The aims of our English curriculum are to encourage pupils to develop the skills...

  • To read, understand and respond to a wide range of literary texts.
  • To appreciate the ways in which authors achieve their effects.
  • To acquire the skills necessary for literary study in further education.
  • To develop an awareness of social, historical and cultural contexts and influences in the study of literature.
  • To construct and convey meaning in speech and writing, matching style to audience and purpose.
  • To read for pleasure.

Members of the English department love their subject.  They are habitual readers who are passionate about helping our pupils explore the world of literature and art.  They are usually engaged in the creative process themselves through further study, writing of blogs, or producing the same work we expect from our pupils and sharing it with them.  We gain a deep literary pleasure from reading our pupils work and, in this sense, we provide an audience for our pupils.  The culture amongst English teachers is open and collaborative; there are so many ways to teach English and we learn a huge amount from each other.  We seek positive and developmental feedback from each other and understand our own strengths so we can best help each other.  We expect engagement from all of our pupils and have the expectation that they can all achieve the necessary grades to study English beyond school.  Though we are committed to teaching English in a creative and innovative manner, we do not shirk the important task of providing knowledge in key areas such as grammar and punctuation.  We support pupils who are not making the expected progress through differentiation and interventions.       


Keywords are a major focus of the English curriculum and the whole school curriculum at GFS.  They are designed in line with the ground breaking book ‘Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction’. 

All pupils will be given a list of at least ten keywords which will be tested and explicitly taught to give pupils a better understanding of the words that underpin their learning. 

Homework in KS3 is very commonly to revise these keywords.