English Department


Curriculum Intent

An ambitious Key Stage 3 curriculum which immerses students in knowledge of universal themes that influence the Literary Canon.  Each year group will visit and revisit key historical eras and subsequent literature to establish a foundation for their enriched cultural understanding and appreciation of texts. This is the knowledge rich basis from which students will develop their resilience and ability to cope with the demands of the GCSE curriculum; independently and confidently analysing texts, introducing critical theory.

Students will be exposed to a plethora of texts which will foster a love of reading and writing. The aim of the rich and diverse choices of texts is to further encourage the development of spiritual, moral and social values that permeate throughout, as well as help to develop the whole child.



A well sequenced Key Stage 3 establishes a stable foundation to develop independent, resilient and critical learners. Students will be able to perceptively evaluate and analyse a range of seen and unseen texts from the Literary Canon. Students will have the knowledge to confidently locate texts within their cultural, historical and social contexts, further enhancing their understanding of writers’ intentions.

The curriculum has been designed to encourage learners to make informed connections between texts, exploring the importance of contextual factors, the writers’ intentions and the role of the reader in bringing the piece to life. Students will be able to expertly articulate arguments as well as creative ideas in the forms of fiction and non-fiction writing.

The breadth and depth of the curriculum provides engaging opportunities and will invigorate; ensuring that all learners embrace an aspirational love of learning.



A Key Stage 5 curriculum designed to enable students to further develop and apply their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation in writing. The curriculum encourages learners to read widely and independently; developing their love of literature and literary studies. Students will engage critically and creatively with a substantial body of texts, exploring the context of the texts they are reading and others’ interpretations.





OCR English Literature H472

Curriculum Implementation

All English lessons are delivered by subject specialists, providing students with a high-quality education. We have two Specialist Leaders of Education within the Department and a subject-specific HLTA. The ambitious curriculum is effectively differentiated to ensure adequate challenge for all students, including SEND pupils and More Able learners. Through reading in particular, students develop culturally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. The curriculum is effectively sequenced to ensure that reading enables pupils to acquire knowledge and build on what they already know. To develop and embed tier 2 vocabulary, all students in Years 7 and 8 participate in weekly Bedrock lessons, which also forms part of their home learning.

Students are encouraged to engage in the wide range of learning opportunities outside of the classroom, including theatre trips, debate clubs, critical theory workshops and book clubs.


End of Course Assessment

Commencing September 2021, all students in Years 7 and 8 will achieve a qualification from the English Speaking Board

AQA Step up to English, this qualification is achieved by a group of Year 9 leaners

AQA GCSE English Language

AQA GCSE English Literature

OCR A-Level English Literature H472


Career Links


St Thomas More has its very own dedicated careers team.  To find out more about careers at St Thomas More, please click here. 



Tips and Advice

Revision guides are available to purchase from class teachers for all texts studied at GCSE. All students in KS4 have access to GCSEPOD, which is an interactive means of independently exploring set texts and recalling key knowledge. It is beneficial to watch film adaptations of texts, as this will enhance students’ awareness of alternative interpretations.  Stoke-on-Trent is home to a variety of attractions, which will develop cultural capital and also enhance learning and understanding, including: Gladstone Pottery Museum, the New Vic Theatre, Hanley Museum and Emma Bridgewater Literary Festivals.





Further Information

Useful Websites:

The Victorian Web: Linking Scholarship, Teaching and Learning since 1994

Royal Shakespeare Company | RSC

National Literacy Trust

GCSE Learning and Revision | GCSEPod

Bedrock Vocabulary – The online vocabulary curriculum for schools (bedrocklearning.org)


Subject Leader Information

For more information or if you have any questions please use the contact details below.

Miss S. Beasley, Subject Leader: sbeasley@stmca.org.uk


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