School Life


    English Faculty

    • Mrs E Cannon – Head of Faculty
    • Mrs P Strachan-Fairweather - 2nd in Faculty/Head of Key Stage 5 English
    • Miss R Dell - Head of Key Stage 3 English
    • Miss M Battle - Teacher of English
    • Mrs M Edmund  - Teacher of English
    • Mrs S Holbrook  - Teacher of English
    • Miss J McLoughlin  - Teacher of English
    • Mrs E White  - Teacher of English
    • Mr J Whitney - Teacher of English
    • Miss B Mathias - Teacher of English

    Click here to view the English Learning Journey

    English Programmes of Study

    Key Stage 3 English

    Key Stage 3 at Bishop Ramsey covers Years 7-9.

    In Year 7, students will consolidate and develop the skills they have been taught in primary schools as they are introduced to new texts and areas of study. Their introductory unit, All About Me, focuses on autobiography and creative non-fiction. Students study a range of texts from diverse writers such as Roald Dahl, Michelle Obama, Enio Aloku and Malala Yousefzai

    In each year of Key Stage 3, students will study at least one class novel together; they range more widely across genres and time periods, building their ability to infer information and analyse authors’ methods, then applying similar strategies to their own writing. Students will also study at least one Shakespeare play, as well as a range of poetry. Presentations, discussions and class debates are used to further students’ ability to express their ideas and reason their opinions. In KS3, students will also have some lessons in the school library to embed independent reading; they will be expected to continue good practice from primary school by reading weekly.

    Further information from Ms R Dell - Head of Key Stage 3 English - 

    Key Stage 3 Reading List


    Key Stage 4 English

    We follow the AQA GCSE syllabus and all students study both English Language and Literature.

    For English Language, students study both fiction and non-fiction texts. They cover a wide range of texts and extracts, ranging from the 19th century to modern day writers. This equips them to evaluate both classics and contemporary writers, encouraging them to explore reading beyond their usual choices. In class, students explore and analyse writers’ techniques, write creative and non-fiction texts themselves, prepare presentations and participate in discussions. We employ ICT and e-learning regularly in English, especially for homework and utilise a variety of online programmes to support learning and revision.

    For English Literature, students study the Power & Conflict poetry anthology Macbeth, by Shakespeare and a modern drama, An Inspector Calls, by J. B. Priestly. They will also study A Christmas Carol, a novel by Charles Dickens.

    The two elements of Language and Literature will be taught together in alternating units of work, and students will be assessed each half term to measure progress in both skills and content.

    Further information from: Mrs E. Cannon – Head of English

    Use the links below to access the full examination specifications:

    Key Stage 4 Reading List


    Key Stage 5 English

    At Key Stage 5, the English Department offers AQA English Literature B A-Level 7717, which is taught over two years and has three components. Students needs to attain Grade 6 in their English GCSEs to enrol.

    1. Literary Genres – Aspects of Comedy (closed book exam)

    Students study a range of texts through the the lens of comedy: Twelfth Night, by Shakespeare, Small Island by Andrea Levy and The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde.

    Students write an internal progression exam at the end of year 12, with the option to complete the AS if they are not continuing with the subject.

    2. Texts and Genres – Elements of Crime Writing (open book exam)

    At A Level, students go on to study texts through the lens of Crime Fiction: Atonement by Ian McEwan, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and a collection of poetry by Browning, Crabbe and Wilde.

    3. NEA [non-exam component] – Theory Study and Independent Research Writing.

    Students prepare, plan and write 2 independent research essays of 1200-1500 words, which are handed in by half term in February of Year 13.

    Students have a free choice of prose and poetry for the Non-Exam Assessed component [NEA] of the A Level award. They are required to write about an independently chosen prose and poetry text, using a theoretical perspective, such as Feminism, Marxism or Post-colonialism. The theory is taught as part of both years of the two year A-Level course and prepares students for further literature study at University as well as in critical and analytical thinking and concise writing skills.

    Use the links below to access the full examination specification:

    Key Stage 5 Reading List


    Extra Curricular

    The English department encourages all students to develop a love of reading and literature. We offer a range of theatre trips and guest speakers linked to the units being studies across all key stages.

    Pupils are encouraged to enter creative writing competitions, and many have been published by the Young Writers and we have recently launched a student newspaper. Each year we appoint a Poet Laureate to write and read poetry at our key school events.

    In Key Stage 4, students undertake the Jack Petchey ‘Speakout’ challenge, during which they take part in workshops led by industry trainers to speak confidently on a subject they are passionate about.

    In Key Stage 5, students have the opportunity to attend various author events in Hillingdon and at Brunel University, as they arise, to get a sense of how writers go about their work and the processes involved.