School Alerts



We believe that your children have a right to experience the best that has been thought and said. The academic discipline of English enables pupils to better understand the world around them and to participate in that world with confidence. We study high quality literature alongside rigorous teaching of grammar and work across the school to instill a love of reading, writing and oracy for all Astrea scholars.


In English, we know that all of the subject content that we teach during Key Stage 3 is vitally important for our pupils’ development and ability to access GCSE content. Due to the reduced amount of time pupils have had in schools during the 2019/20 academic year, the following changes have been made to the curriculum for the 2020/21 academic year in English.

  • Pupils entering Y8 will cover a condensed version of the Y7 topics below in addition to their Y8 content.
  • Pupils entering Y9 will cover a condensed version of the Y8 topics below in addition to their Y9 content.

Key Stage 3

We cover all of the bigger ideas and principles at key stage 3 to give pupils the best foundation possible to succeed in their GCSEs.


The Odyssey – Homer (trans. Emily Wilson)

Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

Animal Poetry – Blake et al

1x weekly grammar lesson


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
The Tempest – William Shakespeare
Animal Farm – George Orwell
1x weekly grammar lesson


Lord of the Flies – William Golding
The Tempest – William Shakespeare (2020 cohort only)
The Principles of Rhetoric
1x fortnightly grammar lesson
2x fortnightly poetry lesson
Pupils are assessed formally three times per year and will receive a percentage after each assessment. Assessments can contain questions on any of the previous topics from KS3 which means pupils have to be able to recall content from the whole year.

Key Stage 4

Exam Board – AQA

Awards – GCSE English Literature and GCSE English Language

English Literature

English Literature Paper 1

English Literature Paper 2

  • 19th Century Novel
  • Shakespeare
  • Modern drama text
  • The poetry anthology
  • Unseen poetry 

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

64 marks

40% of GCSE

Written exam: 2 hours 15 minutes

96 marks

60% of GCSE

English Language

English Language Paper 1

English Language Paper 2

Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

  • Section A – Reading
  • Section B – Writing

Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

  • Section A – Reading
  • Section B – Writing

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

80 marks

50% of GCSE

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes

80 marks

50% of GCSE

Home Learning

Pupils have 2 parts to their home learning every topic.

  1. Reading for 20-minutes a day.
  2. Revising and self-testing from their knowledge organiser.

How can you help?

  1. Make sure your child is reading every night. Reading for pleasure is fundamental to academic success.
  2. Help your child with their home learning in English. You can quiz them on the facts that they need to learn.
  3. Encourage hand writing: diary writing, letters, sports reviews and stories.
  4. Encourage your child to take part in the co-curricular clubs, trips and competitions which we run throughout the year.