The English Department

The main aim of the English department at Raine’s is that all of our students are equipped with the literacy and analytical skills that will help them in their futures. Students are encouraged to think independently and engage with novels, poetry, plays and non-fiction, from a variety of different periods. Student’s own creative writing is encouraged, and students learn through a variety of different activities, including drama and speaking and listening. English lessons are engaging, challenging and rewarding.



Ms S. Rodney (Head of English)


In Years 7, 8 and 9 English lessons are designed to develop students reading and writing skills, encouraging them to be analytical in their approaches to texts and creative in their own writing. Schemes of work are specifically designed to enable students to develop the skills that they will require to succeed at GCSE level.

Year 7: Students have five lessons a week, in their form groups– one of these lessons will be a dedicated reading lesson, where students will focus on developing their own independent reading skills.

Autumn Term:

  • ‘Theme Parks’ - reading and writing skills
  • ‘A Monster Calls’ by Patrick Ness – novel study and grammar skills

Spring Term:

  • ‘Frankenstein’ by Phillip Pullman - play study and engagement with 19th Century texts
  • Horror Stories - writing skills

Summer Term:

  • Poetry from Other Cultures – poetic terms and analysis
  • Introduction to Chaucer – reading, writing and speaking and listening skills


Year 8: Students have four lessons a week, in their form groups.

Autumn Term:

  • ‘Trash’ by Andy Mulligan – novel study focusing on reading and analysis skills
  • War Literature – students will look at a variety of poetry, non fiction and fiction texts and develop their understanding of context and their ability to compare texts

Spring Term:

  • Dystopian Fiction - writing skills and grammar
  • Speaking and Listening – preparing a presentation based on a topical issue

Summer Term:

  • ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare
  • Poetry Classics – poetic terms, analysis skills and comparison skills




Year 9: Students have four lessons a week – they will be in either a Higher, Middle or Foundation set, depending on ability. A key focus in Year 9 is ensuring that students are able to engage with more challenging texts and become increasingly more able to analyse texts independently, and are confident writers, so that they are able to fully access the GCSE course in Years 10 and 11.

Autumn Term:

  • ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck
  • Writing Skills – a short film will be used to stimulate student’s ability to write in different forms, for different audiences.

Spring Term:

  • ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and a selection of sonnets by William Shakespeare
  • ‘Kindertransport’ by Diane Samuels


Summer Term:

  • 19th and 20th Century Short Stories
  • Independent Novel Study, leading to a presentation


In Year 10 and 11 students have four English lessons a week. In order to ensure continuity and support students thoroughly, the majority of students will be taught in the same set as they were in Year 9, by the same teacher. For Year 11 students, after school support will be available from their class teacher every week, to assist with revision and coursework. Year 10: Year 10 will be studying for the new GCSEs in English Language and English Literature. These will be assessed by 100% exam at the end of Year 11 (2017). The exam board we will be using is AQA – full details of the specifications can be found by following the links below: AQA GCSE English Language AQA GCSE English Literature Texts that will be studied during this course:
  • Shakespeare – either Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing or Romeo and Juliet
  • The 19th-century novel – either Great Expectations, Jekyll and Hyde or A Christmas Carol
  • Modern drama text – An Inspector Calls
  • AQA Poetry Anthology – Power and Conflict
In addition to these set texts, students will also engage with:
  • Non fiction extracts from the 19th century to the present day
  • Extracts from novels from the 19th century to the present day
  • ‘Unseen’ poetry
Students will also work on developing their own writing skills, throughout the course.  


At both AS and A level, students need to be prepared for a rigorous and challenging course – they need to be prepared to undertake a high level of their own wider reading.


Year 12


In Year 12 students will study towards the new AQA AS level in English Literature. After they have sat this examination, they will begin to study for the new AQA A Level in English Literature.  Please note that these are two separate qualifications.


Please click on the links below for the specifications:


AQA AS Level English Literature

AQA A Level English Literature


AS texts:


Atonement – Ian McEwan

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Othello – William Shakespeare

AQA Poetry Anthology Love Through the Ages – 19th Century poetry


The AS course is assessed by 100% examination.


Year 13:

The current Year 13 students will be studying the AQA A2 English Literature course. Please click here for the specification.


In Year 13 students study texts linked to the theme ‘Love Through the Ages’ – they look at texts from a variety of literary periods, from Chaucer through to Toni Morrison. They are assessed by coursework and examination. Their coursework is a comparison of three texts, one of which must be by Shakespeare, and the two and a half hour examination they sit comprises of two comparison questions on unseen texts.