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This week's newsletter out today...


The May Parents’ Pack from is out now -


Vacancy: Exciting short term teaching vacancy required for maternity cover. We are seeking a Religious Education teacher to teach across the age and ability ranges, from 1 September to 22 October 2021. To apply


Take a moment to be mindful and connect with nature, relax in the garden, listen to birdsong or watch the sunset. Taking in your surroundings can help find a sense of calm


Term date reminder: school will be closed to students on Monday 17 May 2021, due to staff INSET.


The books of the week are The Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle and The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge. Read some of The Bubble Wrap Boy - Watch this video of Frances Hardinge talking about her book, The Lie Tree-


Happy Eid al Fitr Mubarak to all our families celebrating the end of the fast of Ramadan


Year 7 kicked off their Journalism Club today, with enthusiasm in abundance. The Press Pack have been formed, assignments distributed and we cannot wait to see the results


Being positive is not needing to always be happy, being positive can be a simple acceptance


Retweeted From SJL Geography

This week our year 7 geographers used their excellent work from last week to write their 'to what extent' essays.


Govia Thameslink Railway are offering virtual work experience opportunity during half term week (1-4 June), places are limited. Ideal for students to gain an understanding of the industry. To register interest, respond to Roopali Sharma:


Now more things are opening up for us to do indoors, remember to keep up the connections gained with nature during lockdown


Retweeted From Sir John Lawes Music

Yr11 finished their assessments and back to playing music - with conducting debuts from some rising musical stars! 🎶


Retweeted From Mental Health Fdn

📣 starts today. Help us to get the nation talking about nature and mental health. 🌳Join the movement. . Get involved.


Students begin the week with an assembly from Mrs Montgomery-Ward "improve your mental health through your connection with nature" Why not get creative, take a photograph of a landscape or sketch a natural object


Retweeted From National Online Safety

We’re proud to be supporting 's 💙 Discover our full suite of guides this and download our free app for parents & educators 👇 Apple >> Android >>


Thought for the Week: Avoiding blame


Fantastic performance boys!




Retweeted From Jo Mylles

An excellent HoD opportunity in our brilliant school. See the link here:


Retweeted From Alban Teaching School Hub

Getting ECF ready for September. The Alban TSH are looking forward to delivering the Full Induction Programme in conjunction with to schools across our hub region Contact


Retweeted From SJL Ecoschools

This week, with a little extra help from Mr Dunning and Ms Turner in the our year 9 team planted sweet peas, nasturtium, marigolds and wildflowers! We also covered potatoes again & potted out celeriac seedlings! We are also prepping for


The books of the week are Ingo by Helen Dunmore and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. Read opening of Ingo Watch an interview with Karen Joy Fowler about her novel


Vacancy alert: are you an excellent Media teacher? Looking to join a Media Faculty with fantastic facilities including film studio and Mac suite? SJL seeking Media Teacher for maternity cover


This week's newsletter out today...


To confirm: SJL is open as normal today. The site has water and we have been assured by Affinity Water that it will not be disconnected at any point.


Use what you can control, your attitude


Retweeted From SJL Geography

Year 7 planning their essays by building 'on the one hand' and 'on the other hand' style argument. They did really well collating their information on a Venn diagram and then choosing their arguments for their essay by adding facts to their 'to what extent hands'.


Year 11 reminder: reply slips for accepting Sixth Form places must be in by this Friday 7 May 2021


Mrs Daniels has a collection of unnamed coats and football boots in lost property (some photographed below). Please tell your child to go to First Aid to be reunited with their possessions.


Year 11 reminder: payment for this year's prom is available on ParentPay now. We are delighted to be able to offer this celebration at Luton Hoo Walled Gardens.


Thought for the Week: Being motivated


Congratulations to Year 8 on all achieving Bully Free Form status Thanks to Miss Bonner for rescheduling the assessments for Year 8, who had to miss their assessment during Year 7.


This week's newsletter out today...


