Chestnut Grove Academy
45 Chestnut Grove
Balham, London SW12 8JZ

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Subject Overview

The English curriculum enables us to develop a love of spoken and written word, so that we can enter other worlds and imagine other lives. We learn how to express ourselves in accurate, creative and original ways. The English curriculum encourages us to explore the meanings of language, enabling us to become independent and critical thinkers and thrive the wider world.

Qualifications / Curriculum offer

Key Stage 3

Developing a love of reading is at the heart of the KS3 curriculum, which ranges from exciting contemporary novels such as 'The Bone Sparrow' and 'Purple Hibiscus', to short stories and myths.  Study of Shakespeare encompasses full plays as well as a study of the conventions of tragedy across a number of plays.  The KS3 curriculum also fosters confident writers and speakers, who can adapt their creative writing to genres from sci-fi to gothic, and persuade an audience in a range of different forms.

Key Stage 4

At GCSE (Edexcel), English literature texts are Dickens' masterpiece 'Great Expectations', Orwell's 'Animal Farm', Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' and an anthology of poetry from Romantic to the present day.  The English Language curriculum continues to develop students' mastery of written expression: developing and structuring ideas, and communicating in imaginative and persuasive ways.  

Key Stage 5

We offer English Literature A Level (Edexcel), which allows students to experience challenging and rewarding texts and deepen their critical thinking.  Texts studied include 'Frankenstein', 'Never Let Me Go', 'Hamlet', 'A Streetcar Named Desire', and modern and Romantic poetry.  In addition, the coursework element enables students to diversify their reading further and develop their independent critical thinking about texts, in particular post-colonial writing.

Curriculum Plans


Learning Resources

KS3: All students are encouraged to use Accelerated Reader.  In addition: BBC Bitesize and Sparknotes are excellent online resources.
KS4: GCSE Pod, Sparknotes, Litcharts ( Edexcel website 
KS5: Students have regular, tailored learning resources posted on Teams and Padlet by their teachers.  In addition, podcast episodes of 'In Our Time' and articles by British Library are excellent general sources


Enrichment Activities

The English department is committed to delivering extra-curricular activities that enrich students’ learning. We have actor workshops, author talks and writing competitions, as well as a range of reading, writing and discussion groups within school. In addition to theatre trips, we make use of NT Live to increase students' experience of texts in performance.