English has a pre-eminent place in education and society; it is a subject fundamental to personal and intellectual growth. The study of English ensures students become confident readers and writers. It also encourages students to think creatively, critically and independently so that they can articulate their ideas with clarity and confidence in a range of ways.

English at Hermitage Academy is an immersive experience. Students will study classics such as Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, and more modern works of Willy Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers’ and the poetry of Maya Angelou. They will also enjoy developing their knowledge of English language, writing creatively and for a number of audiences.

Students will journey through the literary canon, beginning in Medieval England with Beowulf and Geoffrey Chaucer before travelling on to meet William Shakespeare’s tragic hero, ‘Macbeth.’ Pupils can meet brooding Romantic heroes like Wordsworth, Byron and Blake before arriving in the Victorian period for an encounter with Dickens’ reformed miser, Ebenezer Scrooge. The journey concludes in the modern era where they explore 1930s America and the unlikely friendship of George and Lennie in Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’, followed by the social inequality of Edwardian England with Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls’, as well as a range of poetry from diverse and exciting voices. In conjunction with this, students will explore a range of fiction and non-fiction from an English Language analytical and creative perspective. This will aid their understanding of English in the ‘everyday’ and prepare them for their next steps. As part of our English curriculum, we will also extend and develop the critical oracy skills that every student will need to succeed and flourish in the world outside of school.  

Our ‘Keys to Success’ literacy programme ensures students learn the fundamental skills to help them progress not only in English but across the whole curriculum. Students enjoy English because it is varied, fast-paced and fun. Every student is inspired to believe in their potential and to aim high. They acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language. Throughout their academic career here, students develop the ability to write accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We endeavour to ensure all students become competent orators, including: making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate. 

It’s not only English lessons that are exciting at Hermitage Academy: The English department homework scheme has a canonistic approach and takes the Key Stage 3 students on a journey through Literary Heritage. As English specialists, we share our passion and knowledge of classic texts with the students, through a variety of ‘Design, Create and Research’ tasks. Texts covered range from Medieval classics, through the Renaissance and Restoration periods, exploring the Romantics, investigating the Victorians, and looking at key examples of modern literature that have impacted our world. We aim to cultivate knowledge and interest in our country’s rich literary history through this personalised perspective. Every teacher in the department contributes to the homework scheme and shares their personal passion for the texts that made us want to teach!

The English department hosts many extra-curricular clubs including Debate Club, where students discuss the issues of the day and hone their arguing skills and Reading Club, which allows students to come together to discuss their favourite books, both of which are very popular with our students. 

Our curriculum






  • Introduction to the Canon – a timeline of British literary heritage.
  • Moments that Changed the World – developing speech writing skills through the study of key historical events of the twentieth century.
  • Gory Gothic Writing – Fiction writing inspired by Victorian Literature
  • Much Ado About Nothing – Shakespeare’s funniest play and feistiest heroine 
  • Individual Voices Poetry – explore a range of poems from the Romantic era to the modern day
  • Victorian Britain – Delve into what life was like for the Victorians using non-fiction sources


  • It's a Man's World
  • Blood Brothers – travel back to 20thcentury Liverpool for Willy Russell’s tragic family saga
  • Romeo and Juliet – meet the most famous couple in literature
  • Adventures Around the World – be inspired to write by literature from around the world
  • Hope in a Ballet Shoe: Orphaned by war, saved by ballet. Discover the extraordinary true story of Michaela DePrince’s escape from Sierra Leone to the Boston ballet.
  • Of Mice and Men – appreciate the heart-warming friendship of George and Lennie in 1930s America


  • Animal Farm – George Orwell’s political allegory is a 20th century British classic
  • Short Stories – develop your narrative writing skills as you learn how to produce your own short story.
  • Diverse Voices – listen to the voices of contemporary poets and write your own dramatic monologue
  • Tragedy – meet the Greek chorus, tragic heroes, and explore the conventions of this epic genre
  • A Search for Truth – Deepen your knowledge of Non-Fiction Writing as you delve into the controversial world of investigative journalism
  • Say it Out Loud – embrace your inner orator by performing a passionate speech


  • Macbeth – visit medieval Scotland and the terrifying reign of Macbeth (Literature).
  • A Christmas Carol, the Victorian moral tale which has a relevant message for all (Literature).


  • Language Paper one Section A & B
  • An Inspector Calls - Evaluate Priestley's post-war political ideas 
  • Writers’ Viewpoints and perspectives – compare and contrast the great thinkers of the Victorian era with modern journalism
  • Power and Conflict Poetry – read poetry across time and genre and explore the perennial questions (Literature).


  • An Inspector Calls – J.B. Priestley’s moral social polemic explores the vices of the Edwardian era (Literature).
  • A Christmas Carol, the Victorian moral tale which has a relevant message for all (Literature)
  • Power and conflict poetry
  • Explorations in creative reading.


  • Macbeth revision (Literature).
  • A Christmas Carol revision (Literature).  
  • Explorations in NF writing.

Bespoke revision



  • The War Poetry of Wilfred Owen. Writing from the perspective of his intense personal experience of the front line, his poems bring to life the physical and mental trauma of combat. 
  • Unseen Texts linked to the theme of WW1 – al selection of novels, poetry and plays
  • Life Class by Pat Barker, a compelling novel about Art and War 


  • Journey’s End by R.C.Sherriff, an unflinching vision of life in the trenches. 

·      Non Examined Assessment - A Comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900


12 Language 

  • Language and the Individual- introducing methods of language analysis to explore concepts of audience, purpose, genre, mode and representation.
  • Language Varieties - the key concepts of audience, purpose, genre and mode, exploring language in its wider social and geographical contexts.
  • Non Examined Assessment – Language in Action.



  • Othello, the story of an African general in the Venetian army who is tricked into suspecting his wife of adultery.
  • Great Gatsby - Set in the Jazz Age on Long Island, near New York City, the novel depicts first-person narrator Nick Carraway's interactions with mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and Gatsby's obsession to reunite with his former lover, Daisy Buchanan.
  • Love through the ages anthology
  • Unseen Poetry 
  • Revision 


13 Language 

  • Language, the induvial and society – looking atchildren’s language development. 
  • Language Diversity and Change. Exploring the processes of language change. 






I love English at the Hermitage Academy because of the in-depth class discussions and the teacher’s encouragement to think outside of the box when analysing language.
Year 11 student
I love that every lesson we dedicate time to read! There is such a creative side to English here and using my imagination to write stories is one of my favourite things to do.
Year 7 student