Hodge Hill College

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At Hodge Hill College, pupils receive a knowledge rich curriculum that inspires pupils to succeed in all aspects of English: writing, reading, speaking and listening. It provides opportunities for all pupils to make progress and achieve whilst enjoying the subject. We give pupils the chance to debate and discuss topical issues around British Values using SMSC as a basis for a lot of the topics we teach. We want to develop confident individuals who make a positive contribution to British society. We aim to ensure that at the end of their time with us all our pupils leave the college able to communicate clearly in all forms and be responsible citizens.

Our curriculum aims to develop:

  • Pupils’ communication skills in writing, reading, speaking and listening
  • Pupils thoughts and knowledge on different cultures and heritages from Britain and the wider world
  • Engagement in debates and discussions on topical issues surrounding us in society

Five Year Plan

English Language


English Literature 


Key Stage Four

English Language

GCSE English Language

Exam board AQA Course code 8700
Examined by

Two exam papers at the end of Year 11; one focuses on fiction and the other on non-fiction. Each paper is split evenly between reading and writing. Each exam is 1 hour 45 minutes.

Speaking and Listening separate endorsement carried out during Year 10 and 11.

Key topics taught
  • Language and structure analysis
  • Creative writing
  • Non-fiction writing (speech, article)
  • Summaries
  • Inference and deduction
  • Presenting

The course allows students to:

  • Develop the ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively when speaking, reading and writing
  • Learn how to use a wide range of vocabulary, the correct grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • Develop a personal style and awareness of the audiences being addressed

Students are also encouraged to read widely, both for their own enjoyment and to further their awareness of the ways in which English can be used. It also develops more general analysis and communication skills such as synthesis, inference, and the ability to order facts and present opinions effectively.

The weighting of the course is:

Exam 1 – Explorations in Creative Writing and Reading – 50%

Exam 2 – Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives – 50%

Separate endorsement for Spoken Language.


English Literature 

GCSE English Literature
Exam board AQA Course code 8702
Examined by Two exam papers at the end of Year 11; all are closed book. The first exam is 1 hour and 45 minutes and focusses on Shakespeare and a 19th-century novel. The second exam is 2 hours and 15 minutes and focusses on poetry, both seen and unseen, and the modern text.
Key topics taught
  • Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet
  • 19th-century novel - A Christmas Carol: Charles Dickens
  • Modern text – Pigeon English: Stephen Kelman
  • Poetry – AQA Anthology: Love and Relationships
  • Unseen poetry
  • Comparative writing
  • Structuring an essay

The course allows students to experience a wide range of Literature with a wide variety of appeal drawn from contemporary and modern texts and texts which have had a significant influence on our English literary and cultural heritage.

The weighting of the course is:

Paper 1 exam – Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel – 40%

Paper 2 exam – Modern texts and poetry – 60%


We will be studying the following texts:

Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

Pigeon English – Stephen Kelman

Anthology Poetry – Love and Relationships

Throughout the course we invite theatre companies to come into school to perform the texts as well as discuss key scenes from them. We also have the author of Pigeon English come into school to discuss his novel and then give a creative writing workshop to pupils who are interested in taking English at college.

Staff encourage pupils to visit theatres outside of school to further engage them in the texts.

Exam Board Website: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse            

 Assessments mirror what the pupils will have in the GCSE exam – they take the form of analytical essays. As with the real exams pupils are not allowed to use their texts in the assessment.