'I can do all things with the help of God who strengthens me.' Philippians (4:13)


(Hamlet Production) (School Production of Hamlet)

Approach to Teaching

Communication is at the centre of all our lives. At Saint Edmund's School we aim to equip our students with the skills to deal with an increasingly complex world. Developing the students' abilities in reading, writing and speaking and listening are, of course, the foundation of the teaching and learning in this area. We also focus on the influence of the media and ICT, and encourage students to consider the role these important factors play in their lives.

We believe that English is an exciting subject that can engage all pupils. In order to facilitate this we try to ensure that English at St Edmund’s is active, engaging and multi-modal. All lessons at St Edmund’s are carefully planned to embed Bloom’s Taxonomy and Reciprocal teaching. The English department aim to allow pupils to become creative, independent learners who are perceptive and empathetic in their responses to literature. We want them to be able to communicate intelligently and effectively and use Speaking and Listening to develop all aspects of literacy. We hope that all pupils will emerge as effective and sensitive communicators, a skill which will help them in their future careers.

Key Stage 3 content (Year 7-9)

English Literature/Language - KS3

The KS3 curriculum fulfils all the requirements of the National Curriculum. Our aim is to make all students proficient language users in the three modes of speaking and listening, reading, and writing whilst still encouraging their imaginations to develop.

The St Edmund’s English syllabus at KS3 offers a blend of the modern and the traditional and affords huge enjoyment, based on high standards, to the students. We study modern novels such as ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret’, Skulduggery Pleasant’, ‘Stone Cold’, and ‘Noughts and Crosses’ which are juxtaposed with more traditional literature such as Shakespeare’s plays such as ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Twelfth Night’ and Dickens’ ‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’. Our approach to language also includes units on the news, gothic tales, texts from other cultures and poetry and Media studies of films such as ‘Chicken Run’, ‘Life is Beautiful’ and the James Bond series.

Our use of the Assessing Pupil Progress framework enables effective monitoring of student progress and the delivery of lessons and resources matched appropriately to students’ needs. Our KS3 results are always well above the national average. Students have the opportunity to enjoy visiting theatre company productions; take part in creative writing competitions and have book talks from visiting authors. We also produce our own anthology of creative writing.

Last year a selection of Year 8 students took part in a national project 'Letter to an Unknown Soldier'.  Their letters are now available to read online:

Please click here to view letters to an Unknown Soldier

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Useful Resources

Showing 1-1 of 1

Key Stage 4 content (Year 10 & 11)

English Language: AQA GCSE Syllabus

Two Papers of 1 hr 45 mins/80 marks


Paper 1 – Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

SECTION A – 40 MARKS - 4 Questions on ONE literature fiction text (two short form questions (both4 marks), one long question (8 marks), one extended question (20 marks)).

SECTION B – 40 MARKS – One extended question involving descriptive or narrative writing prompted by an image, quote or stimulus (24 marks for content, 16 marks for accuracy).


Paper 2 – Writers viewpoints and perspectives

SECTION A – 40 MARKS – 4 questions (format as above) on TWO texts – one non-fiction, one literary non-fiction. One text will always be from the 19th century, whilst the other will be either 20th or 21st century (dependent on text used in Paper 1). Form of texts will be journalism, articles, diaries, sketches, autobiography. The emphasis of the texts is to show how attitudes have changed over time.

Section B – 40 marks – One extended question with clearly designated form, audience and purpose on a similar theme as mentioned in Section A (24 marks content, 16 marks accuracy).


English Literature: AQA GCSE Syllabus

Two papers consisting of 1 hr 45 mins (64 marks) and 2 hrs 15 mins (96 marks)

For a breakdown of which texts your child’s class will be studying, please check our ‘Outline of Study’ document that is also available to download.

Paper 1 – Shakespeare and the 19th century novel (64 marks)

SECTION A – (34 marks) ONE question on a Shakespeare play of their choice. This will involve a detailed response to an extract and then a discussion on the text as a whole. (Texts we have available are Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest)N.B. Four marks are awarded for clarity of purpose, vocabulary, range of sentence structures and effects in this question.

SECTION B – (30 MARKS) ONE question on a 19th century novel of their choice. This will involve a detailed response to an extract and then a discussion of the text as a whole. (Texts we have available are Frankenstein, The Sign of Four, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, A Christmas Carol).


Paper 2 - Modern Texts and Poetry (96 marks)

SECTION A – (34 marks) Answer ONE essay question from a choice of TWO on a modern text of your choice (Texts we have available Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, Never Let me Go, Pigeon English) N.B. Four marks are awarded for clarity of purpose, vocabulary, range of sentence structures and effects in this.

SECTION B – (30 MARKS) Answer ONE question on an unseen poem and one of 15 poems from the chosen poetry cluster OF THEIR CHOICE. The two clusters are ‘Love and Relationships’ or ‘Power and Conflict’.

SECTION C – (32 MARKS) Answer TWO questions – one (24 marks) on another unseen poem, and one comparing this unseen poem to one other (8 marks).


Listed below is information on which books all KS4 pupils will be studying in their respective classes:

 2017-2018 Leavers English Literature Outline of Study.pdfDownload
 2016-2017 Leavers English Literature Outline of Study.pdfDownload
 Year 11 English Homework Spring Term 2017.pdfDownload
 Year 10 English Homework SpringTerm 2017.pdfDownload
 YEAR 10 MAY WORKSHEET(3).pdfDownload
Showing 1-5 of 5

Exemplar reading and writing for the new KS4 syllabus

Exemplar One:

In the poem London the idea of power and hierarchy is explored; how does this compare to the poem Ozymandias?

Examplar Two:

Write a description or narrative suggested by the picture (see below).

 By James Baxter, Year 10.pdfDownload
 By Teodora Lasac, Year 10.pdfDownload
Showing 1-2 of 2