Curriculum Subjects


See our English Curriculum below at Bentley Wood for KS3, KS4 and KS5

KS3 | English

Course Aims:

We aim to ensure that our Key Stage 3 English curriculum enables all students to enjoy literature and gain an awareness and appreciation of classic texts. Throughout Key Stage 3, students will be given opportunities to develop as enthusiastic critical readers and enhance their written expression.

One lesson a week is timetabled as a regular literacy lesson; it is used to focus on enhancing literacy skills, non-fiction comprehension and to appreciate the wider context of classic texts, which will support students in their GCSE studies

We expect all students to be reading regularly and have a recommended ’16 reads before 16’ programme to promote this throughout the year and request that parents support this at home.

Enrichment activities:

  • Globe Players: ‘What The Dickens’
  • The Globe Theatre: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Poetry at Southbank Centre
  • The Student View: journalism club
  • Young Writers Competition
  • Carnegie Book Club (co-run by the library)
  • Literary Week (co-run by the library)
  • World Book Day (co-run by the library)

Key Stage 4 & 5 / Career Progression:

English can open up doors to any profession and can ignite your own imagination. If you can read, appreciate words and express yourself effectively, the world is your oyster!

Recommended Reading:

‘16 Reads Before 16’

  1. Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
  2. The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  4. Drawing a Veil by Lari Don
  5. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  6. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  7. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  8. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  10. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  11. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  12. Wonder by R.J Palacio
  13. Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson
  14. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  15. The Fault in our Stars by John Green
  16.  Lord of the Flies by William Golding



Unit 1:
Shakespeare Study: A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Pupils are challenged to explore this Shakespeare text with confidence thinking about the themes of power and control and relationships.
Unit 2:
Modern Fiction: students will read a contemporary novel together and explore how the writer develops character and theme as well discussing what it reflects about our own society and our CARE values.
Unit 3:
Ballads and
Love Poetry
In this unit, students will be learning about love poetry across time (Pre and post 20th Century). They will be reading challenging poems and encouraged to think critically and to develop their working glossary of poetic concepts.
Unit 4:
Narrative Writing – Subverted
Fairy Tales
In this unit, students read as writers and focus on descriptive narrative writing.   They will explore the fairy tales and be challenged to think critically about gender representation and explore how writers crafted oral folk tales.
Unit 5:
Non-Fiction – Autobiography; First-Person Writing
Non-Fiction:  in this introductory unit, students will read a range of non-fiction extracts.    They will be learning about inspiring role models within different professions

(writers, politicians, celebrities, etc.)  Students will develop and understand the craft of writing by exploring a range of extracts from biographies, autobiographies and memoirs.  Students will be challenged by

exploring texts from different time periods (mostly 19th and 21st century readings).

Unit 6:
Diverse Literature
In this unit, students will be exposed to a range of texts that they may not have the chance to encounter in other circumstances thus creating a passion for reading a diverse range of texts and challenging their preconceived ideas about time periods, authors and representation.



Unit 1: Shakespeare Shakespeare study: Much Ado About Nothing: pupils will be analysing the whole text, focusing on dramatic techniques, close language analysis and wider social historical contexts.
Unit 2:
Prose text e.g. The Boy in Striped Pyjamas, Animal Farm. students will closely analyse a challenging novel to consider key themes and concerns as well as exploring the significance of wider social contexts.
Unit 3:
Poetry of the Romantics
Students will analyse closely a range of Romantic poetry and look at the wider themes and issues explored at the time and developing links to 20th and 21st Century poetry.
Unit 4:
Non-Fiction –  Persuasion and Rhetoric
Non-Fiction thematic study: the art of the argument. Students will develop their formal debating skills as well as analysing a range of non-fiction texts exploring a range of
issues from both pre and post 20th century.
Unit 5:
Narrative Writing –
The Writer’s Craft
Narrative writing: The purpose of this unit is to help students with their creative writing skills while composing stories through the consideration of vocabulary, figurative language, impact on the reader through structure and creating particular mood within the story, with emphasis on humour.
Unit 6:
Dramatic Text
Drama texts e.g Blood Brothers, The Importance of Being Earnest.  Students will closely analyse a play to consider key themes and concerns as well as exploring the significance of wider social contexts. 




KS4 | English Language

“A book is simply the container of an idea like a bottle; what is inside the book is what matters.”
Author: Angela Carter

Examining Board: Eduqas

Aim of the Course

The course aims to develop the students’ abilities to communicate effectively in speech and writing, and to listen with understanding.  It should also enable them to be enthusiastic, responsive and knowledgeable readers.

