English Key Stage 4

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

Year 10 Curriculum Overview Topic Content and skills
Term 1 GCSE English Language Paper Section A – reading and analysing non-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.


Year 11

Year 11 Curriculum Overview
Term 1 Macbeth Students will explore this tragedy focusing on how Shakespeare uses language, structure and dramatic techniques to present characters and themes. Students are required to analyse a given extract and explore themes, ideas and characters presented in the extract and elsewhere in the play, we will work on developing skills of written analysis in response to their reading of the play
Unseen Poetry and Power and Conflict Poetry Students will explore the language and structural techniques used by authors to present ideas in poetry. Students will analyse a variety of poetic structures and forms and explore how poetry is used to communicate big ideas about life throughout history. Students will also study poems from the AQA Power and Conflict Anthology for GCSE English Literature, considering how the social, cultural and historical context of poems has influenced writers whilst developing skills of critical interpretation, analysis and comparison.
Term 2 A Christmas Carol Students will explore the social and historical context of the Victorian period and analyse how the famous author used language, themes and struture to appeal to Victorian readers and address social inmequalities of the Victorian period. Students will be required to analyse a theme or character within an extract and elsewhere in the play as a whole so will study plot, characters, themes and Dickens’ use of langauge whilst developing skills of critical interpretation.
Revision Students will recap knowledge and skills learnt throughout the year, focusing on key areas in which they need more practice, in order to prepare for their final exams.


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