St. Joseph's Catholic College


There can be no more important subject than English . It is at the heart of our culture and literacy skills are crucial to pupils’ learning for all subjects.

Sir Michael Wilshaw ( OFSTED Chief Inspector- January 2012)


Vision Statement
We aim to develop the Key Concepts both within the English Curriculum and through cross curricular opportunities, as offered by Literacy Across the Curriculum and St. Joseph’s Flexible Friday sessions.

Course Outline

Year 7
The National Curriculum for Key Stage 3 English is delivered through the following units of work:

Modern Novel: Scarper Jack or Two Weeks with the Queen
Reading: Group reading of a variety of novels and short stories
Writing: Non-fiction writing & newspapers
Shakespeare: Twelfth Night
Poetry: Pre-1914 Poetry
Media: Theme Parks
Speaking and Listening: Great Speeches and presentations

Year 8
The National Curriculum for Key Stage 3 English is delivered through the following units of work:

Shakespeare: The Tempest (2 units)
Writing: all writing triplets revised (imagine, explore, entertain, argue, advise, persuade, review, comment, analyse, inform, explain, describe)
Reading Skills
Modern Novel: Unique or Face or Stone Cold
GCSE Transition: Our Day Out by Willy Russell

The Assessment Focuses for speaking and listening, reading and writing are carefully integrated into these units. Students are assessed on a range of targets which are reviewed through the unit, with progress recorded on assessment documents that are shared with parents.

The habit of reading for enjoyment gives a young person the appetite to explore worlds beyond their own. We encourage all students to always have a book ( or ebook) with them each day – English lessons include time for independent reading sessions.

For Year 7 and 8 Parents
Ways for Parents to Encourage More Reading
Recommended Reading List

Year 9
In Year 9 students embark on preparation for the GCSE Course which is assessed by Controlled Assessment components and Terminal Examination. Students prepare for success in one (English) or two (English Language and English Literature) GCSEs. During Year 9 students develop skills in analysing, exploring and extending different types of literary and non -literary texts . Units of Work covered include Fairytales: Moving Image (varying from 'Blackadder' to 'Matilda') ; 20th Century drama; poetry ; travel writing and the fascinating new GCSE component on analysing Spoken Language.

Some students may enter one of the GCSE qualifications at the end of Year 10.


Throughout Key Stage 4 it has been the custom to prepare all students for two separate GCSE qualifications in English or English Language and English Literature.  This continues, but will also take advantage of, the extended Key Stage 4 time to incorporate the teaching of the Functional Skills English qualification to Level 2 standard.  It is proposed that students will develop their English Language, English Literature and Functional Skills qualifications throughout Year 9. In Year 10 some students will be entered for the English Literature or English Language GCSE, whilst in Year 11 all will take both the English or the English Language and the English Literature GCSEs.

During Year 10 students experience, and develop expertise in, a range of skills from speaking and listening to reading and writing. Topics covered include study and analysis of drama (modern and Shakespeare); spoken language analysis; poetry from across the ages and cultures; non-fiction texts such as travel writing; and development of writing skill for specific purposes and audiences. In Year 11 these skills are further developed, and preparation for GCSE assessment is finalised.

At GCSE level a range of texts are studied, including 'Of Mice And Men'; 'Lord Of The Flies';'The Crucible'; 'An Inspector Calls'; plays by Shakespeare; and poetry by modern and pre-1914 poets from different cultures.

It is recommended that students purchase copies of their GCSE Examination texts to allow them to annotate for study and revision purposes.

Revision and Booster support
We run subject and skill specific GCSE level Booster Sessions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays after College, as well as lunchtime literacy skills sessions for Key Stage 3 students which are publicised via Subject Teachers. Please contact the Team Leader for further details.

Theatre Visits
All students are encouraged to come along to our evening theatre trips. Since September we have seen the sensational RSC production of ‘Matilda’ when it transferred to its award-winning run in the West End (seats are already reserved for next November’s RSC ‘The Mouse and his Child’!). Students also attended productions in Oxford (An Inspector Calls); Swindon (Of Mice and Men) and a tour and workshop at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

We are proud of our students' involvement in a range of College based local and national competitions. To celebrate Dickens' 200th Birthday we ran a 500 word story writing competition entitled 'It was the best of times...', for which we had over 100 entries. Entrants won House Points and winners (whose entries will be published on this website soon) won Book Vouchers too. Other students entered local writing competitions successfully.