Welcome to the English Department

Departmental Courses
  • GCSE English Literature (AQA)
  • GCSE  English Language (AQA)
  • GCSE Media Studies (WJEC)
  • GCE English Literature (AQA)
  • GCE English Language and Literature (AQA)
  • GCE Media Studies

Welcome to English. We believe English enables all students to develop their communication skills, critical thinking and imagination through the subject’s three strands: Speaking & Listening, Reading and Writing.

We share a positive view of what students can achieve and we are responsible for providing a supportive but challenging learning environment. We believe students learn best through enjoyment, enthusiasm and excitement; and that all students should have their opinions and contributions heard and respected.

We aim to enable every student to achieve their full potential. Success arises from a desire to achieve combined with a positive work ethic. Consistent effort as well as high attainment should be celebrated.

We believe Reading is the key to all learning. Reading, particularly of literature, offers students the opportunity to develop empathy, wisdom and cultural understanding.

We cover all aspects of the National Curriculum during Years 7, 8 and 9 through differentiated Units. Each Unit includes a formal assessment in Reading and Writing. Our teaching includes a consistent focus on accuracy in Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. In addition, students sit a formal internal exam in the Spring term of each year. In Year 9, formal assessment and examination grades are combined to create an end of KS3 Level which is the basis for our Year 10 teaching sets.

  • Year 7 Units: Writing to Inform & Explain / Modern Novel / Classic Play / Introduction to Shakespeare / Biography & Autobiography / Writing or Independent Project.
  • Year 8 Units: Writing to Describe / Classic Novel or Short Stories / Myths & Legends / Analysing Media & Non-Fiction Texts / Poetry from Different Times & Places / Reading Comprehension / Storytelling Project.
  • Year 9 Units: Writing to Argue & Persuade / American Novel / Shakespeare Play / Exam Skills & Preparation / Reading & Writing Non-Fiction review / GCSE Spoken Language Presentation / GCSE Unseen Poetry & �?Love and Relationships’ Poetry Cluster.

Students take two GCSE courses: AQA English Language & AQA English Literature. Students sit mock exams in the Spring of Year 10 and at least three times in Year 11.
A Copy of GCSE English Literature texts can be downloaded here.

  • Year 11 English Language GCSE: Extended Reading / Creative Writing / Spoken Language (Controlled Assessments); Non-Fiction Reading & Writing (examination).
  • Year 11 English Literature GCSE: Shakespeare & Literary Heritage (Controlled Assessment); Modern Prose or Drama / Exploring Cultures / Anthology Poetry / Unseen Poetry (two examinations).
  • Year 10 English Language GCSE: Creative Reading & Writing – Literature Fiction texts + Descriptive & Narrative Writing / Writers’ Viewpoints – Non-Fiction texts + Writing to Present a Viewpoint (two examinations).
  • Year 10 English Literature GCSE: Shakespeare / 19th Century Novel / Modern Text / �?Love & Relationships’ Poetry / Unseen Poetry (two examinations).

GCSE Media Studies (WJEC)

Why study GCSE Media Studies?
Studying the GCSE Media Studies course at Poole High School will introduce students to a variety of different media and lay the foundations for further study at A Level and Degree Level.

Media Studies is both a theoretical look at the media and a hands-on approach. Students look at how the media works, so written analysis and the ability to communicate using media terminology is essential. There are also a number of practical projects to choose from, so students can use their creative side too.

Topics include:
Music, Film, Television Drama, Animation, Science Fiction, Lifestyle and celebrity, News.

A Level English Literature

Year 12

Students will study two Prose texts – at least one of which will be pre-1900 – from an umbrella theme. Themes include: Science and Society; the Supernatural; and Crime and Detection.  This year’s texts have been drawn from the Science and Society section and include a comparison of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Students will be required to explore attitudes and values, genre features and conventions as well as exploring writer’s use of language, form and structure. Poetry is also studied as a separate module and includes poems drawn from a particular period or named poet from a designated literary period, such as Metaphysical or Romantic poetry; further Poetry studies include a selection of post-2000 poetry, including an Unseen element. 

Year 13

Students will develop their awareness of critical theory through a study of Tragedy or Comedy. Their study will include a detailed exploration of a Shakespeare Play as well as the critical analysis of a modern play. Ample time will be given for revision and development of studies as well as for the completion of their coursework unit which involves a comparison between two literary texts of their choice.


There are three exams: one each in Poetry, Prose and Drama.

A Level English Language

Year 12

The main focus for the first year will be on skills acquisition as students become familiar with applying the linguistic theory of Stylistics to a range of texts. Texts are grouped on a theme of Telling Stories and students will focus on three main areas of study: a collection of non-fiction texts focussing on Remembered Places around the theme of Paris; a short anthology of poetry from a selected poet exploring aspects of Poetic Voices; and a literary prose text which explores aspects of Imagined Worlds.

Year 13

Students will extend their knowledge of and ability to apply Stylistics theory to a further literary prose text and a play through their study of a component entitled Exploring Conflict.  They will also need to research their own chosen linguistic and literary theories as part of their own extended coursework project: Making Connections.


There are two exams: one of 3 hours, testing the texts studied in Year 1; one of 2h 15 mins, testing the remaining two texts.

English is a highly regarded subject and opens up a variety of careers including: journalism, marketing, public relations, human resources and teaching. It pairs well with a variety of other subjects from all disciplines.