St Monica's RC High School

Bury Old Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 1JH

0161 773 6436

8am - 4pm, Mon - Fri


English Department

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English Curriculum

English is a core subject, compulsory throughout the five years of education at St Monica’s. At Key Stage 3, pupils are encouraged to develop a love of language and literature through the extensive range of challenging texts we study.

We foster a love of reading in pupils in Year 7 through the use of the Accelerated Reader Programme which encourages pupils to read for pleasure in their own time and in designated library sessions. Pupils are introduced to the work of Shakespeare through the study of a genre of his work in Year 7.

This study then becomes more detailed as they progress through to Year 8. Pupils throughout Key Stage 3 are taught the range of reading and writing skills that are required for GCSE.

In Years 9, 10 and 11 pupils develop these skills further as we follow the AQA GCSE English Language Literature courses. The children develop skills of analysis, interpretation and are encouraged to become confident, independent writers.

We are proud of our examination success and were delighted that in 2016 24% of our pupils achieved A/ A* grades in this subject and 28% of our pupils made MORE than expected progress!

Much of this success is attributed to the positive relationships that we foster between pupils, parents and staff. We encourage our students to actively share the great reading and writing skills that they possess as some of our Year 10 pupils model their own high standards of literacy by working as ‘Literacy Leaders’ by supporting the reading with some of our Year 7 pupils during form times.

Extracurricular Activities

The English department offer a variety of clubs and activities providing further opportunities for learning. We offer a Year 7 reading club, a magazine club and we run the BBC World News Day.

We organise theatre trips on a regular basis and have taken students to London, Edinburgh and the Lowry theatre.  Year 7’s take part in The Times ‘Spelling Bee’ competition.

We actively celebrate World Book Day by encouraging pupils in Year 7 to dress up as their favourite book character and take part in range of fun, book-related activities!

Last year, we held a themed ‘Harry Potter’ evening – something that we are keen to continue!


There are many different topics that are taught within the department, and by different teachers. 

Revision is essential in the subject; taking place at home, this will boost pupils Many resources will be available from the teacher directly, or from the VLE. Furthermore, the ‘Useful Websites’ side panel on the department website has a number of links to useful revision tools.

Below are a range of resources that offer valuable revision advice/ offer notes. These are supplementary to the students own notes, and are not exhaustive; students receive other revision tools off their teachers. 

Before examinations, pupils need to use the notes they have in order to revise properly. 

Additional lessons are provided by teachers, and pupils are expected to attend these, but also need to spend time at home to ensure they are fully prepared for their exams. 

Past/specimen paper questions are available from the following websites, with relevant mark schemes too:

For Year 9/10 pupils in 2011, who will go into Year 11 in 2012 and 2013, and all years after; the new specification means that there are only specimen (practice) papers rather than past papers. These can be found on:

English Language: 

On here, go on to the assessment tab, where specimen papers can be found. You will also find resources to revise from for the exam.

English literature:

On here, go on to the assessment tab, where specimen papers can be found. You will also find resources to revise from for the exam.


One of the key texts that the majority of students will study is ‘Of Mice and Men’. This PowerPoint is a valuable tool to aid students understanding of the novel, if they are struggling.

Improving Literacy

Whilst pupils will be challenged to build upon their existing knowledge in lessons, the use of English is not, and should not, be confined to the classroom. 

In order to help your child to achieve in English, there are a range of activities your child could be encouraged to do in order to help them to achieve their best in their English studies.

The resources which are mentioned on our website such as through the ‘Useful websites’ icon can be used to enhance your child’s grasp of the subject. 

Furthermore, as a consequence of your child reading a variety of texts outside of school, it will enable their comprehension and understanding of English to become greater; reading newspapers and magazines, different TV programmes as well as a variety of books which encompass different genres will help your child to progress, and build upon the skills they are learning in the classroom.

English is not a dry subject; encouraging pupils to learn things about the world around them, and to be creative, are all aspects of the subject, and the examples above are ways of allowing students to fully appreciate the subject, and therefore to hopefully fully appreciate it into the future.

Year 7 Reading Programme

Follow the link for the ‘Home Connect’ section of the Accelerated Reader website, here you will be able to log in using your student log in details which the school have provided –