Notre Dame Catholic College
and Sixth Form

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies...The man who never reads lives only one.”

– George R.R. Martin


Our English curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential literary and language knowledge that they need to be educated, rounded and communicative citizens. It introduces students to the best that has been thought and said; and helps engender an appreciation of human imagination, creativity and achievement.

Mrs A Kane

Mrs A Kane

Director of English

Our English curriculum is carefully designed and delivered to:


  • inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past and present through the study of novels, poetry and plays (OPENING HEARTS through inspiration)
  • develop in pupils a coherent knowledge and understanding of a bank of rich social, historical, world and cultural knowledge (OPENING MINDS to new knowledge)
  • help pupils develop as perceptive readers and listeners (OPENING MINDS to deeper understanding)
  • equip pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word (OPENING DOORS through the application of communicative disciplines)


Year 7, 8 and 9 Curriculum Content

The framework for the Key Stage 3 English curriculum is shaped by the sequence of carefully selected texts listed below, which every student reads cover-to-cover. Each unit of study is supplemented by a plethora of associated supplementary literature including playscripts, short stories and non-fiction pieces such as letters, reports and recounts.

Year 7Unit/Topic
Autumn HT1Unit 1: Understanding Music - Rhythm
Autumn HT2Unit 2: Understanding Music - Keyboard Skills
Spring HT1Unit 3: Music Ensembles
Spring HT2Unit 4: Elements of Composition (Part 1)
Summer HT1Unit 5: Elements of Composition (Part 2)
Summer HT2Unit 6: Add Here
Year 8Unit/Topic
Autumn HT1Unit 1: African Drumming
Autumn HT2Unit 2: Blues and its Influences
Spring HT1Unit 3: Beyond The Blues
Spring HT2Unit 4: The Riff
Summer HT1Unit 5: Hip Hop
Summer HT2Unit 6: Add
Year 9Unit/Topic
Autumn HT1Unit 1: Add
Autumn HT2Unit 2: Add
Spring HT1Unit 3: Add
Spring HT2Unit 4: Add
Summer HT1Unit 5: Add
Summer HT2Unit 6: Add

Year 10 and 11 Curriculum Content

At Key Stage 4, students follow the AQA English Language and Literature programme of study. The order in which we cover the content of these specifications is listed below. All students are examined in both courses at the end of Year 11 and so revision throughout the two-year course is essential to a student’s success.

Year 10 Unit/Topic
AutumnUnit 1: Add
SpringUnit 3: Add
SummerUnit 5: Add
Year 11Unit/Topic
AutumnUnit 1: Add
SpringUnit 3: Add
SummerUnit 5: Add

Key Stage 4 English students follow the AQA GCSE English Language and Literature specification. For further details, please follow the link below.

Download Full GCSE English Language Specification

Download Full GCSE English Literature Specification


Key Stage 5 English Literature students follow the AQA A Level English Literature specification. For further details, please follow the link below.’

Download Full A Level English Literature

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Success Story

“Somethng inspirational and glowing about the English department at Notre Dame.”

Former Notre Dame student, went on to study English Literature at University of Cambridge