English at The Academy at Shotton Hall is an immersive experience, exposing students to classics such as Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ to the more modern ‘I am Malala’.

Students will be transported back to the frontline in 1914 as they explore a range of war poetry and experience what life was like in the trenches; Dracula, Frankenstein, Jekyll & Hyde are to name but a few of the frightening characters they will meet throughout their time in English…

In addition to this, students will learn how to write effectively and articulately in a plethora of styles. For example, structuring an argument on what grinds your gears: T.V adverts, babies crying or teachers making you work in silence? Students also learn how to write like a pro and bag themselves a grade 9 with a range of fool-proof writing techniques created by the English department!

Our ‘Keys to Success’ literacy programme ensures students learn the basics to help them not only in English but across the whole curriculum. Students enjoy English because it is varied, fast-paced and fun. Every student is inspired to believe in their potential and to aim high.

It’s not only English lessons that are exciting at the academy; English teachers also fully immerse themselves in a range of English and Literacy-themed events throughout the year including World Book Day where staff from all departments pull out all the stops to come to school dressed as literary characters.

Our school newspaper ‘Spotlight’ is published every term and Newspaper Club is run by English teachers, Miss Jamieson and Miss Stead. In addition, the English department hosts many after school clubs including a Creative Writing Club and Reading Club which are very popular with our students.

All of the English teachers are so enthusiastic that it’s difficult not to enjoy English lessons! The best part of English for me is the group work we do and the Everybody Writes Day was brilliant.
Year 8 student

Look out for English initiatives including:

  • Fiction Express and book swap with Miss Pounder
  • The Big Read with new, exciting projects
  • Lunch time Girls' Revision Club with Miss Cleckner and Miss Jamieson
  • Lunch time Boys' Revision Club with Mr Favaro and Mr Collins
  • Reading Rocks - a week long celebration of all things associated with reading 
  • Poetry Live visits to Harrogate
  • Durham Book Festival visit
  • Macbeth Live at Newcastle's Theatre Royal 
  • National Theatre Live screenings at the local cinema 

Examinations and curriculum information

You can download a breakdown of the learning outcomes and topics we teach in English below or you can click to access further information on the syllabus followed in at Key Stage 4.