Faculty of English

Faculty Leader: Mrs E Parkinson

English remains one of the most versatile and wide ranging subjects in school, and at Lakelands Academy, our popular and innovative English Faculty strives to make English as exciting as possible, from the very start of Year 7.

We aim to give all students access to as many opportunities as possible to express themselves with confidence, and to communicate in a whole host of different contexts, in and outside school. As a result of this, there are many exciting and challenging opportunities in both imagined and real life situations to be involved in throughout a rich five year experience. These range from projects such as writing and producing a story for a Primary school 'buddy', Poetry and prose writing competitions and challenges, through to active Shakespeare workshops at Stratford.

In English, we want to inspire confidence in our students, who will experience a range of skills-based learning in all aspects of English Language and English Literature. We've redeveloped our curriculum to ensures that all our students leave having had access to traditional and modern aspects of communication in a fast changing world. Be it sharing Shakespearean insults, studying web page design or experiencing live theatre productions of our key texts, students in English at Lakelands Academy experience it all!




Course overview

We carefully align our KS3 curriculum with the Assessment Objectives for GCSE English Language and Literature, so that we may begin to embed the necessary skills. We feel it’s important to remember that a rich and varied curriculum should not focus entirely upon examinations – it’s vital that students also experience and understand the practical daily application of English in Further and Higher Education and the workplace.

In addition to this, we have established an exciting range of enrichment activities to enhance our students’ teaching and learning experience. Each year group will have access to at least one live professional theatre performance either ‘in-house’ at school, or through an external visit to a theatre. We endeavour to make our activities available to all, and ‘In-house’ performances require a small contribution to cover the professional company’s costs. Other trips and outings might include things like Poetry Live for our Year 11 students and theatre visits to see texts we are studying.

In Key Stage 3 (Years 7 & 8) and in Key Stage 4 (year 9 to 11) students build on and track three key life skills that we believe underpin success in English:


  • The enjoyment of reading for pleasure

  • Writing with accuracy and for effect

  • Responding to reading


A series of Units have been designed by the team to build confidence and progression in these three skills, revisiting each and reinforcing prior learning. Our units have been crafted in a way that sees each one include all the above skills but in a rich and varied context. For instance, units such as ‘POWER’ in Year 8 includes studying the power of words in the context of non-fiction Travel Writing. Tasks include the study and production of non-fiction texts, opportunities to read and enjoy a range of travel related literature, as well as opportunities to consolidate accurate writing skills in the production of relevant texts.

In Year 7, we focus on three overarching themes, with one studied per term – People, Power and Change. The programme explores a wide range of approaches to improving reading, writing and reading for pleasure. Our modules cover a range of topics including;

  • Autobiographical Writing – poetry and prose
  • The study of a class reader – Private Peaceful, War Horse, Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Holes.
  • Study of Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • Rhetoric and the Spoken Word
  • Changing Attitudes – a comparative contextual study of Zoos.
  • Crafting poetry
  • Narrative writing
  • Comparison of 19th Century non-fiction and 20th Century fiction

Our Year 8 curriculum is also thematically based upon People, Power and Change. The program of study becomes project-based, using bespoke units of work, that all explore and assess the key areas of Reading, Writing & Literature in a way that prepares our students for GCSE:

  • Study of a 19th Century text – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Responding to 19th Century non-fiction prose
  • Study of a cluster of Poetry on the theme of Power & Conflict
  • Travel Writing – non-fiction
  • Shakespeare & his world (plus an introduction to one play)
  • Study of a 20th Century fiction text – Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck

This approach continues in Year 9 as our transition phase; again, thematically based upon People, Power and Change, students study GCSE style work in preparation for years 10 and 11.

For instance the Richard III and Henry V unit, ‘Heroes & Villains’ builds on these KS3 skills, and also includes specific GCSE tasks such as literary analysis, writing to describe, and analysing and comparing non-fiction and literary texts. Topics covered are;

  • The Gothic Genre – the study of 19th Century fiction and non-fiction, and the contextual influences on the genre.
  • Heroes & Villains – explores Richard III as the villain and Henry V as the hero.
  • Study of and comparison of poems from the GCSE poetry cluster.
  • Study of a play – Journey’s End – with links to context.
  • Writing to Argue & Persuade – Victorian Freak Shows.
  • GCSE Literature text – first reading of a text students will study for their GCSEs


GCSE English Language & Literature

In years 10 and 11 students have already had a great foundation in their previous three years with us. Current year 9s, for instance, have worked hard at their comparison skills, and will already have a firm base for managing this demanding GCSE task.


Current GCSE Assessment

Students take two GCSE qualifications at Lakelands, both at the end of Year 11. There is no longer a coursework assessment element to the examinations, and all examinations are linear, closed book and there is a single tier of entry – all candidates sit the same paper.

TEXTS – As much as we would like to provide texts for all our students free of charge, we are unable to do so. We ask that our students buy our GCSE book pack which is heavily discounted and includes copies of all texts, the poetry anthology and relevant study guides for each text to support our students in their studies.


English Language

Specification at a glance

Subject content

For the award of the GCSE in English Language students must offer all three assessments.


All texts in the examination will be unseen.

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

What's assessed

Section A: Reading

  • one literature fiction text

Section B: Writing

  • descriptive or narrative writing


  • written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of GCSE


Reading (40 marks) (25%)– one single text

  • 1 short form question (1 x 4 marks)
  • 2 longer form questions (2 x 8 marks)
  • 1 extended question (1 x 20 marks)

Writing (40 marks) (25%)

  • 1 extended writing question (24 marks for content, 16 marks for technical accuracy)

Paper 2: Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives

What's assessed

Section A: Reading

  • one non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text

Section B: Writing

  • writing to present a viewpoint


  • written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of GCSE


Reading (40 marks) (25%) – two linked texts

  • 1 short form question (1 x 4 marks)
  • 2 longer form questions (1 x 8, 1 x 12 marks)
  • 1 extended question (1 x 16 marks)

Writing (40 marks) (25%)

  • 1 extended writing question (24 marks for content, 16 marks for technical accuracy)

Non-examination Assessment: Spoken Language

What's assessed


  • presenting
  • responding to questions and feedback
  • use of Standard English


  • teacher set throughout course
  • marked by teacher
  • separate endorsement (0% weighting of GCSE)


English Literature


Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel

What's assessed

How it's assessed

  • written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 64 marks
  • 40% of GCSE


Section A Shakespeare: students will answer one question on their play of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole.

Section B The 19th-century novel: students will answer one question on their novel of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole.

Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry

What's assessed

How it's assessed

  • written exam: 2 hour 15 minutes
  • 96 marks
  • 60% of GCSE


Section A Modern texts: students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text.

Section B Poetry: students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster.

Section C Unseen poetry: Students will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.

For more information see:






Please click here to go to the OCR website.

If you would like any further information regarding the English Curriculum at Lakelands please click here to contact Mrs Parkinson, Head of the English Faculty

Mrs E Parkinson

Faculty Head


Miss E Douthwaite


Mrs S Hamner