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The English curriculum at Coopers School is a high quality, creative and inspiring curriculum. English is the core skill to enable pupils to successfully succeed as they progress throughout their years in education and beyond. At Coopers School we have created a diverse and coherent curriculum, one that combines a multitude of skills that allow pupils to not only explore the traditional works of fiction and non-fiction texts, but also provides the opportunity to discuss and explore modern works written by both inspirational male and female writers.  

Our English curriculum encourages pupils to develop a variety of different writing skills and aims to build pupil confidence in becoming articulate and confident young speakers.  

We promote reading as a way of acquiring knowledge to enable pupils to explore the world culturally, emotionally, socially, and intellectually. We encourage reading for pleasure across all years to appreciate and learn about our literary heritage as well as the heritage of those from around the world. Pupils are encouraged to read a variety of texts from a variety of cultures and genders to broaden their knowledge.  

big ideas final e21c english language.pdf


big ideas final e21c english literature.pdf

 Coopers Values: Trust, RESPECT AND RESILIENCE

 In English we develop trust by: 

  • Ensuring that pupils are confident to ask and answer questions in all lessons
  • Encouraging paired or group interactivity to allow pupils to become independent learners and take responsibility for developing their learning
  • Setting weekly homework that allows pupils to develop their knowledge around the topics in class- asking pupils to be responsible for deepening their knowledge.

 In English we develop respect by:

  • Allowing others to talk by developing speaking and listening skills
  • Discussing modern day topics and issues, modelling how to express opinion and ideas in a respectful way 
  • Exploring the development important equity issues such as gender and their roles and responsibilities within society- allowing pupils to discuss change.   

 In English we develop resilience by: 

  • Asking pupils to write for long periods of time in exam conditions 
  • Encouraging pupils to improve their own work by using teacher feedback, building resilience, and taking accountability for their own knowledge  
  • Encouraging pupils to push themselves, achieving above and beyond by setting challenging tasks.  


We ensure that our English Curriculum is inclusive because we study, explore, and discuss texts from all around the world, exploring different cultures and beliefs. We discuss modern topics like gender, diversity in society and political, social, and environmental issues. We explore diversity through a range of resources: documentaries, articles, reports, and fictional accounts. We allow for all pupils to take part in discussions and present their work.


In English we identify powerful knowledge to ensure we have a good understanding of it as a prerequisite for understanding other related content. 

By clearly identifying the powerful knowledge in each unit, teachers can ensure that their teaching and assessment is focused on the content that makes the biggest difference. 

We share this with pupils and their families using Knowledge Organisers. These are valuable tools for revision and retrieval practice


In English we sequence our curriculum using spaced practice. This means large areas of knowledge are broken into smaller chunks, with intervals of time between them, to improve pupil learning and recall. 


In English we ensure our curriculum is coherent using several Big Ideas that underpin all the learning in our subject. Each lesson is linked to a Big Idea, shared with the pupils at the start of the lesson, so they can call on prior learning and understand where each lesson fits within our curriculum. 

Our Big Ideas are: 

Literature Big Ideas:

  • Context: pupils explore the different social, cultural, and political backgrounds that influence the writer’s work. This ranges from the 16th-21st century.
  • Change: pupils explore how characters go on a path of change due to multiple factors and events.
  • Power: pupils explore the different sides to power- the abuse and corruption of power, the power of genders, identity, and voice. Pupils explore power struggles that have evolved over the years.
  • Identity: pupils explore different identities, exploring the changes within the 21st century and the impact these changes have on the shaping and development of character.
  • Relationships: pupils to explore the different types of relationships through themes of love, power, gender, family and politics.
  • Social Responsibility: pupils will learn the importance of social responsibility through ideologies of socialism, capitalism, Marxism as well as their role within society today.  

Language Big Ideas:

  • Perspective and Purpose: pupils will explore a multitude of texts from different points of view, exploring first and third hand accounts.
  • Vocabulary: pupils explore a wide range of tier 2 and 3 vocabulary across the exploration of fiction and non-fiction texts.
  • Inference: pupils explore the deeper meanings of texts.
  • Structure: pupils will explore and analyse the way writers shape their texts to influence the reader.
  • Effect on Reader: pupils will explore why vocabulary and structure effects readers on a personal level and why the writer’s intended for this.
  • Techniques and Methods: pupils will explore a wide range of language methods and techniques and explore the meaning behind each chosen method.
  • Compare and contrast: pupils will have the opportunity to discuss the similarities and differences between a wide variety of texts taken from all across the world, exploring the key differences and similarities and their influence.


AQA GCSE English Language (8700)

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

 Non-examination Assessment: 

1 hour and 45 minutes

1 hour and 45 minutes

Spoken Language

  • Presenting 
  • Responding to questions and feedback 
  • Use of standard English 

You answer four reading questions on one text

You answer four reading questions on two texts

You undertake on creative writing piece

You undertake one non-fiction writing piece

Assessed by teacher

50% of total marks

50% of total marks

0% of total marks but required by National Curriculum 

The biggest help you can give your child is by ensuring they read widely, including non-fiction newspaper articles every day. 


AQA GCSE English Literature (8702) 

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel 

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry 

1 hour and 45 minutes

2 hours and 15 minutes 

1 essay question on a Shakespeare text

1 essay question on a 19th century novel 

1 essay question on a modern text

1 essay comparing two poems we have studied

1 short essay analysing an unseen poem

1 short essay comparing two unseen poems 

40% of the total marks 

60% of the total marks 

The texts we study are:

  • “Macbeth”
  • ‘’A Christmas Carol’’
  • “Animal Farm” or “An Inspector Calls”
  • The Power and Conflict cluster from the AQA poetry anthology


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