The Grey Coat Hospital

Church of England Comprehensive School for Girls


We wish to encourage all students to form intelligent, independent and considered judgements of texts whether studied or unseen. Detailed and precise reading will be the basis of this.

Reading, writing, speaking and listening are essentially inter-related – students read to understand and gain ideas for writing, write about what they read and imitate authors’ styles.

English helps to develop the linguistic abilities to enable students to discuss, evaluate and make sense of what they are told. Writing also helps develop thinking. As children grow older, they should become increasingly able to understand the writing process and become more analytical.

We wish them to develop:

  • ability to respond with understanding to texts of different types and periods
  • understanding of the ways writers use form, structure and language to express meaning
  • understanding of how texts relate to their historical and literary context
  • ability to discuss their own and others' judgements
  • ability to convey complex ideas and insights both orally and in writing
  • responsiveness to subtleties of tone
  • understanding of what makes for dramatic effectiveness
  • technical vocabulary appropriate to literary study
  • awareness of the different levels of meaning in texts
  • consciousness of attitudes and values in texts
  • informed personal response and interpretation

English Year 7

In Year 7, the girls are taught in mixed ability classes where basic written and oral skills are developed from what they have been taught in their primary school. Students are encouraged to increase their reading, use of the library and use of their imaginations. They will be introduced to Drama here, learning how to express themselves according to certain situations.

English Year 8

From Year 8 onwards students will be placed in classes according to their language ability. The range and complexity of literature is broadened, and they will increase the range of situations for speaking and listening. Students will develop different writing styles and develop their powers of observation and description, both of people and places, and will become more equipped at understanding and analysing characters. Playing with words is encouraged through poetry games and reading and writing poetry.

English Year 9

This is an important year in that it lays the foundation for GCSE English.

The format of lessons follows the same pattern as in Year 8 but increasingly pupils will tackle books written for adults or written in previous centuries. All texts will require a deeper understanding of character, theme and overall construction. The students’ ability to distinguish between fact and opinion will be extended to examination of deliberate bias in speech and writing. Students will also learn how to write an argumentative essay .

Key Stage 4

Everyone takes English Language and English Literature GCSE. The examination board is AQA.

Key Stage 5

The department offers two A Levels: English Literature and English Language and Literature. 

The Literature course covers a range of texts from Shakespeare, Webster and Milton through to twentieth century drama and contemporary novels.  There is also an emphasis on skills for comparison and for analysing unseen poetry.  The examination board is W.J.E.C. Eduqas.

The Language and Literature course offers a combination of language-based modules such as creative writing tasks in particular styles and genres and the analysis of spoken language including transcripts of conversations and speeches. Students of this subject will also study a range of literature across different genres and time periods.  The examination board is W.J.E.C. Eduqas.

English Extra-curricular activities
Paired Reading Club Years 7 and 12 Year 7 Reading Club
Year 8 and 9 Reading Club KS3 Creative Writing Club
KS4 Creative Writing Club Years 7 - 11 Theatre Trips
KS4 Reading Club KS5 Reading Club
Sixth Form Theatre and lecture trips Coat Rack school newspaper