• Overview
  • KS3
  • KS4
  • Additional Information
  • English

    Team Members

    • Miss K Paton - Head of English
    • Mrs B Swancutt - Second in Department for English 
    • Miss Z Barfield - Teacher of English and Mandarin
    • Mr B Bunsell – Teacher of English / Head of Year 9
    • Mrs E Firth – Teacher of English
    • Mr D Glencross - Assistant Headteacher, Teacher of English
    • Mr N Houghton - Teacher of English
    • Mrs R Hill –  Teacher of English / Head of ITT and Staff Induction
    • Mrs J McAllen - Teacher of English
    • Mrs S Savory – Teacher of English
    • Mrs J Sleap – Teacher of English
    • Mrs M Walter – Headteacher, Teacher of English
    • Mrs C Wood - Teacher of English
    • Mrs S Barker - English and Maths Technician

    Mission statement

    English is the foundation of all other subjects. It has huge social, political and moral implications with Literature enabling students to become better thinkers and generally more empathetic human beings.

    Students need a critical facility more so than ever before, given the amount of choices they now have to make. The subject challenges radical viewpoints which inspire children to appreciate beauty, truth and the essential inter-connectedness of everything. Whilst encouraging students of all backgrounds and all abilities to engage and read for pleasure, English also encompasses elements of: history, religious education, philosophy, ethics, geography, literacy, government and politics, psychology, sociology and media.

    Aims and Objectives

    • Foster a love of literature, encouraging students to read widely and independently
    • Develop discerning critical readers whose analytical skills will allow them to interpret the ever more complex linguistic world around them
    • Teach students to express themselves succinctly, confidently and creatively, according to purpose, with clear and correct use of English
    • Inspire students to express themselves imaginatively, appropriately and effectively by using our rich and diverse English language
    • Encourage students to become successful learners and responsible citizens
    • Increase motivation by providing authentic, meaningful and relevant learning experiences

    Celebration of success (achievements)

    Summer 2020 GCSE (9-4)
    English Language 88%, 4+
    English Literature 87%, 4+

    Range of Opportunities

    There are a range of opportunities for support that include:

    • Year 11 Re-reading group Thursday 8.15-8.45 AM E2b
    • Year 11 Period 6- Literature Day 2 E1b/E2b
    • Year 11 Period 6- Language Day 8 E1b/E2b
    • Year 10 seminars – After school on Wednesdays


    The English department comprises of:

    • 8 purpose built rooms all including interactive whiteboards
    Reading Booklets
  • KS3 English- What we do

    At Woking High School, we aim to foster an appreciation and love of reading through studying increasingly challenging texts. Throughout KS3, students will have the opportunity to read and study a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, including novels, short stories, poems and plays with a wide coverage of genres, historical periods, forms and authors. This includes the study of Shakespeare in all years. Students will also be taught to write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length for a wide range of purposes and audiences. We also teach students to communicate effectively in spoken English through participation in class discussion, debate, presentations and drama.

    Year 7: Contemporary Literature

    • Back to School- focus on a wide variety of extracts (poetry and prose) all themed around starting school.
    • Shakespeare Characters: an introduction to Shakespeare through some of his most famous characters.
    • The Wind in the Willows: a literary study of the 20th century novel.
    • The Quest: a collection of short stories all themed around adventure and quests.
    • The Village Project: a focus on creative writing and character development through the medium of a village invented by the students

    Year 8: Literary Heritage

    • Crime: a thematic unit covering both non-fiction crime writing and literary detective fiction
    • Dickensian Characters: an introduction to the work of Charles Dickens through some of his most famous texts.
    • Macbeth: a study of the Shakespearian tragedy
    • Conflict: a thematic unit covering both non-fiction war reportage and literary writing about war with a particular focus on the First World War poets
    • Travel Writing: a thematic unit covering both non-fiction travel writing and writing about place within literature
    • Novel: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Animal Farm by George Orwell or other literary heritage novels.

