An enjoyment and appreciation of literature will give students the ability to develop this into an interest in books and reading as they move away from their studies and into their adult lives. They will have the confidence to approach and tackle new forms of books and writing, since they were exposed to a range of literature during their school days.


What equipment will my child need to make the most of English lessons during KS3?

  • Dictionary/thesaurus
  • Fully stocked pencil case
  • Highlighters
  • Glue
  • Reading books at home
  • Chromebook

What will my child study?


Year 7

  • Novel: Private Peaceful or The Hobbit
  • Author Study: Charles Dickens
  • Genre Study: Adventure Heroes and Glorious Grammar
  • Pre-19th Century: Literary Heritage poetry
  • Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Writing to Persuade: Rollercoaster Tycoons

Year 8

  • Genre Study: Suspense
  • Shakespeare: Macbeth
  • Drama: Blood BrothersJourney’s End or Dracula
  • Non-fiction Writing: Making Your Point
  • Poetry: Poems from different cultures
  • Novel: Animal Farm, Hunger Games or Holes

Year 9

  • Novel: To Kill a Mockingbird or Of Mice and Men
  • Shakespears: Romeo and Juliet
  • Poetry: GCSE Conflict poetry (OCR Towards a World Unknown)
  • Pre-19th Century: Literary Heritage fiction

How can I support my child through KS3 English

  • Use the SIR marking sheets to reflect with your child on their strengths and areas for improvement
  • Encourage your child to read a wide range of texts and genres: novels, short stories, news articles, film reviews. More importantly, ask them to discuss, summarise or evaluate what they have read
  • Help your child to re-read and edit their work to encourage proof reading
  • Help your child use new words to develop a wide vocabulary
  • Encourage the use of a dictionary and thesaurus
  • Practise spelling; use errors teachers have flagged up in their work
  • Introduce them to classic texts by Dickens, Carroll, Conon Doyle, Shakespeare, Tolkien etc.
  • Take your child to the theatre – many local theatres put on great productions which are cheaper than in London
  • Encourage your child to engage in debates. Discuss current events with them and ask them to explain their opinions in detail.

Recommended Reading

Middle Ability

More Challenging

  • Skellig, David Almond
  • War Horse, Michael Morpurgo
  • Kenzuke’s Kingdom, Micharl Morpurgo
  • Boy and Going Solo, Roald Dahl
  • The HIVE series, Mark Walden
  • Mr Creecher, Chris Priestley
  • The Maze Runner Series, James Dashner
  • GONE series, Michael Grant
  • Coram Boy, Jamila Gavin
  • The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • His Dark Materials Series, Philip Pullman
  • Goblins, Philip Reeve
  • Mr Stink, David Walliams
  • The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
  • The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  • Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
  • The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank
  • Animal Farm, George Orwell
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
  • I am David, Anne Holm
  • A Kestrel for a Knave, Barry Hines
  • Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  • The Tulip Touch, Anne Fine
  • I’m the King of the Castle, Susan Hill
  • The Woman in Black, Susan Hill
  • Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Outsiders, S.E.Hinton
  • 1984, George Orwell


How will they be assessed in English during KS3?

  • There are two summative assessments per half term, both of which are given a strength and an improvement target
  • Students are asked to reflect on SIR marking feedback sheets to ensure they are working towards meeting their targets and making progress
  • Homework is set weekly and students choose which task they wish to complete. Depending on the difficulty of the task, students are awarded points for each piece of homework. At the end of each term, the top two students in each class are entered into a raffle to win a voucher of their choice worth £20
  • Peer and self assessment takes place through questioning and class work
  • There is an end of year test for each year group.


Exam Board: OCR for both Language and Literature.

Two separate grades will be awarded with the new numerical grading system (9-1).

English Language and Literature

There are two routes for students studying English at Tring School. Most students study a combined course in English Language and Literature. Some students follow the ‘English Only’ route – parents are contacted if this applies to their child.

How is the course assessed? 

  • Two English Language exams at the end of year eleven.
  • Two English Literature exams at the end of year eleven.
  • Throughout the two years we will be ensuring that students are ‘exam ready’ and many of our assessments will be completed in timed conditions to prepare students for the rigours of GCSE examinations. All students will study both GCSEs in Year 10 and if it will be beneficial for them to continue with English Language only, that decision will be made in Year 11.

How long are the examinations?

  • Each of the examinations is 2 hours long.

