The Weston Road Academy

The Weston Road Primary Acedemy
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Through teaching a range of text types and writing styles, and providing opportunities to communicate orally, here in the English Department we aim to develop pupils as critical and insightful readers; imaginative and confident writers and effective and sensitive speakers and listeners.

Taught in a suite of rooms adjacent to a large open area used to facilitate group work, pupils are prepared for the challenges of GCSE examinations from Year 7 and are monitored through a variety of strategies to ensure optimum progress. For all ages and abilities, additional support is accessed through our English Hub – a dedicated room equipped with ICT facilities and staffed by a member of the department to provide independent tuition, opportunities for collaboration and meet pupils’ immediate learning needs.

As all pupils have the opportunity to complete both GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature, following the specifications set out by Edexcel, the two subjects are studied discretely from Year 7. Assessments are in line with exam requirements and marked to GCSE standards. As well as receiving summative feedback, pupils also gain both written and verbal feedback during lessons and have regular opportunities to reflect on and improve their work.

At Key Stage 5, students can choose to further their studies in English Literature, following an AQA specification. To encourage students to develop their interest in and enjoyment of literature, they read widely and independently, engage creatively with texts and develop and apply their knowledge of literary analysis whilst exploring the writing of some of our most influential writers on the extensive topics of love and war. 

Curriculum Overview

 Year 7:

  • Imaginative Writing
  • Transactional Writing (review; speech; letter)
  • Analysis of a Gothic text
  • Study of a modern play
  • Study of two post-1914 novels
  • Study of a Shakespeare play
  • Poetry

Year 8:

  • Reading and comparing non-fiction texts
  • Transactional Writing (magazine articles)
  • Imaginative Writing
  • Reading and responding to 19th century text
  • A Shakespeare play
  • Study of a modern novel
  • GCSE Poetry Anthology – selected poems.

Year 9:

  • Reading and responding to fiction texts
  • Study of a modern play or novel (GCSE Literature text)
  • Imaginative Writing
  • Transactional Writing (newspaper articles)
  • GCSE Poetry Anthology – selected poems

 Year 10:

  • Study of a nineteenth century text
  • Revision of modern play or novel
  • Imaginative Writing
  • Transactional Writing
  • GCSE Poetry Anthology – selected poems
  • Analysis of unseen poetry
  • Study of a Shakespeare play

Year 11:

  • Enhancing examination skills for English Literature
  • Enhancing examination skills for English Language
  • Spoken Language Endorsement

Year 12 and 13:

  • The study of one prose text which will used to compare with some poems from the AQA Poetry Anthology
  • The study of one play by Shakespeare
  • Unseen poetry: compulsory essay question on two unseen poems
  • The study of the Literature of World War One and its aftermath to the present day
  • Response to an unseen extract
  • Non-examined assessment: one extended essay of 2,500 words as coursework- students are taught one text then choose their own text to compare 

Assessment Frameworks

 Year 7-11 GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature

In addition to the monthly assessments and feedback that each pupil will receive on the quality of work they are producing, every pupil will complete three previously unseen examination style assessments each year. The grade scale ranges from 9-1 with 1 being the lowest grade on the scale and 9 being the highest.

Year 11 English Language and English Literature

English Language

English Literature

Component 1: Fiction and Imaginative Writing

Examination  1 hour 45 minutes

40% of the total GCSE


Component 2: Non-Fiction and Transactional Writing

Examination 2 hours

60% of the total GCSE


The preparation and assessment of spoken language is compulsory and will be an endorsement for the GCSE. A separate grade will appear on pupils’ certificates alongside the overall grade issued.




Component 1: Shakespeare and Post-1914 Literature

Examination 1 hour and 45 minutes

50% of the total GCSE


Component 2: 19th- Century Novel and Poetry since 1789

Examination 2 hours and 5 minutes

50% of the total GCSE


A poetry anthology is provided by Edexcel

To allow for home study, revision and annotation, it is recommended that all pupils purchase their own copy of their examination texts.

Year 13 English Literature

Assessment (80 % examination taken at the end of the course; Non-examined assessment (NEA coursework) summited in May of the second year)

Paper 1: Love through the ages

  • written exam: 3 hours
  • open book in Section C
  • 40% of A-level

Section A: Shakespeare: one passage-based essay question (25 marks)

Section B: Unseen poetry: comparison of two unseen poems (25 marks)

Section C: Prose and pre-1900 poetry: one essay question linking the two texts (25 marks) 

Paper 2: Texts in a shared context- WWI and its aftermath

Study of three texts

Examination will include an unseen extract

  • written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • open book
  • 40% of A-level

Section A: One essay question on a set text (25 marks)

Section B: One question on an unseen extract (25 marks)

                 One essay question linking two texts (25 marks)

Non-examined assessment

Comparative study of two texts, at least one must be pre-1900

One extended essay (2500 words) and a bibliography

  • coursework
  • 20% of A-level
  • assessed by teachers and moderated by AQA 

Useful Links

BBC Bitesize:

Sparknotes – guides to key literature texts:

Litcharts – a high level guide to key literature texts:

Get Revising

Mr Bruff – YouTube clips for GCSE poetry and ‘Macbeth’

Click Revision  - online tutorials for ‘An Inspector Calls’

Pearson English Language Revision Guide Edexcel 9-1: ISBN 978-1-4479-8808-3

Pearson English Language Revision Workbook Edexcel 9-1: ISBN 978-1-292-21372-9 

Staff List

The teaching and support staff are currently:

Ms A Fowler Subject Leader for English

Mrs L Jones   Assistant Subject Leader for English

Mr C Gibbard Teacher of English

Miss M Johnson Teacher of English

Mrs J Mountford Teacher of English

Ms G Gatfield Teacher of English

Mrs M Chaney Teacher of English

Mrs N Robinson Teacher of English

Mr G Russell Teacher of English