Curriculum Intent

In English lessons, students will explore and examine the world around them. They will consider, through seminal pieces of literature, the ideas of society and power. Our aim is to equip students with the powerful knowledge, cultural literacy and capital they need to be able to engage with, question and interrogate the world around them. 

Throughout their five years studying English at Werneth, students will study plays, poems, novels, and non-fiction texts from a variety of different time periods, genres, cultures and traditions. They will also craft and develop different styles of writing. The five years, and the texts they study, will be linked by two key concept questions: ‘How do people act and interact within a society?’ and ‘Who holds power and how do they use it?’.

Curriculum Features

The five years of English at Werneth interweave, with students revisiting concepts, genres and skills in order to embed and secure their knowledge.

In Key Stage Three, students build their knowledge of transactional writing by studying the Aristotolian method.  Creative writing is studied through exploring how other writers, such as Angela Carter, use language before applying what they have learnt to their own writing. They are expected to craft their writing and study a variety of excellence models in order to hone their knowledge and skills. The texts students study in Key Stage Three have been chosen as excellent examples of their form and offer diverse and varied views on the world. These texts include Shakespeare, Greek Myths, modern plays and novels, Gothic and Victorian literature, and a variety of poems from different writers. Our assessment, homework and vocabulary policies are intertwined to ensure students embed and are tested on the key knowledge and vocabulary in each unit of study.

In Key Stage Four, students will deepen their knowledge from Key Stage Three. They will continue to explore our key concepts while building their knowledge of the texts studied for GCSE. Our curriculum interleaves the different elements of GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature courses to ensure students develop and retain knowledge throughout the course of their study.

Co-curriculum Enrichment

Students are offered a range of different opportunities to enrich their experience of studying English and to develop their understanding of how the subject and they fit into the world around them. These opportunities are varied and wide ranging and include:


  • Visits from acting companies to perform GCSE texts
  • Creative writing competitions
  • Links to the Manchester United foundation with literacy workshops run by our Manchester United Hub Officer
  • Themed days across the year include National Poetry Day, World Book Day and Shakespeare’s birthday.
  • Screenings from the National Theatre Live collection

English links to different subjects in a myriad of ways: History through the study of conflicts throughout history and war poetry, and the Victorian period and Jekyll and Hyde and A Christmas Carol; Art through the festival of The Day of the Dead and the study of ‘Trash’ by Andy Mulligan; Science, PE and Maths through our ‘Icons’ unit and speeches on Alan Turning, Marie Curie, Jackie Robinson, Muhammed Ali, and Ada Lovelace; music through the exploration of Manchester music in our ‘Manchester: A City of Culture’ unit; RE through the biblical aspects of Macbeth. We want students to see that English connects to the world around them: to politics, family, history, art, science, maths, music… to life. 


The English Department at Werneth is experienced, enthusiastic and innovative. English is delivered at Werneth School by fourteen English specialists including a Senior Leader and Werneth’s teaching and learning lead teacher. In addition to the teaching staff, a successful programme of intervention is delivered to small groups of students by our Learning Support Librarian. Students are encouraged to work both collaboratively and independently in lesson and are supported in their independent learning while not in the classroom through the use of online resources such as Tassomai, Educake and GCSEPod. 

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage Three, our English curriculum aims to build students’ breadth and depth of knowledge of English as a subject. To this end, we study a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts from different periods of time and genres; students can tap into their creative sides with a wide variety of captivating poems; we explore several Shakespeare plays and students are offered the opportunity to explore and produce a variety of forms of writing themselves.

While the English curriculum develops the knowledge and skills that the students will need for their GCSEs in English Language and English Literature, it also aims to encourage creativity and develop engagement with the subject. We wish to see students enjoy and flourish as they develop in our English lessons.

Year 7 and 8 students also participate in fortnightly reading lessons in our school library. In this time, students read fiction and non-fiction, both as a class and individually, to encourage and develop an enjoyment of reading. We also offer reading support to students as necessary: some students follow the Lexia programme while others are offered small group literacy lessons. The emphasis on reading is crucial here at Werneth. We feel it’s essential to never let their passion for reading fade.

Key Stage 4

Students in Year 10 and 11 follow the AQA GCSE English Language and English Literature specifications. The GCSE English courses have been designed to include the study of a range of prose and drama extracts in order to consolidate analytical and evaluative reading skills: one Shakespeare play, one pre-19th Century Prose novel, an anthology of modern poetry and one modern play. The course also involves the teaching of a plethora of writing skills in order to create confident, accurate and imaginative writers. 

English is assessed solely through examinations which will take place at the end of Year 11; there is no coursework element.

English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing
1 hour 45 minutes
50% of the Language GCSE

Paper 2: Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives.
1 hour 45 minutes
50% of the Language GCSE

English Literature:

Paper 1: Macbeth and A Christmas Carol
1 hour 45 minutes.
40% of the Literature GCSE

Paper 2: An Inspector Calls, Power and Conflict Poetry, Unseen Poetry.
2 hours 15 minutes
60% of the Literature GCSE
Speaking and Listening: This is a separate element to the course which will be assessed and awarded its own grade (Pass / Merit or Distinction).


Trips take place to local theatres to support the understanding and appreciation of texts and to also expand students’ cultural appreciation of plays in context. In addition to this, travelling theatre groups and visiting poets are welcomed into our school to perform and run workshops.

The English department also runs after school and lunchtime revision sessions for KS4 students.

Any enquiries about English can be made by emailing the address below...


English Language

Language Paper 1

Language Paper 1B

Language Paper 1B

Language Paper 2

Language Paper 2

Language Paper 2B

Language Parer 2B

GCSE English Literature Revision Guide

GCSE English Literature Revision