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English, as a subject, treads a fine line between being a practical subject and a creative one. It is a measure of our success at Virgo Fidelis that the English Department aims to balance our responsibility to both the practical and creative development of our students.

We aim to nurture talent and, at the other end of the scale, support those that encounter problems in reading, writing, speaking and listening. We practise, as best we can, the principle of ‘inclusion’ and want to see all students involved and participating in the good practice that our curriculum represents.

At the heart of any good English department, is its approach to reading. ‘Reading’ should provide models to develop students’ own writing style, it should be a source of vocabulary, and the selective skills involved in ‘close analysis’ and ‘skimmed understanding’ are crucial ones in developing a  student’s ability to respond in essay form to a text.  

English is not simply about reading, it is a craft too. Students actively take responsibility for using spoken and written language as a tool to persuade, inform, advise and emotionally move their audience. They need to learn how to utilise their imaginations and to use certain language devices for the particular task set.

Key to success in English is parental support and a recognition that the experience of literature and the progress towards reading competency is not delivered exclusively at school. Students need to come to school with reading experiences and enthusiasms that should help to inform them about what is good and bad in the world of written literature, they should be aware of the necessary censorship of prurient utterance, and they should recognise the function that articulate language has in our ‘spiritual’ world.

Our Key Stage 3 Curriculum


Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Year 7

  • 0100a Introduction to English Core Values, Expectations, Policies, Curriculum, Assessments and Tests
  • 0101a Transition Unit: Children’s Stories
  • 0102a Fables and Children’s Stories

0105a Prose: Face/ Skellig / Black Beauty / Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

0107a Travel Writing


  • 0103a Introduction to Poetry
  • 0104a Pre-1914 Drama Text – ‘The Blue Bird’ and ‘Betrothal’ by Maurice Maeterlinck

0106a Introduction to Shakespeare


  • 0108a Film as text: Ever After
  • 0109a Non-Fiction Writing

Year 8

  • 0200a Introduction to English Core Values, Expectations, Policies, Curriculum, Assessments and Tests
  • 0201a Pre and Post 1914 texts

0203a A Midsummer Night’s Dream


0205a Poetry – Poems from Different Cultures / Introduction to ‘Romantic Poetry’ / The Ryme of the Ancient Mariner

0202a Language Unit

 – Part 1

0204a Guided Reading: Holes / Private Peaceful / Animal Farm

0206a Media study: Magazines/Newspapers

Year 9

  • 0300a Introduction to English Core Values, Expectations, Policies, Curriculum, Assessments and Tests
  • 0301a Non-fiction: Death Penalty

0303a Shakespeare: Macbeth or The Taming of the Shrew

0306a Novel - Noughts and Crosses/ To Kill a Mockingbird / Of Mice and Men


0302a Gothic stories: Poe

  • 0304a Love Poetry
  • 0305a Language Unit – Part 2

0307a Introduction to GCSE: Exploring Narrative Writing Styles