Curriculum intent

To have uncompromising aspirations for every individual and for our school to be an exceptional and inspirational community of lifelong learners.
To ensure all students have the knowledge to critically engage with the conversation of humankind.



We believe that our English curriculum is at the heart of creating thoughtful, engaged and worldly learners. Stories, in all their forms, are the fabric of life and allow students to comprehend the complex experiences that make up human emotion, imagination and understanding. Through our passion, we take students on a journey in discovering their own creativity and finding confidence in their own interpretations. Being able to use language effectively is vital in enabling individuals to succeed in all fields; their own rhetoric is what enables them to present a truly authentic self.


Key concepts that underpin the English Curriculum 
  1. The writer’s craft
  2. Intended audience
  3. Explicit and implicit meaning 
  4. Critical theory
  5. Form and genre
  6. Structure
  7. Character/persona
  8. Reader response
  9. Context: literary, historical, cultural and social
  10. The writer’s purpose/aims
  11. Technical control
  12. Forming a personal argument/response
  13. Forming comparisons and links between texts
  14. Oracy


How does our curriculum shape learners? 

The study of English is one that develops a broad grasp of experiences and cultures. By reading and writing a wide range of genres and forms, students will be able to experience the world around them, allowing them to make informed decisions in their own lives. Students will also become vocabulary rich, with a secure understanding of grammatical devices, enabling them to access and communicate with the world around them much more confidently.


Year 7  In year 7, students explore a range of text types and begin to develop their own writer's craft by understanding how to write for an intended audience. Their study of the dystopian novel provides opportunities to explore the concept of character/persona, whilst starting to improve their ability to engage critically with complex themes and ideas. The ‘Childhood’ poetry and letter-writing unit enhances these skills, allowing students to reflect on their own experiences as young people and developing their ability to empathise with those from diverse cultures or eras. Students will then look at the theme of ‘love’ through their analysis of Shakespearean sonnets and short extracts from his works, providing them with the necessary foundations to tackle a whole-play in year 8. This scheme builds students’ understanding and confidence with reading and understanding Shakespeare’s language as well as enabling them to form understanding of the sonnet form and context that they will have begun to apply to discussion of Shakespeare’s choices as a writer.
Year 8  In year 8, students study whole texts in a greater depth than year 7. By the end of the year, students can use their earlier knowledge of Shakespeare and apply this when analysing a whole play. Within the first unit, students have developed their ability to analyse Shakespeare’s craft and have a greater understanding of language, genre, and form. The ‘Rhetoric’ scheme builds on student's understanding of writer’s craft from year 7 and primary school and they understand how to structure persuasive and effective speeches through their study, and implementation, of Cicero’s six-part structure and the Aristotelian triad. By the end of the unit, students will have developed their own craft as writers and understanding of writing for a specific audience and purpose. Students will then study the ‘Storytelling’ unit, where they begin to recognise the influence of biblical parables and Greek mythology on Literature throughout time. Students will investigate connections between texts and be able to make both narrative and thematic comparisons, using these to develop their own storytelling when constructing fables. By the end of the year, students will have greater understanding of whole text narrative arc in both fiction and non-fiction writing.
Year 9  In year 9, students begin by revisiting poetry (from year 7) and develop their knowledge by building their understanding of form and structure. Alongside this, the students will have developed their skills in identifying and analysing the poet’s use of language and poetical devices. This will also further students’ abilities to decipher explicit and implicit meaning and start to make comparisons between two texts and the craft of the writers, in preparation for GCSE. Students will apply these skills to another form of text: a modern play, where they will have developed their understanding and application of context, the audience’s response, and the analysis of character/theme, as constructed by a playwright. They will be able to recall knowledge of Shakespearean plays here too and make thematic connections. Later in the year, students can apply their grasp of these concepts to their own writing and have developed their technical control by improving their craft alongside a selection of short stories as inspiration. The study of a novel will consolidate all of the skills above that have been practised across the year, to prepare students for the beginning of their GCSE course.
Year 10  In year 10, students will build upon their skills of analysing unseen fiction and non-fiction texts, with an increasingly developed understanding of the writer’s craft and perspectives; implicit and explicit meaning; form, genre and structure; comparison of texts; and reader response. Students will have developed their own craft as writers, their technical accuracy and understanding of writing for a specific audience and purpose. Students embark upon their study of a modern text, a 19th century text and part of their poetry anthology. These literature texts will further build their skills in analysing the writer’s craft, and students will be more confident and ambitious in their exploration of how context shapes the production and reception of a text. Students will begin to formulate their own personal arguments in response to texts and tasks.
Year 11  Throughout year 11, students will review and develop their language skills as above, improving both the sophistication and maturity with which they both respond to unseen texts and produce texts themselves. Students will also practice and refine their exam strategy. Students will study ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and through this will develop their understanding and application of context in interpreting a text. Within this unit, along with the completion of study of the poetry anthology, students will become more confident in expressing their personal response to texts with an assured academic voice. By the end of year 11, students will be confident in responding to a range of texts, the methods writers use to craft these texts, forging links between texts and will have become empathetic, critical and empowered readers.
Year 12  Language and Literature
Students will build on their ability to decipher and analyse unseen texts with an increased focus on how the writer has created a voice; this will involve building students’ skills in identifying and analysing a wider range of literary and linguistic features of a text, including spoken language features, and will use a broader range of technical terminology. Students study three literary texts: The Great Gatsby, The Whitsun Weddings and All My Sons, and by the end of their study, will have developed their analytical skills and in particular, their ability to discuss features of form. They will have developed a more mature academic voice, expressing their ideas in increasingly complex terms, enabling them to find increasingly subtle range of features of these texts. Students will further their knowledge and application of different types of contextual knowledge, drawing on social/historical, biographical, literary contexts, and contexts of reception.

