Learning & Achieving Together


Brentside students know that nothing less than their best personal standards of work will be acceptable to their English teachers. There is no substitute for hard work. However English teachers at Brentside work with students on the principle that maximum enjoyment of the subject produces maximum student effort and progress.

Brentside students profit from every opportunity to become successful students of English who enjoy their learning, make progress and achieve. The Brentside English curriculum is carefully designed to promote our students’:

  • enjoyment
  • creativity
  • critical understanding
  • self-reliance

For a more detailed outline of the English curriculum, please click here.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
  • Poetry Across Time
  • Creative Writing
  • Shakespeare Short Stories
  • Non-Fiction: Reading and Writing
  • Frankenstein: Non-Fiction Writing Unit

Year 8

  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  • Poetry
  • Non-Fiction: Writing
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Year 9


  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • English Language: Component 1
  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • English Language: Component 2
  • An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

Throughout key stage 3, students:

  • continue to broaden and consolidate technical accuracy while exploring the possibilities of prose including: novels, short stories and non-fiction; a range of media texts; poetry and drama
  • learn to analyse and identify writers' techniques in producing these texts while actively extending and consolidating their own skills in using the language
  • study fairy tales and myths to familiarise themselves with texts which have had seminal influence on all literary movements including Grimm, Anderson and Homer
  • study aspects of the Gothic and Romantic genres, including authors such as W. Shakespeare, C. Dickens, C.S. Lewis and R.L. Stevenson.

Key Stage 4

Students taking GCSE English Literature also study GCSE English Language, a linear 2 year course with exams in both subjects taken at the end of Year 11.

Our GCSE program offers students a sound and exciting foundation for moving on to A level and degree level study. In addition to being essential at GCSE it is highly regarded by Russell Group Universities at A level. A wide range of employers in the fields of law, accountancy, media, PR and the Civil Service prize the subject highly when selecting recruits.

English Literature

In Year 10, students study:

  • Shakespeare, Priestley and Stevenson
  • a wide range of poetry
  • skills of analysis

The emphasis is on developing a personal response based on an enjoyable, analytical study of each text. This involves writing well planned, thoughtful essays which make good use of relevant quotations.

English Language

In Year 11 students study a wide range of literary fiction and non-fiction and continue developing and consolidating skills acquired in Year 10. Student studies include poetry, adventure, travel, history, journalism, novels, biography and drama.

Year 10

  • Heritage Texts: Macbeth by W. Shakespeare
  • Exploring Modern Drama: An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestly
  • Poetry Anthology
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R. L. Stevenson

Year 11

  • Descriptive writing
  • Responding to an article
  • Creative writing/non-fiction writing
  • Speaking and listening preparation and assessment
  • Literature components revision


GCSE English Literature

  • Component 1: Shakespeare and Poetry (written examination, 40%)
  • Component 2: Post - 1914 Prose/Drama, 19th Century Prose and Unseen Poetry (written examination, 60%)

GCSE English Language

  • Component 1: 20th Century Literature reading and Creative Prose Writing, 40%
  • Component 2: 19th and 21st Century Non-Fiction Reading Study and Transactional/Persuasive writing, 60%
  • Component 3: Spoken Language, separate weighting

Key Stage 5

For details of our Key Stage 5 curriculum, please see our Sixth Form prospectus.

Click here to download 6th Form Prospectus

Extra Curricular Opportunities

Extra curricular opportunities include the popular and thriving Reading Club and the highly successful BBC School Report.