English at Cooper is about fostering a culture of creativity, curiosity and independence in our learners; we want to equip our young people with the skills necessary to find and add their own voice to the ‘conversation through time’ that is English.

The English Department is a dynamic and forward-thinking group of skilled practitioners whose shared goal is to support and guide learners, through innovative, inspiring and inclusive teaching, towards becoming confident readers, writers and communicators. We want our students to learn from setbacks and develop resilience; to take risks and trust in their own ideas; to use the skills and knowledge attained through the English curriculum to become independent and inquisitive life-long learners.

Key Stage 3

At KS3, students in Years 7 and 8 study experience a broad and challenging curriculum that exposes them to a wide range of literary forms, from poetry and Shakespeare plays such as The Tempest and Henry V, through 19th Century Literary Heritage Texts like Alice in Wonderland to modern fiction such as The Hunger Games and Wolf Brother. Students are encouraged to become expressive, creative and precise writers through a range of creative writing topics where students produce pieces ranging from short stories to opinion articles on topical issues that appeal to them, and we aim to hone oracy skills through discussion, debate and individual presentations. Text choices and writing forms are chosen to familiarise learners with the kinds of material they will encounter at GCSE, whilst maintaining a genuine love of literature.

Key Stage 4

Students at Cooper complete two GCSEs in AQA English Language and AQA English Literature.

Year 9

In year 9, students are given an introduction to the skill sets and texts they will be examined on at GCSE, allowing them to develop a broader understanding and appreciation of the material. Students study Macbeth, with a focus on familiarising learners with the plot, themes and characters in a relaxed and creative way, providing them with a base on which to build in Year 11 when the focus shifts to exam technique and close analysis of language, structure and form. Year 9 students also study a range of literary forms such from poetry to short stories and non-fiction, and build on previous learning through modules on writing to argue, describe and narrate.

Years 10 & 11


Students follow the AQA English Literature course which comprises:

  • All students study Macbeth but depending on teacher choice, students may study A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, or Pride and Prejudice for the 19th Century Novel.

  • For the poetry anthology, students study a cluster of 15 poems from either Power and Conflict or Love and Relationships.


Students follow the AQA English Language course

Students are also required to complete a Spoken Language Endorsement: