At KS3, all students follow the requirements of the National Curriculum. Our students are explicitly taught key literacy skills, as well as being given the opportunity to read and enjoy classic and more recent Literature, as well as that from other cultures. In addition, students study Media and non-fiction texts, and are taught both to read and write these genres. Creative writing is also a popular unit, and our students are offered many opportunities to enjoy this pursuit.

Across all three years students will meet units of study on:

  • Literacy skills
  • Non-fiction / Media
  • Shakespeare
  • Poetry
  • A novel.

In Year 7 students study a cross-curricular Literacy Skills unit (with History and Geography) and a unit about the History of English.

Students remain in the same groups for Years 7 and 8, and are then moved into new groups in Year 9. At this point the curriculum is tailored to help students adjust for the demands of GCSE, and students are prepared for this challenge by developing a similar set of skills required at GCSE level. This includes: studying a Shakespeare play in depth; reading a novel from the GCSE syllabus; exploring a challenging Twentieth century play; and completing a unit on Spoken Language.


At KS4 students follow one of two different paths: 

  • English Literature GCSE and English Language GCSE, or
  • English GCSE.

GCSEs are assessed throughout the year via controlled assessments and at the end of the year by examination.

Both routes allow students a broad curriculum, including:

  • Non-fiction reading and writing (examination)
  • Shakespeare and a major Twentieth century novel (controlled assessments)
  • Speaking and Listening (controlled assessment)
  • Creative writing (controlled assessment)
  • Poetry (assessed by examination for GCSE English Literature and controlled assessment for English GCSE).

We aim to ensure that all students leave Acton High School with: skills to read competently and write creatively; an experience and appreciation of Literature; an understanding of media and non-fiction texts; and as confident speakers and sensitive listeners.

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