English is taught over 7 lessons a fortnight at Key Stage Three, which gives the pupils opportunities to explore and analyse a wide variety of fictional and non-fiction texts and create them through speaking and listening activities, as well as on paper. Each term is dedicated to a specific topic, which is then assessed at the end of that term. The summary below shows how Year 8 follows on from what is learnt in Year 7.

In addition to this, the pupils are actively encouraged to read widely and with enthusiasm, which is endorsed by termly visits to the school library, weekly independent reading sessions and discussions of their texts and a whole range of competitions and involvement in national reading campaigns such as Book Buzz and World Book Day.

Media and Popular Culture: 

Both years explore how the writers engage readers and fulfil their intentions within the media industry. Year 7 do this by getting to know how films are marketed through posters and press releases, whilst Year 8 investigates how persuasion can be achieved in both magazines and speeches. Both units invite the pupils to develop their use of argument and persuasion with confidence and flair through a variety of creative and evaluative tasks.

The Novel

A whole text is explored from a thematic perspective, namely ‘Belonging’ in Year 7 and ‘Survival in Year 8. Whilst character, authorial style and setting are analysed, this is predominantly a writing skills unit. The pupils will develop the accuracy and style of their writing through different creative writing tasks that the novel inspires. Personal response and evaluation of those responses are key, encouraging the pupils to be increasingly self-aware of how and why they engage with texts and being able to articulate their responses with clarity and in a variety of forms. 


Year 7 are introduced to a collection of Shakespeare’s plays, investigating the conventions of comedy and tragedy, whilst also getting to learn about what it was like to go the theatre in Shakespeare’s time. This is a very practical unit, enabling the pupils to really engage with the characters and their motivations. They are also taught how to write an analytical essay on ‘Henry V’, which consolidates their learning not only of Shakespeare’s work, but of other units taught earlier that year. This prepares them for the challenges of Year 8, in which they study a whole text, which again, is formally assessed by essay. This is valuable preparation and development of their skills for GCSE in Year 10.

Literary Heritage

In order to embed their appreciation of their literary heritage further, Year 7 will also study a modern play and a range of poetry, gaining familiarity with classic and more contemporary texts and literary styles. Year 8 begin the year with a study of the gothic genre; exploring different extracts but with particular focus given to an abridged version of ‘Wuthering Heights’. Both units demand the pupils to apply the conventions of these genres and forms in their own creative work and develop their evaluations of them by researching their contexts. The author’s use of language are studied closely, the pupils identifying further meanings and appreciating how these can affect a reader’s response. Year 8 develop their appreciation of poetry further by evaluating themes and linking those ideas with other written forms, including non-fiction. This will also give the pupils the chance to explore different forms of writing further, by transforming texts into their own adaptations which highlight their own concerns and ideals.


All students will achieve two GCSE grades: English Literature and English Language. We are currently following the Cambridge iGCSE Specification for both courses in Year 11, and have started teaching the new AQA specification with Year 9 and 10.

Our goal is to ensure that by the end of KS4, all students have achieved two very strong GCSE grades, and also that they leave us with the confidence and ability to communicate with clarity and precision. We promote a love of reading and writing, and aim to make sure that all students at FSG have impressive literacy skills that will allow them to succeed in all walks of life. 

The students begin their GCSE course in Year 9 and build on the skills taught at Key Stage 3. We set our classes based on their ability, and offer a variety of texts to suit their needs. We are currently studying a wide range of texts, including To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies and Of Mice and Men. Throughout Year 9 we also look to develop the reading, writing, and speaking and listening skills of our students. We look to improve the students’ ability to analyse a text, with a close focus on reading for meaning. In addition, we endeavour to improve all pupils’ ability to write with a sense of both audience and purpose; including writing to explain, argue and inform. Furthermore, class discussion and debates are used frequently to help build on all students’ ability and confidence when speaking and listening. 

In Years 10 and 11, we focus on our set texts for English Literature, which in this case are Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, William Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” and J.B. Preistley’s “An Inspector Calls”. These are used for Literature We have chosen texts that are, in our opinion, both challenging and engaging. Our aim is for students to not only gain an impressive score in exams and coursework, but also to develop an ingrained love of literature. 