Year 12 Literature
By the end of the course, students will have significantly developed their understanding of drama, starting with A Streetcar named Desire, with the ability make their own increasingly perceptive arguments – they will have understood a wider range of contextual features and be confident in discussing the impact of these on how the text has been produced and received. These analytical skills will have also facilitated their improvement in subtly comparing texts on the Prose unit, between Wuthering Heights and A Thousand Splendid Suns. This will also be evident in the students’ ability to analyse an unseen poem, building upon their GCSE Literature Paper 2 skills. Students will have developed a more perceptive, insightful and confident approach to literature and will express their increasingly complex ideas in an academic writing style, using a range of terminology to do so.
Year 13  Language and Literature
By the end of the course, students will be confident in analysing a range of unseen texts, identifying generic features, contextual factors (that influence how a text is produced and received) and making close connections between literary and linguistic features and their impact on the reader or audience. They will have completed the ‘Voices in Speech and Writing’ Anthology, and be able to make comparisons between those texts and another unseen text linked by theme. They will be able to analyse a range of fiction, non-fiction, and spoken language texts, and this analysis of ‘voice’ will be applied to the curriculum texts. They will be confident creative writers: the skills they have acquired through linguistic and literary study will enable them to produce their own fiction and non-fiction texts for their ‘Creating Texts’ coursework, and they will have developed their ability to work independently to undertake research into their own topic. By the end of the course, students will be equipped with forensic skills in picking apart linguistic and literary craft and will be able to apply this expert understanding to produce their own creative and engaging literature.
Year 13 Literature
By the end of year 13, Literature students will have studied one of the most challenging texts of the course: Hamlet. This will further develop students’ abilities to analyse the craft of a Drama text. Alongside the challenging language of one of Shakespeare’s most complex (and long) plays, students also will have mastered the skill of embedding critical arguments (for AO5) into their essays. Students will be able to understand and apply different interpretations and use them to inform their own readings of the text. They will have constructed a comparative coursework essay on The Handmaid’s Tale and a text of their own choice. Students will develop skills in independence and initiative, alongside those in research and building their own interpretations. The study of a selection of Romantic Poetry (Blake, Wordsworth, Byron, Keats, Shelley) will challenge and develop students’ ability to produce a detailed and perceptive textual analysis using sophisticated academic language. Students will have become confident, adept and creative thinkers and academic writers by the end of the course.


Click here to visualise the English learner journey


Key features of learning

English is a constantly evolving subject that allows learners to build upon layers of learning. To support this, we teach skills of analysis, creative writing, vocabulary, literacy and discussion from day one of Year 7. Our curriculum travels through texts from Ancient Greece all the way through to our modern day. We teach novels, poetry, plays and non-fiction from across the world and throughout history to allow students to experience as many different stories as possible. Through these texts, we encourage discussion and support learners in identifying the similarities and differences between themselves and those they read.

We promote what it is to be a Hayes Learner by ensuring our lessons have a balance of collaboration and independence and build on all prior learning. Our embedded literacy focus in our schemes supports students in practising the technical aspects of English, whilst developing their confidence in producing extended pieces of work.

At A-Level, we have two popular options to undertake: English Literature or English Language and Literature. Both options allow for students to pursue a love of literature, with our English Language and Literature option allowing for students to explore a diverse range of texts and forms with elements of creative writing.


What will you see in English lessons?
  • Engagement and participation in lessons by all
  • Reading of a range of texts (both in terms of form and genre and in the perspectives and voices they convey)
  • Linking of current learning to previous and future learning
  • Opportunities for students to articulate their ideas verbally and improve their oracy
  • Use of differentiation to support and challenge all students
  • Adaptable teaching that responds to the needs of students
  • Assessment for Learning
  • Variety of whole class/individual/pair/group work
  • Clear learning questions, planning for progress and reflection on the students’ success of meeting these at the end of the lesson
  • Strong, purposeful, probing questioning from staff to further student progress but also from students towards their peers and of the texts and materials they study
  • Critical thinking and discussion
  • Routines, expectations, praise and sanctions where necessary for classroom management


What will you see in English books?
  • Date/title underlined
  • Variety of activities including gap fill, mind-mapping of ideas, matching up of terms and definitions, individual sentences to answer tasks, listing of words/phrases, full paragraphs or essays.
  • Vocabulary and grammar notes.
  • Notes on taught texts: character, theme, plot based.
  • Contextual notes on taught texts.
  • Red pen corrections in response to individual or whole class feedback
  • Purple pen from staff including ebis.
  • Feedback sheets to provide whole class or individual feedback.
  • Neat presentation & care invested


What formative assessment will you see in English?
  • Mistake identification & correction (where necessary – not on all pieces)
  • Questioning within lessons
  • Feedback on written work
  • Peer-assessed tasks
  • Green pen marking of class & home work
  • Vocabulary/spelling tests
  • Verbal feedback both teacher & peer
  • Low stakes retrieval practice


What is the department currently reading and why?
  • Jenny Webb: ‘Teach like a writer.’
  • ‘Litdrive’ articles for alternative interpretations and to challenge students
  • Literature for Y13 A-Level coursework – reading texts to recommend and suggest to students for their chosen text to compare with ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’
  • Literature for young adults and from other perspectives and cultures to make changes to KS3 curriculum.


Click here to view the English Curriculum map