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The teaching of English in S. Anselm’s College strives to enrich our pupils’ lives through an expansive love of literature, exploration or their own experience and imagination and development of excellent written and oral communication skills.


Year 9

The curriculum in Year 9, seeks to consolidate the skills pupils have acquired in spoken English, reading and writing and prepare them for the demands of their GCSE courses.

Pupils study spoken language and develop their self-confidence in this area. They are be expected to participate fully in class discussions and to present their ideas to the class in a variety of contexts. Pupils are also given the chance to perform texts both formally and informally. Coaching each pupil’s individual skills is a key part of this curriculum and each pupil’s progress is be monitored by their class teacher. The skills practised in class are also tested formally when pupils sit their English Speaking Board Senior Two examination.

Confident and engaged individual reading is the cornerstone of success in English and pupils are encouraged to read widely throughout Year 9 and to tackle some increasingly challenging texts. The works of two authors are studied in depth: William Golding and William Shakespeare with visits to productions in regional theatres as well as Stratford upon Avon.

We aim to produce pupils who can write with confidence in a variety of genres. Having studied the short story genre in the Lent Term, pupils write their own stories for a national competition. Pupils are encouraged to write their own poems in the style of the poems we have studied: the best way to appreciate the genre. Pupils also learn how to respond to literary texts. This is done informally, through their reading logs, and formally by practising how to write a literary essay.  Pupils are encouraged to find their own ‘voice’ and style whilst consolidating their knowledge of grammar, punctuation and spelling.


GCSE English

All pupils in S. Anselm’s College study both English Language and English Literature as core GCSE subjects. We follow the AQA GCSE syllabus:

AQA GCSE English Language (8700)

AQA GCSE English Literature (8702)


College Reading List

Anselm’s College publishes an extensive reading list to encourage pupils to pick up a new novel, try new authors and to provide a starting point for conversations around reading.

The books listed are ascribed to Kinder, Derwent or Arkwright for general guidance. Reading activities which take place during English lessons are designed to provide a forum for these discussions.  Our aim is to ensure our College pupils are reading an ever greater number and variety of appropriately challenging books as they prepare to embrace the rigours of GCSE English Literature and Language (and some for GCSE Drama) as well as discover their place in the world.

Whilst the reading list represents a small sample of the marvellous books available for young people to enjoy, we hope it will be a source of inspiration and help to foster a life-long reading habit.