Head of English

Key Stage 4 Co-ordinator

Miss C Wicks

Associate Leader - Reading & Literacy Intervention 

Key Stage 5 Co-ordinator  

Miss S Hill
Key Stage 3 Co-ordinator                Miss K White
Lead Practitioner Mrs S Whyte-McLean
Whole School Literacy Mrs Y Sewell
English Teachers Mrs J Jackman, Mr A Lewis, Mr R McCarthy, Miss R Strachan
Curriculum Support Mrs D Webb
Librarian Mrs L Quilter


The English Department is a creative, friendly group who are dedicated to improving the communication skills of the students here at Chelmer Valley.  We teach students to understand and manipulate the increasingly varied forms of communication used in the 21st Century: spoken or written, text book or television, literature or radio, website, advert or email.


Key Stage Three

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The English curriculum for Years 7 to 9 is based on the new National Curriculum for English at Key Stage 3. It aims to develop competence in the skills of spoken language, reading and writing. Students develop their ability to actively listen and speak with confidence in a wide range of contexts. They read and respond to a range of texts, both literary and non-literary, including novels, plays and poetry, as well as pre-twentieth century texts and literature from other countries. They are also encouraged to read their own choice of novels. Students develop their ability to write in a range of forms for different audiences, using a more formal style where appropriate. They are encouraged to draft and develop their writing and check it for spelling and technical accuracy. Throughout the course students will be encouraged to act upon feedback in order to make good progress, they will also engage in peer and self-assessment.

To view our current curriculum, please click on the pdf document (KS3 English Curriculum)

To read about assessment at KS3, please click the pdf documents (KS3 Key Factors for Progression & KS3 Summary Steps for Assessing Progress)

For a list of recommended reading books and synopsis please click on the pdf document.

Who can tell me more?

Speak to Miss White - KS3 Co-ordinator

Key Stage Four


From September 2015, all students will study the new GCSEs in English Language and English Literature. Please see below for further details.

GCSE English Language (1-9) from September 2015

The aims and objectives of the Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9–1) in English Language are to enable students to:

  • read a wide range of texts fluently and with good understanding
  • read critically and use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing 
  • write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
  • use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately
  • acquire and apply a wide vocabulary alongside knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • listen to and understand spoken language, and use spoken Standard English effectively. Spoken language will be reported as a separate grade on the student’s certificate.

The Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9–1) in English Language is a linear course. It consists of two externally examined components and one endorsement for Spoken Language. Students must complete all assessment in the same series.



Assessment of Spoken Language

The following statement has been provided by Ofqual.

The preparation and assessment of spoken language is a compulsory requirement of the course of study. It will appear on all students’ certificates as a separately reported grade, alongside the overall grade issued. Ofqual will be consulting shortly on the marking and grading arrangements. Performance will be assessed against common assessment criteria issued by the exam boards. The criteria will address the following assessment objectives:

  • AO7 – Demonstrate presentation skills in a formal setting
  • AO8 – Listen and respond appropriately to spoken language, including to questions and feedback to presentations
  • AO9 – Use spoken Standard English effectively in speeches and presentations

The final assessment criteria and requirements for assessment, that will be consistent across all exam boards, will appear in the final accredited specifications.


GCSE English Literature (1-9) from September 2015

The aims and objectives of the Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9–1) in English Literature are to enable students to:

  • read a wide range of classic literature fluently and with good understanding, and make connections across their reading
  • read in depth, critically and evaluatively, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often
  • appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage
  • write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using Standard English
  • acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including grammatical terminology, and other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they read.

The Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9–1) in English Literature is a linear course. It consists of two externally examined components. Students must complete all assessment in May/June in any single year.



Who can tell me more?

Speak to Mrs Ogogo - KS4 Co-ordinator  

Key Stage Five

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Students beginning their studies from September 2015 will be taking the Edexcel A level in English Literature.

The aims and objectives of the Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in English Literature are to enable students to:

  • read widely and independently set texts and others that they have selected for themselves
  • engage critically and creatively with a substantial body of texts and ways of responding to them
  • develop and effectively apply their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation
  • explore the contexts of the texts they are reading and others’ interpretations of them
  • undertake independent and sustained studies to deepen their appreciation and understanding of English literature, including its changing traditions.

The Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in English Literature consists of three externally examined papers and one coursework component. The qualification requires the study of eight literary texts plus unseen poetry. Students must complete all assessment in May/June in any single year.





Who can tell me more?

Speak to Miss Hill - KS5 Co-ordinator  

Extended Learning

Extended Learning

There are many opportunities to engage in extended learning with the English Department. Perhaps our most fruitful contribution is our theatre visits.

Trips over the last two years have seen us visit London for productions of The History Boys, Macbeth, Lord of the Flies at Regents Park Open Air Theatre, The Woman In Black and Much Ado About Nothing.

In addition we take up to a hundred Year 11 students to Cambridge for the GCSE Poetry Live event, where students hear key poets read and discuss their work and are also addressed by the chief examiner about how to approach the exams. This proves a very helpful event.

We run a literacy support club in the library, where students can seek further support from teachers and volunteer sixth form students.

Writing competitions prove popular, as do spelling bees, and we are keen to promote a wide range of activities that celebrate our subject.

Of a more academic nature, we offer comprehensive revision programmes for examination classes, tailored to specific levels so that individual students’ needs are addressed. These programmes see us run revision workshops on each aspect of the GCSE examination papers, where Year 11 can attend after-school, in holidays and on Saturday mornings closer to the exams.

Our commitment to our subject is passionately enthusiastic. We are committed to extending students’ enjoyment of the subject far beyond our classroom walls to ensure that an enjoyment of literature is a gift bestowed upon all of our students long after they have left our influence.