English Language and Literature offers students the opportunity to open doors to the world and participate actively in a global society. In English, we aim to inculcate a love of reading and to develop students interest in English literature, promoting reflection, analysis, empathy and cultural awareness through enjoyable, entertaining and stimulating classes.

Throughout Secondary, students are encouraged to read books and magazines in order to acquire good reading habits, and to discuss authors, characters and themes related to literature. They are also required to write at an appropriate level, so a dictionary is an indispensable tool in their study of the language. Oral comprehension and written expression, in different styles such as informational, persuasive and explanatory, are part of the linguistic objectives of the subject at this stage of education.

Additionally, students will read from different literary genres (poetry, fiction, and plays) and develop the ability to write different kinds of text analysis. They will study British works and authors belonging to the classic literary canon, the most famous representative of which is Shakespeare.

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 students follow the challenging International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme. This curriculum pushes students to engage with challenging texts and to find their own writing style. To ensure that students enjoy the subject we include genres like Gothic Horror where children learn how to write their own fiction in this style.

Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4 students complete GCSE English and Literature. During this students study a range of texts including.
A Christmas Carol
An Inspector Calls

Key Stage 5



Student Comments

“I struggled with English at primary. But Mrs Dobson has helped me to make progress and I now look forward to English lessons”

Year 9

“I love the MYP and really enjoy English. We do cold and hot tasks which shows me how well I am doing.”

Year 7

“I did really well in English at GCSE and am now studying English as part of the IBCP. I am hoping to study journalism and University”

6th Former

“English is hard but I love the opportunity to express my opinion.”

Year 10


BBC Reporters

Hartsdown is involved with the BBC Young Reporters Competition and our students really enjoy producing content for the BBC.

Theatre Trips

In most year groups students have opportunities to watch theatre live. With visits to local theatres as well as theatre groups coming into the school.

English Excellence Conference

As part of work to ensure that children get top grades at Hartsdown we are involved in Excellence Days at Dane Court Grammar. During these days students have opportunities to compete with students from Dane Court and to work on Grade 8-9 work.


Hartsdown has successfully competed in National debating competitions including Hartsdown students being selected to debate at the House of Lords.