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The English Team at BISAK is a dynamic team of four highly committed specialists and four learning support staff, all passionate about the subject. Specialists share a common purpose – using our love for literature to enthuse and motivate those whom we teach.

We pride ourselves on delivering a carefully developed curriculum that is both stimulating and challenging, one that encourages our pupils to be creative, resilient, independent and ambitious in development of their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, skills that are needed not only for academic success but for life. 

Our aim is to teach them to speak accurately, persuasively, effectively and to promote confidence in the judgments they make in their discussion and writing. Pupils are encouraged and given opportunities to express their opinions, drawing upon their own experiences and developing independent ideas through actively encouraging them to read widely, critically and discerningly a range of literature.

The Department is well resourced, with an excellent range of written and audio-visual resources which supplement the school’s library. It is currently developing its ICT resources in order to deliver teaching and learning that is interactive, stimulating and fun.

Pupils in Key Stage 3 receive four hours of teaching a week and follow an exciting and varied English curriculum that builds upon their prior learning at primary school. In Year 9 the work begins to prepare them for the challenges of International GCSE study.  Taught in sets from the start of Year 7 pupils are initially grouped on the basis of their Key Stage 2 data, discussions with Year 6 teachers and the results of formal assessment. We regularly review our set composition as a matter of course throughout the year, ensuring all pupils receive teaching which maximises their chances of success. In lessons, speaking and listening is practised in a variety of ways, such as small group work, role play and class discussion. Writing takes a wide variety of forms, including creative, analytical and imaginative responses to literary and non-fiction texts.

We are committed to carefully monitoring and assessing pupil progress throughout Key Stage 3. At the end of each unit pupils produce an assessed piece of work. Each unit of work is assessed using the APP formula, targeting particular skills, giving teachers the opportunity to build on pupils’ learning which assesses their strengths and provides extra support for skills which may require it.  Class teachers mark these pieces with a National Curriculum level, along with providing detailed feedback  and specific steps to enable pupils to improve. This work is stored in an assessment folder which is reviewed, helping pupils to reflect upon their targets and how to move forward in English.


Opportunities that exist to develop pupils’ skills further:


Shadowing the Carnegie


BISAK Public Speaking Competition

All pupils in 7, 8, 9 and 10 take part in a year group speech making competition. The best from each year are entered into the final of The BISAK Public Speaking Competition, competing against pupils in 7, 8, 9 and 10.

BISAK Poetry Competition

All pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 enter and the best are selected for the final which takes place in June.


Years 6 and 7 Spelling Bee

All pupils in Year 6 and 7 work on their spelling as part of their weekly homework. The best spellers compete against Year 6 in final Spelling Bee.


Cross Curricular work with the ICT department and Art Department

Animation and a Creative Writing trip to the desert

  • Theatre trips
  • Debating Club
  • Model United Nations
  • One timetabled library lesson a week
  • Accelerated Reader


Key Stage 4 Curriculum

In Key Stage pupils receive 5 hours of English lessons a week. Pupils are set according to their ability.  The vast majority of our pupils study for two International GCSEs following Route 2 of the Edexcel International GCSE English Language A and Literature pathways. Both courses combine the traditional skills of comprehension, summary and writing to purpose with a study of literature. The courses cover a range of texts, both traditional and modern and coursework assesses speaking, listening, reading and writing.

A small group of pupils each year study for one International GCSE in English as a Second Language.

Edexcel English Literature

At AS, students attend seven lessons of English per week and at A2 six. Classes benefit
from having three class teachers, each of whom focus on different aspects of the course.  The course provides opportunities for wider reading and independent research. Class sizes are small and in addition to the teacher’s input, there is much emphasis on group discussion and student led activities.

AS level study is focused on poetry, narrative and the tragic genre and at A2 level there is a free choice of texts read in the light of a range of critical theory and contexts as well as a study of texts belonging to the genre of War.



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