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St Francis Xavier

Curriculum by year

Use the links below to view the English curriculum by year.

Year 7Year 8Year 9Year 10Year 11


At SFX our students think like a linguist because...

they ask questions, and dig deeper than the obvious meanings of what is written. They have an active imagination and use it to explore different situations, characters and contexts – as well as creating their own. They understand how writers use different techniques to create meaning and manipulate audiences, and are able to apply these skills to communicate their own powerful ideas. 


Recent research used to inform practices in English

  • EEF – Effective Feedback to improve learning outcomes

  • National College – Disciplinary Literacy to Enhance Understanding and Attainment

  • Ofsted review into English

  • Kate Jones - Retrieval Practice 


English vision

The purpose of the English curriculum at SFX School is to empower all students to have the courage to shine in their abilities whilst developing their compassion for others so that they can be the best version of themselves when they leave the school.

We will provide students with the literacy skills they will require in their future lives, whilst building a curiosity and passion around Literature and the English Language.

Their literacy will be enhanced through a programme of skills development which regularly interleaves prior ability with new challenges and contexts.

The Key Stage 3 curriculum will provide structured and progressive preparation for GCSE Language and Literature, in terms of analytical skills, relevant background knowledge and assessment methodology.

Our curriculum will introduce students to a wide range of writers and poets from our rich British cultural heritage (Shakespeare, Dickens, Conan-Doyle, Shelley, Blake, Tennyson amongst others), whilst also giving students opportunities to sample great modern and multi-cultural writing across a range of genre. Students’ cultural literacy will also be developed by regular exploration of, and references to, numerous examples from art, film and music. They will gain an understanding of both the historical and cultural contexts of the texts they explore.

In light of our religious ethos, our curriculum will give students many opportunities to examine how writers communicate their faith, for example the theme of Redemption in ‘A Christmas Carol’. Students will examine many facets of the Gospel values through texts that they will study, and the themes and ideas which they will explore across the various units of the curriculum.

The overarching ambition for all students at SFX is that, when they finish their study of English, they will love and appreciate the richness of the English language


Whole school visions

Use the links below to view our whole school vision and curriculum vision. 

Whole school vision Whole school curriculum vision    


Curriculum team

  • Mrs J Martin – Curriculum Leader
  • Mrs K Dunkley – English Teacher
  • Mrs A Fawcett – English Teacher
  • Mrs M Izdebski – English Teacher
  • Miss C Smith – English Teacher
  • Mr M Woffenden - English Teacher


KS4 courses  

  •  GCSE English Language - AQA (8700)
  •  GCSE English Literature - AQA (8702)


Enrichment opportunities

In addition to the timetabled lessons the English department enhances the curriculum through a number of clubs and activities:

  • Debating/Public Speaking Society and Competitions
  • Brilliant Books Club
  • Various creative writing groups (currently a poetry group)
  • We support members of the Eco Team in writing and editing their articles and presentations


We look for opportunities to take classes/whole year groups to experience live theatre. In recent years this has included:

  • Year 11 ‘Blood Brothers’ trip
  • Year 7 ‘pop-up Globe’ performances of ‘The Tempest’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in York


We have run a joint History/English Literature trip to London for KS4 students, incorporating visits to Shakespeare’s Globe, Charles Dickens museum, the Imperial War Museum and live theatre experiences, which at the last visit was an RSC Production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’.