The English department at Pen Y Dre strives to stimulate our learners’ imagination, develop imaginative and interpretive thinking and equip all learners with the literacy skills that allow them to confidently access the wider curriculum. In the last two years, English outcomes have contributed to the school’s best ever Level 2+ results.

We believe that we have a curriculum that encourages all students to fulfil their potential by developing their emotional intelligence and fostering an enthusiasm for life-long learning.

Where additional support is needed, the department operates a range of intensive mentoring strategies to ensure that all students realise their potential. The department considers its practice a model for the whole school community in raising literacy standards across the curriculum.


Key Stage 3

Students at Pen Y Dre follow a curriculum that allows them to develop and improve the full range of English skills, through exploring prose, drama, Shakespeare, poetry and media/non- fiction texts. Students in English are set according to ability, and progress is tracked through regular end of unit common assessments.

Key Stage 4

GCSE English Language

Students follow the WJEC Specification in preparation for GCSE. This requires students to study prose, Shakespeare, poetry and media/non- fiction texts. Students complete two controlled assessments as well as undertaking formal Speaking and Listening assessments.

The controlled assessments account for 40% of the total GCSE marks and the external examination, which consists of reading and writing tasks, accounts for 60% of the total GCSE mark.

Many students begin the GCSE course in Year 9, where they begin to develop the skills needed for the rigour of the GCSE course. Students are entered in Year 10 for English to allow further opportunities to sit the examination and improve their performance.

GCSE English Literature

Students follow the WJEC GCSE in Literature. This requires students to study prose and poetry as well as literary heritage drama. Students currently study the following texts: An Inspector Calls, Heroes, Of Mice and Men, Macbeth and a range of poems from the WJEC anthology.


Learners are encouraged to participate in a range of extra-curricular activities including: theatre visits, creative writing competitions, trips to literary festivals and to meet established authors, a film club and after-school sessions for English and maths attended by both students and parents/carers.