English Key Stage 4

English and COVID 19

During lockdown your child was provided with a skills workbook and live lessons focusing on writing skills. We are confident that, if your child engaged with tasks set and live lessons offered, our educational offering should have helped to reduce what would have been missed in the classroom.

As a result of our lockdown curriculum our first focus on returning to in school lessons has been to get your child reading again and engaging with high quality texts. You’ll notice all schemes of work in the first term have an emphasis on reading, and we would ask and strongly advise you encourage your child to read widely at home. Reading is the best way of helping your child to develop their understanding of vocabulary and sentence structures, enhance their vocabulary and expand their knowledge and imagination; ultimately leading to them developing into confident communicators.

We know your child will have some gaps from missing in school teaching during COVID lockdown, but we have made sure our curriculum addresses these as a priority. Our lessons are differentiated to ensure your child accesses the work that is suited to their current level, but crucially has the opportunity to challenge them beyond that level consistently. We take time every lesson  for students to complete a quick task that systematically draws on prior knowledge that we have previously taught pupils; to ensure it is not lost or forgotten and to identify and address any areas of concern. We are using self and peer assessment to enable your child to more confidently assess their own strengths and areas for development to empower them to take control of their learning. We are marking work and adapting our teaching in response to your child’s efforts to plug the gaps we identify. We will be setting homework to consolidate learning and enhance skills taught in class.

How can I support my child?

  • Ensure they complete all homework tasks
  • Ensure they read at home for pleasure, ideally three times a week for a minimum of twenty minutes per time
  • Look out for KS3 English study and workbooks to keep your child’s mind active and encourage a ‘practice makes perfect’ mindset to going over topics and skills previously studied in school – this helps students to embed information into their long term memory


We recommend: https://www.amazon.co.uk/English-Complete-Study-Practice-Online/dp/1847621562/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=key+stage+3+english&qid=1599841531&s=books&sr=1-3




  • Encourage writing – diary entries, letters to family members, articles for the school newspaper, short stories, ANYTHING! Practice really does make perfect and the more your child can get used to writing independently the more confidence they will have in their ability
  • Contact us – all staff are available to contact via email – just ask. Any questions or concerns you have we’re here for you and happy to help!


Students follow the AQA courses leading to two GCSE qualifications.

For their English Language GCSE students will sit two exams at the end of Year 11. In English Language Paper 1 students learn how to analyse and evaluate the language and structure used in ONE contemporary fiction text, and write creatively. In Paper 2 students learn how to compare two different non-fiction texts, one contemporary and one 19th Century text. Students will find information, summarise, analyse language and compare viewpoints in the texts, and write their own non-fiction piece.

For their English Literature GCSE students will study: William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet; Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls and a poetry anthology exploring themes of power and conflict.

GCSEPod is a brilliant website that Stretford High School subscribe to, to help students with their revision for English: https://www.gcsepod.com/ students can log in here to access a range of informative videos from which to revise topics and texts studied in class.

GSCEPod Login

Year 10/11

Year 10/11 Curriculum Overview Topic Content and skills
Term 1 GCSE English Language Paper Section A – reading and analysing fiction texts Students will explore a range of transactional nonfiction and literary non-fiction texts. They will develop skills of synthesis, comparison and analysis in preparation for their Paper 2 English Language exam. Students will explore how writer’s put across their viewpoint and use language and structure to impact the reader.
GCSE English Language Paper 2 Section B – Transactional Writing Students will focus on developing a clear writing voice in a range of transactional writing styles and formats. Students will look at topics that are relevant in today’s society such as Education, Careers and the NHS. Students will be given opportunities to discuss their own viewpoint and opinions, whilst developing the skills needed to be successful in communicating their viewpoint in writing to equip them with the skills needed for their GCSE mock exam this term.
Term 2 GCSE English Language Paper 1 Section A – reading and analysing fiction texts Students will explore a variety of writing styles of fiction writers from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, analysing how writers use language, structure and form to put across their ideas and evaluating the texts to equip them with the skills needed for their GCSE mock exam this term.
GCSE English Language Paper 1 Section B – Writing imaginatively Students will focus on honing their writer’s voice in a series of lessons that develops students to think like a writer and write like one! They will be exploring a range of genres including thriller, gothic and detective fiction. Students will be exposed to a range of challenging texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st Century to explore and analyse how writers create atmosphere and tension to apply their findings to their own writing.
Term 3 English Language Revision Teachers and students will choose what areas to work on with students from the above four areas to best prepare them for their GCSE English exam to be sat in June.
In addition to preparing for the English Language GCSE this year, Year 10 students will also be reading the texts relevant to their English Literature exams to introduce them to the context and plots of key texts in readiness for studying them in Year 11.


How can I help my child prepare for their GCSE’s?

  • Try to ensure your child is completing revision as well as doing their homework. English Literature involves a lot of content – remembering plot, characters, themes and various contexts to the texts studied – so independent revision is crucial to ensuring all that information gets embedded into their long term memory. See below for revision tips.
  • Reading for pleasure at all ages helps improve vocabulary and students’ own writing – if they can fit it in reading anything they find interesting will help your child improve their English skills.
  • Ask them about the texts they’ve studied – English Literature is all about creating a personal response to a text so the more they talk about the texts the better they’ll get at writing about them! Ask questions such as: what is their favourite poem? Which poem do they hate? What happens in An Inspector Calls? Do you dislike any of the characters in A Christmas Carol? Etc.

What does revision for English Literature look like?

Proposed Revision tasks for English Literature

  • Watch videos and answer questions on GCSE Pod
  • Watch videos and make notes using Mr Bruff on YouTube
  • Read and annotate model answers identifying Assessment Objectives
  • Finish incomplete model answers
  • Complete timed practice papers
  • Practice plans and introductions for various questions
  • Create character profiles
  • Create theme profiles
  • Create timelines/storyboards of plots
  • Make notes using revision guides
  • Quote memorising – Memrise website for quizzing
  • Quote explosions