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English Department

“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” — Maya Angelou.

The English Department at Walthamstow Academy is fully committed to ensuring that every student makes rapid progress. The team instils in students an understanding of the importance of the subject, generating creativity alongside teaching essential skills. Beyond the curriculum, the department is committed to nurturing a love of reading.

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 students develop a range of reading-and writing based skills through studying novels, poetry, non-fiction and drama. Students learn how to structure an essay in preparation for GCSE and beyond as well as how to enhance their creative writing skills for a variety of purposes.

Year 7:


Year 7 is created around interactive units of work that aim to build students’ skills through speaking and listening, reading and writing. Through the exploration of fertile questions, students are encouraged to use English as a pathway to their understanding of the world around them, while preparing for the new GCSEs at KS4. Over their first academic year at Walthamstow Academy, the students develop their skills of inference, analysis and descriptive writing; skills that enable them to prosper in their further studies. Some of the units they study include: Tom Becker’s Darkside and Victorian Gothic short stories, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Wily Russell’s Blood Brothers as well as the GCSE Language Paper 1. 


Year 8:


Year 8 units of work are built around the genres and themes the students will study for their GCSEs in KS4. In order to ensure all of our students feel challenged at Walthamstow Academy, the Year 8 focus on GCSE texts such as Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, as well as preparing for key KS4 skills through Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Unseen Poetry. Along with these texts, the Year 8 also get taught GCSE Language Paper 1 over the year which enables them to develop their analytical, and descriptive writing skills.


Year 9:


Year 9 is a very significant year for students, as we further enhance the skills they require for success at GCSE.  In order to best prepare our students for KS4 success, we have adapted the Schemes of Work around the genres they study at GCSEs. This is why the Year 9 are challenged through Victorian texts, such as Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Grey and Shakespeare’s Othello. Their learning is further developed through Units that focus on Poetry analysis and comparison, while also extending their learning through both GCSE Language Paper 1 and 2. These units of work provide the students with the skillset that will enable them to achieve their potential. 

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 pupils prepare for and sit the AQA English Language and AQA English Literature GCSE exams. Over two years they learn to analyse texts such as Jekyll and Hyde and Macbeth and experience the excellent AQA anthology of poetry. Pupils will also develop their writing skills through exploring creative writing, and learning to write to argue and persuade.


The GCSE is assessed through four exams, two in English Language and two in English Literature.




Image result for macbeth play posterImage result for jekyll and hyde novel 

Key Stage 5


At Key Stage 5 students complete the new OCR H472 English Literature A Level course.  Over the course of two years studying with an enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable team of teachers, students work towards expressing complex ideas in a coherent sophisticated style evaluated against critical opinion and informed by a range of readings and interpretations with a detailed contextual awareness throughout. Students will be able to develop their analytical skills both in lessons and in afterschool subject Masterclasses that take learning to university level with lectures on subject’s including structure and form in postmodernist poetry, Kazuo Ishiguro’s loam of the banal, the influence of Second Wave Feminism and Reaganomics, and the emergence of reductive teen culture in 21st century dystopian films and novels.

Year 12 is devoted to the study of 20th Century Dystopian fiction with 8 texts to choose from, allowing students to work independently on their chosen text(s) alongside a class focus on The Handmaid’s Tale and Fahrenheit 451. This component is assessed at the end of Year 13 with a two-hour exam. At the start of year 12 students will complete the first of their independent coursework tasks, a 1000-word close analysis of a poem of their choice from the postmodern feminist collection The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy. Also in Year 12 students will begin work on the second of their independent coursework tasks, a 2000-word comparative essay exploring themes of gender, sexuality, identity and death in Patrick Marber’s 1997 London set play Closer, and Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2005 novel Never Let Me Go.

In Year 13 students look further back into the history of Literature studying one Shakespeare play The Tempest, a collection of pre-raphaelite poetry by Christine Rossetti, and one fin de siècle late 19th century play, Ibsen’s The Doll’s House. This component is also assessed at the end of Year 13 with a two-hour exam.


The English Team

The English Department at Walthamstow Academy is made up of a dynamic team of teachers who inspire students to achieve highly. Students are encouraged to ask probing questions and debate issues that arise from the literature studied, facilitated with skill and passion by their teachers.

  • Mr Liam Tweed: Head of English
  • Ms Tijen Adem
  • Ms Hannah Alberman: 2iC - KS3
  • Mr Stephen Bell-Brown – 2iC - KS5
  • Ms Jess Capstick
  • Ms Louise Hare-Dhoomun - Literacy Intervention Co-ordinator
  • Ms Lisa Hostick 
  • Ms Emma Kraemer 
  • Ms Lauren Lucien
  • Ms Yonca Nacak: 2iC - KS4
  • Ms Phoebe Rees
  • Mr Joel Russell
  • Ms Mobeen Sultan
  • Mr Nick Turnbull
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