Conisborough College Entrance


The English Department aims to develop your skills in reading, writing; and speaking and listening. The Key Stage 3 syllabus at Conisborough is designed to give you a breadth of knowledge of literature and language, and to build and develop the key skills needed to succeed in Key Stage 4.


At Key Stage 3, we aim to provide all our young learners with the opportunity to read and explore our rich literacy canon of texts in English from around the world. Each year, students will study a Shakespeare play, a Victorian text, poetry or a modern play, non-fiction and creative writing.

We look at a variety of themes from social justice and tragedy to love and identity.  We do this primarily to foster a love of literature and learning, as well as to prepare students with the confidence to engage with the rigorous KS4 syllabus.

Our aim is to develop critical readers, thoughtful writers, eloquent speakers, and empathetic young people ready to flourish in the world.

KS4 Course Content:

The course is two separate GCSEs. In literature, the course is divided into units which include: Shakespeare, the 19th Century Novel, past and present poetry, unseen poetry, and the modern text. These will be assessed in Year 11 through two examinations, both of which must be taken without the text.

In language, the course is divided into units which include: creative writing, analysing unseen fiction, analysing unseen non-fiction, and writing from a perspective. These will be assessed in Year 11 through two examinations.

Students also undertake a speaking and listening accreditation where they prepare and perform a speech and discuss the content with an examiner. This will be recorded.

Students who do well in this subject are those who can:

  • Use what a text tells them in order to judge what is suggested
  • Write in a clear and organised way with a good level of accuracy
  • Adjust the style of their writing to suit the purpose and audience
  • Write creatively and imaginatively using a wide range of vocabulary and punctuation
  • Expressing a viewpoint clearly and consider a different viewpoint
  • Read a text (poem, fiction and non-fiction) carefully and respond thoughtfully
  • Analyse the ideas, themes and characterisation in a text
  • Appreciate how an author uses language to create effects and present viewpoints
  • Understand how a text is structured to build an argument or for effect
  • Appreciate that when and where a text is read influences how we interpret characters’ values and behaviour and the text’s themes and ideas, and consider why and how.

Examination Details


  • Two exams
  • Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel (1hr 45m)
    Closed text. One question on Macbeth (34 marks) and one on a 19th Century Novel (30 marks). Both sections have re-printed extracts.
  • Paper 2: Modern text and Poetry (2hrs 15m)
    Closed text. One question on An Inspector Calls (34 marks)
  • One question comparing poems from the Power and Conflict poetry cluster (30 marks) and two questions on two unseen poems (24 and 8 marks)


  • Two exams
  • Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (1hr 45m)
    Section A: Reading – Four questions on an unseen fiction extract from the 19th, 20th or 21st Century (40 marks)
    Section B: Writing – One creative writing response to a visual stimulus or inspired by the reading in Section A (40 marks)
  • Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (1hr 45m)
    Section A: Reading – Four questions on two unseen non-fiction texts, one modern and one older (40 marks)
    Section B: Writing – One question in which you explain your point of view on a viewpoint.

Career Opportunities

English is important as whatever career you choose; it’s an indication of your general level of literacy and your ability to communicate.  In studying English, you will develop vital skills needed to participate in society and employment.

English Literature is a valuable qualification as it is an indication of your competence as a reader and your ability to analyse and reflect. Whatever career you choose, employers will respond positively if you can offer them these qualifications.

For more information on this or other specific subjects, please contact the relevant Curriculum Lead via email using the Staff List

Paper Copies

If you require a printed copy of any of the school’s polices or any other information on our website, please contact the school and we will be happy to provide it.

From our 2019 report

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