Welcome to the English subject page


We aim to prepare our students at Al-Hijrah School with the necessary skills needed to achieve mastery in oracy, written English and reading skills.  Our programmes of study promote the pupils’ appreciation and love of reading and prepares them for the demands of everyday life and their future careers. Our four specialist English teachers deliver the new National Curriculum for English with enthusiasm and ensure lessons are taught in an inventive and inspiring way that encourages each pupil to develop their confidence in all aspects of Literacy.

Students in years 7-9 have four lessons each week.  Students in years 10-11 have five lessons each week. Assessments are carried out on a half termly basis for all years. The GCSE English Language Paper consists of:  Paper 1 (20th century literature reading and creative prose writing) and Paper 2 (19th and 21st century nonfiction reading and transactional writing).


At  Al-Hijrah School a significant number of pupils make three or more levels of progress between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 in English, which is significantly higher than the national average.

Click here for the English overview –  Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4


KS3 English

The curriculum has been developed to meet the needs of the new specification and with the aim of bridging the gap between KS3 and KS4.  Students cover both language and literature and have assessments that are in line with the method of assessments at KS4.  Students will learn to understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of English, as illustrated through their schemes of work.

Click here for information on Key Stage 3 English

In year 7 and Year 8, the students cover the following units:


  • Autobiographies
  • Writing formal letters
  • Pre-1914 Literary Heritage (author study)
  • The Novel
  • War poetry
  • Writing diaries and informal letters
  • Language focus: 19th and  21st century nonfiction reading and writing
  • Writing speeches and lively articles
  • Language focus: 19th century literary fiction and nonfiction
  • Writing creative prose
  • 20th century Seminal world literature
  • Introduction to Shakespeare
  • Persuasive writing
  • Post 1914 author study
  • Spoken language study
  • Macbeth
  • Poetry

KS4 English


In Year 9 students will undergo transition to Key Stage 4, when the GCSE course commences. Both GCSE Language and Literature are un-tiered so all students have the potential to achieve well.  The GCSE is 100% exam, and for Language there is a compulsory Spoken element that is 0% of the qualification. Class sizes are kept small to enable more students to receive individual teacher support.


The following topics are covered at KS4

  • WJEC Poetry Anthology
  • 20th century Literature
  • An Inspector Calls
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • 19th and 21st century nonfiction
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Unseen Poetry
  • Speaking Practice

How Parents can Support

Parents can support their child by encouraging them to read a variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction. Regular visits to the library are a useful way for children to access a range of literature.  There are also useful websites that have information to complement the English curriculum.

Useful Websites and recommended reading lists for Key Stages 3 and 4.

KS3 Reading list – Click here

KS4 Reading List – Click here

Quizzes on Grammar

BBC Bitesize – Key Stage 3

BBC Bitesize –  Key Stage 4

Sample assessments GCSE English Language

Sample assessments GCSE English Literature