There are three key areas of English Language: Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing.

 Speaking and Listening:

Students will: present and listen to information and ideas; respond appropriately to others; make effective contributions, use creative approaches to exploring questions, solving problems and developing ideas; participate in a range of real-life contexts in and beyond the classroom, adapting talk to situation and audience; select and use a range of techniques and creative approaches to explore ideas, texts and issues in scripted and improvised work.


Students will study how meaning is constructed through words, sentences and whole texts, including multimodal texts and at least one extended text, exploring language variation. They will evaluate the ways in which texts may be interpreted differently according to the perspective of the reader.


Written work will require students to write accurately and fluently, choosing content and adapting style and language to a wide range of forms, media, contexts, audiences and purposes.


Paper 1:  20th Century Literature Reading Study and Creative Writing
Paper 2: 19th and 20th Century Non-Fiction Reading Study and Transactional/ Persuasive Writing
Paper 3: Spoken Language Non-Exam Assessment


Paper 1: 20th Century Literature Reading Study and Creative Prose Writing

  • Reading: this section will test through structured questions the reading of an unseen extract from one 20th century literary prose text (about 60-100 lines).
  • Prose Writing: this section will test creative prose writing through one task from a  choice of four titles giving opportunities for writing to describe and narrate, and imaginative and creative use of language.

Paper2: 19th and 20th Century Non-Fiction Reading Study and Transactional/Persuasive Writing

  • Reading: this section will test through structured questions and reading of two high-quality unseen non-fiction texts (about 900-1200 words in total), one from the 19th century, the other from the 21st century. Non-fiction texts may include, but will not be limited to: letters, extracts from autobiographies or biographies, diaries, reports, articles and digital and multi-modal texts of various kinds from newspapers and magazines, and the internet.
  • Writing: this section will test transactional, persuasive and/or discursive writing through two equally weighted compulsory tasks.  There will be opportunities to write for a range of audiences and purposes, adapting style to form and to real-life contexts, for example, letters, articles, reviews, speeches and reports.

Paper 3: Spoken Language (Non-exam Assessment)

  • Students will be required to complete one formal presentation or speech on any topic which interests them. They will also be assessed on their responses to questions and feedback following the presentation or speech. Standard English should be a feature of all parts of the students’ work in this component.

 Recommended Reading

  • Notes from a Small Island – Bill Bryson
  • Bill Bryson, Notes from a Big Country (and other travel books) – An American’s very funny perspective on Britain and British culture.
  • Bear Grylls, Mud, Sweat and Tears – The autobiography of the famous adventurer/risk taker.
  • I am Malala – Malala Yousafzai
  • “Dreams from my Father”- Barrack Obama


  • ‘An Inspector Calls’ Playhouse Theatre
  • Globe Players Performance: ‘Macbeth’, ‘An Inspector Calls’
  • Jack Petchey Speak Out challenge
  • Carnegie Book Club (co-run by the library)
  • Literary Week (co-run by the library)
  • World Book Day (co-run by the library)
  • Young Writers Competition
  • Slam Poetry Club
  • Creative Writing Club

Revision Books:

 Key Stage 5 Progression/Career Prospects

English Language GCSE is essential for all careers and a high grade is required for all A Level courses.

  • Media and journalism careers
  • Publishing careers
  • Teaching and academic careers
  • Advertising, marketing and PR careers
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Business, accounting and finance careers
KS4 | English Literature

“A good book is an event in my life.”  Stendhal ‘The Red and the Black’

The Eduqas GCSE in English literature encourages learners to develop knowledge and skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. It provides learners with opportunities to read widely for pleasure across a range of high-quality texts in the genres of prose, poetry and drama.

Examining Board: Eduqas

 Aim of Course

This course will enable students to explore their literary interests and to be enthusiastic, responsive and knowledgeable readers. Students will develop an understanding of the ways in which literature is rich and influential.


