self-testing and re-testing to aid the development of long term memory and mastery of both the skills and the knowledge required
  • We ensure we consistently follow our ARR handbook by testing through two frequent processes: formative and summative. Students will complete low stake and high stake tests to ensure knowledge of key concepts are being embedded and fully understood. DIRT time will be allocated to allow students to be able to reflect on PEN comments and work on their areas of weakness.
  • These areas will be assessed through the following Assessment Objectives:

Literature A01: Read, understand and respond to texts. Students should be able to: maintain a critical style and develop an informed personal response, use textual references, including quotations, to support and illustrate interpretations

AO2: Analyse the language, form and structure used by a writer to create meanings and effects, using relevant subject terminology where appropriate

AO3: Show understanding of the relationships between texts and the contexts in which they were written AO4: Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity and purpose



A01: Identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas, select and synthesise  evidence from different texts

AO2: Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their views

AO3: Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts

AO4: Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references


AO5: Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences, organise information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features to support coherence and cohesion of texts

AO6: Candidates must use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation

Spoken Language

AO7: Demonstrate presentation skills in a formal setting

AO8: Listen and respond appropriately to spoken language, including to questions and feedback

AO9: Use spoken Standard English effectively in speeches and presentations


St Aidan’s Catholic Academy considers the greatest impact of the curriculum to be high rates of student progress.

Progress in:

  • Reading in different ways for different purposes, summarising and synthesising ideas and information, and evaluating their usefulness for particular purposes
  • Drawing on knowledge of the purpose, audience for and context of the writing, including its social, historical and cultural context and the literary tradition to which it belongs, to inform evaluation
  • Identifying and interpreting themes, ideas and information
  • Exploring aspects of plot, characterisation, events and settings, the relationships between them and their effects
  • Seeking evidence in the text to support a point of view, including justifying inferences with evidence
  • Distinguishing between statements that are supported by evidence and those that are not, and identifying bias and misuse of evidence
  • Analysing a writer’s choice of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural features, and evaluating their effectiveness and impact
  • Making critical comparisons, referring to the contexts, themes, characterisation, style and literary quality of texts, and drawing on knowledge and skills from wider reading

Curriculum Map

Course Information

GCSE Course Information English Language

GCSE Course Information English Literature


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