Head of Department: Miss S Nelson - s.nelson.scs@osborne.coop
2nd in Department: Miss K Thomas - k.thomas.scs@osborne.coop

English is a significant world language and is seen by employers as one of the most important qualifications an applicant needs to have for both college courses and career opportunities.  In both the work environment and in our private lives it is important to be able to listen to, read and understand quite complex information.  It is also enjoyable to be able to listen to and read both fiction and non-fiction and to have the skills and understanding to judge the quality of writing for ourselves.

Book of the Month
Every month we recommend a book for students to read which we feel they would enjoy.  Reading will also help them with their English studies in general. Please see below for the titles.

Year 11 Course Title:  GCSE English Language
                                   GCSE English Literature

Exam Board & Code:  AQA GCSE English Language 8700 Full GCSE Course Specification (PDF)
                                   AQA GCSE English Literature 8702  Full GCSE Course Specification (PDF)


English Language:

Paper 1: 50% (80 marks), 1 hour 45 minutes
Paper 2: 50% (80 marks), 1 hour 45 minutes
Spoken Language Unit: Not part of GCSE (This is a separate qualification)

English Literature:

Paper 1: 40% (64 marks) - 1 hour 45 minutes
Paper 2: 60% (96 marks) - 2 hours 15 minutes

There is NO controlled assessment or coursework in either course.

Home Learning

Year 7- 10:

In the first week of each half term, students are given a home learning booklet with a series of tasks. These tasks are the responsibility of the students to monitor and complete in order to show their interaction, development of skills and engagement with the scheme of work they are currently studying. At the end of each half term, the students will then hand their home learning booklets to their class teacher for assessing. Any missing work will then be sanctioned and a subject detention set to complete.

Year 11: 

Year 11 have tasks tailored each week to extend the teaching of the GCSE scheme of work. Depending on the needs of the class/student, these can be subject to change. Year 11 have exam booklets with practice papers that they have been allocated and should be completing each term.

It is the responsibility of each Year 11 student to revise independently, every week. 

GCSE Course Study Breakdown (Key Stage 4)

Year 9

Year 9 begins with the study of two GCSE level texts designed to prepare students for the content and develop the required key skills.  Once completed, students begin the GCSE course.

Throughout Year 9, pupils will be taught and will practice the reading and writing skills needed for GCSE English Language Paper 1 and Paper 2 in addition to studying the three set texts.

(i) A study of 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck and its social and historical context.
(ii) A study of 'Romeo and Juliet' by William Shakespeare
(iii) A study of 'A Christmas Carol' or 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens (GCSE English Literature Paper 1).

Year 10

Throughout Year 10, pupils will be taught and will practice the reading and writing skills needed for GCSE English Language Paper 1 and Paper 2 in addition to studying the set texts.

(i) Macbeth by William Shakespeare (GCSE English Literature Paper 1).
(ii) Nineteenth-century non-fiction (GCSE English Language Paper 2)
     Nineteenth-century poetry (GCSE English Literature Paper 2).
(iii) AQA Conflict and Power Anthology and an unseen poetry study (GCSE English Literature Paper 2).
(iv) Spoken Language unit (GCSE English Language separate endorsement).

Year 11

(i) 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B. Priestley: GCSE English Literature Paper 2.
(ii) GCSE English Language Papers 1 and 2: reading and writing skills and exam practice.
(iii) AQA 'Conflict and Power Anthology' and an Unseen Poetry study (GCSE English Literature Paper 2).
(iv) Revision of 'Great Expectations' or 'A Christmas Carol' and 'Macbeth' (GCSE English Literature Paper 1).

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 and 8)

Year 7

Term 1: War
This unit includes a novel study, poetry and non-fiction together with creative writing all around the theme of war.  The unit focuses mostly on the First World War and the Second World War.
Term 2: The Power of Language
A study of non-fiction including the reading and writing of persuasive speeches and newspaper articles.
Term 3: Shakespeare and the theatre
Shakespeare, theatre research and a study of dramatic techniques and poetry. Students will also cover the reading and writing skills required for GCSE English Language.

Year 8

Term 1: Power and authority
A study of Animal Farm by George Orwell, a range of political speeches and propaganda in addition to writing creatively for different purposes.
Term 2: Change and cultural identity
A study of the poetry, short stories and non-fiction of other cultures together with an understanding of the language and dialect of these cultures. Students will also cover the reading and writing skills required for GCSE English Language.
Term 3: Myths and legends
A study of the links between Greek plays, myths and fairy tales in both modern texts and those from our literary heritage. Students will also cover the reading and writing skills required for GCSE English Language.

Other Teachers of English

Book of the Month

PerksKS4 Book of the Month (years 9,10 and 11)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age epistolary novel by American writer Stephen Chbosky. Set in the early 1990s, the novel follows Charlie, an introverted teenager, through his freshman year of high school in a Pittsburgh suburb. The novel details Charlie’s unconventional style of thinking as he navigates between the worlds of adolescence and adulthood, and attempts to deal with poignant questions spurred by his interactions with both his friends and family.

Having personally read this book, I think this is a novel that many teenagers and young adults can relate to as Charlie experiences many issues that young people face today. It is an emotional story but ultimately uplifting and inspirational.

Miss Hill



LightsKS3 Book of the Month (years 7 and 8)

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

Northern Light is the first book in Pullman’s Dark Materials Trilogy, some of you may have seen the film adaption ‘The Golden Compass’. The book is based around the life of a protagonist, Lyra, an orphan who lives in a place like, and yet unlike, Oxford in a parallel universe in which science, theology and magic are entwined.

When children start to go missing, snatched mysteriously by a group the children call ‘The Gobblers’, Lyra and her daemon find themselves involved a dangerous chase, that takes her from her home in Oxford to high-society London and the home of the mysterious and beautiful Mrs Coulter and then to the home of the witches and the kingdom of the ice bears.

Here Lyra’s quest for answers becomes a mission to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust and there are secrets too, about her own family, about a prophecy, about betrayal and about the universe; secrets that come at a deadly cost.

Literacy Across the Curriculum

Our policy is to pursue literacy and reading as important across all school subjects.  Please see the links below for more information:


Useful Links:

Literacy Policy
Recommended Reads