English Language

‘A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.’
Nelson Mandela

Our curriculum vision

All learners, regardless of their ability, will have access to inspiring, ambitious, and high-quality texts. Our English curriculum will cultivate a culture of literary exploration and resilience that will promote a curiosity for literature and language.

At Key Stage 5, separate courses in English Language and English Literature are available for students to choose. Both provide fascinating opportunities to explore language use in a range of contexts and genres across time.

A level English Language

Following GCSE study in English Language, the A Level course encourages you to appreciate that language is everywhere and that there’s no such thing as ‘just words’. English Language will open your eyes to the true nature of the words that surround you in everyday life, from the posts on your social media feed to the words in a news article. You will learn that language influences our thoughts, our actions and even what we believe is real. You will never listen to a conversation, or look at an advert, or read a text message in the same way again!

In Year 12, we establish that there are no limits to the language we can study. The texts we analyse are written, spoken, and typed: everything from the chats in a hair salon to the language of a courtroom; everything from little-known blogs to major newspaper editorials. We teach you the terminology you need to study such a range of texts, and provide you with historical, social, and cultural knowledge of how language has developed over time. We study how language is affected by gender, ethnicity, age, social group, region, and more. We consider the status of English as a lingua franca (global language), why English has spread so widely and the effect this has on languages of the world. Towards the end of Year 12, you will decide what direction your independent language investigation and your original writing coursework will take. Will you investigate the language of TikTok? Will you explore whether women talk differently to men? Will you write a short story? Will you compose a piece of argumentative journalism?

In Year 13, we explore how children acquire language and we complete the investigation and original writing coursework. We continue to develop your written analysis of a broad range of short texts over time, and we compare texts that contain opinions about key issues within language study. We teach how to compose directed writing on language issues, such as an opinion article about whether schools should ban slang.

We encourage the development of critical, socially aware students, who are conscious of the deeper meanings that words and discourses contain. We encourage students to pursue their passion for writing and become writers with their own style.


Year 12 and 13 English Language curriculum map PDF

How to find out more

AQA’s website: A-Level English Language



The British Library: a marvellous resource for exploring literature and language over time.



English language blog: here is the link to a superb English Language blog.




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