English Department Staff

For more information about the Subject curriculum, please contact: Mrs D Dolman.

  • Mrs D Dolman - Curriculum Leader
  • Mr L Duckworth - Second in Department
  • Mrs L Bache - English Teacher and Curriculum Leader for Drama
  • Mrs M Carr - English Teacher (Part-time)
  • Mrs C Cornwell - English Teacher
  • Mrs L Dudley - English and MFL Teacher
  • Mrs G Henderson - English Teacher
  • Mrs L Marsh - English Teacher and Media Studies
  • Miss F McCutcheon - English Teacher and whole school Literacy Co-ordinator
  • Mrs M Rogerson - SENDCO and English Teacher



The English Department Learning Journey

At Balshaw’s, the learning journey which was started at primary, continues through Key Stage 3 and 4.

To prepare for their high school journey, all Year 6 students are given a copy of ‘Sky Dancer’ by Gill Lewis to read over the summer, with activities to complete ready for starting high school.

Our Key Stage 3 schemes include major works of literature, including Shakespeare and Dickens, and a range of other texts covering classic through to current writers. Through a variety of texts, we explore the key question ‘How does the writer engage or influence readers?’ Leading to students, as writers, developing ways to engage or influence their readers.

In Year 7, through the theme of ‘School’, students study extracts from Jane Eyre, Laurie Lee’s ‘Cider with Rosie’, modern poetry and non-fiction passages. Year 7 students also study Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ and the historical context of the play, which would have influenced audiences at the time. The drama department work alongside us in this project, supplementing the work that we do in drama lessons.

In Year 8, as well as reading ‘Oliver Twist’, we study the work of our current Poet Laureate: Simon Armitage. We team up with the drama department again in the summer term, to work on Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’.

Year 9 begins with studying a range of short stories from before and after 1900 and from around the world. Year 9 also includes the study of War Poetry and the classic ‘Seminal World Literature’:‘To Kill a Mockingbird. Year 9 also includes our new concept, ‘The Balshaw’s Anthology’. This is a collection of our favourite poems and extracts that we have chosen as a department, to share with our students before they embark on their GCSE courses.

Due to the current situation with COVID 19, the topics covered in Year 7-9 have been amended, you can see the changes in the table below:

In Years 10 and 11, we study the EDUQAS GCSE English and English Literature course, interleaving the two GCSEs throughout.

We also offer, as an option, EDUQAS GCSE Media Studies.

In addition, we aim to foster a love of reading: 

  • By sharing challenging and enabling texts, with the aim of engaging students in reading for pleasure. 
  • By insisting on regular private reading and sharing and modelling a love of reading, in order to inspire students to read widely.

Please use the following links for more information about the range of topics covered at Key Stage 3:

Our Normal Range of Topics Our Topics During COVID 19 
Year 7   Year 7 - COVID 19 
Year 8 Year 8 - COVID 19
Year 9 Year 9 - COVID 19


The English Department Key Stage 4 Schemes of Work

The department follows the EDUQAS GCSE English course for English Language and Literature and also offers EDUQAS GCSE Media Studies as an option subject.

Year 11 English Revision Materials

GCSE English Language

GCSE English Language and Literature

Extra-curricular Activities

We host a range of extra-curricular activities in school and visits out of school.

In school there is a weekly ‘Young Writers’ Club’ and we run regular writing competitions and events including National Poetry Day activities in lessons.

The department has hosted theatre performances in school; for the last two years, we have had a live performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’ in school for the whole of Year 11.

In 2019, for the second year running, we took a group of Year 8 students to visit the beautiful John Rylands’ Library in Manchester to take part in a creative writing workshop, inspired by the gothic style architecture.

We have been regular competitors in the Rotary ‘Youth Speaks’ competition and in the 2019/20 academic year, our senior team won the district competition and our intermediate team reached the national finals.

In 2019, our GCSE students were fortunate enough to see the Royal Shakespeare Company perform ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at the theatre.

All students are encourage to take part in our House Cup Challenge writing competitions.