Why do we study English ?  

The study of English is the foundation of high quality learning across Barnhill’s curriculum and is key to personal development. Our aim is to deliver a rich and diverse curriculum that instils a life-long appreciation of literature, develops critical thinking and provides a secure knowledge base, from which we can develop effective written and spoken communication skills. 

We believe that these skills empower our young people to be successful members of society: they enable our students to continue to better themselves and their community long after leaving Barnhill; they are key to accessing the world of work and adapting to the cultural momentum of the ‘here and now’. 

Programme of Study 

Year 7  

  • Unit 1: Prose (Animal Farm by George Orwell) 
  • Unit 2: Creative Writing (Opening Doors to Fantastical Worlds)
  • Unit 3: Poetry (Narrative Poetry Anthology) 
  • Unit 4: Drama (A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare) 
  • Unit 5: Non-fiction (‘Voices in Non-Fiction’ Anthology) 
  • Unit 6: Transactional Writing (Voices & Perspectives)

Year 8 

  • Unit 1: Prose (Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck) 
  • Unit 2: Creative Writing (Shadows of Tomorrow: Navigating Dystopian Realities)
  • Unit 3: Poetry (‘Relationships’ Poetry Anthology) 
  • Unit 4: Drama (DNA by Dennis Kelly) 
  • Unit 5: Non-fiction (‘Social Non-fiction’ Anthology) 
  • Unit 6: Transactional Writing (A Charge of Perspective)

Year 9 

  • Unit 1: Prose (The Stange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Louis Stevenson) 
  • Unit 2: Creative Writing (Haunted Pages: Gothic Explorations)
  • Unit 3: Poetry (‘Culture and Identity’ Anthology) 
  • Unit 4: Drama (The Tempest by William Shakespeare)
  • Unit 5: Non-fiction (‘The Power of Rhetoric’ Anthology) 
  • Unit 6: Transactional Writing (The Art of Persuasion) 

Years 10 & 11: AQA GCSE – English Language (8700) 

  • Fiction: Language Paper 1 (Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing) 
  • Non-fiction: Language Paper 2 (Writer’ Viewpoints and Perspectives) 

Years 10 & 11: AQA GCSE – English Literature (8702) 

  • Paper 1, Section A: William Shakespeare’s Macbeth 
  • Paper 1, Section B: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol 
  • Paper 2, Section A: J. B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls 
  • Paper 2, Section B: AQA’s ‘Power and Conflict’ Poetry Anthology 
  • Paper 2, Section C: Unseen Poetry 

Years 12 & 13: OCR English Literature A-Level (H472) 

  • Paper 1, Section A: William Shakespeare’s Hamlet 
  • Paper 1, Section B: Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and Chaucer’s The Merchant’s Prologue and Tale 
  • Paper 2, Section A: Investigations into the Gothic  
  • Paper 2, Section B: Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Angela Carter’s The Bl**y Chamber 
  • Coursework 1: Close Analysis of an extract from Sarah Moss’ Ghost Wall 
  • Coursework 2: Comparative critical analysis of Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire and poetry from Carol Ann Duffy’s World’s Wife anthology of poems 

Our Learning Journey

Useful Resources 

  • Set texts (provided by the school) 
  • CGP Revision guides 


From years 7-10, students are required to complete homework on Bedrock Learning, a software designed to extend students’ vocabulary and increase accessibility to complex texts as their study of English progresses. Students are required to earn a minimum of 20 points per week. 

In Year 11, students are required to annotate and revise key scenes from each set text, which are provided to them by the department. 

At A-level, homework can range from engaging in wider reading (to enrich their understanding from a previous lesson or build foundational knowledge for subsequent lessons), completing essay plans, preparing presentations, conducting independent research or consolidating their learning in a piece of writing. 

Enrichment Opportunities 

  • Debate Club: Fridays at 3pm 
  • Trip opportunities: Visits to the theatre, Oxford university and the Tate Modern 
  • Enrichment: Travelling theatre companies; trust-wide poetry recital