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Teaching English at Fortismere, we strive to ‘inspire students to listen to the world and to find their own voice.’ More specifically, we aim:

  • To inspire in pupils a life-long love of reading and writing
  • To support all students to read and write confidently and fluently
  • To engage students in the cultural and political debates that studying literature and language inspires
  • To encourage the uptake of English Literature, English Language and Literature, Film Studies, and Media Studies A-level courses

As well as encouraging enjoyment of the subject, we intend to equip students with the confidence, necessary skills and conceptual understanding to be highly successful students of English. Our Key Stage 3 curriculum aims to be rich, diverse and challenging, while offering all students access to it. At Key Stage 4, students prepare for GCSE examinations in English Literature and in English Language, the content for which is taught through Years 10 and 11 with units of work on each of the core texts for the Literature GCSE and units on the key skills needed for the Language GCSE and creative writing. At Key Stage 5, the A-level English Literature and A-level English Language and Literature courses enjoy impressive uptake by students in the Sixth Form. Students on these courses study a wide range of texts and complete a non-exam assessment component, which is often an opportunity to explore more contemporary texts.

Through all the teaching of English at Fortismere, we recognise the importance of discussion in the classroom and aim to promote student talk and the expression of ideas in lessons. We aim not to reduce teaching writing to coded acronyms, but rather encourage students to express themselves confidently and to trust that they have something important to say about literature and language to combat the anxiety of not knowing what to say or in what form to say it and the habit of wanting to know ‘the answer’. Reading and writing skills are returned to and refined over Key Stages 4 and 5. We encourage flexible thinking and treat English as a subject discipline with skills and concepts that can be taught through studying literature and language, rather than as a bank of knowledge that should be memorised. Assessments in line with the whole-school assessment policy are essential to how we monitor students' understanding of language and literature and track their continued progress. We make adaptations to our units of work depending on findings informed by assessments to make sure all students have understood content and are developing and honing their skills in English. In teaching English at KS3 and KS4, we aim to nurture future students of English at Key Stage 5 and university level.

Parents and carers can help children progress in English by encouraging them to read for pleasure every day and by discussing their reading with them. You can use the links and recommendations given in the ‘resources/support at home’ column of the curriculum map to enrich their study of English and to help them engage with what is being taught at school. These additional resources complement what your children study in lessons and provide an excellent starting point to stretch and challenge students.


English KS4 Curriculum Map

For further course information please see the Option Booklet.

At GCSE students will study the AQA specifications for both English Language and English Literature GCSEs.


English KS5 Curriculum Map  

A-Level English Literature follows the OCR Specification

A-Level English Language & Literature follows the OCR Specification

For further course information and entry requirements please see the English Sixth Form page.


Year 12 students are provided with logins for the lecture platform Massolit. This is useful for re-capping understanding of plot, theme and character. These short lectures are delivered by University lecturers and supplement the AO5 (critical viewpoints) and AO3 (contextual understanding) elements of the course. Students can sign up using their Fortismere email address here:


A programme of extra-curricular masterclasses will be offered to students of Year 12. These will be weekly in the summer term and are organised and delivered by teachers in the English department at Fortismere.

The aim of the masterclasses is to broaden the horizons of Year 12 students and introduce them to texts and ideas they may not have encountered before. The experts delivering the masterclasses hope that students will be enriched by the experience and enjoy the opportunity to engage with topics not typically taught in schools. The optional sessions will be free from exam pressures, intellectually stimulating and fun!

Example sessions:
  • Masterclass 1: An introduction to Old English Poetry
  • Masterclass 2: The Tragic Hero: from Achilles to Batman
  • Masterclass 3: An introduction to Post-colonial Literary Theory

OCR resources

Sample assessment material and past papers for English Literature can be found here:

Sample assessment material and past papers for English Language & Literature can be found here:


The English department provides a range of exciting trips, clubs and competitions. In collaboration with the library, Year 7 students are invited to take part in the Alexandra Palace Children’s Book Awards and in Year 8 students can join in the Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Shadowing scheme, which both offer exciting opportunities to engage critically with contemporary Young Adult fiction. Throughout Key Stage 3, the Renaissance Accelerated Reader programme is a vital way in which students’ reading is supported outside of the classroom: selecting books and completing quizzes on books motivates students to help their form groups climb up the library’s leader board of words read. Our close links with the library ensure that pupils have a broad experience of reading and writing beyond the curriculum

Inspirational authors and poets are frequently invited to Fortismere, and their visits create fun opportunities for students to hear from professional writers and to take part in the exciting workshops they run. We organise visits to the Globe Theatre and invite travelling theatre companies to perform at school for Key Stage 3 and 4 students.

We take GCSE and A-level students to both lecture days and to live theatre performances of their set texts to enrich their study of literature. Impressively, Sixth Formers run their own Reading Society to broaden their reading horizons and challenge themselves. University lecturers often visit the school to talk to Key Stage 5 students about topics covered at A-level and to give them an insight into studying at undergraduate level. In recent years, students took part in a fascinating workshop given by lecturers from Sussex University on Chaucer and Shakespeare and were very excited to hear Professor John Mullan from UCL discussing Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf’s novels. Finally, the English department run an annual extracurricular masterclass series in the summer term aimed at students in Year 12 (but open to all) and delivered by teachers. The aim of the masterclasses is to introduce students to texts and ideas they may not have encountered before. We hope they will be enriched by the experience and enjoy the opportunity to engage with topics not typically taught in schools. Stimulating sessions in previous years have included: An introduction to Old English Poetry, The Tragic Hero from Achilles to Batman, and An introduction to Post-colonial Literary Theory.

Contact the English Department

Mr N Georgiou
Head of English and Media

Mr T Allen

English Teacher

Ms E Brooks

English Teacher

Ms N Butcher Ks3 Curriculum Lead - English Teacher

Ms C Coles

English Teacher

Ms K Corkery

English Teacher

Ms L Doogan

English Teacher

Ms K Fox

English Teacher

Ms A Norton

English Teacher

Ms T Gill

English Teacher

Mr P Hearty

Head of Media Studies - English Teacher

Ms K Mangan

Deputy Head of English - Ks5 Curriculum Lead

Ms T Gelagotellis

English Teacher

Ms A Salter

Ks4 Curriculum Lead - English Teacher

Ms R Adams

English Teacher

Ms K Cunningham

English Teacher

Ms Z Judge

English Teacher

Ms St Amour

English Teacher

Mr B Kenny

English Teacher