    Year 9: Different Cultures

    • Argument and famous speeches: a non-fiction unit focussed on reading, writing and presenting effective persuasive speeches
    • The Critical Style Project: an introduction to essay writing through a media study of Spielberg’s Jaws
    • Of Mice and Men: a study of the American classic novella
    • The Paper 2 unit: an analytical study of the craft of the short story and the chance for students to shape their own creative pieces.
    • Poems of Different Cultures: a collection of poems written from a variety of cultures and perspectives
    • Much Ado About Nothing: a study of the Shakespearian comedy
  • KS4 Curriculum Information 

    KS4 English Language and Literature

    OCR English Language

    Paper 1: Communicating information and ideas

    A.      Reading information and ideas - read 2 unseen texts or extracts. These texts will be authentic 19th – 21st century non-fiction texts (will always include one 19th century text) and will be thematically linked to one another. Questions focus on reading and understanding, exploring how writers use language and structure and a comparative critical evaluation.

    B.      Writing for audience, impact and purpose - one task from a choice of two non-fiction writing tasks, using an idea loosely related to the reading theme, to argue with or develop a new perspective e.g. letter, article.

    50% of total GCSE, 2 hours exam


    Paper 2: Exploring effects and impact

    A.      Reading meaning and effects - read 2 unseen texts or extracts. These texts will be authentic prose fiction or literary non-fiction texts, from 20th – 21st century. They will be thematically linked to one another. Questions focus on reading and understanding, exploring how writers use language and structure and a comparative critical evaluation.

    B.      Writing imaginatively and creatively – one task from a choice of two creative writing tasks, using the reading texts as stimulus, with a choice of form and genre e.g.: short story opening, personal writing, narrative.

    50% of total GCSE, 2 hours exam


    OCR English Literature

    Paper 1:Exploring modern and literary heritage texts

    A.      Part A. Compare an extract from ‘An Inspector Calls’ with an extract from an unseen play. Part B. Explore another moment in ‘An Inspector Calls’.

    B.      Choice of extract or discursive essay question on ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. Students must refer to at least two moments from the text.

    50% of total GCSE, 2 hours closed book exam


    Paper 2:Exploring poetry and Shakespeare

    A.      Part A. Compare a studied poem with an unseen poem. Part B. Explore another studied poem.

    B.      Choice of extract or discursive essay question on ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Students must refer to at least two moments from the text.

    50% of total GCSE, 2 hours closed book exam

  • Enrichment programme

    Year 11: English Period 6

    A space for Year 11 students to revise for English exams independently with staff on hand to support if necessary. There will also be teacher led sessions available.

    English Literature- Day 2

    English Language- Day 8

    All Years: Creative Writing Club

    Students meet to produce and workshop their creative writing. Friday Lunch time.

    All Years: Debating Club

    Students meet to debate topical issues.

    Year 10: Seminars

    The seminars offer an introductory session into the world of literary theory. The seminars are led by teachers who deliver specialist talks to open up discussion with students in application to literature. Wednesday 3.45-4.30pm E5.

    English Council – break time in first week of every short term

    A space for students to share their views and feedback on the curriculum, extra-curricular activities and an opportunity for the staff to hear the student voice.


    Most Able Provision

    Year 9 - 11 Youth-Speaks Competition

    Teams are selected in the first term, first round of the competition is in November and then the event continues until the team are knocked out.

    This prestigious National competition is sponsored by Woking District Rotary Club. Woking High School has an excellent record in public speaking and we have been the local schools’ champions for the last seven years, with teams in the National finals and semi-finals. Students compete in teams of three (a chairperson, speaker and vote of thanks) on an issue that they choose that is important to them. It allows our most able students to showcase both their writing, speaking and listening talents.

    All Years: Poetry By Heart Competition – A Day 11 event with a poetry Slam celebration, date to be confirmed.

    Poetry By Heart is an inspiring National competition for all secondary school students. Our Key Stage 3 students learn a Shakespearian sonnet, and those in Years 10 and 11 learn two poems, one of which will be from their GCSE anthology. Learning poetry by heart is a useful method to allow students to explore the meaning, structure and sound of great poetry. Not only do all our students relish the challenge of the competition, they get the opportunity to learn a skill, and a poem, that they will enjoy and be able to use in their GCSE examinations.

    Useful Web links








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Morton Road

Horsell, Woking

Surrey, GU21 4TJ

Tel: 01483 888 447

PA to Headteacher, Mrs A Mercer

Email: info@wokinghigh.surrey.sch.uk

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