Our students will also study a range of poetry from set anthologies (iGCSE and AQA). These will also form part of the Literature examination. The anthology is comprised of both classic and modern poetry, with the intention of introducing a varied canon of poetry that interests and inspires. 

Our preparation for the English Language examination is more varied, as we have to complete a selection of creative writing course-works, speaking and listening assignments, and a final examination. We employ a diverse selection of resources to help our students to access and understand any text. These range from newspaper articles to classic poetry; from blogs to travel writing. 

The English Department is passionate in our aim to help our students to grow in confidence and maturity in all areas of communication. We encourage individuality and discussion, and have historically achieved impressive grades when delivering the Speaking and Listening components of the course. Students will be expected to deliver an individual talk on a topic of their choice, to partake in paired discussions, and to deliver a short dramatic performance. 


A-Level English Language and Literature 

Designed with a focus on the integration of language and literature, the course allows you to explore different modes of communication and investigate how authors craft language for effect. 

The variety of assessment styles used, such as re-creative writing, commentary writing, discursive essays and research-based investigative writing, encourages you to develop a wide range of skills. These include the ability to read critically, analyse, evaluate and undertake independent research, which are invaluable for both further study and future employment.

 At A/AS level you will build on your work at GCSE level, but do so in a way that attempts to find connections between these different types of study, and in doing so present a more holistic and exciting kind of ‘English’. 

AS Level

Exam Board


Course Content

Unit 1 - Views and Voices

Exam - 1hr 30mins   50% of AS level

Unit 2 – People and Places

Exam – 1hr 30mins   50% of AS level

A Level

Exam Board


Course Content

Unit 3 – Telling Stories

Exam – 3hrs 40% of A-level

Unit 4 – Exploring Conflict

Exam – 2hrs 30mins 40% of A-level

Coursework – Making Connections

3000 word personal investigation 20% of A-level


A-level English Literature

English Literature opens your eyes to a plethora of unknown worlds, characters and experiences.  Each new text studied creates an opportunity to share ideas with your peers and teachers, and to learn, not only about the texts and contexts, but about yourself.  English Lit studies people, their behaviours and their relationships, and through their challenges and misadventures we learn about each other.  

English Literature is a rigorous A-Level that requires an unquestionable work ethic and an open mind.  But what you are given in return is priceless.  This facilitating subject not only comes with a reputation second to none amongst A-Levels, but you will also learn to write with both style and substance, and your analytical skills will flourish.

A Level English Literature

Exam Board


Course Content

Unit 1: Drama 

One Shakespeare play and one other drama.  

(2 hours 15 minutes) 30%


Unit 2: Prose

Two prose texts from a chosen theme.  

(1 hour) 20%


Unit 3: Poetry

A selection of post-2000 specified poetry and a specified range of poetry from a certain period.

(2 hours 15 minutes) 30%


Unit 4: Coursework

Students have a free choice of two texts to study.



A-Level Creative Writing

Course Content: This innovative A-Level is the first of its kind, aiming to help aspiring writers trace a route through school or college and higher education into professional writing such as journalism, advertising or copy writing. This course is specifically designed to encourage creativity through the development of writing and will appeal to a wide range of students, not just those studying English Literature. students are expected to produce a portfolio of their own creative work, which incorporates a wide range of genres including fiction, poetry, journalism and blogging. The course encourages creativity and independent work and will help with practical communication and technical writing skills. The course will encourage and develop a range of skills such as creativity and self expression, critical and analytical skills, team working, redrafting, and editing. 

Exam Board


Course Content

Unit 1  Writing on Demand

Students will answer two questions from a choice of four.  Both will involve the production of texts based on practical writing scenarios.

(2 hours) 20%


Unit 2: Exploring Creative Writing

Coursework Portfolio – students will submit two creative pieces of work and a reflective commentary.

(4500 words in total) 30%


Unit 3: From Reading to Writing

Students will answer two questions based on their selection of one stimulus text from a choice of five.

(3 hours) 20%


Unit 4: The Writing Portfolio

Students will produce a portfolio of creative work (4000 words) and a full reflective commentary (2000 words)


(6000 words in total) 30%



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The Folkestone School for Girls

Coolinge Lane

Folkestone, Kent

CT20 3RB United Kingdom


Tel: +44 (0) 1303 251125