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Townley English Literature and English Language Teaching & Learning Curriculum English Literature and English Language


Our Vision:

“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Our vision is to provide an inclusive curriculum that is rich in diversity, where every student can recognise themselves in the literature we teach. We read a wide variety of stories and recommend even more. We empower with knowledge. We develop critical voice and hone written style. But most importantly of all we provide a space where students feel confident enough to discuss their ideas and safe enough to share them.

Our Mission:

Literature can be uncomfortable; sometimes heart-breaking; sometimes shocking, but it can also give us hope and inspiration. Without literature we cannot learn about ourselves or about each other; our stories are incomplete.

Our mission is a brave one: together we will read wide range of challenging literature that will provoke different emotions. Within these texts you will see yourselves and you will see those different from you. We will teach you how to recognise nuance and develop your own critical voice to discuss challenging issues. In turn you will write creatively and provocatively with balance and strength of voice. 

Above all, our mission is to help you grow a love and appreciation of literature that you will never forget.

Townley Grammar School is an official ‘Lit in Colour Pioneer’ school (accredited by Pearson).

Pearson Lit in Colour Pioneer school 2022







student voice

'I appreciate how the English staff encourage open discussions with the class - this allows us to hear interpretations from other people, not just the teachers.' 


Students will be offered a wide variety of opportunities and experiences that enrich students’ understanding of the world around them and how they are connected to it. These include: 

  • Year 13 Summer Lecture programme.
  • Year 12 Subject Scholar programme.
  • Dedicated Oxbridge UCAS application service where we have a high success rate of students moving on to study Literature at Oxbridge and other universities.
  • Globe Players – performances at Townley on key text areas (KS4).
  • Globe Theatre – theatre and workshop visits (KS4).
  • Reading Scrapbook Challenge (Year 9).
  • Readathon (KS3).
  • Empowered Poetry competition (KS3).
  • Carnegie Book Award (KS3).
  • Weekly silent reading lessons in the library (Year 7 and 8).
  • World Book Day celebrations (all year groups).
  • Young Reporter (all year groups).
  • Local theatre trips on key texts (all year groups).


Course Progression

Key Stage 3 English

KS3: A content rich curriculum; one that reflects the National Curriculum as well our Townley house values. Students will read poetry, Shakespeare, prose, and plays through a curriculum that is sequenced in order to build the skills needed to write critically and creatively in preparation for the challenge of KS4. Oracy is also encouraged as an integral part of the curriculum and students will enjoy taking active part in presentation and discussion as they move through this key stage and beyond. All Year 7 and 8 students have weekly silent reading lessons in the library. All KS3 students read at the beginning of every English lesson. Our focus here is to enhance a love of literature and begin to develop students’ own unique analytical voice and style.


Key Stage 4 English Literature (Edexcel) and English Language (AQA)

Both the Language and Literature curriculums are built around a process of interleaving topics and self-testing to help build resilience for the challenges ahead. The examination board for Literature is selected specifically for the breadth of diverse texts they offer for the Townley cohort. Curriculum sequencing aims to improve student retention of knowledge, build student confidence and hone a critical and evaluative voice. Our Language curriculum is taught thematically through literature with sequenced skill building in creative writing and oracy. It is through this stage students’ critical and creative voice is established with higher levels of sophistication.

Key Stage 5 English Literature (Edexcel)

At A Level Literature we continue to study texts where our students can recognise themselves. Study focuses on developing breadth, prose style and criticality, exploring a series of thematic and generic foci, with enrichment focused on cultural and academic progression. Students become their own unique self at A Level, using everything they have learned to write perceptively and analytically with confidence and conviction.

Key Stage 5 Film Studies (Edexcel)

In Film Studies, students are expected to critically analyse film form, engage in cultural debates and apply theoretical thinking to a set of challenging texts. It is a particularly engaging and academically rigorous course and students who study it characteristically bring a high level of enthusiasm for this innovative and culturally significant art from. During the course students will encounter a rich variety of film in all forms including mainstream, short, documentary and experimental alongside mainstream American, contemporary British, American independent and global films. A study of film will also allow students to consider ideological viewpoints offered through the moving image and consider key historical events on a global scale which, in turn, influence representations and thematic concerns.

How will the course be structured?

Paper 1: Varieties of film and filmmaking

  • Section A: Hollywood 1930-1990 Casablanca (Curtiz, 1942) and Bonnie and Clyde (Penn, 1967)
  • Section B: American film since 2005 La La Land (Chazelle, 2016) and Frances Ha! (Baumbach, 2012)
  • Section C: British film since 1995 Trainspotting (Boyle, 1996) and This is England (Meadows, 2006)

Paper 2: Global filmmaking perspectives

  • Section A: Global film Pan's Labyrinth (Del Toro, Spain, 2006) and City of God (Mereilles, Brazil, 2002)
  • Section B: Documentary film Amy (Kapadia, UK, 2015)
  • Section C: Film movements
    One of the following:
    Keaton shorts - One Week (1920), The Scarecrow (1920), The 'High Sign' (1921) and Cops (1922)
    Man With a Movie Camera (Vertov, USSR, 1929) and A Propos de Nice (Vigo, 1930)
    Strike (Eisenstein, USSR, 1924)
    Sunrise (Murnau, US, 1927)
    Spies (Lang, Germany, 1928)
  • Section D: Film Movements Pulp Fiction (Tarantino, US, 1994)

Coursework: Production and Evaluation 

Production (40 marks)

  • Option 1: Film and edit a short film (4-5 minutes)
  • Option 2: Write a screenplay for a short film (1600-1800 words)

Evaluation (20 marks)

Written evaluation of product (1600-1800 words)

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