English & Media

English & Media

English plays an important role in empowering all students by developing their writing and reading comprehension skills to become discerning, critical thinkers.

The curriculum focuses on essential skills needed for Key Stage 4 (KS4) and A Level Literature, meeting the criteria for the new 1 to 9 grading system in an engaging, challenging way.

This means that in Year 7 students learn:

  • Life in Victorian London; Victorian crime; the form of a novel; Bill Sikes, Fagin, the Artful Dodger, Oliver; morality
  • villains and victims; vulnerable; corrupt; naïve; orphan; moral
  • Composing a topic sentence; the subject; subject / verb agreement; the past simple tense
  • Life in Elizabethan England; life in ancient Athens; Shakespeare’s life; the four lovers; the love potion; Elizabethan family relationships; the form of a play
  • Using evidence; pronoun ambiguity; prepositional phrases; run-on sentences; punctuating speech
  • soliloquy, severe, conflict, unrequited love, to mock, chaos
  • Structure and use of metaphor; poetic forms; ‘The Tyger’; ‘The Eagle’; lives of Blake and Tennyson, Phoebe Hesketh
  • metaphor, literal language, metaphorical language, tenor, vehicle, ground
  • Writing about unseen texts; temporal clauses; paragraphing; avoiding fragments; extended narrative writing


In Year 8, students learn to:

  • Comment on writer’s use of language at word/sentence/paragraph level
  • Similes, metaphors, personification, onomatopoeia, word classes (language)
  • Use discourse markers, construct an argument; describe settings and use extended metaphor, .?!””
  • Use elements of writer’s craft explored in reading.
  • Respond to ideas in poetry – language/structure/personal response. In drama, respond to language/structure/themes
  • Poetry: lines, stanzas, rhythm, meter, iambic pentameter
  • Drama: stage directions and performative elements


In Year 9, students learn to:

  • Comment on writer’s craft at word/sentence/paragraph level and craft at a whole text level (linked to writer’s perspective).
  • Juxtaposition, cyclical narratives, symbolism (structure)
  • Use apostrophes accurately and sustain thesis in writing.
  • :;()…- know the rules
  • Compare poetry
  • Poetry: poetic voice, forms (dram mon, sonnets, ballads)
  • Drama: soliloquy, tragedies – structure


In Years 10 and 11, students learn to:

  • Create extended pieces of writing
  • Respond to timed exam questions
  • Analyse language and structure in non-fiction and fiction texts
  • Select key information from a text
  • Compare non-fiction texts and poems
  • Use the conventions of different text-types effectively
  • Develop their skills from KS3.

You can view more details of our English curriculum here and a curriculum map outlining key texts here.

Accelerated Reader

During KS3, students have Accelerated Reader lessons as part of the English curriculum.

This programme is a powerful tool for monitoring and managing independent reading practice while promoting reading for pleasure.

Drop Everything and Read (DEAR)

At PACA we are passionate about reading.

We recognise that young people who regularly read for pleasure develop more sophisticated reading skills than those who do not, and these skills improve academic performance and life chances. We also recognise how engaging with a great story is a vital part of human experience and intrinsic to our cultural entitlement. It is through words and stories that we make sense of the world.

DEAR allows students to find time to indulge in reading every day. At the same time each day, all members of the PACA community drop everything and read. From Year 7 to Sixth Form, from the Site Team to the Principal, we have no excuses, no higher priorities. We read.

For more information about our curriculum please contact us.

Media studies

Media studies at PACA follows the Pearson BTEC syllabus.  During this course of study, students analyse a range of media products, take part in interactive workshops and complete controlled assessments that which are linked to industry briefs.

Media students at PACA have access to a range of video recording and editing equipment, digital cameras and have access to Adobe Photoshop and other industry standard applications.