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Southfields Academy

Southfields Academy


Key Stage 3 

Contact Teachers

Ms Gemma Le Grande (Assistant Headteacher English)

Ms Sabrina Sulliman (Deputy Head of English)

Grouping/organisation/setting/teaching time

Year 7 and 8 students are grouped by ability in English lessons.  Year 7 students currently receive 5 or 4 hours of timetabled lessons per week.

Students develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills during lessons while studying units of work.  They are expected to write creatively, but also functionally, producing letters, reports, reviews and newspaper articles.

Course Content

Year 7

Students will read novels and plays in their English lessons, which will be referenced in other subjects too.

‘Private Peaceful’ by Michael Morpurgo.

‘Coraline’ by Neil Gaiman.

‘The Recruit’ by Robert Muchamore.

‘Henry V’ or ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by William Shakespeare.

A contemporary play (title to be confirmed).

Year 8

These are the units covered during Year 8

  • Genre Study – Ghost Stories.
  • Shakespeare – Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing or The Merchant of Venice.
  • Developing Poetic Form and Technique.
  • Media – Documentaries.
  • Prose Study – Various class novels according to set.
  • Genre Study – Science Fiction.


Students are assessed every Half Term by their classroom teacher.  A combination reading and writing level is given to each student from which personalised targets are set.  Progress is monitored regularly.


Homework is set by the classroom teacher and will be linked to units studied during lessons.  Homework will generally be set weekly.

Students will also receive spellings to learn.

How parents can help

Encourage your child to read regularly at home and to bring a book to school for our ‘Stop, Drop and Read!’ scheme.  If possible, listen to them reading to develop their confidence and ability.  Check homework is completed to a high standard.  Ensure your child is aware of and able to use your local public library.

Key Stage 4

Contact Teachers

Ms Gemma Le Grande (Assistant Headteacher English)

Year 9


Students study a range of texts including William Shakespeare’s Othello and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck or Stone Cold by Robert Swindells. Shorter texts are also used to explore and write about a variety of issues such as the ethics of capital punishment. The focus on functional reading and writing skills is continued from year 8. Students are grouped by ability in English lessons.


Students should expect regular extended writing tasks, completed under examination conditions. Teacher feedback will enable students to improve their performance: parents and carers will be informed of progress each half term.

Currently, Year 9 sit a formalised reading and writing exam in the hall twice per year.


Year 9 is a crucial stage in the development of a students’ English skills. Evidence suggests that a positive performance in year 9 is a strong indicator of GCSE success. All students will study both an English Language and an English Literature GCSE in years 10 and 11. The year 9 curriculum is designed to enable students to achieve their full potential in both of these courses.

Year 10 & 11

English Literature GCSE


The GCSE English literature course is designed to give students some experience of the rich variety of poetry, drama and prose in the English language.  You will be taught how to analyse language, structure and characters as well as how texts relate to each other.  You will also explore the social and historical contexts in which the texts were created.

As you will learn the skills needed to read texts analytically, lessons will include those that are teacher-led and those where you will work independently.  You will be asked to relate texts to modern-day attitudes and to your own experiences.


You will sit two exams, both at the end of Year 11. 

Unit 1 – A Shakespeare play and a 19th century novel.

Unit 2 – A 20th century novel, a poetry anthology and unseen poetry.

These exams will all be closed-book.


English Literature will prepare you for studying English, Film or Drama at Level 3.  In addition, the analytical skills learned are valuable in a wide range of humanities, social science and business subjects.

English Language


The GCSE English language course is geared towards the needs of young people in the modern world.  It is focused on reading and writing skills.  You will learn how to interpret literary texts, as well as non-fiction and functional texts, from the 19th century to the present day.  You will be taught how to make your writing imaginative and interesting to read, as well as how to produce clear and professional documents, such as letters and articles.

You will learn by studying examples of excellent writing, before being asked to incorporate some of the techniques into your own work.  Support will be provided by your teacher in lessons and in after school booster sessions.


You will sit two exams at the end of your two year course. 

Paper 1 – Reading 20th century fiction and creative writing.

Paper 2 – Reading 19th and 21st century non-fiction and functional writing.

All texts for these exams will be unseen.


A GCSE in English is an entry requirement for a wide range of level 3 courses.  The ability to extract information from texts is a vital skill for many subjects, such as humanities, social sciences and business studies.

The skills you will learn on this course will prepare you for various professional tasks, such as writing application letters or personal statements.  Currently, most employers ask for a C-grade at GCSE English as a minimum requirement for all job applications.

Key Stage 5 

Find out more about our Sixth Form courses. 

English Literature A Level

Film Studies A Level