Mr Flint

Course Information 

In English at Anthony Gell, students cover a wide range of inspiring topics all designed to promote high standards of language and literacy, whilst developing in them a love of literature and an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage. From creative writing to Shakespeare to poetry to grammar, students are exposed to different texts, contexts, viewpoints and writers across their time at the school.  The English curriculum provides challenge, motivates young people and staff, and enables progression, through excellent teaching that develops students as independent learners whilst equipping them with the knowledge they need.

Our curriculum is designed with National Curriculum requirements embedded, but also with our students in mind. We aim to intrigue them, to amaze them; we choose our topics very carefully so that students enjoy their learning and are also challenged. Core skills in writing, reading and spoken language are developed so that students feel confident with different types of text and are able to express themselves with imagination and accuracy. We want students to understand the writer’s craft in both their reading and their language, relating ideas to a text’s context and understanding the influence of these factors.

Course Content

Course Content
Year 7In Year 7, students examine a range of topics that includes poetry, drama and literary fiction. Students begin by reading and comparing several texts around the theme of ‘identity’ in order to make them consider who exactly they are and how they see the world. Having examined a variety of extracts. students then move onto their class reader. As well as reading the novels critically together as a class, students examine how writers structure and use language within the texts to affect their reader. Non-fiction is then introduced in the form of an exploration of how different texts can persuade us, with students using their findings to write their own. They are then introduced to poetry and the works of Shakespeare, with William Blake and the Romantics a focus of the former and spoken language and dramatic skills a focus of the latter. The year is completed by examining the skills involved in descriptive writing, where students plan and edit their work and look to achieve high levels of variety and accuracy, all around a central focus of creating their own island. Every fortnight, Year 7 students visit the library to have their reading lesson: the school has invested heavily in the Accelerated Reader scheme, designed to promote reading for pleasure and help students to do so.
Year 8In Year 8, students study both fiction texts and non-fiction pieces, consolidating and building on skills and knowledge from Year 7. They start the year by enjoying a class novel, developing the language and structural analysis skills established over the previous year. Having been introduced to poetry in Year 7, Year 8 students move onto analysing poetry that is centred around a theme of war. Modern poems such as ‘Green Beret’ and canonical texts such as ‘Dolce Et Decorum Est’ are explored. Wilfred Owen is examined as a focus poet. Year 8 students return to creative writing but this time with a gothic slant. This is before returning to non-fiction in the form of our ‘World of Work’ topic, designed to expose them to a range of future possibilities by learning from the past and the present. Having explored non-fiction prose, students have the opportunity to create their own non-fiction texts in a topic focused on newspapers and magazines. Year 8 concludes with a look at the genre of crime fiction. Every fortnight, Year 8 students also visit the library to have their reading lesson.
Year 9In Year 9, the English department look to raise the level of challenge even further to aid the progression into Key Stage 4. After continuing the trend of starting with a novel, students move onto a look at the media, allowing them to expand their subject terminology and knowledge with in-depth looks at connotations, conventions and the like. After their introduction in Year 7, Romeo and Juliet acts as a focus play for Year 9 students, challenging them to make connections to societal and historical contexts as well as analysing dramatic and language devices. Writing from a viewpoint is a topic that builds on Year 8’s non-fiction writing topic, with unseen poetry bridging between the poems looked at in the two previous years and the poems to come at Key Stage 4. Finally, ‘The Future’ takes in both fiction and non-fiction, as well as creative writing, to ask students to explore dark versions of the world in the years to come. Every fortnight, Year 9 students also visit the library to have their reading lesson.

Extra Curricular Opportunities 

There is a weekly book club run by Miss Salt and we hope to make connections to other schools so that AGS students can interact with other students around the county to discuss the books that they are reading. We invite theatre companies such as Footlights and the Young Shakespeare Company in to perform for our students and we enjoy author visits for a range of year groups, with the most recent being Anthony Kessel, who discussed what it is to be an author with our Year 8 students.

Our Sixth Form students also help us to run our ‘Buddy Reading’ programme, discussing choices of reading book with our younger students as well as spending time reading with them. We are fortunate to also have friend of the school Mary Courtis work with some of our older students on their reading as part of the ‘Reading with Mary’ scheme.


Students have a formal summative assessment each half term linked to the scheme of work they have studied. Homework is set every fortnight, with English making use of homework booklets to help students to know what they need to do and by when and also to keep it organised in one place.

If you have any questions or queries relating to the English curriculum please email for more information.