Department Background

Studying literature can enrich our lives in ways we never imagined. Beyond the simple entertainment of a good story, readers stand to gain compassion for a wide range of people across cultures and time periods. Immersion in the literary arts not only opens doors to other worlds, but gifts readers a richer vocabulary and a certain ease and confidence. (Anon)

Head of Department: Ms N Kelsall

Teachers: Ms K Kenny | Ms L Elia | Ms S Hopkins | Ms M Berry | Ms L Kaymer | Ms C Bennett | Ms A Hughes | Ms J Skidalski

The English Department at Latymer is at the heart of the curriculum and pupils are offered lively and exploratory courses that instil in them a love and appreciation of language and literature. We strive to give young people the opportunities, experiences, knowledge and analytical tools to speak, write and read confidently, appropriately, and on their own terms in whatever context they find themselves in. We want them to see language and literature both inside the classroom and beyond as the gateway to achievement, intellectual curiosity and personal well-being in every aspect of their lives, both in the present and the future. At the core of all that we do is the power of language and its role in creating meaning so that we understand ourselves and others.

In everything we do, we recognise the importance of providing a coherent disciplinary experience across all key stages and, for some, beyond, into university study. Consequently, we strive to provide our pupils with a curriculum that allows them to experience what English has to offer - both in terms of its rich content, but also the processes that are integral to its vibrancy.

The English curriculum at Latymer is designed so that pupils will learn how to:

  • Express themselves clearly and fluently both orally and in writing
  • Craft ideas and arguments in a concise manner
  • Synthesise ideas
  • Organise material in a logical and coherent way
  • Read and use texts and other source materials critically and empathetically
  • Show empathy and imaginative insight
  • Persuade and engage audiences
  • Write creatively
  • Debate and present arguments in compelling ways
  • Respond to major literary works, genres and critical tradition
  • Understand and empathise with other cultures and people through exploring their literary traditions
  • Respond to linguistic, literary, cultural contexts in which literature is written and read
  • Use effectively ICT, information retrieval and presentation skills
  • Work collaboratively and participate effectively in group discussions
  • Work with others and have respect for others

Year 7 - 9

Our Key Stage 3 syllabus is engaging and inspiring as we study a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts. We focus on a broad spectrum of teaching units ranging from Chaucer, Shakespeare, Science Fiction and the Epic Form to name but a few. Our curriculum carefully bridges the skills acquired at KS2 and progresses to develop students in preparation for successful KS4 study. We explore how and why the English language has developed, the place of literature in the world and how language can express who and what we are. All students at KS3 have a designated library lesson and frequent grammar skills lessons.

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Openings- How Writers Grab Readers Short Stories Contemporary Protest
The History of English Shakespearean Comedy Poetry
Forms of Poetry Different Cultures Poetry Shakespearean Tragedy
The Novel The Novel Detective Fiction Novel
Shakespeare ‘The Tempest’ Write Like a Critic Becoming a Journalist
Debating Debating Spoken Language Study

Year 10 - 11

Our Key Stage 4 students follow the AQA English Language and Literature course. All our students study a combined course of English Language and English Literature. We have designed our curriculum so that pupils have the opportunity to read and write extensively. We believe that it is only in immersing young people in rich reading material that they begin to develop their own language capacities - the depth of their vocabulary, their handling of grammatical structures, their comprehension skills, their ability to write in a range of voices, and with confidence and genuine expertise.

| Modern Text - ‘An Inspector Calls’ | Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing | | Shakespeare - ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ | Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives | | 19th Century Novel- Frankenstein | Spoken Language | | AQA Poetry Anthology | |

Year 12 - 13

English Literature is a very popular subject choice at A Level. We follow the Eduqas (formerly WJEC) English Literature specification which offers the pupils a broad, engaging and challenging passage through the study of English Literature. We are proud of our lessons at A Level and pupils are well prepared for both the AS and A Level examinations which are taught concurrently. The curriculum explores texts from a wide range of social, historical and cultural contexts and seeks to develop the skills of reading and engaging with literary criticism at a high level.

| Milton - ‘Paradise Lost’ | Selected poetry of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath | Shakespeare - ‘Hamlet’ | | Middleton - ‘The Revenger’s Tragedy’ | Kazuo Ishiguro - ‘Never Let Me Go’ | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – ‘Purple Hibiscus’ | | Joe Orton - ‘Loot’ | Sarah Water - ‘The Little Stranger’ | | | Bronte - ‘Jane Eyre’ | Zadie Smith – ‘White Teeth’ | | | Jean Rhy - ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ | | |

Activities and Recent Highlights


At Latymer, A level English Literature is a popular and thriving subject and many of our students continue their interest and enthusiasm for the subject at Degree level and beyond. Due to the very popular Sixth Form Literary Society and supported ELAT sessions, every year several students go on to study English at Oxford and Cambridge. Students also gain places at competitive universities in the UK and we have even had students studying English at Yale and Trinity College Dublin. We aim to instil in our students a passion for lifelong learning and celebrate the broadness of English as a subject, to encourage students to follow their own paths and passions.


| Academic Lectures at KS4 & 5 | Senior Creative Writing Club | | Debating Society | Junior and Senior Book Groups | | Junior Creative Writing Club | Theatre Trips | | Junior Poetry Club |

Author Visits