The English Department is characterised by a strong sense of collaboration and enthusiasm for our subject and our pupils.

We strive to foster within pupils a love of language and literature. We aim to develop pupils' ability to communicate effectively in a wide range of contexts. We endeavour to offer a wide range of enrichment opportunities. Above all else we provide a curriculum which offers a rich and diverse range of learning experiences enabling all pupils to enjoy and achieve our subject.

Our curriculum encourages a thirst for learning and the desire to succeed. We ensure the content of lessons develops self-awareness and emotional resilience. We have high expectations of pupils in their response to challenging stimuli.

We strive to teach our pupils how important their reading, writing and spoken language skills will be in the real world. By giving this context to their learning, they will better understand the value of English to them now, and in their futures, helping them to experience ‘life in all its fullness’.


In Year 7 and 8 students’ study of English is organised to reflect the range of skills and knowledge they will encounter at GCSE. Within these categories, students will cover a wide range of texts and will be assessed on reading, writing and spoken language throughout the year. 

Students are actively encouraged to read widely for pleasure; this is supported through a fortnightly reading lesson; visits to the library; as well as through extra-curricular activities such as: Poetry By Heart, World Book Day and excursions to the British Library.

As well as ongoing assessment for learning, students will sit a more formal end of unit examination at the end of each half-term.

Here at Churchmead we run a three-year GCSE, which allows students to:

  • study texts and skills in depth; allowing opportunities for enriching and extending language development
  • consolidating learning through revisiting texts over time, as students mature
  • gives ample opportunity for more personalised learning and higher outcomes

We currently follow the Edexcel Specification for GCSE English Language and English Literature, which results in students gaining two GCSEs.


Ask just about any teacher, lawyer, judge, banker, account executive, creative director, actor, curator, editor, journalist, poet, critic, social worker, librarian, counsellor, or politician: English students acquire skills that make them a valuable addition to a range of professions.

The implementation of this curriculum strives to ensure that, by the time children leave Churchmead School, they are:

Essential critical-thinkers – are able to learn to think creatively, to solve problems, and to ask questions that get to the heart of the matter.

Able to recognise and respect alternative points of view - learn to consider a variety of conflicting arguments as they study poems, plays, articles, and novels. In other words, studying literature helps make you fair-minded.

Persuasive in written and spoken form: Employers want people who can clearly and succinctly deliver a compelling message. We aim to ensure learners are enabled to use the most effective techniques of persuasion through class discussion and writing assignments.

Insightful about the world. It’s true. The study of literature incorporates history, sociology, theology, and philosophy, which encourage us to question and understand contemporary culture. Insight into literary characters fosters the ability to understand what a customer, patient, or student needs to make his or her life better.

Readers for pleasure. Of all the reasons, this is the most gratifying – the feelings that come with reading and discussing books that make you laugh and cry, books that help you understand yourself and others, books into which you can escape from the day-to-day pressures of life.

Extra-Curricular Activities

A range of activities and extra- curriculum opportunities are made available to students, within the department, when learning key concepts and key processes. These include: theatre trips, cross-curricular opportunities; World book Day and Poetry Day; visiting authors and writers; readathon; poetry competitions; book groups and reading events.


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