Oaks Park High School

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English contributes to the school curriculum by developing students’ abilities to be creative, think critically, and to find their own voice. Students learn to develop their communication skills with reading, writing and speaking. Many of the skills developed in English are related to independent thinking- the ability to analyse sophisticated ideas and the ways in which they are presented are all vital skills needed in life today.

KS3 English

At Oaks Park we offer a diverse, creative and challenging curriculum that will inspire students to love literature and learning. We will explore a range of stimulating fiction, non-fiction and media texts in order for you to develop your own critical independent thought. These texts will act as a springboard to discuss philosophical ideas and to enable you to question society and consider the world you live in today.

Year 7

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
  • Transactional writing through letter writing 
  • Developing reading skills by reading poems surrounding the theme of Outsiders. Annotating poems, having discussion about themes and content. 
  • Reading Wild Boy and developing creative writing skills.
  • Exploring more poems about power. Developing annotating skills. 
  • Reading Canterbury Tales and other myths and legends. Developing reciprocal reading strategies to help understand the text.
  • Reading The Tempest by William Shakespeare. Using drama in the classroom to bring the play to life. Developing students’ speaking and listening skills.
  • Exploring poems about equality. 
  • Writing poems for a class poetry slam competition.

Year 8 

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
  • Understanding the theme of journeys using poetry. Group project to develop speaking and listening skills. 
  • Exploring a fiction novel called In the Sea There Are Crocodiles. 
  • Developing writing skills.
  • Exploring seminal literature by reading Sherlock Holmes and The Speckled Band. 
  • Reading the play Noughts and Crosses and developing drama and writing skills.
  • Reading the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Using drama in the classroom to bring the play to life. Developing students’ speaking and listening skills.
  • Travel Writing- exploring different non-fiction forms of writing. 


How will you be assessed?

 Across years 7 and 8 you will be assessed in a number of different ways. Your assessment pieces may range from homework tasks; written essays; spoken presentations and drama pieces. We will ensure you will develop the skills to write in many different mediums including narrative prose, discursive essays, diary entries, letters and newspaper reports. Your own interpretation is encouraged and we stimulate your creativity by using props and visual stimulus to foster this.

How can you as parents or carers support your child in English?

You can check over homework, reading ideas to see if they make sense and ensuring written work is neat and accurate. You can also talk through ideas with your child to help develop their point of view. By encouraging the reading of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, and through regular discussions about reading, you can ensure they are challenging themselves and understanding the world of literature through their text choices.

We hope to work closely with you and your parents to ensure you achieve your best!

KS4 English

Students prepare for two qualifications in English:

  • GCSE English Language
  • GCSE English Literature

Students study the Edexcel exam board qualification for both GCSE English and English Literature. There is no tier of entry and every student sits the same exam and will be awarded a grade 9-1. Both GCSEs are assessed entirely by terminal exams in the summer of Year 11. There is no early entry.

Throughout the course, students will study how to approach the examination questions, understand the assessment objectives for each question and practise writing examination answers to identify ways to help them progress. We will also examine challenging 19th century fiction and 20th century unseen fiction in class and provide challenging homework to prepare students for their terminal examinations. Students will also explore Shakespeare’s plays, including Macbeth and have the opportunity to write their own poetry and compete in competitions including ‘Poetry by Heart’ and Jack Petchey's 'Speak Out Challenge.' We run revision sessions after school, as well as trips to the theatre to see performances of GCSE literature texts to support students’ understanding.

For GCSE English Language your child will have two examinations: Paper 1: Fiction and Imaginative Writing (worth 40%) and Paper 2: Non- Fiction and Transactional Writing (worth 60%). These examinations will include unseen fiction and non-fiction texts. Your child will have to respond to questions on unseen fiction and non-fiction texts and write both imaginative narratives and speeches, letters, articles.

For GCSE English Literature your child will also have two examinations: Paper 1: Shakespeare and Post 1914 Literature (worth 50% of their GCSE) and Paper 2: 19th Century Novel and Poetry since 1789 (worth 50%). They will have to respond to questions on:

  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Macbeth by Shakespeare
  • An Inspector Calls by J. B Priestley
  • Comparing poems from either ‘Conflict’ or ‘Relationships’ anthology
  • Comparing unseen poems

In order to be successful in their examinations, your child should take personal responsibility for their own learning – if they’re stuck, speak to their teacher and keep up with all homework set. Reading regularly at home will support their understanding of fiction and non-fiction to prepare for their examinations.

Ways to support your child with their English Language and Literature GCSEs:

Encourage your son/daughter to read and discuss non-fiction texts e.g. newspapers, leaflets, letters and magazines. The internet is awash with older 19th century fiction and non-fiction texts because most are out of copyright.

KS5 English Literature

Course  A-Level English Literature
Examining Board Edexcel
Specification Link
Why study this subject?

There is nothing more beautiful than being able to trace our journeys through the words that immortalise them. English Literature does not just concern itself with books, but rather the way that the journeys of individuals and the journeys of collectives resonate within the words that lie upon the pages of works of drama, prose and poetry.


From William Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams, the course will provide you the opportunity to observe the psyche of the human mind and unearth the ties between fact and fiction. There is arguably no other course that effortlessly ties the elements of philosophy, history, ethics and linguistics into a single lesson the way that English Literature does.


English Literature is one of the Russell Group universities' 'facilitating' subjects — so called because choosing them at A-level allows a wide range of options for degree study.

Unit 1  


  • One Shakespeare play- Othello
  • One other drama from either tragedy or comedy- A Streetcar Named Desire
Unit 2


Two prose texts from a chosen theme. 

  • Frankenstein
  • Handmaid’s Tale
Unit 3


  • Poetic form, meaning and language
  • A selection of post-2000 specified poetry
  • A specified range of poetry from: either a literary period (either pre- or post-1900) a named poet from within a literary period: Wife of Bath
  • Selection of modern poetry from Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry 2002–2011.
Unit 4


One extended comparative essay referring to two texts

Assessment AS-

2 Exams

  • Poetry and Drama
  • Prose
Assessment A-Level

3 Exams

  • Poetry
  • Drama
  • Prose



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