English at Sandymoor Ormiston Academy 

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” Haruki Murakami

"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader" Margaret Fuller

Nestled within a stone’s throw of Lewis Carroll’s birth place, we draw inspiration from this icon of English Literature.

Why not delve into the wonderful world of reading, writing and speaking? At Sandymoor, creative writing and classic fiction is intertwined with poetry and stage craft, covering genres to suit all tastes. Discover the hidden complexity and the beauty of the English language. Hold tight and prepare to fall in love!

Year 7 begin their journey through literature delving into Greek and Norse myths and legends ending with Shakespeare and The Tempest. Exciting stops on the way include an exploration of famous characters within themes such as gothic and classic novella and poetry.

Year 8 opens with Arthur Kipp's, The Woman in Black. Students analyse the writer's use of pathetic fallacy to sculpt their own writing style. Marco Polo and Bill Bryson then accompany year 8 on a wonderous adventure around the world as they become travel writers. Moving on, they look at contemporary issues and compare the presentation of Megan Markle and Kate Windsor through evidence and debate. The classic finale for year 8 includes Shakespeare's The Taming Of The Shrew focusing on plot, gender and staging.

Year 9 take a look at a seminal work, To Kill A Mockingbird. Ideas are challenged on issues that are relevant in society today, such as racism, poverty and justice. Students learn the role of rhetoric in manipulating audiences and develop the art of making powerful speeches. One of Shakespeare's most famous protagonists, Hamlet, now takes centre stage and the theme of tragedy continues on with conflict poetry. Year 9 concludes with a flourish into the world of fiction-writing.

Key Stage 4 English

Year 10 is the start of the 2 year voyage that ends with GCSE examinations in English Language and English Literature. Our curriculum is specifically tailored to ensure our students achieve their full potential in examinations set by AQA, click here for exam board information.

The texts studied as part of the GCSE course are:

  • Macbeth- Shakespeare
  • A Christmas Carol- Charles Dickens
  • An Inspector Calls - J.B Priestley
  • Power and Conflict section of the anthology- Published by AQA

Characters and themes studied at Key Stage 3 form an excellent foundation as students move on to deepen their understanding of English Literature and Language.

As part of the English Language GCSE, students will further develop their ability to present their thoughts as a spoken argument and articulate their own perspective of any topic of choice. Developing confident and lively debates is encouraged.

British Values, SMSC and Cultural Capital 

When studying English many challenging, moral and ethical issues are explored and it is important we recognise the emotive nature of some of the material studied. For this reason lessons take place with an ethos of empathy, compassion and mutual respect for all.

Carefully considered text choices promote the exploration of many social and moral issues. For example, To Kill A Mockingbird invokes judgement of historical racism and culture in the southern states of America.

Historic and contemporary views of Britain are explored through Romantic poetry, Shakespearean plays and texts from various cultures. Authors such as Harper Lee and John Steinbeck are studied as well as speeches by Martin Luther King and Greta Thunberg.

Understanding different perspectives and respecting those with opposite views to our own is critical in modern society. We saturate our curriculum with opportunities to constructively disagree and reach a consensus as a group.

Cultural Capital opportunities such as theatre visits and productions from The Royal Shakespeare Company expose our students to a wide variety of different cultural influences.

To find out more please see our curriculum snapshots: