English KS4

Term 1 – Autumn

1 - Shakespeare - Macbeth

Assessment: Exam question. First part based on close analysis of an extract and the second part on wider knowledge of the play/themes/characters.

Practice assessment first half term as well as newspaper article.

2 - Different styles of writing

Persuasive and Descriptive writing

Using moving image as a stimulus, the focus will be on developing creativity and improving generic writing skills. Lessons will help students to plan and edit their writing and will consolidate their knowledge of what makes a successful piece of writing, with particular focus on the writing tasks they will face in both of their GCSE English language papers. Higher level thinking skills will be developed through discussions and preparation of arguments regarding the controversial issues raised from what has been studied this term.

Range of descriptive and persuasive writing analysed; focus on narrative voice, structure, techniques.

Assessment: descriptive writing based on ‘The Others’ - still image from the film.

Term 2 – Spring

1 - Of Mice and Men (6 weeks)

Assessment: past exam question identical in style to Prose question of the Paper 1GCSE Literature paper.

Marked practice assessment and exemplars shown before the actual assessment.

2 - Poetry (6 weeks): Family

  •       My father thought it
  •       Before you were mine
  •       November
  •       We remember your childhood well
  •       On My first Sonne
  •       Lucozade
  •       Brothers
  •       The Affliction of Margaret

Comparative focus and marked practice comparative PEA paragraphs.

Speaking and listening task: Create and perform a dramatic monologue based on one of the characters from the poems e.g-a doctor looking after the mother in Lucozade, Paul from ‘Brothers’, the grandmother from ‘Before you were Mine’

Term 3 – Summer

The Woman In Black

A focus on developing critical and analytical skills, particularly those needed for Paper 1 of the GCSE English exam and Paper 2 of the English Literature exam.

Assessment: Essay based question similar in style to the question students will face in Paper 2 of their Literature GCSE about ‘An Inspector Calls’

Practice marked PEA paragraphs.

Exam preparation  Paper 1

(3-4 weeks) (see GCSE course outline)

Marked practice questions.

Post exam: (2-3 weeks) 20th/21st century non-fiction.

Analysis and creative writing.

EXAM BOARD:                     AQA

Students continue the GCSE course that began in September of Year 9. This course leads to qualification for all students in two GCSE subjects: GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. 

Assessment for GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature is as follows:

GCSE English Language

(AQA 8700)

  1. Assessment units

Paper 1 (50%) 1hr 45m: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

20/21st century literary fiction; writing to describe/narrate

Paper 2 (50%) 1hr 45m: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives 

19th/20th/21st century non-fiction and literary non-fiction; writing to argue/persuade

Non-examination assessment – Spoken Language: Individual Presentation

GCSE English Literature

(AQA 8702)

Assessment Units

Paper 1 (40%) 1hr 45m: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel

“Merchant of Venice” W. Shakespeare

 “The Sign of Four” A. Conan Doyle

Paper 2 (60%) 2hrs 15 min: Modern Texts and Poetry

“An Inspector Calls” J.B. Priestley

AQA Poetry Anthology: Power and Conflict

Unseen poetry

Curriculum Content

In Years 10 and 11, students will undertake the following areas of study and examination preparation tasks:

Year 10

“Merchant of Venice” (Lit. Paper 1)

“The Sign of Four” (Lit. Paper 1)

20/21st century literary fiction (Lang. Paper 1)

Writing to describe/ narrate (Lang. Paper 1)

AQA Poetry Anthology: Power and Conflict (Lit. Paper 2)

Unseen Poetry (Lit. Paper 2)

“An Inspector Calls” (Lit. Paper 2)

PPE: GCSE English Language Paper 1/ GCSE English Literature Paper 2 Unseen Poetry

Individual presentation and response (Spoken Language Assessment) (Practice)

Year 11

 “An Inspector Calls” (Lit. Paper 2)

AQA Poetry Anthology: Power and Conflict (Lit. Paper 2)

19th/20th/21st century non-fiction/ literary non-fiction (Lang. Paper 2)

Writing to discuss/ argue/ persuade (Lang. Paper 2)

PPE: GCSE English Language Paper 2; GCSE English Literature Paper 2 - Power and Conflict Poetry

Individual presentation and response (Formal Spoken Language Assessment)

Revision of all course elements

How You Can Help Your Child

- Ensure your child is properly equipped for English lessons with the correct stationery materials, his/her exercise book and his/her copies of the key texts once they have been issued (eg.AQA poetry anthology, The Sign of Four, An Inspector Calls)

- Monitor completion of homework and encourage your child to ask for help from his/her teacher if necessary.

- Check the school calendar and emails from the English Faculty regarding the exact dates and specific requirements of each of the English Language/English Literature PPE’s and external examinations –see above.

- Encourage him/her to download past papers and questions to practise for the PPE and final examinations in English and English


- Ensure he/she re-reads all core texts at least once (The Sign of Four; An Inspector Calls; Power and Conflict Poetry)

- Learn a bank of key quotes for each of the Literature texts stated above.

- Encourage him/her to go over work studied in class and to re-read materials analysed.

- Encourage the use of revision websites such as:




and ensure that your child conducts his/her own background research and reading concerning the core texts indicated above.

- Enable and encourage your son/daughter to undertake independent reading on a daily basis (of fiction or non-fiction) to help develop his/her vocabulary, spelling and control of text and sentence construction in writing, and skills of comprehension, inference and analysis in reading. Please see the reading list below or go to:


for more ideas.

- Ensure your son/ daughter has a reading book with them for every school day – DEAR time is undertaken in English lessons in years 10 and 11.

- Email or call his/her English teacher if you have any query regarding your child’s learning or require further explanation of any of the above.

Key Stage 4 Reading List (14+)

20th Century Classics…

War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells 1984 – George Orwell
Animal Farm – George Orwell
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The Diary of Anne Frank
The Outsiders – S. E. Hinton
Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Woman in Black – Susan Hill
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry – Mildred Taylor
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Walkabout – James Vance Marshall

Further back…

Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Emma – Jane Austen
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde Dracula – Bram Stoker
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
The Hound of the Baskervilles – Arthur Conan Doyle
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

Modern issues…

Rabbit-proof Fence – Doris Pilkington
Touching the Void – Joe Simpson Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) – Dennis Kelly
Mr Pip – Lloyd Jones
The Foreshadowing – Marcus Sedgewick Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes Kindertransport – Joe Samuels
The Other Side of Truth – Beverley Naidoo Postcards from No Man’s Land – Aidan Chambers
Spies – Michael Frayn
A Gathering Light – Jennifer Donnelly
A Swift Pure Cry – Siobhan Dowd
Massive – Julia Bell
Noughts and Crosses – Marjorie Blackman Looking for JJ – Anne Cassidy
The Road of the Dead – Kevin Brooks  

Easier Reads…

Across the Barricades – Joan Lingard
Gangsta Rap – Benjamin Zephaniah
Friedrich – Hans Peter Richter
Stone Cold – Robert Swindells
MacB – Neil Arksey
Or try
for more.

Loads of revision resources

Line by line Shakespeare plays in plain English