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.


Year 7

The topics in year 7 are specifically chosen to develop further the skills that pupils have been taught at KS2.

Autobiography and Biography – Pupils read a range of autobiographical texts and explore writing their own. They also deliver a speech about an inspirational person.

Poetry Study – The pupils explore what a poem is and study texts from throughout the cannon. They also experiment in writing their own anthology.

Refugee Non-Fiction Reading – The pupils discover what life is like for a family from Myanmar who move to the UK. They read a series of texts and develop their ability to write concise reading responses, developing their analytical skills.

Persuasive Writing – Pupils explore how professional writers use their skills to argue and persuade. Then they try out these techniques for themselves.

Literary Heritage Unit- Who came first: Shakespeare or Dickens? This introduces pupils to older writers and some of their texts. They develop understanding of the importance of context and gain an understanding of how narratives have changed over time.

Pupils will also study two class novels over the year.


Year 8

Narrative Writing and Reading – Pupils read a selection of short stories to develop their reading skills but also read as a writer and then create their own short story.

Writing an Argument – Pupils explore feature writing and develop their skills in constructing an argument.

Ballads – Pupils study ballads old and new and investigate the death of Charlotte Diamond, culminating in re-constructing a murder trial.

Shakespeare’s World and A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Pupils explore the world of Shakespeare and then apply this understanding to their study of one of his best comedies.

Pupils will also study a class novel and modern play.


Year 9

Pre and Post 1900 Fiction Study – Pupils will study a novel and compare extracts of texts with similar themes from different eras. They develop their comprehension, analysis and comparison skills in preparation for GCSE Language Paper 1.

Non-Fiction Writing and Reading – Pupils extend their reading skills from the last unit of learning to non-fiction texts. They read as a writer and develop their own transactional writing.

Poetry Study – Pupils explore an anthology of poems, developing their independence in interpreting their meaning and investigating context.

Shakespeare Study – Pupils will study a Shakespeare play from one of the following titles – Othello, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet or The Merchant of Venice. They will develop their analysis of Shakespeare’s choices and the impact upon audiences.

Narrative Writing – Pupils develop their craft in engaging a reader and shaping the plot of a short story.

Class Novel – Pupils will study a novel as a class in preparation for their GCSE Literature course.



All pupils study both GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.

All pupils will be given the opportunity to study and develop their reading skills with works of prose, poetry, play scripts and various non-fiction texts. They will also develop their writing skills in both fiction and non-fiction texts for a variety of purposes and audiences.

As part of the GCSE course all pupils must also prepare a speech, on a topic of their choice, and present this to an audience

The GCSEs in English Language and Literature are assessed purely in examinations at the end of the course. So, our pupils will be taught exam technique throughout their KS4 to ensure they achieve their very best.