Department Leader: Stephanie Power

The KBA English Department are committed to providing students with a range of learning experiences and enrichment activities, as well as offering a wide range of specialisms from crucial literacy skills to a variety of English A Levels.

The rigour of English GCSE and A level examinations has increased significantly in recent years and, therefore, we have intellectualised our curriculum to ensure that it is both engaging and challenging. Students have the opportunity to read and study a range of 19th century texts, Shakespeare’s works, modern texts, plays and poetry. The English team are dedicated to enthusing their students with a passion for reading as well as ensuring they develop high level skills in both verbal and written communication. The development of these key skills will empower students and help them to be more successful in other subject areas.

The magic of studying English is that it gives us a chance to escape from the real world and become immersed in captivating stories, whilst helping us to better understand the world around us. Through the study of non-fiction texts, we provide students with the opportunity to debate some topical issues so that we can reinforce the British values of tolerance and respect. We want every single one of our students to be confident communicators who can grapple with the best and most brilliant ideas from literature. Students who study English can progress into careers such as journalism, broadcasting, teaching, publishing, advertising and marketing but, of course, the real benefits of being literate and articulate will be felt every day throughout your life.

It is our intention that young people leave KBA with a passion for and understanding of English Language and Literature. We are proud of our ambitious, challenging and diverse curriculum that inspires young minds to be creative, critical readers and writers. Through the rigorous and carefully sequenced curriculum, we equip our young people with the confidence to communicate effectively in life beyond school.

At Kettering Buccleuch Academy, we are proud to deliver a broad and challenging curriculum. Students will be assessed against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and study poetry, prose, plays, non-fiction and Shakespeare to develop and master these key skills (such as inference, language analysis, creative writing etc) in both language and literature. To support learning, each year group has a specific theme that runs in each unit of study throughout the year. The themes are:

•            Year 7 – War and Conflict

•            Year 8 – Social Justice

•            Year 9 – Relationships

All students are set targets and the intention is to equip all learners with clear foundations in reading and writing skills, whilst exploring a range of literature from a variety of cultural backgrounds, genres and periods. Each unit encourages students to explore how different components such as: Reading, Writing and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar work together but also to develop appreciation of both language and literature.

Progress is monitored in three ways:

  • Teacher assessed ‘Weekly Tasks’ that review a range of KPIs
  • Knowledge Organiser quizzes
  • Mid-year and End of year examination

At Kettering Buccleuch Academy, the English department follows the AQA syllabus at Key Stage 4 and offers students the opportunity to gain two qualifications by the end of the course - English Language and English Literature. We believe that our KS4 course is engaging, inspiring and challenging for students of all abilities.

The English Language qualification consists of two papers, both equal in weighting. Each paper consists of a reading section (based on unseen extracts) and a writing section. Students can achieve grades 1-9 in English Language.

  • Paper 1: Explorations in Creative reading and writing
  • Paper 2: Exploring writers’ viewpoints and perspectives

The English Literature qualification also consists of two papers. At KBA, our students study Macbeth, A Christmas Carol, An Inspector Calls, Power and Conflict poetry and unseen poetry. However, we do encourage our students to read a range of texts in their free time to allow their passion for literature to flourish. Students are not allowed to take their texts into the examinations so they must study these texts both in and out of lessons. Students can achieve grades 1-9 in English Literature.

  • Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel
  • Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry




  • BBC Bitesize: Revision prompts, advice and examples for key English Language skills.  
  • Shmoop: A revision website with text guides to all frequently studied Literature texts.  
  • Mr Bruff: Videos covering commonly taught Literature texts and Language paper approaches.  
  • Tuition Kit: Videos covering commonly taught Literature texts and Language paper approaches/skills.  
  • Revision World : A bank of past papers for English Language and Literature. 
  • Revision Guide : A Language exam paper revision guide for both Paper 1 and Paper 2.  

Revision Websites | GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature

  1. The British Library

This is your go-to site in terms of really good, challenging content for English Literature.  As a starting point, Google ‘British Library + Macbeth’ or ‘British Library + An Inspector Calls’ – you get the idea.

  1. BBC Bitesize

There’s lots here to consolidate your knowledge.  There are separate areas for both English Literature and English Language.  All aspects of the qualifications are covered.

  1. Sparknotes

A similar(ish) website to BBC Bitesize.  You’ll find notes on most of the English Literature texts, plus quizzes to test your knowledge.

  1. Cliffs Notes

There’s plenty here to help you revise the core English Literature texts – chapter summaries, character overviews, quizzes and essay questions.

  1. Universal Teacher

This website is one of my favourites.  It’s got comprehensive notes on most of the English Literature texts, and there’s also relevant information that you can use to help revise for English Language.

  1. The Stable Oyster Blog

This website contains some excellent blogs on the poems from the AQA Power and Conflict cluster.  Click on the website link and then type the name of the poem you want to revise into the search bar.

  1. Learning From My Mistakes Blog

Another blogging website.  This one contains links to more resources on the poems from the AQA Power and Conflict cluster.

  1. The Guardian

It’s worth typing the name of the text (or area) you want to study into the search bar – it’s likely that you’ll find some decent stuff.  For example, there are a number of really good articles on Jekyll and Hyde and Macbeth.

  1. AQA

You can find past papers, mark schemes and exam reports.  Look for the ‘assessment resources’ area and go from there.

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