Head of Department and KS4 

Mrs S Erskine

Subject Teachers

Mrs J Schutte, responsibility Year 7

Mrs S Ferry, responsibility KS3

Ms N Barnfield

Mr M Rehman 

Miss N Spain

Miss E Papchristu

English intervention & English Department CPD

Mrs M Cure


Curriculum Maps  - please click links below:

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

Curriculum Overview

Welcome to the English Department at Fernhill! Whether you're just starting out with us in Year 7 or looking forward to your GCSEs, we'll be with you every step of the way to encourage curiosity and a love of learning through a wide range of fiction and non fiction texts.

On our journey we'll meet fascinating characters, travel back in time to a very different Elizabethan England and explore other cultures from our own. You'll get to write stories and poems, newspaper articles and essays. You'll learn how to develop your thinking skills and how to express yourself with confidence in a variety of spoken forms.

In English, our main aim is to enable students to read, write, speak and listen effectively. The Programmes of Study from the National Curriculum form the basis of students' experience at Key Stages 3 and 4.


Students are encouraged to become fluent, independent and critical readers of all kinds of texts, who question and reflect on what they have read and who enjoy reading for pleasure. They use texts to explore language and meaning, to acquire information, to gain further insight into their own and other cultures, and to extend their personal and social awareness. They have access to a wide variety of texts (poetry, drama, prose, fiction, non-fiction and media) both in the classroom and in the school library. The English Department promotes a love of reading and the importance of wider reading in many ways. One of these is through fortnightly library lessons for students in Years 7, 8 and 9. In these lessons students have the opportunity to explore the range of material available in the Library and spend time reading and discussing texts. All students are encouraged to take the books they read out of the library and home to continue this focus.


Students are encouraged to become confident, articulate writers who understand that writing is a means of learning, shaping experience, exploring ideas and language, and expressing ideas and feelings. They write for a variety of purposes and audiences and learn to appreciate the benefits of drafting, redrafting and proofreading. They make use of journal writing, note-making, word processing and desktop publishing as they work towards finished products in a variety of forms for a variety of purposes.

Key Stage 3

Our Key Stage 3 English curriculum has been designed to give students opportunities to engage with a wide variety of new and engaging texts as well as fostering a love of reading and writing for pleasure.  Students have 8 lessons of English across their two week timetable and each half term,  students study a thematic unit which encourages challenge and builds on the vital skills in preparation for GCSE.  Please take a look through our Key Stage 3 curriculum maps to see what topic your child is studying throughout year 7, 8 and 9 and what their assessment will be at the end of each unit.  You will find a synopsis of what we start with in each year group below.

Year 7

In Year 7 students, students begin with a fascinating novel study of 'Itch' by Simon Mayo which allows them to build a range of analysis, focusing on characters, extracts and themes.

Year 8

In Year 8, students enjoy Shakespeare in the form of Romeo and Juliet, a text designed to encourage engagement with historical context and relationship issues. The play is performed in groups, read as a class and students relish the opportunity to play a variety of characters.

Year 9

Our Year 9 gives students begin their transition towards GCSE with a study of Dystopian Literature, reading novels such as The Hunger Games, The Giver and Noughts and Crosses all of which have a strong message about society and power to encourage debate and critical thinking.

If you have any questions about our Key Stage 3 curriculum, please do contact your child's teacher or email me directly at S.erskine@fernhill.hants.sch.uk and we will be happy to help in any way we can.

In Years 10 and 11 students study for two GCSEs in English Language and English Literature.  They continue to develop their skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening; studying a wide range of literature and non fiction texts which they analyse to show their understanding of the way writers use language to create effects and influence the reader.  Students are encouraged to express their own opinions and use what they have learned from their reading to extend their own writing skills.  Students follow the AQA specifications for both English Language and English Literature.  There are two examinations for both GCSEs and Spoken Language (Speaking and Listening) is assessed as a separate examination during year 10 in the form of a ten minute presentation.

The Rights of the Reader is a poster detailing the ten Rights of the Reader. Put it up at home in bedrooms! Encourage children to read the way they want to, and they will flourish as readers!

GCSE Revision

Year 11 revision sessions usually run from November to December and then from January to May. English revision sessions are on Tuesdays after school, from 3.00pm to 3.45pm.

Advice for Parents:

Would you like to help your child revise successfully but haven't a clue where to begin? The BBC Learning website offers practical tips on how to support your child through the stress of revision and exams.

CGP Revision Books: Structure your revision effectively with a revision book. CGP do different books for the different sections of the exams. Buy them from the CGP website or ask your teacher - we can get them for almost half the price because we are a school!

English Biz - a set of 'How to...' revision, coursework and exam guides for your English course.

GCSE Bitesize English Language - this website is aimed at those doing AQA English.

GCSE Bitesize English Literature - notes on the poets and pre-1914 poems bank, plus some tips on how to write successful responses to the questions set.

Spark Notes: No Fear Shakespeare - provides Shakespeare's original text side by side with a modern translation. Available plays include Romeo&Juliet, Macbeth and Richard III.