summerAlevelThe English department is built upon our relationships with the students we teach. Excellent relationships between staff and students enable us to contribute to the school’s key values of Aspiration, Commitment and Excellence. Every student is encouraged to achieve in English, regardless of ability. This ethos underpins our policy of mixed ability teaching in KS3 and most of the KS4 English lessons (1 skills period is taught in sets, with flexibility nearing assessment periods for mixed/setting option).

Boys and English


All classes, in all years, have opportunities to study poetry (pre and post 1900), drama (Shakespeare and post-1900), prose (pre and post 1900), media and non-fiction. They are taught and develop skills in the three key components: reading, writing and spoken language (speaking and listening). These skills are built upon and developed from Y7 to Y13.There are key schemes of work for each year group.

There is a focus on ‘depth over breadth’, with students fully understanding the relevance of the skills they develop, appreciating where they can be used and for what effect. Our students are given adequate time to apply the skills they have learnt, with opportunity for extended writing, reading analysis and spoken language presentations. 



Understanding the Importance of Exam Success

The English Department seeks to fully embed the skills required for national external examinations in Key Stage 4 and 5 from Y7. This is done through a combination of textual study, discussion, e-learning, conferences and workshops. The aim of this is to ensure our students, at all abilities, are confident of how to attain and achieve.  Ultimately, we are keen to transmit our enthusiasm for the subject to all who study it, regardless of age or ability!


Students are challenged with language discussion and analysis, remembering techniques and quotes, preparing them for the demands of the new literature focussed GCSE: developing the ability to apply these key reading and writing English concepts is increasingly important. Retaining and utilising key skills effectively is achieved by regularly revisiting key reading, writing and spoken language concepts, ensuring there is adequate extended writing and analysis of reading practice. These skills are taught through a range of approaches deliberately designed to engage boys!

Accelerated Reader

2Our students are encouraged, throughout, to be independent readers and one lesson for KS3 is dedicated to Accelerated Reader. Boys are given specific book choices related to their reading ages, which are reviewed to ensure progress is made in reading across the years. There are close links with the school library that monitor this.



The department follows AQA GCSE English Language (8700) and Literature (8702) at Key Stage 4 (worth 2 GCSEs). We believe all our boys can attain and should have access to those GCSEs. Courses are 100% examination, made up of understanding literary and non-literary fiction and non-fiction texts. The Literature course is 100% examination, exploring both 19th century and modern texts, poetry Shakespeare. The GCSEs prepare for A Level English Literature study and a number of other courses in higher education. All potential employers, in whatever chosen career, will be looking for people who can communicate clearly and express themselves appropriately. Good communication skills are vital in all aspects of life.

Further information about the GCSE courses is available from: 




At KS5, those who have not attained GCSE at the required government passing benchmark, continue with this study. AQA Literature A (7712) is undertaken for A Level. The Literature course is 80% examination, exploring drama, poetry and prose from pre-1900 to post-2000. A Level Literature is an excellent foundation for many undergraduate courses, aside from English based study.

Further information about the A Level course is available from:


English KS3

English KS4

English KS5

Curriculum Maps

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

English Language

Year 10

Year 11

English Literature

Year 10

Year 11

Year 12

Year 13 

School Calendar

Southborough High School
Hook Road
020 8391 4324
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