Department Staffing & Roles

  • Miss L Bishoprick (Head of English)
  • Mrs C Coldwell (Second in English and Leader of ECT & Instructional Coaching)
  • Mrs O Wyss (Teacher of English and Assistant Principal of Literacy and Achievement)
  • Miss H Killigrew (Teacher of English and Director of Personal Development)
  • Mrs M James (Teacher of English and Assistant Head of Year 11)
  • Miss R Myatt (KS3 Coordinator for English and Leader of Morning Enrichment)
  • Miss A Sloan (Teacher of English/Head of Year 10 & Rewards Coordinator)
  • Mrs C Molyneux (Teacher of English)
  • Mrs N Randall (Teacher of English)
  • Ms W Lomax (Teacher of English)
  • Mrs S Percival (Librarian)
  • Miss P Fitzsimons (Reading Intervention Tutor)

We aim to make the biggest difference to the lives of all our students by empowering them to become empathetic and resilient readers, writers and speakers who can compete with anyone, anywhere.

KS3 students follow the Ark Mastery curriculum which covers:

  • Year 7: Dickens’ Oliver Twist, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Poetry, Ancient Tales and Mastery Writing.
  • Year 8: Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Orwell’s Animal Farm and Mastery Writing.
  • Year 9: Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Levy/Edmundson’s Small Island, Poetry, Study of Non-Fiction.

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
  • ‘Power and Conflict’ Poetry Anthology
  • Unseen Poetry

The English curriculum supports students to achieve any career they wish to pursue, underpinned by our intent to create confident readers, writers and speakers who can compete with anyone, anywhere.

To support learning and careers, we provide students with a noticeboard that displays helpful information about careers in English. Each lesson refers to potential career links going beyond a novelist or a playwright. For example, the study of character is important in a range of careers and the development of oracy enables students to articulate ideas, engage with others and improve confidence. Similarly, practical writing skills such as lessons that explore how to write reports, letters, reviews and articles are embedded throughout the curriculum. 

Students are invited on trips including a Victorian workhouse which supports their understanding of Dickens’ novels, trips to local colleges and universities and a residential to the Lake District in Year 10. We also provide enrichment within school, including Book to Film Club, Literature Lunch Club, Young Writers’ competitions and the opportunity to watch live performances of plays such as Romeo and Juliet and A Christmas Carol.  In addition, 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:

  • Literature Lunch Club encourages students to read for pleasure, introducing young adult fiction focused on the theme of relationships.
  • Study Club enables all students to work in a safe atmosphere with access to various resources and support from the librarian.
  • 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 by engaging them through film.

Intervention Opportunities

  • Year 11 whole school intervention programme: Morning and after-school sessions target students’ areas for improvement.
  •  Year 11 Tutor Trust intervention programme: Friday intervention sessions improve knowledge of Literature in small groups of 3 students
  • Reading Pals: Guided reading for year 7 students from our year 10 volunteers.
  • HLTA small group or 1:1 intervention: Targeted support from year 7-11.
  • Reading for Pleasure: Improving students’ reading ability through regular reading and library challenges
  • Lexonik Programme: a strategic 6-week reading programme that improves students’ reading ages by an average of 27 months

A list of revision websites for English

Online versions of texts

Revision guides

  • CGP or York Notes for the following:
    • Romeo and Juliet
    • A Chritmsas Carol
    • An Inspector Calls
    • Power and Conflict Poetry
    • Unseen Poetry
    • English Language – Eduqas – revision guides and workbooks

Example of student’s revision notes

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






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.