Curriculum Intent Statement

We all think and communicate using the English language, and in many respects language controls our engagement with the world.

English at Clyst Vale focusses on creating enthusiastic and flexible communicators who can create and understand messages and their multiple layers of effect. We will read and write for pleasure, to engage with the modern world and in order to connect with writers’ experiences from the past.  By mastering English our learners can share and shape the world around them.

Our KS3 curriculum focuses on the mastery of clearly specified objectives which are pursued until they are achieved through continued practice and consolidation.  Key concepts are explored in depth to allow our learners the time and focus to truly grasp skills and employ them independently. KS3 also uses a spiral curriculum model as students will revisit the same concepts throughout the key stage, with each encounter increasing in complexity and reinforcing previous learning.  Those who do not reach the required levels will be provided with additional tuition, peer support, small group discussions, or homework to enable their progression.

The overarching KS3 concepts for English at CVCC are:

  • Comprehension – reading a range of fiction and non-fiction texts accurately.
  • Understanding a range of reasons why people write – be able to draw connections between a writer’s purpose, personal experience and their message.
  • Understanding how a writer makes a series of crafting choices when they write and be able to use crafting choices within a learner’s own writing.
  • Understanding the effects of language – be able to explore how writers manipulate the effects and subtle messages created through their choice of words and use of literary techniques.
  • Clear and confident communication – write and talk accurately using a range of vocabulary, punctuation and structures to create desired effects. Understanding how purpose, audience and form impact on communication choices.
  • Exploring the world – through reading and writing about a wide range of texts to develop an appreciation for the people, places and experiences of our world. Enhancing cultural capital.

Our KS4 curriculum builds on the conceptual understanding fostered in KS3 and once again revisits learning skills over the 20 months of study.  Students will be encouraged to see the cross-over of skills between GCSE literature and language and understand that assessment objectives are examined recursively across the two courses.

Proficiency in English is a key factor in our learners’ ability to successfully control their lives when they leave us.  It is our duty to ensure that they understand how vital it is to their future economic and social wellbeing.


Your ability to use and to interpret language has a direct influence on your ability to control your life.

Developing the perceptiveness and sophistication of reading skills, and nurturing the range and command of spoken and written English, are the key aims of the English Department at Clyst Vale. The teachers in the Department endeavour to deliver lessons in a creative and engaging way for all students whatever their ability. We aim to pass on our passion for English and we hope that it will continue into adulthood for our students.

Throughout their time with the English Department, students will be expected to read regularly across a broad range of texts and genres.

In Year 7 and 8 the focus is placed on improving the technical accuracy of writing, developing a critical vocabulary that enables students to explore how writers achieve particular effects, and on encouraging them to become more self-aware and mature as creative writers.

In Y9 students are encouraged to develop skills that will be required at GCSE. They will analyse a variety of literary and non-literary texts and craft relevant responses to them. Establishing these foundations in Y9 enables students to make a smooth transition to GCSE in Y10 and 11. All students are taught English up to the end of Year 11.

Students may choose to study English at A Level, and there is a good blend of those who will continue studying English at university and those specialising in other subjects who recognise the importance of refining their analytical skills and the precision of their expression. Those who study English at Post 16 find it richly rewarding to read more challenging texts and to approach these from different theoretical perspectives. Throughout the two year course students are taught to think conceptually about texts, theories and the relationships between them.

There are many opportunities for students to enhance their study of English whilst at Clyst Vale. These include trips to the theatre, drama workshops, visits from writers, BBC School Report, public speaking and the College Newspaper.

Read 2 Learn

Read 2 Learn is R2La course run for year 7 with the aim of instilling a real passion for literature.

Teachers of the course come from many different departments across the school and bring their love of reading to their teaching. The course begins with a library induction and each teaching group is timetabled to visit the library for one lesson every fortnight. All students read ‘Wonder’ by R.J.Palacio in the first half term using a differentiated scheme of work, as groups are broadly set at the start of year 7 and then reset at half term into clear ability groups, based on ability data from primary schools, a National Reading Test, and teacher assessment. They then can read challenging but ability and age-appropriate fiction, chosen by their teachers from a wide-ranging stock of great reads. Texts that are available to Read to Learn classes include Silverfin (Charlie Higson), Trash (Andy Mulligan), Kensuke’s Kingdom (Michael Morpurgo), Millions (Roddy Doyle)…and many more!

Read to Learn is also an opportunity to support Literacy across the curriculum. Teachers mark written pieces such as book reviews, diary entries and plot summaries according to an adapted top sheet from the English department. This focuses on the students’ ability to use vocabulary, sentence types and grammar structures in an interesting and correct way. In order to support Literacy, the Read to Learn team pilot Literacy initiatives before they are ‘rolled out’ across departments, and are currently working on a spelling strategy that will be evaluated and shared with the whole staff once the pilot is complete.

