Year 10 and 11 English Curriculum Overview

Across the final two years of High School, we continue to follow a thematically linked curriculum, further broadening and deepening students’ skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. They are taught separately for English Language to ensure full coverage of both disciplines.

English Literature

In year 10, we study the texts that will appear on students’ final English Literature examinations in Year 11.

During our first term, we study Shakespeare’s Macbeth; students are taught to explore characters, themes and dramatic conventions, analysing the play’s language and structure in detail. We thenmove on to a detailed study of two of the poems which may appear on the GCSE Examination ((Byron’s When We Two Parted, Browning’s Porphyria’s Lover), from the Love and Relationshipscluster in AQA’s Poetry Anthology.

In our second term, we broaden and deepen our understanding of poetry, both from the Anthology (Shelley’s Love’s Philosophy, E B Browning’s I Think of Thee, Hardy’s Neutral Tones, Dooley’s Letters from Yorkshire, Mew’s The Farmer’s Bride, Sheers’ Winter Swans) and through exploring how to approach the analysis of an unseen poem. We make comparisons between poems, exploring language, structure, themes and so on.

During our final term in year 10, we study William Golding’s Lord of the Flies; this is an examination text. We will also continue to practise and deepen our skills in responding to unseen poetry.

We begin year 11 with a detailed study of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, in preparation for our final examinations. We then study our final poems from the AQA Anthology, this time exploring Armitage’s Mother Any Distance, Lewis’s Walking Away, Causley’s Eden Rock, Heaney’s Follower, Duffy’s Before You Were Mine, Nagra’s Singh Song! and Waterhouse’s Climbing My Grandfather.

Following this, we revise our plays, novels and poetry in preparation for our final examinations.

Further information about the AQA GCSE in English Literature and copies of the Anthologies may be found here (8702)

English Language

During our first term, we carry out critical study of the Language of Power, reading and responding to a wide variety of non-fiction texts.

We then transfer our knowledge of what constitutes excellent writing to our own composition, with a clear focus on Grammar for Writing and technical accuracy.

The skills and knowledge acquired in our English Literature lessons will then feed directly into our own creative fiction writing, as we prepare for this element of our GCSE English Language examination.

At the start of year 11, we carry out our Explorations in Creative Writing, reading a wide variety of fiction texts, exploring language, structure, character, relationships, themes and settings.

We will then move on to our Spoken Language unit; this is a crucial element of our studies in English and results in its own, separate qualification.

Further information about AQA’s GCSE in English Language may be found here  (8700)


We ensure that challenge is appropriate and support is focused and timely through constant monitoring of students’ progress through their performance in lessons and through their written work. More formal, summative assessment is carried out at the end of each term, where the development of students’ reading and writing skills is assessed through tests carried out under exam conditions. These tests are always in the form of the relevant sections of GCSE papers for English Language or English Literature.

This information is then used to ensure that we plan appropriately for each individual student in our care.

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