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Marlwood School



Our broad, ambitious and engaging curriculum teaches students to master the Marlwood English 4Cs: to comprehend the rules, structures and ideas underpinning the English language and its literary forms; to contextualise areas of study against the backdrop of biography, culture, history and philosophy; to critique how the English language can be used to achieve particular effects; to create texts in a wide variety of forms to engage or persuade particular audiences.

The English Curriculum at Marlwood




Link to Full Curriculum Map

KS3 Curriculum: Year 7–9

The Marlwood English 4Cs sit at the heart of our curriculum, promoting a deep and rounded appreciation for the subject:

  • Comprehend: To develop students’ literacy and comprehension in reading and writing, and provide them with an academically rigorous education in the fundamentals of English Language and Literature.
  • Contextualise: To develop students’ cultural capital by connecting concepts and content to writers’ experiences and beliefs, historical moments, literary forms and movements, and by making links to life in 21st-century Britain.
  • Critique: To teach students how to think like a writer and literary critic, developing a deep understanding of how texts can be constructed to produce particular effects on audiences and readers.
  • Create: To teach students how to write and speak with confidence and conviction, with skills broken down into their discrete components to support in this endeavour.

Knowledge organisers / vocabulary list

Unit 1

Useful Weblinks/additional reading

How to support your child

  • Encouraging your child to read their book in the Accelerated Reader scheme for at least 20 minutes per day
  • Ensuring additional homework beyond reading is completed and to a high standard
  • Discussing what your child is learning in English at the moment and exploring the key terminology taught in lessons (see unit knowledge organisers)
  • Checking your child’s confidence with the spellings taught in Key Stage 2, encouraging them to use look-cover-write-check to learn the words they misspell – see slides 16 and 23 for the words taught at primary school: The national curriculum in England - English Appendix 1: Spelling

KS4 Curriculum: Year 10–11

English at Key Stage 4 consists of two courses: GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.

English Language GCSE

Exam Board: AQA

Exam weighting: 100% Examination

Assessment: In English Language, students are taught a linear course and assessed at the end of Year 11 with two external exams. Speaking and listening skills are assessed by teachers and awarded with a separate endorsement.


Explorations in creative reading and writing

Students will learn to analyse and compare a range of literary fiction and non-fiction texts, understanding how writers use formal, structural and linguistic techniques to engage and persuade. They will learn to apply these techniques to their own descriptive, narrative and transactional writing.


Students will gain skills in the following areas:

  • Close analytical reading of a range of texts
  • Creative, imaginative writing skills
  • Development of appropriate use of spoken and written English for a range of audiences and purposes
  • Exposure to a broad range of reading material from different genres and time periods.

What are the benefits of studying this course now and for the future?

  • Success in reading and writing underpins success in every other subject; the skills developed in English will support students’ learning across the curriculum
  • English Language is an essential qualification for all further education courses and training
  • This course develops students’ communication and group work skills, which are essential in the workplace and in later life
  • This course also helps students to develop the ability to read a broad range of texts with understanding and insight.

English Literature GCSE             



Exam Board: AQA             

Exam weighting: 100% Examination

Assessment: In English Literature, students are taught a linear course and assessed at the  end of Year 11 with two external exams.


Students will study texts from the following areas of English literature (the texts in brackets  may change should different needs for the cohort emerge):

  • A Shakespeare play (Macbeth)
  • A 19th-century novel (A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens)
  • A modern play (An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley)
  • A selection of modern poetry (AQA’s Power and Conflict poetry cluster)

The poetry exam also contains an ‘unseen’ element, where students are required to respond to two poems that they have not read before.


Students will gain skills in the following areas:

  • Analytical reading, where students learn to: identify ideas and perspectives in literary texts; explain the effects of writers’ techniques; support interpretations using quotations and references; and develop cohesive lines of argument
  • Communication: the study of literature involves many opportunities for students to discuss and debate ideas about texts
  • Making links between texts and historical/social contexts: students will learn about the way that meanings in a text are affected by the context in which they are written and received.


Theatre trips and author visits will be available when these are of interest to the students and relevant to the course.

What are the benefits of studying this course now and for the future?

  • Students develop critical reading skills and essay-writing skills, which can be applied to every other subject
  • The course broadens students’ knowledge of culture and literary traditions, making links with other subjects such as history, religious studies, philosophy, psychology, sociology, economics and politics
  • English Literature is highly respected for its academic rigour and is useful for numerous future routes into college, 6th form and university.

Knowledge organisers / vocabulary list

 Career pathways

  • Writing
  • Publishing
  • Law
  • Copywriting
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Journalism
  • Broadcasting
  • Social Media Management
  • Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Events Management

Useful Links and resourcing

CGP GCSE revision guides:

●     AQA English Language: search “New GCSE English Language AQA Revision Guide - includes Online Edition and Videos: ideal for the 2023 and 2024 exams”

●     An Inspector Calls: search “New GCSE English Text Guide - An Inspector Calls includes Online Edition & Quizzes: perfect for the 2023 and 2024 exams”

●     A Christmas Carol: search “New GCSE English Text Guide - A Christmas Carol includes Online Edition & Quizzes: perfect for the 2023 and 2024 exams”

●     Macbeth: search “New GCSE English Shakespeare Text Guide - Macbeth includes Online Edition & Quizzes: ideal for the 2023 and 2024 exams”

●     AQA Power and Conflict Poetry: search “New GCSE English AQA Poetry Guide - Power & Conflict Anthology inc. Online Edition, Audio & Quizzes: ideal for the 2023 and 2024 exams”

Support for students and parents