All of year 7 take part in ‘Readathon’ as part of the Read to Learn course from October half term until Christmas; a sponsored reading scheme raising money for cancer charities. This has been a great success and a real incentive to read, and in our first two years we have raised over £600 through this scheme.

KS3 Curriculum Plan

Please use the link below to view the KS3 Curriculum Plan

Long Term Plan Year 7

Long Term Plan Year 8

Long Term Plan Year 9

KS3 Long Term Plan overview for parents

Assessment Objectives:

English Language GCSE:


A01: Identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas. Select and synthesise evidence from different texts

A02:  Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their views

A03: Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts

A04: Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references


A05: Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences. Organise information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features to support coherence and cohesion of texts

AO6: Candidates must use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.

English Literature GCSE:

AO1:    Read, understand and respond to texts. Students should be able to: maintain a critical style and develop an informed personal response. Use textual references, including quotations, to support and illustrate interpretations

AO2     Analyse the language, form and structure used by a writer to create meanings and effects, using relevant subject terminology where appropriate

AO3     Show understanding of the relationships between texts and the contexts in which they were written

AO4     Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation

KS3 Reading List

Recent Releases

Samantha Alexander – Racing Start

David Almond – Counting Stars

Neil Arskey – Playing on the Edge

Malorie Blackman – Dangerous Reality

Lauren Brooke – Heartland

Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries

Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl

Trevor Colgan – The Stretford Enders

Susan Cooper – King of Shadows

Gillian Cross – Tightrope

Jamila Gavin – The Track of the Wind

Adele Geras – Watching the Roses

Anna Halam – Dr Franklin’s Island

Frances Mary Hendry – Chains

Kevin Crossley Holland – At the Crossing Places

Anthony Horrowitz – Point Blanc

Catherine Macphail – Bad Company

Sue Mayfield – Blue

Margaret McAllister – Ghost at the Window

Ishbel Moore – Daughter

Philip Pullman – The Amber Spyglass

Celia Rees – The Witch Child

Louis Sachar – Holes

Marcus Sedgwick – Witch Hill

Paul Shipton – The Man Who Was Hate

Suzanne Staples – Shiva’s Fire

Robert Westall – The Stones of Muncaster Cathedral

Benjamin Zephania – Refugee Boy

Have you considered Audio Books?

J K Rowling – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

David Almond – Heaven Eyes

Kevin Crossley Holland – The Seeing Stone

Alex Rider series – Anthony Horowitz

Award Winners

David Almond – Skellig

Rachel Anderson – Paper Faces

Malorie Blackman – Hacker

Tim Bowler – Shadows

Gillian Cross – Wolf

Berlie Doherty – Dear Nobody

Anne Fine – Flour Babies

Frances Mary Henry – Chandra

Philip Pullman – The Amber Spyglass

Robert Swindells – Stone Cold

Sue Welford- The Night After Tomorrow

By Royal Command – Charlie Higson

Old Favourites

Louisa M Alcott – Little Women

Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol

Ann Holm – I am David

Laurie Lee – Cider With Rosie

Arthur Ransome – Swallows and Amazons

J.R.R.Tolkein – The Hobbit

Sue Townsend – The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole

Key Stage 3 Classics

Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice

Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre

Charles Dickens – Great Expectations

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – The Hound of the Baskervilles

William Golding – Lord of the Flies

Ernest Hemingway – The Old Man and the Sea

Robert Louis Stevenson – Treasure Island

Jonathan Swift – Gulliver’s Travels

H.G. Wells – The Time Machine

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Easy Reads

Ros Asquith – The Teenage Worrier’s Panick Diary

Stephen Elboz – Ghostlands

Leon Garfield – Mr Corbett’s Ghost

Adrian Henri – Spooky Poems

Knife & Packer – Teachers: The Naked Truth

Dav Pilkey – The Captain Underpants Extra Crunchy Book of Fun

Jacqueline Wilson – The Dare Game

Dianna Wynne Jones – Howl’s Moving Castle


Film & TV Books

Gillian Cross – The Revenge of the Demon Headmaster

Phillipa Pearce -_Tom’s Midnight Garden

Paul Ruditis – Sabrina, The Teenage Witch

Who Wants to be a Millionaire? (Junior Challenge)

Making Robot Warriors From Junk

Planet of the Apes

Here Be Monsters – (Buffy. The Vampire Slayer)


David Burnie – The Kingfisher Illustrated Animal Encyclopaedia

Terry Deary – Horrible Christmas (Horrible Histories)

