Welcome to English (Year 7)


We are passionate about all our students exploring, experiencing and mastering the rich tapestry of skills and knowledge that studying English has to offer. Through the study of communication skills, literary texts, cultural connections and the constantly changing use of language, we aim to equip students with confidence and curiosity for the world around them and beyond.

Head of Faculty

Mr S Parker (sparker@wrhs1118.co.uk)

Key Stage 3

In KS3 we offer a knowledge rich curriculum, which develops learning over time to make sure that students are ready for their GCSE studies in later years. During Years 7, 8 and 9, we challenge students to develop their existing skills in aspects of reading, writing and spoken communication. We have a clear focus on both independent work and collaborative learning.

The English Faculty is a very successful department and we work determinedly towards meeting the following goals:

  • Giving access to texts that have stood the test of time
  • Developing students’ cultural capital and knowledge of the world
  • Developing students’ reading and writing stamina, skills and passion
  • Building students’ vocabulary
  • Developing students’ ability to write with precision and for impact
  • Ensuring that learning is retained
  • Ensuring that students have opportunities to see English as ‘something special’

We also work with the aim of ensuring that assessments drive student progress. However, we have the view that although exam performance is vital to success, students should be encouraged to explore possibilities and opportunities beyond the realms of examinations.

We are currently making some improvements to the curriculum that we offer in KS3. Students will study the following texts in KS3:

  • Year 7 (students entering in 2019/2020):

    • The Hound of the Baskervilles
    • Romeo and Juliet
    • Poetry and Non-fiction writing about female identity
  • Year 8 (2020/2021):

    • The murder of Roger Ackroyd
    • The Tempest
    • Animal Farm
  • Year 8 (2019/2020):

    • Poetry From Different Cultures and War Poetry
    • Romeo and Juliet
    • Gothic Fiction
  • Year 9:

    • Literature Preparation Unit – Poetry unit – Power and Conflict
    • Literature Preparation Unit: An Inspector Calls
    • Literature Preparation Unit: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Key Stage 4

Year 10

Students will continue from their preparatory studies in Year 9 to complete the AQA specification for GCSE English Literature. Both examinations will be sat in May 2020.

Year 11

Students will spend their final year of Key Stage Four study completing the AQA specification for GCSE English Language. Both examinations will be sat in June 2020.

Units studied in Year 9

  • Introduction to analysis, evaluation and comparison of poetry – students will read and write poetry connected to the themes of power and conflict. They will develop critical essay writing skills further, including comparison, the analysis of poetic techniques and how to approach an unseen text
  • Literary study of An Inspector Calls and its context – building upon the skills developed in Term One, students will read and analyse the play, appreciating the significance of the text as both a product of writing and performance. They will also explore how the writer’s ideas are conveyed, in connection with various contextual factors
  • Literary study of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and its context – students will conclude the year reading, debating and examining this famous Victorian novella. They will further develop skills in critical essay writing, research and linking the text’s meanings to the culture in which it is embedded

Units studied in Year 10

  • Literary study of Macbeth and its context – students will read and study Shakespeare’s tragic play, building an appreciation for dramaturgy and poetic language. Students will learn to relate the text to both its historical context and wider literary interpretation and adaptation
  • Literature Revision – ahead of the summer examinations, students will be supported in their consolidation of the previous two years of study, learning to practically recall and apply the knowledge they have gained in exam conditions

GCSE Cources

  • AQA English Literature (8702) – 100% examination; 2 papers
  • AQA English Language (8700) – 100% examination; 2 papers

Key Stage 5

Students who study English at Whalley Range Sixth Form can engage with the subject in numerous ways, both in and out of the classroom. We currently offer the following courses:

  • A-level English Literature
  • A-level English Language
  • Post-16 English Language GCSE
  • Level 1/2 Functional Skills in English

English Literature A-Level

Exam Board: Edexcel (8ET0/9ET0)

We offer a varied range of set texts with opportunities to explore poetry, plays and novels from Shakespeare to twenty-first century poetry.

Text studied:

  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  • Othello by William Shakespeare
  • Poems of the Decade Anthology
  • Poetry of Christina Rossetti


  • Year 12: 2 external exams (AS)
  • Year 13: 3 external exams; one NEA (coursework)

English Language A-Level

Exam Board: AQA

This specification immerses students in the fascinating world of English Language, from understanding how children learn to speak to the incredible timeline of language change and adaptation. Through studying the rich variety of the English language, students apply these concepts to their own writing.

Topics studied:

  • Language and Occupations
  • Language and Regionality
  • Child Language Acquisition
  • History of the English Language
  • Language Change


  • Year 12: 2 external exams (AS)
  • Year 13: 2 external exams; one NEA (coursework)

Post-16 English Language GCSE

We are committed to supporting students in achieving a Grade 4 or above in English Language GCSE, thereby broadening the choices and chances available for further study and employment.

Topics studied:

  • Active reading skills of both literary fiction and non-fiction texts
  • Study of the language and structure of texts
  • Evaluation and comparison of texts
  • Writing to entertain, describe, narrate
  • Writing to express a point of view


Two exams in either November or June

  • Paper 1: Understanding and Producing Creative Texts
  • Paper 2: Understanding and Producing Non-Fiction Texts

Level 1/2 Functional Skills in English

As with the GCSE course that we offer, we provide opportunities for all students to improve on their English achievements in Year 11. For those students who achieved a Grade 1 or 2 or who took Step Up to English, we offer AQA Functional Skills at both Level 1 and Level 2 (GCSE equivalent).

Students will take the Level 1 qualification in January and Level 2 in June.

The course consists of two external exams, one for reading skills and one for writing, and two speaking and listening presentations, assessed by the college.

Quality Marks, Awards & Affiliations

We strive for excellence and are very proud of our achievements and affiliations.

If you believe something is missing or should be removed from the list below, please let us know.

Confederation of School Trusts logo Educate Awards Winner 2019 logo SSAT Educational Outcomes Awards 2018 logo SSAT Effective Learning Behaviour logo SSAT Climate for Learning logo Cyber Essentials Certificate logo Manchester United Foundation logo The Duke of Edinburgh logo The Cultural Diversity Standards logo The Schools Co-operative Society logo School Achievement Award logo Sport England logo Leading Edge Partnership Programme logo The Quality in Careers Standard logo Healthy Schools Manchester logo Basic Skills Quality Mark logo Whalley Range Sixth Form logo Education and Leadership Trust logo