National Curriculum

English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach students to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, students have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language – speaking, reading and writing fluently – are essential to participating fully as a member of society.

English lessons promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping students with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

The aim is to ensure that all students:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

Assessment Progress Maps for KS3 and KS4 English Language: Reading and Writing

Assessment Progress Map for KS3 and KS4 English Literature

KS3 English Language

At FIC we encourage the development of a life-long enthusiasm for reading, writing and spoken communication.  We recognise that success in these areas is nurtured in an environment where students are challenged to think carefully and creatively and feel comfortable articulating their ideas aloud.   Listening skills are taught explicitly to help facilitate this safe space.  We use a wide variety of text types, including fiction and non-fiction from around the world.  Exploring how other people craft their ideas provides a model with which students can experiment when producing their own work.  Students develop English skills for different purposes and audiences, and it is our aim to instil students with the confidence to express themselves effectively in all situations.

KS3 English Language Units of Work

KS3 English Literature

Literature unlocks the world, allowing an understanding of culture, history and society. It is about people and emotions, unlocking feelings we might never have seen played out or felt ourselves. It allows humans to think deeply, and form an understanding about, issues that might never have been in their consciousness without it. Studying English literature helps to sharpen your analytical skills. And, besides all that, it’s fun!

FIC students study a breadth of literary texts in the three main forms – drama, prose and poetry – and engage with them through a wide variety of independent and peer-work in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

KS3 English Literature Units of Work

Outside Reading (OR)

OR lessons are an opportunity for students to read novels of their choice from a list of books suggested for readers of their age in English. They respond to those texts by completing questions and activities to show their understanding.

Students select their novels from ‘The School Reading List’ website.

IGCSE English as a First Language

Exam Board: Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE)

Syllabus Overview

This course is designed for learners whose first language is English. It enables learners to:

  • develop the ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively when speaking and writing
  • use a wide range of vocabulary, and the correct grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • develop a personal style and an awareness of the audience being addressed.

Cambridge IGCSE First Language English offers students the opportunity to respond with understanding to a rich array of reading texts during the course as a whole. They will read critically, fluently and with good understanding, enjoying and appreciating a variety of language. Knowledge gained from wide reading will inform and inspire their own writing and write in a range of text types for different purposes and audiences. Students will learn to write accurately and effectively, using Standard English appropriately, and use information and language to develop skills of evaluation, analysis and inference. Students will develop both their speaking and their listening skills and responding to questions and engaging in conversations. They should be able to listen to, understand, and use spoken language effectively. They will acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology and linguistic conventions. They are encouraged to become appreciative and critical readers, writers, speakers and listeners.

Units of Work and Examinations

IGCSE English as a Second Language

Exam Board: Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE)

Syllabus Overview

This course is for learners who already have a working knowledge of the language. The syllabus:

  • is suitable for learners whose first language is not English, but who study through the English-medium.
  • develops learners’ ability to understand and use English in a range of situations
  • builds learners’ awareness of the nature of language and the four language-learning skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • focuses on practical communication for everyday use, which can also form the basis for further, more in-depth language study
  • develops transferable skills to complement other areas of the curriculum.

Learners will be presented with a variety of stimuli that will build up their skills in reading and writing. They will learn to select relevant details, understand the difference between what is directly stated and implied, and practise writing for different purposes and audiences.

Learners will listen to a range of spoken material, including talks and conversations, in order to develop listening skills. Learners will engage in conversations on a variety of topics and develop their skills in responding to different situations and audiences with a degree of accuracy and clarity.

This course enables learners to become independent users of English, and to be able to use English to communicate effectively in a variety of practical contexts.

Assessment Progress Maps

Units of Work and Examinations

IGCSE Literature in English

Exam Board: Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE):

Syllabus Overview

This course enables learners to read, interpret and evaluate texts through the study of literature in English. Students develop an understanding of literal meaning, relevant contexts and of the deeper themes or attitudes that may be expressed. Through their studies, they learn to recognise and appreciate the ways in which writers use English to achieve a range of effects, and will be able to present an informed, personal response to the material they have studied. The syllabus also encourages the exploration of wider and universal issues, promoting learners’ better understanding of themselves and of the world around them.

This course enables students to:

  • enjoy the experience of reading literature
  • understand and respond to literary texts in different forms and from different periods and cultures
  • communicate an informed personal response appropriately and effectively
  • appreciate different ways in which writers achieve their effects
  • experience literature’s contribution to aesthetic, imaginative and intellectual growth
  • explore the contribution of literature to an understanding of areas of human concern.

Units of Work and Examinations

Key Stage 5 English as a Second Language – IELTS Preparation


The purpose of this course is to prepare students for the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination. This are required by universities as evidence that international candidates can access degree courses taught in English.

IELTS is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is developed to provide a fair and accurate assessment of English language proficiency. Test questions are developed by language specialists from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.

The test covers four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. IELTS test content reflects everyday situations and is unbiased and fair to all test takers from all backgrounds.

IELTS is accepted by more than 11,000 employers, universities, schools and immigration bodies around the world and has test centres in most countries.

FIC students have taken tests in local test centres in England (e.g. Ipswich, London) or in their home countries.

IELTS Assessment Progress Map

IELTS Units of Work and Examinations