‘Studying English literature at school was my first, and probably my biggest step, toward mental freedom and independence. It was like falling in love with life.’   Ian McEwan

Head of English Mr S Collins
Faculty Coach - English Miss S Bracher
2nd in Charge of English Mrs K Pegram
Teacher of English Mr K Allman
  Ms B Blyskal
  Miss K Machado
  Mrs S Pilgrim
  Mr D Pilgrim
  Mrs J Stone
  Mr J Vann
  Mrs L Watson
  Mr A Hindman
  Miss E Husband
  Ms C Barnett 
Teacher of English & Communication Studies Mr L Eames

English is a core subject. In Years 7, 8 and 9 students having seven periods per fortnight. Our students study GCSE English Language and English Literature in Years 10 and 11, and A'Level English Language and English Literature in Years 12 and 13. Further details about the A'Level course are available on the Sixth Form website.


At Bishop Luffa School, when we study English we learn about who we are, as a people, as a nation and as one of the two billion other people on the planet who use English every single day, whether they are in Chichester, Chile or China. We study the rich heritage of the great writers who have used English over the last 1,000 years: the poetry of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Robert Browning, Tony Harrison, Simon Armitage; the plays of Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams; the novels of Ian McEwan, Suzanne Collins, Khalid Hosseini, Andrea Levy; the non-fiction of Bill Bryson, Jonathan Swift, Sathnam Sanghera. We dive into the rich, deep world of stories written in other languages and translated into English. We also learn how to understand what people mean when they write or say something, whether in fiction or non-fiction. And, most importantly, we learn how people communicate with each other in different contexts, so that we become creative and imaginative 21st Century communicators.

Studying English literature at school was my first, and probably my biggest, step towards mental freedom and independence. It was like falling in love with life.’  Ian McEwan

English Learning Journey

This is a visual representation of how students' knowledge and skills develop through the English curriculum.

(click on the image below to view a larger version)

Learning Journey English 2023

Why Study English Language and Literature at GCSE?

Everyone at Bishop Luffa studies both English Language and English Literature. You will achieve two GCSEs in Year 11. English is a vital subject for all to study, for, as the author Anne Fine says:

‘Without English, nothing. And without good English, nothing very well.’

At KS4, students will study for two GCSEs: English Language and English Literature. Both of these courses are designed to develop independent, creative thinking skills and the confident use of the English language, as well as encourage a lifelong love of reading. Students are assessed through terminal examinations. For English Language, students will read and produce both fiction and non-fiction. They will also be assessed in their speaking and listening skills. For English Literature, students will study a Shakespeare play and a classic text from the English Literary Heritage, as well as study poetry, both seen and unseen, and read a modern play. There are opportunities throughout the two-year course to attend conferences, watch plays on-stage use multimedia, and to write for the KS4 Magazine, Phoenix.

In English Language students will:

  • Read comfortably, and with good understanding, a wide range of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. These texts will include literature and literary non-fiction as well as other writing such as reviews and journalism
  • Develop their ability to read and evaluate texts – being a critical reader - and make comparisons between them
  • Develop skills to help them summarise a text and synthesise (select the appropriate) information or ideas from it
  • Magpie knowledge and ideas from their reading to inform and improve their own writing
  • Write effectively, clearly and precisely using Standard English appropriately
  • Use grammar correctly and punctuate and spell accurately
  • Build and use a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of subject terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • Listen to, and understand, spoken language and use spoken Standard English effectively.

In English Literature students will:

  • Build their reading range to include Shakespeare, a 19th century novel, contemporary prose, drama and poetry. Students will read and evaluate these as a critical reader too.
  • Write about literature in a clear and coherent way using accurate Standard English

GCSE Assessment

Both English Language and Literature are 100% exam. There are no longer any Controlled Assessment tasks.

In English Language you will have two exams: Paper 1, “Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing,” is 1 hour 45 minutes long and is worth 50% of the GCSE. Paper 2, “Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives” covers non-fiction, is also 1 hour 45 minutes and worth 50% of the GCSE.
In English Literature you will have two exams, “Shakespeare and the 19th century novel” and “Modern texts and poetry.”

GCSE English Language exam specification information

GCSE English Literature exam specification information