Team Leader: Mr A Sammons

At Kettlethorpe High School we believe that every child has the right to be taught essential skills, which will support them to access the curriculum across the school. The English department provide a broad curriculum- a rigorous five year learning experience, where pupils build on skills year upon year through an enjoyable secondary education.

English lessons are an essential part of every pupil’s education. The aims of the subject are:

  • to teach pupils to be confident readers
  • to develop pupils’ ability in writing for a variety of purposes and audiences
  • to teach pupils about different cultures, societies, morals and values
  • to teach pupils to write confidently, and to be able to proof read to ensure writing is technically accurate
  • for pupils to be able to express their ideas clearly and precisely
  • for pupils to have opportunities to express themselves creatively.

English lessons teach pupils how to read a text to the highest standard. Pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure, to perfect their reading skills and are continually supported in decoding language, exploring the meanings created by writers and giving personal and critical opinions. When pupils write, they are explicitly taught technical accuracy and how to ensure writing is aimed at the correct audience and has purpose (as well as a degree of formality).

The English department prides itself on providing engaging enrichment and intervention opportunities, in both KS3 and KS4. These opportunities run at various points during the year including: paired reading groups; theatre trips; in-school workshops (Shakespeare Day); World Book Day; Readathon; working with outside agencies (e.g. Engaging Education); residential trips to London and other locations e.g. Whitby, Alnwick. Not only do these opportunities give pupils the chance to engage with a text they are studying, but they are also great opportunities to develop personal, social and communication skills.

Curriculum Overview:

Key stage 3

In year 7 and 8 English, we foster in our pupils a love of reading and give them the tools they need to be competent, confident writers. Our curriculum is designed to cover a broad range of fiction, non fiction and poetry from classic to contemporary. Pupils have 3 main curriculum lessons a week and 2 skills lessons; this is to ensure that pupils are equipped with the necessary expertise to both enjoy the subject and achieve exam success.

We have high expectations of our pupils as learners and expect engagement outside the classroom as well as inside. Each week, we encourage daily reading at home supported by the Accelerated Reader programme, vocabulary activities on the online Bedrock programme and revision of a key spelling, punctuation or grammar skill.

For further information on KS3 English at Kettlethorpe, please contact Lead Teacher Mrs Emma Leeming at eleeming@kettlethorpe.wakefield.sch.uk.

Key stage 4:
Exam board – WJEC (Eduqas) for Year 11 and AQA for Year 9 & 10
Our pupils begin their GCSE English Language and Literature courses in Year 9 with 5 creative lessons across the week. Within Language lessons the pupils are carefully encouraged to foster a love for reading texts of various formats and genres which act as a vehicle to guide them towards answering exam style questions. In addition, pupils attend 3 English Literature lessons a week where they study an array of poetry, plays and literature texts that will be present on their final exams in Year 11. As pupils transition into Years 10 and 11, they use their sounds knowledge of texts to build a secure understanding of content and examiner expectations in preparation for exams.


Pupils in Year 9 aim their focus on learning the set texts whilst building confidence and an enquiring mind.  Throughout Years 10 and 11, pupils will continue to study a range of texts, read and enjoy classic texts and will complete PPEs throughout these two years as well as complete a Spoken Language component which develops critical thinking, preparing and delivering presentations, and interacting with others.

Pupils will study for two GCSEs: English Language and English Literature, and will gain two qualifications at the end of the course. Whilst sometimes the study of these will overlap, the final marks achieved for the two qualifications are independent of each other.

Here is a recommended wider reading list for KS4 pupils.

How to support pupil learning
Our pupils have set homework each week and this can be completed with the support of parents and carers. Our homework is always carefully selected to meet the needs of our pupils and to build upon their learning within the classroom. In addition to tailored tasks set by classroom teachers, we believe in encouraging our pupils to be proactive in their own time by carrying out independent revision with the use of GDrive, Seneca, Educake, BBC Bitesize, Knowledge Books and past papers.