The content of this course will consist of poetry, prose and drama, including a play by Shakespeare. A minimum of six texts will be studied, comprisin

  • Texts from English, Welsh or Irish literary heritage
  • Texts from different cultures and traditions
  • Texts by contemporary writers

Students will:

  • Develop and sustain independent interpretations of whole texts, supporting them with detailed textual references
  • Analyse connections between texts, comparing features and qualities that connect and contrast the presentation of themes, characters and settings
  • Analyse the impact of style, language, structure and form
  • Relate texts to their social and historical contexts and to the literary traditions of which they are a part
  • Understand how texts from the literary heritage have been influential and significant over time


Paper 1: Shakespeare and Poetry
Paper 2: Post 1914 Drama, 19th Century Prose and Unseen Poetry

Paper 1: Shakespeare and Poetry

Shakespeare:  Macbeth

This section allows students to study one Shakespeare play: ‘Macbeth.’  Students will need to show their knowledge of dramatic techniques and demonstrate their understanding of plot, characterisation, events and key themes; they will need to analyse language, structure and form closely in order to engage critically with the play.

Poetry from 1789 to the present day

Students will have the opportunity to show their knowledge and understanding of the poems and the relationships between them and the contexts in which they were written.  The anthology covers a range of poetry and is designed to introduce students to the rich heritage of poetry across centuries as well as illustrating how poets explore similar themes in different ways.

Paper 2: Post 1914 Drama, 19th Century Prose and Unseen Poetry

Post 1914 Drama

Students will study ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B Priestley. Students will have the opportunity to show their knowledge and understanding of dramatic techniques; the writer’s use of language, structure and form and show an understanding of key themes, characters and ideas within the text.

19th Century Prose

Students will study ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of context of the novel, the language, structure and form of the text and key themes, characters and ideas within the text.

Unseen Poetry

Students will study a range of unseen poems from the 20th and/or 21st centuries.   They will have the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the poems and key ideas of each poem, and the poets’ use of language, structure and form.

Recommended Reading

  • A Thousand Splendid Suns/The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • Behind the Ice House – Emma Fine
  • To Kill a Mocking Bird -Harper Lee
  • Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  • Wuthering Heights
  • 19th Century short stories


  • Globe Players Performance
  • Jack Petchy Speak Out challenge
  • Theatre trips, author/poet/play performances and Literary competitions throughout the year.

 Revision Book:

Key Stage 5 Progression/ Career Prospects

A Level English Literature is offered in the Sixth Form at Bentley Wood. English Literature is considered to be very important for a number of careers:

  • Media and journalism careers
  • Theatre
  • Publishing careers
  • Teaching and academic careers
  • Advertising, marketing and PR careers
  • Law
  • Politics
KS5 | English Literature

Is English Literature the subject for you?

If you are curious about exploring the human experience through literature, then this is the course for you. There will be plenty of opportunities to read and discuss texts at length and read the views of others, before arriving at your own conclusions about characters, themes and the writer’s craft. You will be encouraged to think for yourself, to use textual evidence to support your ideas, to analyse the implications of the choices writer’s make, and to evaluate contextual significance.

Course content

Students will study a combination of novels, drama texts including Shakespeare, and poetry, learning to engage creatively and apply their knowledge of literary analysis in discussions and in writing.

In Year 12 students study an anthology of award-winning 21st Century poetry; novels connected by the theme ‘Science and Society’ – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood; and a play, The Importance of being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.

In Year 13 students study a Shakespeare tragedy such as Othello or Hamlet; a collection of poetry by Christina Rossetti; unseen poetry; and select novels to write coursework on from a wide possible variety.

Methods of study

Most assessment is through examination, but there is a coursework element analysing and comparing novels from different time periods.

How will it be examined?

AS qualification will not count towards the final grade of an A Level and be a separate qualification in its own right (Linear).

Career opportunities

Students with A Level English Literature have a wide range of possible career and higher education opportunities. You will learn and use a wide variety of transferable skills during the course. In particular, the skills of inference and close analysis are highly valued by a range of employers, and the qualification can lead to opportunities in a variety of areas such as:

  • Media and journalism careers
  • Publishing careers
  • Teaching and academic careers
  • Advertising, marketing and PR careers
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Business, accounting and finance careers

Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry 0571325408

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde 1503331741

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 0141439475

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood 1784873187

Hamlet by William Shakespeare 0435193104

Christina Rossetti: Selected Poems 140424695


Enrichment Activities:

  • ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ The Turbine Theatre’
  • ‘Othello’ / ‘Hamlet’ performances
  • Sovereign Education A Level Lectures
  • Bar Mock Trial
  • Massolit & English And Media Centre Essay Competition
  • Literary Week (co-run by the library)
  • World Book Day (co-run by the library)
  • Reading Club
  • Guest Speakers