The English & Languages Faculty

Mark Sheridan

Head of English & Languages Faculty Email –


About the faculty

English is very popular at all levels throughout the school and our English Curriculum Area is staffed by a passionate and committed team of experienced, and forward thinking English teachers.

Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly.

Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967)

American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist.


The aim of the English department

The department has been very active in providing a wealth of additional activities to help students achieve their potential in their GCSE examinations, organising revision days, after school sessions and holiday revision club. These initiatives have resulted in excellent results, with 71% of students gaining a grade C or better in their English Language GCSE last year and 76% gaining A*-C for English Literature.

The English Curriculum area organises a variety of extra-curricular and enrichment activities, including the introduction of Accelerated Reader in Years 7 and 8, Reading Club, and has participated in debating competitions.

Key Stage 3 overview

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9

In Year 7, students study a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts from a range of genres, including The Hunger Games and writing from literary canon. Literature includes prose, poetry and drama from both the pre and post twentieth century. Media, literacy and speaking and listening skills are also developed. All Year 7 students have one lesson of English Accelerated Reader once per week where they are encouraged to develop their wider, independent reading for pleasure. All Year 7 students complete an end of year examination that allows the department to measure the progress students have made over the course of the academic year.

In Year 8, students work to improve their reading and writing skills. They study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts including an introduction to 19th century texts and develop spelling, vocabulary and written accuracy. Current literature texts studied include prose, poetry and drama from a range of time periods. All Year 8 students complete an end of year examination that allows the department to measure the progress students have made over the course of the academic year.

In Year 9, students focus on developing the maturity and accuracy of their writing, and speaking and listening skills. Studying a range of challenging texts from different time periods and cultures, such as ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ which encourages them to become critical readers. All students prepare for a mock GCSE exam in June to ease the transition to GCSE and give a baseline of GCSE performance. All Year 9 students complete an end of year examination that allows the department to measure the progress students have made over the course of the academic year.


English Reading GCSE 9-1

English Writing GCSE 9-1

Years 10 & 11

Students are entered for both AQA GCSE English Language and English Literature. During this time, students develop the necessary skills to enable them to be successful in the world of work. Whereby, they refine their reading, writing and speaking and listening skills. In addition to this, students also develop and refine their appreciation of a wide range of literary texts such as Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’, Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ and Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls’.

AQA GCSE English Language-more information

AQA GCSE English Literature-more information

English Reading GCSE 9-1

English Writing GCSE 9-1

WJEC GCSE Film Studies-more information

In Years 12 and 13, students study Eduqas A ‘Level English Literature. During this time, Students read a wealth of English Literature including works by Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Larkin and Duffy. They also develop their appreciation of literary techniques and the ability to write critical analysis of unseen texts.

Eduqas A' level English Literature-more information

WJEC A' Level Media Studies-more information


Gifted and Talented

At Fearnhill, we aim to cater for students of all abilities. For our most able students challenge is provided through students being taught in ability groups. Additionally, students are offered a variety of teaching activities to choose from in their lessons that provide extra levels of challenge in order to stimulate their imaginations. In addition to this, an Easter workshop is run annually for our Gifted and Talented students in order to stimulate the necessary creativity and flair that is required in order for students to achieve the top grades.


Extra-Curricular Activities

The department offers a range of extra-curricular activities throughout the course of each academic year including such as:
  • Coursework Booster Club
  • KS3 Drama Club
  • School Production at Christmas
  • Entering public speaking competitions
  • Inviting visiting authors to run workshops



For further details please do not hesitate to contact any member of staff in the department.











Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe







The following textbooks are used at KS3:-

  • French: Expo, Tricolore and Allez
  • Spanish: Mira 1, Mira 2 and 3

Year 7

September 2015 saw a change in our provision for Year 7 as all pupils began studying one language  instead of two. The rationale behind this was to give all pupils a firmer grounding in one language which would increase enjoyment and heighten their sense of achievement. It is also hoped that this change will yield much better results by the end of Key Stage 3 and, should the pupil continue with the language, at Key Stage 4.

Since September 2015, all pupils in Year 7 have had five lessons in either French or Spanish over the two week timetable.

Year 8

Pupils in Year 8 continue with the language they studied in Year 7.

They have five lessons over the two week timetable.

Year 9

Pupils in Year 9 continue to study the language they studied throughout Years 7 and 8.

They have five lessons over the two week timetable.

Assessment 1 All four skills To be completed before half-term1
Assessment 2 All four skills To be completed before Christmas holidays
Assessment 3 All four skills To be completed before half-term 2
Assessment 4 All four skills To be completed before Easter Holidays
Assessment 5 All four skills To be completed before half-term 3
End of year tests All four skills To be completed by July (Summer 2)

The timetable ensures that 8 formal assessments take place per term.
Assessment will be based on the most recent module covered, in line with the Scheme of Work.
Each skill area will be assessed over the course of the year under test conditions. However, private study and classroom-based activities also, of course, allow for assessment opportunities.
Results will be collated and compared to each pupil’s target grade for the end of the year and Key Stage.
At the end of Year 9, pupils who have chosen to study a language at GCSE will start the revision work for the new course.

AQAFrench and Spanish

Pupils can opt to continue their study in either French or Spanish in Key Stage 4. Pupils have five language lessons over the two weeks timetable. The courses studied and taught at GCSE are AQA French and Spanish. Some pupils choose to sit exams in their home language at this stage also.

The department uses the Nelson Thornes AQA GCSE textbooks which are supplemented by Kerboodle online resources.

