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English is a powerful subject: It not only allows us to express and explore deeper issues such as war and the complexities of human relationships, but also equips us with essential tools which enable us to understand and interact with the world around us.  At Ashmole Academy we want all students to share our view that success in English is fundamental to success in adult life.


Promoting a love of reading for pleasure is a key focus for the English team. Students in Years 7-11 spend 10 minutes reading at the start of every lesson in order to promote regular reading habits, stimulate discussion about themes and narrative techniques and allow students to share their passion for their chosen book or genre. 

All students in Years 7-9 receive a Kindle as part of their English equipment.  We expect all students to read widely and often and our Kindles come preloaded with a range of texts suitable to age and ability, which support our curriculum and provide opportunities for extended reading proven necessary for success.  This initiative is enhanced by a Key Stage 3 Guided Reading programme to support reading at home.


At KS3, students have eight hours of English lessons across a fortnight.  At KS4, this increases to nine hours a fortnight and the course separates into different units for GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.  Students can then choose to continue studying English Literature as an A-Level option in Year 12.

The English course in underpinned by five subject specific curriculum pillars:

Key Stage 5

At A Level, students study the OCR English Literature syllabus which includes the exploration of poetry, prose and drama from a range of literary periods. The course is underpinned by five subject specific curriculum pillars:

These pillars make the purpose of studying English clear to all students and enable them to understand how their knowledge and skills will develop over time.

The pillars are referred to in every lesson, enabling students to link new learning to what they already know and can do.


Students benefit from a wide range of activities which promote their engagement with language and literature.  These include debating, reading groups and shadowing the Carnegie Book Award, a poetry festival and theatre visits.