As English is our primary medium of communication in both its written and spoken forms, its mastery is a prerequisite for educational progress. At CPS we aim to enable all pupils to develop, to the best of their ability, their use and understanding of the spoken and written word so that they have a solid foundation on which to build their continuing education. It is the aim of the English Department to make this subject come alive for all pupils, to inspire in them a fascination for words and expression in various forms, and to develop a love for literature which will last throughout their education and their lives.

Curriculum Management

Members of the department meet regularly to discuss the curriculum and to ensure consistency in teaching approaches and standards of achievement. General class and individual pupil development and progress are also discussed as well as the most up-to-date resources and training opportunities. The English scheme of work is written with reference to the National Curriculum and Literacy Strategy but is adapted and modified when required. The Common Entrance syllabus also forms the basis for teaching in the senior part of the school from Years 5 to 8. English is taught in sets and follows a curriculum which has been formulated in accordance with set levels and ability, but which also allows for movement between sets.

Overview of English in the Senior School (Years 5 – 8)

We aim to expand pupils’ speaking and listening skills, developing confident participants and responsive listeners – whether it be a class discussion, a school debate or a public speaking competition.

 We encourage fluency in a range of reading, both fiction and non-fiction, and children enjoy a combination of contemporary and classical literature.

These include novels, plays, short stories and poetry.

A wide range of titles has been chosen as class readers for each year group and recommended reading lists are also available on request.

Creative writing forms 50% of the mark for most English examinations and is, therefore, of paramount importance. Pupils produce a range of different types of writing, appropriate to purpose and audience, and they are encouraged to develop and improve their own style of writing by expanding their vocabulary and engaging reader interest.

Spelling, grammar and punctuation are integral components of our curriculum and children will be taught effective and correct use of these, in all forms of writing.

Using the Learning Resource Centre, and Information Technology available, we endeavour to equip our pupils with skills to research, retrieve and present information effectively.

Pupils’ progress is monitored closely through regular formative class-based assessment, interim reports and internal examinations (May/June for all years with the addition of January exams for years 7 and 8).

When possible, visits to or from authors, poets or theatre companies often provide an exciting stimulus to enrich thinking and learning.

By the time they leave C.P.S., children should have an appreciation for literature and a solid foundation in English on which their future education in this subject can be built.

Curriculum Overview

KS2 – Years 5 and 6

We deliver the curriculum to Years 5 and 6 over a two-year course, covering a wide and varied selection of topics.

These include:

Short story writing

Scene and Character Descriptions




Myths and Legends

Poetry/Narrative Verse

Diary Writing

Report Writing

Persuasive Writing


Formal and Informal Letter Writing

Explanations and Instructions

Fiction and non-fiction comprehension tasks are selected to complement the creative writing topics, enhancing and developing the skills learned in those lessons. These comprehensions are varied and can be ‘reading’ or ‘listening’ and can require either multiple choice or fully structured written answers. The pupils are taught the skills needed to identify and answer the different types of questions including: fact retrieval, inference/ interpretation and critical analysis.

Spelling, grammar and punctuation are integral components of our curriculum and are being constantly reinforced in all forms of writing.

KS3 – Years 7 and 8

In Years 7 and 8, the pupils study a varied selection of creative writing styles, frequently linked to their class reader.

These include:

Short story writing

Scene and Character Descriptions

Persuasive Writing

Travel Writing



Diary Writing



Past Common Entrance Papers will be analysed and the children will be able to identify interpretation and criticism questions in both prose and poetry comprehensions and know how to approach them.

Pupils will be taught poetry analysis and will be able to paraphrase as well as comment on structure, imagery, diction, rhyme and rhythm.

Class reader titles for KS3 pupils range from contemporary novels to works by Shakespeare.

Spelling, grammar and punctuation are integral components of the curriculum and are being constantly reinforced in all forms of writing in Years 7 and 8.