Content overview

  • Healthy and unhealthy lifestyles and their consequences

Relationships and choices

  • Relationships with family and friends
  • Future plans regarding marriage/partnership
  • Social issues and equality


Free time and the media

  • Free time activities
  • Shopping, money, fashion and trends
  • Advantages and disadvantages of new technology
  • Plans, preferences, experiences
  • What to see and getting around

Home & Environment

Home and Local Area
  • Special occasions celebrated in the home
  • Home, town, neighbourhood and region, where it is and what it is like
  • Current problems facing the planet
  • Being environmentally friendly within the home and the local area

Work and Education

School/College and future plans
  • What school/college is like
  • Pressures and problems
Current and future jobs
  • Looking for and getting a job
  • Advantages and disadvantages of different jobs


Assessment Overview
Unit 1 ( Listening)

Foundation Tier: 30 mins + 5 mins reading time
Higher Tier: 40 mins + 5 mins reading time

Unit 2 (Speaking)

Controlled Assessment (internally assessed)
Two tasks submitted for moderation

Unit 3 ( Reading)

Foundation Tier: 30 minutes
Higher Tier: 50 minutes

Unit 4 (Writing)

Controlled Assessment (externally assessed)
Two tasks submitted for marking

Pupils may be entered for either the Foundation or Higher Tier in the Listening and Reading examinations but not both.

Controlled Assessments

Year 10

Writing Assessment Speaking Assessment
1 1
French End of Spring 1 End of Summer 2
Spanish End of Spring 1 End of Summer 2

Year 11

Writing Assessment Speaking Assessment
2 2
French End of Autumn 1 End of Spring 2
Spanish End of Autumn 11 End of Spring 2

Revision Guides 
Revision guides will be available for Year 10 and Year 11 pupils to purchase on demand.
All GCSE students have a personal login to Kerboodle and so teachers can set private study tasks using this resource.
Vocabulary Books 
These are available at the cost of £1. It is highly recommended that all GCSE pupils purchase a vocabulary book.

More information can be found here


Gifted and Talented

Through our programme of language enhancement activities detailed above we aim to give our more able students opportunities to develop their linguistic competence. For the past two years gifted pupils in MFL have taken took part in the Linguatrivia challenge organised by the Linguascope website. We also encourage pupils to use a variety of websites and to subscribe to language learning magazines in order to develop independent learning skills. In recent years KS3/4 linguists have worked with our feeder primary Wilbury School on projects about Christmas, cafés and visits to France.

Extra-Curricular Activities




Which languages will my child study?
We offer French and Spanish to Advanced level. Pupils will normally study only one language during their time at the school. If possible we aim to allow pupils to continue to study the language which they have begun at primary school but we are always willing to discuss individual circumstances.
Do we need to purchase any extra equipment?
would be a good idea to buy a Collins Easy Learning dictionary for the language your son/daughter is studying. We will be sending out a letter about revision guides to students in year 10/11 in October.
Are there any good websites we could use to help study languages?
Please see the links on sidebar.




 A good actor is somebody who can be truthful and fascinating and interesting and enlightening.

Bruce Davison

About the faculty

Drama at Fearnhill School is a lively and popular subject, both within the curriculum and as an extra-curricular activity. It builds successful relationships, raises confidence levels and improves skills needed in all subject areas. There is a Drama Studio which is used for most Drama lessons and performances, and the school hall.


Students will cover a range of drama skills and explore a variety of stimulus to create drama. Topics during Key stage 3 include Murder Mystery, Silent Movies, WW1, Shakespeare and Myths and Legends. Stimuli include: play scripts, poetry, novel extracts, newspaper articles and historical accounts.

Drama GSCE 9-1 Assessment Descriptor

This course gives students the opportunity to explore plays, theatre styles, themes and issues in a highly creative and practical way. Emphasis is placed on team work and learning through experience. Students are assessed in practical activities and they also complete written course work. There is a performance exam during Year 11.

What is covered:

Component 1 Devising Theatre Component 2: Performing from a Text Component 3: Interpreting Theatre
Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated
40% of qualification
Learners will be assessed on either acting or design.
Learners participate in the creation, development and performance of a
piece of devised theatre using either the techniques of an influential
theatre practitioner or a genre, in response to a stimulus set by WJEC.
Learners must produce:

a realisation of their piece of devised theatre
a portfolio of supporting evidence
an evaluation of the final performance or design

Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by a visiting examiner
20% of qualification
Learners will be assessed on either acting or design.
Learners study two extracts from the same performance text chosen
by the centre.
Learners participate in one performance using sections of text from
both extracts.
Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
40% of qualification
Section A: Set Text
A series of questions on one set text from a choice of five:

The Tempest, William Shakespeare
The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Bertolt Brecht
Hard to Swallow, Mark Wheeller
War Horse, Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford
DNA, Dennis Kelly.
Section B: Live Theatre Review
One question, from a choice of two, requiring analysis and evaluation of a given aspect of a live theatre production seen during the course.

Drama GSCE 9-1 Assessment Descriptor
GCSE Drama- more information


A’ Level Drama & Theatre 7262 (AQA0)

Component 1: Drama and theatre Component 2: Creating original drama (practical) Component 3: Making theatre (practical)
Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
Study of two set plays, one chosen from List A, one chosen from List B
Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers

What’s assessed

Process of creating devised drama
Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer, designer or director)
Devised piece must be influenced by the work and methodologies of one prescribed practitioner

What’s assessed

Practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts (Extract 1, 2 and 3) each taken from a different play
Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 3

Extract 3 is to be performed as a final assessed piece (students may contribute as performer, designer or director)

Reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical interpretation of all three extracts

A-Level Drama & Theatre-more information