At The Stonehenge School, we approach the teaching of English with high levels of creativity to engage students, ensuring that they enjoy the study of a wide range of topics, and with a clear focus on allowing them to make the most progress possible.

Record-breaking results

The results for 2015 were the best ever achieved by the English department, with 67% of students achieving A*-C in English Language GCSE, and 75% making the 3 levels of expected progress expected between Key stage 2 and 4 (above national average). 33% of students actually made 4 levels of progress in this time. We are aiming to break this record again this year. 

Key Stage 2 to 3 transition

Through links with the Feeder primaries, we have created a ‘bridging unit’ that allows students to accustom themselves to our methods of assessment, focusing on writing and speaking and listening skills. The feeder primaries have the freedom to engage the students in a topic and manner of their choice, but follow our style of Key Stage 3 assessment. This information is then transferred to us, ensuring at the quickest possible stage we have knowledge of the students’ capabilities and areas for improvement. This combats the potential dip that can occur at this stage of their school career.

We have also provided the feeder primaries with the potential to deliver the Accelerated Reading scheme, building an enthusiasm of reading for pleasure, and allowing students to make progress in terms of their reading age.  

Key Stage 3

During Years 7 to 9, the progress of students is developed through the ‘mini-milestone’ approach to assessment. This involves:

-       Starting point tasks – attempting an assessment that meets the Assessment Focuses for that unit, and receiving peer feedback to set early targets for the rest of the unit.

-       Main teaching – the main part of the unit is delivered to the students using differentiation to build their specific skills.

-       ‘Mini-milestone’ – partway through the unit students complete another assessment focusing on the main Assessment Focuses, and this is marked formatively to give a clear indication of what they can currently do well, and what they need to do to improve based on levels descriptors

-       Making Progress – students are set tasks that are based on their current performance and individual targets to allow them to practice and develop before the final assessment

-       Final assessment – the students reattempt or complete another assessment, focusing on what they need to do to improve, and this assessment is given an overall level, with an idea of what areas they have made progress on in that unit.




Year 9

During Year 9, students start to make a transition towards the study of GCSE, completing units of work that develop the skills needed for the study of GCSE courses. This includes writing in a range of styles and developing written communication to meet the marks available for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar, reading a challenging novel and practising for the more challenging tasks at GCSE, studying a Shakespeare play in preparation for the Exam Week assessment, and developing knowledge of language and building analytical skills..

Accelerated Reading

Through close links with the Learning Resource Centre all students in Years 7 and 8, and most students in year 9 (except the top two sets), take part in the Accelerated Reading programme. Creating a passion for reading, independence and developing key skills necessary for the real world, Accelerated reading allows us to track and monitor student progress. 

Key Stage 4

Years 10 and 11

At Key Stage 4, we follow two courses, AQA English Literature and English Language. This leads to two GCSE qualifications.

In English Language, students are encouraged to read widely, both non-fiction and literary non-fiction, and to develop their written skills. Final assessment for the course takes the form of two 1 hour 45 minute exams.

In English Literature, students will be reading complete works of literature, selected by their teachers, including Shakespeare, 19th, 20th, and 21st Century texts. Similar to the Language qualification, final assessment takes the form of two exams at the end of Year 11.

In addition, students also undertake a Spoken Language task, which gains them the Spoken Language Endorsement. This is a separate qualification and does not contribute marks to the Language or Literature courses.

Extra curricular

The pupils study a range of English Language and English Literature that focuses on the key skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Pupils in all year groups are often taken on various visits, such as a visit to The Guardian newspaper in London, GCSE Poetry Live, as well as theatre performances in venues such as:

·         The Globe, London

·         The Swan, Stratford upon Avon

·         The Lyric, Hammersmith

·         Salisbury Playhouse

We are keen to encourage students to enter literacy competitions and we have many students who have had their work published in creative writing anthologies.

The Summer Term also sees us hosting ‘English Week’ for students in Key Stage 3. The programme might typically appear like this:





 Murder in the Classroom

Puzzle solving, questioning skills and practical thinking (Gifted and Talented)


Rob Atkins – Sports journalist

‘English in the Real World’


Multistory Theatre visit

Performing a Greek Myth


Barbara Spencer - Author

Creating your own fiction


Public Speaking Competition

Presentation by class winners on a chosen theme

Our students also have the opportunity to take part in BBC School report, working as journalists for the day, with the excitement of live updates from the BBC. This year we organised it as an activity for all students from Year 7 to 10.

BBC SCHOOL REPORT LINK http://www.stonehenge.wilts.sch.uk/home/bbc-school-news-report

Updated 2015


“In English and the development of literacy skills, students make very good progress so that in 2013 the proportion of students making expected progress was above the national average”.

[Ofsted 2014]

Word of the Day

Word of the Day provided by TheFreeDictionary

Twitter Feed

Follow us on Twitter