English has a long and fascinating past that spans wars, invasions and influences from around the globe so therefore, at De Warenne, we look at texts that come from different cultures that have inspired our language.

We encourage pupils to confidently explore and probe the literal and layered meanings in the texts they read. We cover a wide range of challenging texts from the fantastic works of Shakespeare to a redemptive novella from Dickens and including a theatrical play by Priestley, a vast range of poignant poetry from the likes of Thomas Hardy as well as thought-provoking novels from George Orwell and R. J. Palacio. By studying some of the greatest and diverse writers, our pupils can be fully immersed in the fascinating stories and complex histories so that they are able to appreciate what makes English so magical.

We want every single one of our pupils to be confident speakers, resilient readers and to show flair and independence through their writing so that they become thoughtful and tolerant citizens, building long-lasting skills for the future of the ever changing world around us.  

Department Staff

  • Miss B Shepherd (Head of Department)
  • Miss N Elvin (Second in Department)
  • Miss E Christian
  • Miss B Caddy (SENCO)
  • Miss H Trussell (Reading Champion)
  • Miss N Agar (Literacy Leader)
  • Mrs J Neilssen
  • Mr J Hall (Vice Principal)

Key Stage 3 Language & Literature (Years 7-9)

Year 7

Term 1: A comprehensive study of ‘Private Peaceful’ by Michael Morpurgo with a non-fiction study of WW1 and war poetry.

Term 2: A comprehensive study of Roald Dahl’s ‘Boy’ with discussion and debate opportunities and a supplementary study Dahl’s fiction and childhood themed poetry.

Term 3: An exploration of extracts from Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ with in in depth study of Shakespeare and sonnets.

Homework, competitions and enrichment:

Term 1: Charity in the Community – with connections to Remembrance Day.

Term 2: Environment in the Global World.

Term 3: Delta Academies Trust Poetry Competition.

Year 8

Term 1: A comprehensive study of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ with a contextual study of Communism and Capitalism.

Term 2: A comprehensive study of Susan Townsend’s ‘The Diary of Adrian Mole’ with a supplementary studies of Anne Frank’s non-fictional diary (growing up in conflict) and 1980s articles on teenage life.

Term 3: A comprehensive study of Willy Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers’ with a self-supported study into De Warenne’s heritage during the minor’s strikes and closures.

Homework, competitions and enrichment:

Term 1: Having your vote on the big question: Should we eat less meat to help save the planet?

Term 2: World History – Unsung Heroes, The De Warenne Family.

Term 3: Delta Academies Trust Poetry Competition.

Year 9

Term 1: A comprehensive study of John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ with a supplementary study of nature poems and non-fiction articles on 1930’s America.

Term 2: A comprehensive study of Malala Yousafzai’s ‘I am Malala’ with supplementary studies of poetry from different cultures and Greta Thumberg’s speeches.

Term 3: An in depth look at Shakespeare – ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with a study into Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry.

Homework, competitions and enrichment:

Term 1: Be Kind Campaign.

Term 2: Celebrating youth and achievement.

Term 3: Performance – watching a stage production.

Key Stage 4 Language & Literature (Years 10-11)

What will I study & how is the course organised?

All pupils will follow a dual course consisting of English Language and English Literature, leading to two GCSEs which must be taken together.   

This joint course tests students’ ability to:

  • Understand, respond to and produce a fiction text
  • Understand, respond to and produce a non-fiction texts
  • Read, explore ideas, themes and language to analyse a variety of novels, poetry and drama including a work by William Shakespeare.

How is the course assessed?

English Language:

  • Component 1 – 40% (1 hour 45 minutes)

1 hour reading comprehension reading an extract from a novel.

45 minutes writing a short narrative.

  • Component 2 – 60% (2 hours)

1 hour reading two non-fictional texts and comparing them.

Writing two transactional pieces of writing (formal letter/informal letter/article/review/speech/report.

English Literature:

  • Component 1 – 40% (1 hour 30 minutes)

Study of William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. You will be required to answer two questions, one short question on an extract, one longer essay question from memory of the whole play.

A study of 18 poems from an anthology. You will be required to write about a printed poem on the exam paper and then compare it to another from memory.

  • Component 2 – 60% (2 hour 30 minutes)

A study of J. B. Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls’ and Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’. Both of these texts will be assessed through an essay. In addition, you will be required to analyse unseen poems.

Pupils in Year 10 and Year 11 watch a performance of 'A Christmas Carol' which they are studying in English lessons.

Useful revision websites:




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