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Curriculum Mission Statement

Furthering the development of reading, writing and speaking and listening skills is at the heart of every English teacher’s agenda. At Sandhill View, we aim to ensure that each of these core competencies are addressed and assessed continuously, so that every pupil leaves the Academy feeling fully prepared for their next steps in life, whether that be further education or employment. We also strive to promote a love of Literature through creative resources and through challenging questions that help to nurture inquisitive mind-sets.

Preparation for GCSE begins in KS3, where pupils develop language skills and critical thinking skills through the study of prose, plays, poetry and non-fiction texts. Starting in KS3, all teachers encourage pupils to improve their own writing through seeing that they take inspiration from other writers. In KS4, pupils follow the AQA syllabi for English Language and English Literature. For English Language, pupils access a range of fiction, non-fiction and literary non-fiction texts from the 19th – 21st centuries, in order to extend skills developed in KS3. For English Literature, pupils delve into the works of many prolific authors; they are encouraged to approach challenging texts with confidence and our team of dedicated teachers work tirelessly to ensure that every pupil understands that success stems from creative ways of thinking.

Progression | Further/Higher Education and Careers

Success in English Language and/or English Literature at Sandhill View can open up opportunities for pupils to take A-Levels in these subjects at our partner Sixth Form at Southmoor Academy or at college. Following A-levels, pupils can further their studies at university by undertaking a single honours degree in Linguistics/English Language or English Literature, or a combined honours degree where English is studied alongside another subject. Many people who complete degrees in English choose to pursue careers in teaching, journalism and public relations. Degrees in Linguistics can lead to careers in Speech and Language Therapy and Forensic fields.

Curriculum/Course Overview

KS3 & 4 Half Term 1 Half Term 2 Half Term 3  Half Term 4 Half Term 5  Half Term 6
Year 7

Prose: Skellig or Once

Crafting narratives

Shakespeare: Shakespeare’s Villains or Macbeth

Writing to argue

Poetry: war poetry and linked non-fiction

Crafting descriptions using short stories as stimulus


Year 8

Prose: Holes or Of Mice and Men

Crafting narratives and descriptions

Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing

Writing to argue

Poetry: relationships and linked non-fiction

Writing to persuade using historic speeches as stimulus

Year 9

Romeo and Juliet

 Romeo and Juliet

A Christmas Carol

 A Christmas Carol

An Inspector Calls

Speaking and Listening


Year 10

Romeo and Juliet Revision

Romeo and Juliet Revision

A Christmas Carol Revision

A Christmas Carol Revision

An Inspector Calls Revision

Speaking and Listening


Year 11

Anthology and unseen poetry

English Language Paper 1

Anthology and unseen poetry

English Language Paper 2

English Literature Revision

English Language Paper 1

English Literature Revision

English Language Paper 2


How the subject supports pupils in making progress

In English, the progress of all pupils is monitored closely and, where pupils are identified as under-performing, actions are taken. Routine actions carried out by the English Department are listed below.

  • Half-termly analysis of performance data
  • Evaluation of individual pupils’ ‘barriers to progress’
  • Action plans that detail any additional in-class support given to address ‘barriers to progress’
  • Programmes of after-school intervention to address ‘barriers to progress’
  • Regular homework to consolidate and challenge, communicated to parents/carers using ‘Show My Homework’
  • Personalised feedback which, when acted upon, will ensure progress.

Assessment & Feedback

At Key Stage 3, pupils are measured against ‘age expectations,’ meaning that a set of expectations is established in Year 7 that we would like all Year 7 pupils to be able to demonstrate, if they are to be on-track to achieve a good grade by GCSE. The level of expectation then increases appropriately in Year 8. Pupils will either be working ‘towards’, ‘at’ or ‘greater than’ their age-expected level. Please click here for English Age Expected Levels.

In English, in years 7 to 10, pupils are assessed three times every term. At the beginning and end of every term, pupils are tasked with answering questions that mirror those featured in GCSE English Language papers. Mid-way through every term, pupils are assessed for their ability to respond to English Literature exam-style questions. Pupils in year 11 sit three formal mock exams for English Language and English Literature in the Autumn and Spring terms. Pupils receive written feedback for the work produced in every assessment or mock exam. Pupils are then given the opportunity to respond to feedback by making improvements to their own work.


Ms. L. Hill – Assistant Headteacher

Ms. Hill joined Sandhill View Academy in April 2016 as part of the senior leadership team. Ms. Hill oversees the English Department at an organisational level, seeing that pupils are provided with a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum, along with an effective system for assessment. In addition, Ms. Hill is responsible for KS3 achievement across the Academy and provides a strategic lead for Literacy.

Mrs. K. Miller – Subject Leader

Mrs. Miller is a long-serving member of staff at Sandhill View, joining in May 2005. Before taking on the role of Subject Leader in April 2016, she held a number of positions of responsibility within the English Department. As Subject Leader, Mrs. Miller works closely with the Assistant Headteacher to monitor and raise achievement in KS4. Another key responsibility includes quality assuring the work carried out across the Department.

Miss. E. Dolan – Assistant Subject Leader

Miss. Dolan is a highly experienced teacher of English and senior GCSE examiner. Before joining Sandhill View, Miss. Dolan was KS4 leader of English at another Academy in Sunderland. As a member of the English leadership team, Miss. Dolan oversees the monitoring of achievement in KS3 and is responsible for planning intervention for pupils who are working towards age expected levels. In addition, Miss. Dolan takes a lead role in helping to support and develop newly qualified and trainee teachers.

Miss. H. Ward – Teacher of English

Miss. Ward joined the Academy in September 2016, having previously worked at a school in County Durham for two years. Within the Department, Miss. Ward is the lead teacher for pupils with Special Educational Needs.

Mr. M. Heley – Teacher of English

Mr. Heley joined the Academy in 2015. He specialises in the teaching of GCSE Media Studies and has a key role in helping to promote the teaching of Literacy during Extended Tutor Time.

Mrs. R. Roadley – Teacher of English

Mrs. Roadley joined the Academy in September 2016. Prior to working at Sandhill View, Mrs. Roadley spent many years supporting pupils with complex learning needs at a school in South Tyneside. Within the Department, Mrs. Roadley is responsible for running extra-curricular clubs linked to English.

Useful Links

• www.bbc.co.uk/education

• www.mrbruff.com

• www.englishbiz.co.uk