Welcome to the English Department

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.

Departmental Courses

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

Who do I contact for more information?

Mr W Clarke (w.clarke@poolehigh.poole.sch.uk)

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.

GCSE English

In English lessons, students study both English Language and English Literature, focusing on the analysis of a range of fiction and non-fiction texts as well as the ability to give a critical response. Students will also develop their skills in imaginative and creative writing as the ability to communicate clearly, coherently and accurately using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures is an important part of the course.

In Year 9, students began to focus on GCSE style tasks and activities as part of the development of their analysis and writing skills. Towards the end of the year, they complete a transitional unit to further prepare them for the Literature GCSE course and the more complex contextual ideas and writing styles of their GCSE set texts. This prepares them for GCSE study from September of Year 10.

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.