The Department

The English Department at Penwortham Priory Academy prepares pupils to take an active part in the world beyond school by developing their all-round communication skills. This subject calls for pupils to become active readers, confident speakers and engaging writers, all with accuracy and careful attention to detail.

Language and Literature are taught as combined courses throughout both key stages and all pupils are entered for GCSEs in both subjects.

We are a reading school and in line with the Ofsted guidance we have invested in Accelerated Reader, a programme that effectively diagnoses, assesses and encourages a love of habitual reading.  

Year 7

The topics in Year 7 are specifically chosen to develop, enhance and build on skills taught in Key Stage 2 in writing such as vocabulary use and sentence cohesion.  This is in addition to the application of accurate and varied punctuation.

Year 7 reading begins to develop basic Key Stage 2 comprehension and foster understanding of inference, perspective and language use. 

Alongside this, we run a bridging unit throughout the summer holidays which feeds into your child's first unit at secondary school - Creative Writing: 

Autumn Term 1 -

Escape From Kraznir.  Year 7 meet an army of warriors who fight against an evil tyrant king; Year 7 lead their army in a creative writing quest.  This is assessed using GCSE objectives 'Writing AO 5 & 6'.

Autumn Term 2 -

First Day At School.  A reading unit studying extracts of fiction and non-fiction, all about school.  Pupils will address how they think the writer feels and develop appreciation of conveying feelings through language.

Christmas Speech Competition.  In the run up to Christmas, your child will write and perform a speech on a topic of their choice.  If they are lucky enough, they will be selected to compete against other Year 7 finalists for the grand prize!

Spring Term -

Poetry Study. The pupils explore what a poem is and study texts from a variety of celebrated poets. They will develop understanding of why poetry is written and understand when a poet has a message.  They will also compete in a poetry writing competition. 

Literary Heritage Unit.  This introduces pupils to older writers and some of their texts including Greek mythology, Roald Dahl and Rudyard Kipling. They will develop an understanding of the importance of context and how narratives have changed over time.

Summer Term - 

Creative Writing About Nature.  Students will write from a stimulus about the world we live in.

'Point of View' Writing.  Students finish the year writing non-fiction, writing different non-fiction styles with a focus on persuading the reader.

Year 8

Autumn Term -

Short Stories Anthology.  Your child will study a range of captivating short stories and fiction extracts to develop their structure and language analysis skills.  

Non-Fiction Reading.  Your child will read a collection of 'real-world' texts from letters to opinion articles.  Classes will foster an appreciation of how writers show their points of view on culturally significant topics.

Spring Term 1 - 

Non-Fiction Writing.  Your child will write a range of non-fiction and be taught to craft engaging, purposeful and well-structured real-life pieces of writing, including a letter of complaint and a film review.

Spring Term 2 - 

Class Novels.  Your child's teacher will select a fascinating fiction story that they read as a class.  During this time, your child will understand how writers craft fiction texts and create lovable characters and compelling narratives.

Summer Term 1 - 

Writing From An Artefact Stimulus.  Your child will craft a piece of engaging, well-planned creative writing based on a physical, thought-provoking artefact. 

Summer Term 2 - 

Pupils will be taken back in time to the Elizabethan era and a trip to the theatre five centuries ago!  They will fall in love with one of Shakespeare's plays of their teacher's chosing and learn about culture and expectations in the 16th Century.  Who will your child meet when they step inside the globe theatre?

Year 9

Autumn Term -

Year 9 start the year by writing creatively and learning about creating engaging narrative hooks, descriptive technique and shaping memorable, likeable characters. In this unit, they will explore how to draft, redraft and edit their own texts in order to create creative pieces that are captivating to read.

In the late Autumn, Year 9 read a novel rich in cultural capital that crucially is NOT on the GCSE framework, favourites this year included John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The idea of this scheme of learning is to introduce your child to cultures, lifestyles and value sets beyond their own and discover parts of their world they never knew existed.

Spring Term -

After Christmas, Year 9 read a collection of poetry, again a culture rich, non-GCSE anthology giving a delicious insight into other cultures and traditions including poetry written about the Apartheid struggles in South Africa and poetry that addresses white and middle class privilege in our own cultures. This unit aims to foster a mature and informed grasp of other worlds beyond the confines of our borders and create ‘I didn’t know that!’ moments in every lesson.

In late Spring, Year 9 dive into non fiction study and explore writers’ viewpoints and perspectives in non-fiction. This includes a study into current media topics and how writers can convey their feelings through bias and language choices, tone and structural features.  

Summer Term -

The summer term begins with Year 9 creating transactional pieces of non fiction and expressing their own views on current affairs through letters, speeches, critical essays and articles.

The final Half Term sees Year 9 reconnect with William Shakespeare and study a new play of their teacher’s choice. Here, they will closely analyse Shakespeare’s intentions in his creation of fascinating characters such as malevolent and bloodthirsty Lady Macbeth or ‘brave Mercutio’ from Romeo and Juliet.

Year 10

Autumn Term -

Year 10 start the year reading extracts of fiction and learning the question types on the GCSE fiction paper for Language, the department’s expert examiner team help students understand the GCSE Assessment Objectives and achieve them as well as appreciated writer’s craft in fiction writing.

In the run up to October Half Term, Year 10 familiarise themselves with the poetry anthology for the Literature Unit 2 component of the examination.

After the Half Term pupils read their 19th Century text of their teacher’s choosing. Jekyll & Hyde is a popular choice; this ‘Shilling Shocker’ takes your child into the murky underbelly of 19th Century London to meet characters to whom there is more than meets the eye. Equally, could your child come face to face with ‘Old Scratch’ when they take a visit to ‘Scrooge and Marley’s’ in Dickens’ festive classic originally meant to be a leaflet but turned into ‘My Little Christmas Story’ featuring a fierce and heart-warming message about social responsibility.

Spring Term - 

The Spring sees Year 10 embark on an exploration of non-fiction using past papers and mark schemes to sharpen your child’s non-fiction skills. In the run up to Easter, the pupils dust off their anthologies and Shakespeare revision to prepare them for the Summer mock exams.

Summer Term -

Summer means that your child is fast approaching Year 11 and as such, they are assessed through a series of mock exams that inform our teaching for September.

Year 11

In Year 11, your child focuses on honing and polishing skills taught so far on their course. As well as this, they will read their final Literature text, this time a modern novel or play for assessment on Literature Paper 2. Will your child be saying ‘Tell Me it’s Not True!’ at the end of Blood Brothers or be questioning the ‘Darkness of Man’s Heart’ at the end of William Golding’s dystopian Lord of the Flies?

At every stage of your child’s learning at Penwortham Priory Academy, the department guarantees an exciting, pertinent and rewarding year that will pay dividends to your child’s progress and development of their character in readiness for the world. English is absolutely vital in equipping your child with skills and awareness for life. If you have queries or indeed suggestions about your child’s journey in English at Priory, please contact me, Mrs Gidden via email at

Your child’s development of literacy, writing and reading appreciation means as much to us as it does to you. We can’t wait to meet your child!