Department Staffing & Roles

  • Miss H Bowers (Head of English)
  • Miss L Bishoprick (Second in English)
  • Mrs O Wyss (Teacher of English and Assistant Principal Literacy and Achievement)
  • Mrs M James (Teacher of English and Assistant Head of Year 11)
  • Mrs B Glover (Teacher of English and Head of Year 9)
  • Mrs C Coldwell (Teacher of English and Leader of ECT)
  • Miss H Killigrew (Teacher of English and Leader of Form Time and Personal Development)
  • Mrs N Randall (Teacher of English)
  • Mrs G Eastaugh (Teacher of English)
  • Miss R Myatt - Teacher of English
  • Miss A Sloan - Teacher of English
  • Mrs S Percival (Librarian)
  • Mrs C Molyneux (Teaching Assistant)
  • Miss P Fitzsimon (Reading Intervention Tutor)

The English curriculum is designed to empower students with the knowledge and skills in reading, writing and spoken language in order to be successful; we aim to inspire an appreciation of a broad range of literary heritage and modern texts with exciting and engaging learning opportunities.

  • Years 7-8 - 4 hours per week
  • Years 9-11 - 5 hours per week

KS3 students follow the Ark Mastery curriculum which covers:

  • Year 7: Dickens’ Oliver Twist, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Poetry Anthology, modern novel and grammar lessons.
  • Year 8: Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Orwell’s Animal Farm and grammar lessons.
  • Year 9: Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Poetry Anthology, study of non-fiction, and grammar lessons.

KS4 students follow the EDUQAS English Language Specification and the AQA English Literature Specification which cover:

  • 20th Century Literature Reading and Creative Writing
  • 19th and 21st Century Non-Fiction Reading and Transactional Writing
  • Spoken Language
  • Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
  • Priestley’s An Inspector Calls
  • Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
  • Poetry Anthology
  • Unseen poetry

To support learning and careers, we provide students with a noticeboard which displays helpful information about careers in English and lessons also refer to potential careers, such as lessons which explore how to write reports, letters, reviews and articles. Students are also invited on trips including a Victorian workhouse which supports their understanding of Dickens’ novels, as well as visiting Poetry Live where poets present their poems and give students the opportunity to interact and a residential in Year 11. We also provide invaluable opportunities within school, including Debate Mate and live performances of plays such as Romeo and Juliet and A Christmas Carol.  In additional, some students also receive academic mentoring in English from Liverpool University.

Students often leave OCA to embark upon A Level Language or Literature, or combined Language and Literature.

Enrichment Opportunities

Within English, students have the opportunity to attend after-school and lunchtime enrichment clubs aimed at introducing them to new knowledge and developing various skills:

  • Debate Mate enables students to compete with other schools across Cheshire and Merseyside and is managed by a representative from a national debating society. The programme aims to improve social mobility by teaching key skills that improve academic achievement.
  • Literature Lunch Club encourages students to read for pleasure, introducing young adult fiction focused on the theme of relationships.
  • Homework Club enables all students to work in a safe atmosphere with access to various resources and support from an English HLTA.
  • Book to Film Club is aimed at reluctant readers to give them a wider variety of reading opportunities and encourage students to read for pleasure.

Intervention Opportunities

  • Year 11 whole school intervention programme: Morning and after-school sessions target students’ areas for improvement.
  • Reading Pals: Guided reading for year 7 students from our year 10 volunteers.
  • HLTA small group intervention: Targeted reading or writing support from year 7-11.
  • Reading for pleasure: Improving students’ reading ability through regular reading and vocabulary instruction.

KS4 links

Poetry (Anthology and Unseen)

Romeo and Juliet


An Inspector Calls

A Christmas Carol:



English Language:


KS3 links

Shakespeare’s AMND


Shakespeare’s The Tempest


Oliver Twist


Sherlock Holmes



Romeo and Juliet



Jane Eyre



Animal Farm


The Daydreamer


Danny Champion of the World





Students have opportunities to develop their cultural capital through trips, visitors to the school and participation in national events.

  • Live performances of literature texts: Year 10 and year 11 students watched a live performance of A Christmas Carol enhancing their knowledge of a GCSE English Literature text and classic English novel. Students have also watched a live stage performance of Romeo and Juliet via weblink alongside a national audience.
  • Poetry Live! in Manchester: This trip deepened KS4 students’ knowledge of Power and Conflict poetry for GCSE English Literature. Poets – including the Poet Laureate – performed, discussed their work and inspiration and took part in interactive Q&A sessions. Students witnessed poetry brought to life and realised there is entertainment and humour in what they may have otherwise considered a dry and difficult form of literature.
  • Residential trip to Beeston: This trip for year 11 students will provide intensive revision as well as teamwork and social skills.
  • Visit to a Victorian workhouse: This trip for year 7 students develops knowledge of Victorian England and cultivates empathy for the treatment of the poor and most vulnerable members of society.
  • Poetry Slam: A creative and competitive event where students write and perform their own poetry inspired by a local poet.
  • Celebration of national literary events: Events such as World Book Day and National Poetry Day are celebrated and lessons on this day are designed to inspire students to read or be creative within school, outside of school or outside of the curriculum.
  • Library facilities: All of our students have access to the facilities in the library where they can choose to read fiction or non-fiction, or use the computers to complete homework or further study. Year 7 and year 8 students have one dedicated lesson per fortnight in the library. Displays of current events, such as Remembrance Day, point students towards relevant material to enrich their knowledge and pursue current affairs and interests.