Welcome to the English Department

Both the curriculum and broad extra-curricular programme offered by the English Department at Channing develop girls’ skills in reading, writing and speaking & listening.

The English department inspires a love of literature, creates confident communicators and independent, creative writers and thinkers.

The English department follows its own curriculum in Years 7-9. It is structured around some of the principles of the National Curriculum to create readers and writers who are critical, creative, competent and cultural and allows us the freedom to benefit from teachers’ specialisms and individual enthusiasms. Every year, girls will study a drama, poetry and prose text, pre-twentieth century prose and poetry, a Shakespeare text and a non-fiction/media unit. All study incorporates speaking and listening activities, analytical and creative written responses, responses that require IT skills and a mixture of individual, small group and whole class learning. We also believe that it is important to embed grammatical skills and to encourage girls in their independent reading.

Here is an outline of the kind of texts and topics that each year group might study:

Year 7

  • Autumn
    – Diaries and Journals
    – Nineteenth Century Novel: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
    – Persuasive Writing and Speaking (including Debating)
    – Modern Novel: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
    – A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
    – Nature Poetry

Year 8

  • Coram Boy
  • Twelfth Night
  • The Roses of Eyam
  • War poetry
  • Gothic stories
  • Advertising
  • Debating

Year 9

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Of Mice and Men
  • A View from the Bridge
  • Sonnets
  • Newspapers and Magazines
  • Nineteenth Century Short Stories
  • Debating


Students follow the AQA GCSE courses in English Language and English Literature. They are designed to be complementary and we can, therefore, integrate them and teach them simultaneously. Texts are chosen for their merit and cover all genres.

Currently, our students study an anthology of poetry, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and ‘Lord of the Flies’. They also work on a real range of writing tasks, which include creative and persuasive pieces.

The final assessment is made through a four terminal examinations and one Speaking and Listening task completed during the course.

The GCSE builds on the basic skills acquired in the first three years. Our objective is good examination results; our aim is to produce women strong in oral and written expression who are also enthusiastic, confident and independent readers