English Curriculum intent statement

The English curriculum at Caterham High School develops both knowledge and skills, believing that knowledge underpins and enables the application of these skills. It provides an enhanced National Curriculum experience and prepares students for AQA GCSE English Language and English Literature at GCSE level, as well as English Literature at A level.   

Our English curriculum is rich, ambitious and inclusive. It aims to inspire students and develop their love and passion for reading and literature, in a world where so much seems to compete for their attention.  It encourages students to develop the literacy skills they need to access the whole curriculum and become confident and active participants in society.

Speaking and listening underpins achievement in reading and writing and so plays an integral role in our curriculum. The English curriculum provides ample group-work opportunities for students to engage in discussions, debate and drama work so that they can explore meaning collaboratively and think through ideas before committing them to writing.

Reading is of huge significance in our curriculum. Through reading, students develop a strong sense of identity, and find opportunities to develop culturally, morally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reading introduces students to worlds and experiences beyond their own and this encourages empathy: a quality so important when building a society where tolerance, justice and equality are central to all decisions and actions. With this in mind, we use high-quality texts that cover a range of genres, writers, issues and ideas.

The curriculum reflects the fact that we are a London school. It addresses urban issues and dilemmas, with the aim of engaging students and helping them to face the challenges that young people may encounter. Cross-curricular issues such as gang trouble, relationships, transport and facilities for teenagers are explored in our curriculum. Text choices in English take into account the achievement gender gap and seek to foster a passion for reading and writing in boys.

As well as this, in a school where many of our students speak English as a second language, vocabulary building features heavily in our curriculum. A wide vocabulary enables students to have increased access to more challenging texts. It encourages significant contribution to critical debate and transforms writing skills from the ordinary to the special.

The curriculum in English is subject to regular review and leaders’ deliberate actions to implement it. All English teachers participate in the planning and development of this bespoke curriculum.

Key Features - Implementation

  • The English classroom offers opportunities for active learning; to this end, a wide range of strategies and resources are incorporated
  • Assessment for learning is used in every lesson, including group work, questioning, and peer- and self-assessment
  • A variety of reading activities promote independent, group and whole class reading, in addition to the promotion of reading at home
  • ICT is used where appropriate to support and develop the students’ learning, with opportunities given to classes to use the ICT suite

Key Stage 3

In KS3, your child can expect to study a wide range of literary texts including: contemporary and classic novels, poetry, Shakespeare’s works and literary non-fiction texts. Your child will also study English Language, including how to communicate their ideas through a range of creative writing and the speaking and listening skills which are fundamental to their life as an adult.

Year 7

Autumn 1

  • Autobiography (based on Boy by Roald Dahl)
  • School council speaking and listening simulation

Autumn 2

  • Stormy Seas
  • Island Project (shipwrecked - various scenarios) linked with The Tempest.

Spring 1

  • Terrible Trips
  • Holiday from hell - non-fiction simulation - combined with The Odyssey by Homer in story form.

Spring 2

  • Poetry Unit

Summer 1

  • Modern Drama (based on a classic text) Frankenstein 

Summer 2

  • Animal Mania - A writing to persuade unit using non-fiction and media texts

Year 8

Autumn 1

  • Of Mice and Men
  • Development GCSE English Paper 1 Section A (Reading) and English Literature Paper 2 Section A skills

Autumn 2

  • Our Day Out
  • You're Hired - speaking and listening simulation, choosing a new teacher.
  • Development GCSE English Literature Paper 2 (modern texts) and spoken communication skills.

Spring 1

  • The Great Gender Debate

Spring 2

  • Gothic Unit

Summer 1

  • Gang conflict based on non-fiction texts and linked to Romeo and Juliet.

Summer 2

  • Poetry and Art

Year 9

Autumn 1

  • Paper 1 Section B and Paper 2 Section B
  • The Beach, The Cinema, Up in Smoke, School Uniform

Autumn 2

  • A Christmas Carol

Spring 1

  • Reading and Writing fiction and non-fiction text.

Spring 2

  • War Poetry

Summer 1

  • Macbeth

Summer 2

  • Blood Brothers



Key Stage 4

All students prepare for AQA GCSE English Language and English Literature. 

English Language Paper 1

Section A: reading fiction texts

Section B: Writing to describe/ narrate

English Language Paper 2

Section A: reading non-fiction texts

Section B: writing non-fiction

English Literature Paper 1

Section A: Response to Shakespeare (Macbeth)

Section B: 19th Century novel (The Sign of Four)

English Literature Paper 2

Section A: modern prose or drama (Animal Farm)

Section B: response to poetry (Power and Conflict)

Section C: unseen poetry

Key Stage 5

AQA English Literature A Level – Subject Content

Study of texts within the chosen literary genre of tragedy, is enhanced by the study of critical theory in the non-exam assessment. In this way, students can gain a solid understanding of how texts can be connected and how they can be interpreted in multiple ways so that students can arrive at their own interpretations and become confident autonomous readers.

The specification encourages the exploration of texts in different ways: the study of texts within specific genres. The study of texts through engagement with a range of theoretical ideas. Writing about texts in a number of different ways.

Useful Links

Suggested Reading

Year 7 – recommended reading

CORDER, Zizou. Lionboy Series

CRAIG, Joe. Jimmy Coates Series

CROSS, Gillian. Lost Trilogy: The Dark Ground, The Nightmare Game; After Tomorrow 

CROSSAN, Sarah. The Weight of Water 

DELANEY, Joseph. Spooks Stories 

DOHERTY, Berlie. TreasonThe Company of Ghosts 

DONNELLY, Jennifer. Deep Blue 

DOWSWELL, Paul. The Cabinet of Curiosities; Sektion 20 

DOYLE, Roddy, A Greyhound of a Girl 

DUNMORE, Helen. Ingo Series

EARLE, Phil. Heroic 

EVANS, Lissa. Small Change for Stuart 

FISHER, Catherine. The Obsidian Mirror; The Box of Red Brocade 

FUNKE, Cornelia. Inkheart Trilogy: InkheartInkspell, Inkdeath 

GAIMAN, Neil. CoralineThe Graveyard Book 

GARDNER, Sally. The Red Necklace; The Silver Blade; Maggot Moon 

GLEITZMAN, Morris. Once; Then; Now; After 

GRANT, Helen. The Vanishing of Katharina LindenThe Demons of Ghent 

GREEN, John. Let It SnowThe Fault in our Stars 

GREGORY, Philippa. Fool’s Gold 

HARTNETT, Sonya. The Silver DonkeyThe Midnight ZooThe Children of the King 

HIGSON, Charlie. The Enemy Series; The Enemy, The Dead, The Fear, The Sacrifice, The Fallen 

HOFFMAN, Mary. The Falconer’s KnotStravaganza: City of Masks, City of Stars, City of Flowers 

HOROWITZ, Anthony. Alex Rider Series; Diamond Brothers Series; Power of Five Series

JONES, Diana Wynne. The Game; Enchanted Glass 

LAKE, Nick. In Darkness 

NESS, Patrick. A Monster Calls 

NEWBERY, Linda. Nevermore; The Treasure House 

NICHOLLS, Sally. Ways to Live ForeverSeason of Secrets; All Fall Down 

NIX, Garth. Keys to the Kingdom Series; A Confusion of Princes; Across the Wall 

PALACIO, R. J. Wonder 

POWELL, Laura. Burn Mark; Witch Fire 

PRATCHETT, Terry. NationI Shall Wear Midnight; Snuff; Dodger 

PRUE, Sally. Wheels of War; Ice Maiden; Song Hunter 

REES, Celia. The Fool’s Girl; This is Not Forgiveness 

ROSOFF, Meg. Picture Me Gone 

ROTH, Veronica. Divergent Trilogy 

ROWLING, J. K. Harry Potter Series

RUNDELL, Katherine. Rooftoppers 

RYAN, Chris. War Dog 

SACHAR, Louis. HolesSmall Steps; Pig CityThe Cardturner 

SCARROW, Alex. TimeRiders 

SNICKET, Lemony. A Series of Unfortunate Events Series

ST JOHN, Lauren. Dead Man’s Cove; Race the Wind 

STEAD, Rebecca. Liar & Spy 

SUTCLIFFE, William. The Wall 

TOLKIEN, J. R. R. The Hobbit 

TORDAY, Piers. The Last Wild 

WEIN, Elizabeth. Code Name Verity 

WESTERFELD, Scott. Behemoth; Uglies; Pretties; Specials 

WHYMAN, Matt. The Savages 

YOUNG, Moira. Dustlands Trilogy: Blood Red Road, Rebel Heart, Raging Stars 

Years 8 and 9 – recommended reading 


• Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

• The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

• Kim - Rudyard Kipling

• I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith

• The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

• The Outsider - Albert Camus

• The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger

• On the Road - Jack Kerouac

• Saturday - Ian McEwan

• Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë

• To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

• Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

• Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

• Treasure Island - R.L. Stevenson

• The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway

Favourite authors:

• Awful Auntie - David Walliams

• Born to Run - Michael Morpurgo

• Shadow - Michael Morpurgo

• The Tales of Beedle the Bard - J.K. Rowling

• Cherub series - Robert Muchamore

• Theodore Boone - John Grisham

Thought-provoking novels:

• The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time - Mark Haddon

• Stay where you are then leave - John Boyne

• Noughts and Crosses - Malorie Blackman

• The Truth about Leo - David Yelland

• Wonder - R. J. Palacio

Favourite reads:

• After the death of Alice Bennett - Rowland Molony

• Ketchup Clouds - Annabel Pitcher

• Geek Girl - Holly Smale

• Jamie Johnson series - Dan Freedman

Tales from other countries:

• Monster - W.D. Myers

• Broken Glass - Sally Grindley

• If I Ever Get Out of Here - Eric Gansworth

• Taylor 5 - Ann Halam

• Oranges in No-man’s Land - Elizabeth Laird

• Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe

• Ring Master - Julia Golding

• Red Scarf Girl - Ji-Li Jiang

• The Thief Lord - Cornelia Funke

• The Divide - Elizabeth Kay


• The Enemy - Charlie Higson

• The London Eye Mystery - Siobhan Dowd

• People Might Hear You - Robin Klein

• Mistress Masham's Repose – T.H. White

• Crocodile Tears - Anthony Horowitz

• Hostage - Chris Ryan

• Moving Pictures - Terry Pratchett

• Haven - Tom Easton

• Uncommon Criminals - Ally Carter

• Young Bond - Charlie Higson

• The Power of Five - Anthony Horowitz

• Divergent - Veronica Roth


Page Downloads Date  
PiXL English Literature App Instruction... 28th Jan 2019 Download