Are there controlled assessments?

  • There are no longer controlled assessments in English.

What do you cover on the course?

Both courses encourage students to be creative; to think analytically; to explore different types of writing, both fiction and non-fiction, and to broaden their understanding of the English language.  Students enjoy this subject because of its exploratory nature; they can bring their thoughts to the lessons and share their ideas and opinions. The courses will run alongside each other.


  • students must study a 19th century novel, a whole Shakespeare play and a selection of poetry
  • students must compare at least two of the unseen texts
  • the modern prose or drama must be by writers from the British Isles
  • exams will be closed book (i.e. no copies of the text can be taken into the examination)


  • students will respond to unseen extracts from 19th, 20th and 21st century texts
  • students must compare at least two unseen texts
  • in each exam students will have to respond to questions analysing these unseen texts (focusing on understanding the content, language analysis, structural analysis, writer’s attitudes and viewpoints and evaluating impact of the texts)
  • in each exam students will also need to respond to a writing task and produce a piece of sustained, controlled writing for a particular audience and purpose
  • 20% assessment weighting will be for spelling, sentence structure, punctuation and grammar.

Please note that Speaking and Listening is not now directly assessed as part of the GCSE but will be certificated separately. We do still believe this to be a vital life skill and therefore students will still be taught speaking and listening units.

What texts would you recommend?

We will write to parents to recommend purchasing their own copies of the set texts in order for the students to annotate as the text is taught. The school can also provide copies for the students to borrow, however they cannot be written in by the students. Reading lists are available on the school website or from class teachers.

What websites would you recommend?

BBC Bitesize and Litcharts or Sparknotes for Literature. Class teachers will specify other websites when they are covering the syllabus. Often youtube will have examples of teachers delivering lessons on exam texts and these can be useful for revision. Resources will be available through Google Classroom and Show my Homework.

What equipment should my child have?

Relevant texts for lessons. Highlighters for close text analysis. Glue and scissors for extract tasks.


English Literature at Tring School

Course description

There are many benefits to studying English Literature. You will study a range of literary texts including poetry, prose and drama. These texts will cover both pre and post 19th Century. This is a two year course which is examined at the end of the two years.

The course allows you to develop your independent learning skills and increase your analysis and evaluation of texts – all skills that prepare students for University life and the world of work.

Course content

The first exam is 2 hours 30 minutes. It is closed book and worth 40% of the total marks. In Section A you respond to a Shakespeare text (currently The Tempest). The first part of the question asks you to analyse a given extract from the play; you will need to analyse effects of Shakespeare’s choices of language, structure and form. The second part of the question focuses on the whole play; you will need to respond to a given view of the play. In Section B you will have to answer 1 question from a choice of 6 – all questions give a view on literature – you need to respond to the view by comparing the two texts studied (one poetry text and one play written pre-1900 – currently Chaucer’s The Merchant’s Prologue and Tale and either John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi or Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband).

The second exam is 2 hours 30 minutes. It is closed book and worth 40% of the total marks. For the first task you will be given an (unseen) extract from the Gothic genre and will need to analyse the passage, relating your discussion to your reading of the Gothic. For the second task you will have choice of three questions; you will need to compare the two studied novels in response to a view on the Gothic. We currently study Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber for this unit.

There are two coursework tasks worth 20% of the total marks. The first task is a written analysis of a poem (focusing on language, structure and form). The second task is a thematic comparative essay of a play and a prose text.

Entry requirements

B or above in both GCSE English Literature and  English Language. Students must have studied English Literature at GCSE level as well as Language.


Students will be externally assessed by two written examinations. These will be ‘closed book’. There will also be an ‘unseen’ element on one exam.

Students will also complete internally assessed coursework tasks in the form of two essays.

The majority of assessment weighting is from the externally assessed material.

Financial information

Students must buy their own copies of texts (between £6.00 and £9.00 per text). Over the course of the year there may be trips – theatre trips and conferences cost approximately £30 plus transport.

Future opportunities

This course provides an ideal background for English studies at University and complements ALL subjects well. At the same time it is suitable for students leaving directly for employment and training at 18.

The course allows students to develop their independent learning skills and increase their analysis and evaluation of texts – all skills that prepare students for University life and the world of work.

Careers where English Literature is considered desirable include: Law, Journalism, Publishing, Human Resources and Teaching.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Tring School directly.