Why do we love English?

“I love teaching English because, as Atticus Finch says in To Kill a Mockingbird, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Reading literature from other time periods and cultures helps us to do this and to understand the world in which we live.” Miss Brice

“Words are transformational: they can take you from the chair you are sitting in to anywhere in space, time and history or into previously unimaginable worlds. With only the power of the written word, characters become friends, worlds become real and lives are changed. What I love, is bringing students along with me on that journey.” Mrs Holland

“I love English. You can plunge into the deepest depths, soar along lilac clouds and battle the most hideous of beasts with the stroke of a pen or the turn of a page. I love English because it teaches you not to write that ‘the sun is shining’, but allows you to share the experience of warm ripples of radiant rays on your back, the golden glow of summer dancing on the water. I love English because it teaches the skill to take your readers to undiscovered worlds and, more importantly, experience life through a different lens. ” Miss Green

“I love English for its limitless potential to expand our minds and broaden our horizons. Suspended in a literary dimension, we can escape the confines of our reality and experience far removed lives, places and ideas. This exploration challenges our concepts, raises our hopes and ignites our passions. From the transcendent truths of Shakespeare to the creative writing of a budding pupil, words provide an infinite well of inspiration and self-affirmation.” Mrs S Laird

“English is not just a subject, but a lens through which one can view life. It enriches the mind and changes perspectives, whether it is through literature or appreciating the difference a misplaced comma or apostrophe can make.” Mrs Mapfaira

Here at OIEA we are taking full advantage of the exciting opportunity for a five year structured course leading up to the GCSE qualifications. The new GCSEs in English Language and GCSE English Literature underpin our curriculum from Year 7 all the way through to Year 11.

Head of Department – Miss J Brice
Head of KS3 in English – Mrs A Holland
Teacher of English – Miss Z Green
Teacher of English – Miss H Kirk
Teacher of English – Mrs L Mapfaira
Teacher of English – Mrs S Laird
Teacher of English/SENCO – Ms T Quinney

KS3 – Years 7 and 8

In Year 7, students at OIEA delve into the past, exploring original 19th century fairy tales and tracking their evolution to modern day. They will travel back to World War One and experience life in the trenches through the poetry of those who were there. They will discover what it was really like to watch a play in Shakespeare’s day and how fairies can cause all sorts of trouble in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They will become journalists, poets, inquisitive readers and begin their journey towards success at GCSE.

In Year 8, we continue the journey as students begin to learn about Charles Dickens and his fight against social injustice. They will continue their study of poetry on the theme of ‘Power and Conflict’, considering the corrupting influence of power on mankind and the devastation of conflict. Students will enter the tragic world of Romeo and Juliet and debate who was really to blame. They will have the opportunity to engage with novels including ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ and travel all over the world through our non-fiction travel writing unit.

‘You cannot open a book without learning something.’ – Confucius


KS4 – Years 9 – 11

Students begin their GCSE course in Year 9 to give them the luxury of time. Time to read and get to grips with the set texts; to engage with the ideas, emotions and concepts addressed within them; time to learn, make mistakes, stumble, fall and pick themselves back up again as more resilient students who progress and achieve.

The GCSE English Literature set texts include:

Paper 1 – ‘Macbeth’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’

Paper 2 – ‘An Inspector Calls’ and the ‘Power and Conflict Poetry Anthology’

GCSE English Language provides students with the opportunity to engage with extracts from literary and non-fiction texts, ranging from the 19th century to the present day. They will be taught to engage with the writers’ crafting of language and structure, to explore why they write the way they do and how readers are affected by it. They will also learn to craft language themselves and be taught the multiple disciplines of fiction and non-fiction writing. These skills are embedded throughout all schemes of learning from Years 7-11.

Also embedded is the discipline of ‘spoken language’. Learning to speak and present in different contexts, both formal and informal, is an invaluable life skill. Students will be training in the art of debate, presenting to an audience, speaking persuasively and expressing their views.

Students will be encouraged to find their ‘voice’ and will leave us with a bright and glittering future ahead of them in any subject they choose, safe in the knowledge that their skills in reading, writing and speaking will enable them to achieve their goals.

For more information on the GCSE course, please visit:



Enrichment Opportunities

  • Theatre performance
  • KS4 intervention and revision
  • Debating skills club
  • KS3 book club – exploring other cultures