Neil Grant – The Oxford History of the World

Eileen O’Brien – Internet Linked Introduction to Music

Chris Powling – The Book About Books

Lesley Sims – A Visitor’s Guide to Ancient Rome

Space: Earth: Bugs (Marshall Minis)

Touching the Void Joe Simpson


Multicultural Books

John Agard – Get Back Pimple

Lynne Reid Banks – One More River

Rosa Guy – The Friends

Bette Greene – Summer of My German Soldier

Esther Hautzig – The Endless Steppe

Beverley Naidoo – No Turning Back

Morton Rhue – The Wave

Hans Pieter Richter – Friedrich

Barbara C. Smucker – Underground to Canada

Robert Swindells – Smash

Mildred Taylor – The Road to Memphis

James Watson – Ticket to Prague

KS4 Curriculum

Long Term Plan Year 10

Long Term Plan Year 11

English Language English Literature
Sets 1 – 7 English Language GCSE 9 – 1

Exam Board Edexcel

English Language specification booklet

Sets 1 – 6


English Literature GCSE 9 – 1

Exam Board Edexcel

English Literature specification booklet

Set 8 Entry level certificate in English

Exam Board AQA

‘Step Up’ specification booklet

Presentation on new Language and Literature GCSE courses

KS4 Reading List

To enhance students vocabulary and engagement with the written word, we have created a list of books that may be suitable for wider reading at KS4

This is a list of texts that have been influential to a number of teachers at school- male and female. 

The Rachel Papers – Martin Amis (Fiction)

Mother Tongue – Bill Bryson (Non-Fiction)

A Brief History of Britain – Andrew Marr (Non-Fiction)

1984- George Orwell (Fiction)

Wild Swans- Jung Chang (Fiction)

Chaos- (About Chaos Theory) -James Gleick (Non-Fiction)

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Fiction)

Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams (Fiction)

The Time Traveller’s Wife- Audrey Niffeneger (Fiction)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night- Mark Haddon (Fiction)

Catch 22 – Joseph Heller (Fiction)

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (Fiction)

The Catcher in the Rye – J D Salinger (Fiction)

Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad (Fiction)

Long Walk to Freedom- Nelson Mandela (Non-Fiction, autobiography)

Roots – Alex Haley (Fiction)

The Bookseller of Kabul- Asne Seierstad (Fiction)

Dreams from my Father -Barack Obama (Non-Fiction, autobiography)

Of Mice and Men- John Steinbeck (Fiction)

The Book Thief -Markus Zusak (Fiction)

Birdsong-Sebastian Faulks (Fiction)

Sophie’s World- Jostein Gaarder (Fiction)

Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkein (Fiction)

The Belgariad – David Eddings (Fiction – 10 books in series)

The Colour Purple- Alice Walker (Fiction)

A Streetcar Named Desire- Tennessee Williams (Fiction)

The Lovely Bones- Alice Seabold (Fiction)

Eat, pray, love- Elizabeth Gilbert (Fiction)

Prime of Miss Jean Brodie- Muriel Spark (Fiction)

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (Fiction)

Frankenstein- Mary Shelley (Fiction)

The Other Hand- Chris Cleve (Fiction)

Never Let Me Go- Kazuo Ishiguro (Fiction)

The First 15 Lives of Harry August- Claire North (Fiction)

Moriarty- Anthony Horowitz (Fiction)

KS5 Curriculum

Long Term Plan Year 12

Long Term Plan Year 13

AQA A Level English Literature spec A

The new A Level consists of three units delivered over two years:

Love through the Ages

40% of A-Level

3 hour examination (3 essays)

This focusses on three texts; Shakespeare, poetry and prose and will involve comparative analysis.

Texts in Shared Contexts

40% of A-Level

2.5 hour examination (2 essays and one critical analysis of an unseen text)

This is the study of 3 texts; prose, poetry and drama from pre 1900 and post 2000.

Independent Critical Study: Texts across Time

20% of A-Level


This is comprised of two components:

A comparative critical analysis of two texts (one of which must be pre 1900)

An extended essay and bibliography

Typical texts on offer in the course would be:

Drama Poetry Prose
Othello* Up the Line of Death Regeneration
A Doll’s House* Scars upon My Heart Wuthering Heights
A Streetcar Named Desire Feminine Gospels* Birdsong
Oh! What a Lovely War AQA post 1900 Anthology Atonement
Top Girls Remember Jane Eyre*
Journey’s End Ae Fond Kiss The Great Gatsby
The Taming of the Shrew Sonnet 116 The Handmaid’s Tale
The Winter’s Tale To His Coy Mistress The Color Purple
The Help*
Yellow Wallpaper*

*current choices

English Team1 Oct 21

English Team2 Oct 21

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