Click here to read Reading in Year 7: Advice for Parents and Carers.

Revision Materials

Fiction and Imaginative Writing Paper 1 (Example 1)

Fiction and Imaginative Writing Paper 1 (Example 2)

Fiction and Imaginative Writing Paper 1 (Example 3)

Non Fiction and Transactional Writing Paper 2 (Example 1)

Non Fiction and Transactional Writing Paper 2 (Example 2)

Non Fiction and Transactional Writing Paper 2 (Example 3)

Revision Websites

Revision for the Literature Texts - 9-11




 The English Department’s Philosophy:

In the English Department at Portchester Community School, we aim to make each student’s experience a diverse, interesting and highly enjoyable one. English is vital as our tool of communication, making it crucial that each student is able to read, write and speak with fluency and competence. We also believe that students should be given the opportunity to develop a keen critical sense of the world around them and so aim to provide a wide range of topics, texts and tasks to allow them to explore and enjoy the rich diversity of the subject and to develop themselves as thoughtful, creative and culturally aware individuals.

Mission Statements

What do we aim for students to learn each year in KS3 and KS4 and how do students progress?

Year 7


In Year 7 students will build on the solid foundations of comprehension and inference laid in primary school using a challenging range of contemporary and historical texts. Comprehension is still an extremely important part of their studies in English and will form the basis of all the emergent analytical work that follows. In Year 7 we wish to develop structural understanding of texts, looking at how a writer structures ideas, character development or argument across a text especially at paragraph and chapter level. The Year 7 curriculum will develop language analysis skills, building on students’ strong existing knowledge of grammar and encouraging discussion about impact and effect on a reader. We wish to develop students’ emergent critical voices and evaluative skills focusing on personal response to texts. In Year 7 they will cover a range of texts from, At the Sign of the Sugared Plum to Greek Mythology. They will also be given reading logs in Year 7 so that we can monitor their reading material and its challenge, ensuring that students are being targeted during their allocated reading time. Students will be given the opportunity to read in many different contexts and reading to a range of adults.


Students enter Year 7 with strong writing skills from KS2. Students are encouraged to focus on the effect and impact of their choices of vocabulary and technique. In Year 7 students will start to develop a formal, critical and analytical style and will learn to write different styles of texts in different contexts. The Year 7 curriculum is heavy on descriptive and narrative writing, building on the creative enthusiasm of students at this stage of their school career. Students will learn to think structurally about their writing, planning narrative and non-fiction pieces that develop themes, ideas and effects across a whole text. Students will explore different conventions within descriptive writing (such as the use of pathetic fallacy or foreshadowing) and experiment with these in their own work. They will build on and maintain the effective editing and redrafting practices established in KS2.

Year 8


In Year 8 we aim to build students’ confidence with a more challenging range of literature, this includes romantic poetry and a challenging whole novel study. Comprehension and inference skills are still foregrounded and are used to establish understanding before delving deeper into language analysis. In Year 8 students develop their ability to compare ideas across texts from different genres or eras. They start to track themes and concepts across novels and plays looking at how a writer uses symbolic meanings to communicate deeper ideas to the reader. In Year 8 students start to think about the writer’s intentions and how they are positioned as a reader, understanding that their own personal response may not be the only interpretation of a text.


Students in Year 8 work on range and diversity of styles of writing. They experiment with different genres of non-fiction such as articles for magazines and different formalities of letter writing. In their descriptive and narrative work they start to take on the voice of another character or perspective, writing in role and with empathy. In their critical and analytical work, Year 8 students learn to write comparatively about multiple texts and establish a confident essay writing style. This year is about diversity and experimentation as students start to establish their own distinct writing voice; this is particularly explored in the persuasive writing unit ‘War of Words’. We extend the idea in Year 9 of students having a ‘clear voice’ in their writing and this is developed through many focused speaking and listening activities across the year.

Year 9


In Year 9 students start to apply a more developed understanding of social and historical context to their comprehension of texts. At the start of the year, they learn about the social, cultural and moral conventions in America in the 1930s, building skills for context that they will need in their GCSE. In Year 9 students deepen their language analysis skills applying these to a range of texts of different genres. They build a confident critical voice and adopt an evaluative approach to texts appreciating the different meanings and interpretations that can be constructed by different readers. Their work on comparison focuses on intertextuality, comparing how writers of different eras present ideas and themes and how these presentations compare to our own contemporary understanding. At the end of the year, students will begin to study Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ which is a key text for their GCSE examination.


Students in Year 9 are writing with growing sophistication and start to experiment with the voices of other writers using pastiche as a way of learning new writing skills and style. They continue to write in a range of styles applying the conventions of different text types independently and with confidence. Students can adapt the formality and style of their writing to the task at hand, demonstrating awareness of audience and constructing a rapport with the reader. They develop a convincing critical voice, learning how to construct an argument within an essay and weave contextual information into their analysis of a text. They become more independent with the planning process for their own writing, choosing and adapting different styles to suit their audience.

Year 10 and 11  

English Language: 

Throughout Year 10 and 11 students are taught higher level reading skills through complex and challenging units. In Year 10 students are taught skills of deeper analysis, focusing on structure and language with a range of material. We use the main set texts in Literature of Blood Brothers, Much Ado About Nothing and Frankenstein to underpin the key language skills needed for both Language Paper 1 and Language Paper 2 in their final exams. They continue to deepen their understanding of texts, evaluating the writer’s intent as well as considering a range of contextual factors and how this may influence or manipulate the reader’s response.  They continue to build a critical voice throughout the year, referring back to previous texts they have studied to make comparisons of events, themes and ideas. In Year 11 they become more independent with their reading skills and these are applied to the examination paper, students will refine and adapt their skills in order to meet the criteria of the examinations. Their writing and reading skills are further enhanced by using Let’s Think In English lessons, which are embedded throughout units in Year 11.

English Literature:  

In Year 10 all three key set texts are studied throughout the year. In Year 10 they will be tested on their understanding and comprehension of these texts and their ability to evaluate key ideas and themes that are presented throughout the text. At the beginning of Year 11, students will look closely at the Poetry Anthology as well as unseen poetry in class. Whilst studying this unit students will be assessed on their ability to analyse language and structure at an advanced level. In Year 11 they become more independent in their revision of the key set texts; there are numerous opportunities in the curriculum to revisit key themes, events, ideas throughout each of the units on the course. Students will have opportunities to gain a deeper understanding and comprehension of key set texts visiting touring productions of any of the key texts that year.

Extra Curricular Opportunities Include:

  • GCSE Poetry Live events
  • Trips to the theatre to view live shows
  • Poetry, debate and young writers’ competitions
  • The Hampshire Book Awards Readathon and other sponsored events

Teaching Staff

To email click on the link or add @portchester.hants.sch.uk to the name

 Mr T Wood Subject Leader, English     t.wood
 Ms C McKeeman Assistant Head Teacher and English Teacher  c.mckeeman
 Ms R Mullen English Teacher    r.mullen
 Mrs J Rixon Head of Year 9, Pupil Premium Co-ordinator, and English Teacher     j.rixon
 Mrs P Ryder Assistant Subject Leader, English   p.ryder
 Miss H Vernon English Teacher  h.vernon
 Miss J Robinson English Teacher  j.robinson
 Mrs G Sinclair English Teacher and Subject Leader for Media  g.sinclair

Useful Links:

GCSE Bitesize website

AQA website

Programme of Study 2017 - click to view large version