Retweeted From SJL Ecoschools

This week it was the turn ouf our Year 9s in the they did a great job of watering and weeding! The gardennis really starting to come along now. Next week we will sow some wild flowers from


Our thanks to Nommy from for talking to the SJL BLM Youth Forum today. Herts Young Leaders is an emerging charity set up to empower disadvantaged young people.


SJL playing host for today's BLM Youth Forum with and . Students coming together across the county to empower each other on the subject of Black Lives Matter


The books of the week are Lightning Mary by Anthea Simmons , Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeve and Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. We have these at the library so come and borrow them!


Stand out, feel good


Year 8 reminder: options forms deadline tomorrow! Thank you to those who have returned their forms, any outstanding forms please email to Copies of the form can be found on the school website

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About the Faculty

The English faculty at SJL is characterised an enthusiasm for our subject and our pupils. The faculty’s main aim is to achieve the highest possible standards for all our students and in our classrooms every child really does matter. We maintain an inclusive ethos that is underpinned by a diverse, engaging, and enjoyable curriculum for our students at all key stages. The skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening underpin all our teaching and learning in English, and it is through our innovative approaches to the development of these skills that we are best able to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

At each Key Stage, our curriculum provides students with the opportunity to read and study some of the most powerful, compelling, and important texts written in English, including a number of Shakespeare plays, and novels as diverse as John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Pat Barker’s Regeneration.

In their time studying English at SJL, students will be taught the conventions of a range of forms and genres of writing, and by the end of their GCSE studies will have crafted texts as diverse their own anthology of poetry, a newspaper frontpage, a murder mystery novella, and short stories inspired by Philip Pullman’s novel The Ruby in The Smoke.

Public speaking is an integral element of our curriculum provision, as well as our extra-curricular offer. Students learn about elements and methods of rhetoric, and each year write and deliver speeches on topics as diverse as the concept of heroism, political issues they are passionate about, as well as, in Year 9, in a speech entitled ‘Don’t Even Get Me Started On…’, the more everyday annoyances they encounter in their lives.

The English faculty enjoys an excellent working relationship with a very active, well-stocked, and exciting school library and have incorporated formal links with the library in the curriculum provision at Key Stage 3. Students have regular reading lessons, in which they can visit the library, read with their teacher or TA, take part in reading challenges, share recommendations, or simply enjoy reading their book in peace and quiet! Colleagues in the English faculty are regular attendees at the library’s senior reading group, sharing their opinions about books with our Year 11 and VI form students.

Every member of the English faculty is passionate about English, and dedicated to ensuring that our students have the best possible experience in their English lessons. We continue to develop our skills and embrace opportunities to extend our practice through: collaboration within the faculty, and with colleagues in other schools; engaging with pedagogical research; training both within and outside of SJL; our involvement in Hertscam Teacher-Led Development projects, and the Hertscam MEd programme, to reflect on and challenge our practice.

We hope that students will enjoy their work in English - we certainly do!

Curriculum Intent Statement

Our curriculum at all key stages is characterised by the faculty’s desire for our students to read and study the very best texts written in English, our passion for teaching students the craft of writing in different forms and genres, and our fervent belief in the importance and power of rhetorical speech and public speaking.

At each key stage students will read, study, and enjoy: a number of plays by William Shakespeare; a range of powerful, compelling, and challenging novels; and collections of poetry from which students will develop their understanding of poetic form, as well as their appreciation of seminal poetic themes from poems published from the 17th century onwards.

Students are taught the conventions of forms and genres of writing as diverse as murder mysteries, film reviews, short stories, and newspaper opinion pieces. In crafting their writing to suit different forms and genres, students will also be taught how to write lucidly, accurately, and engagingly.

Finally, our curriculum at all key stages incorporates numerous opportunities for students to learn how to speak rhetorically, and to develop their proficiency and confidence in public speaking. Students will be taught how listen sensitively, and how to craft compelling arguments, in order that they are able to discuss and debate the most important issues in their lives.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

We are very proud of our Key Stage 3 curriculum. Students will read, study, and enjoy a variety of texts, including examples of Shakespearean comedy and tragedy, classic and contemporary novels, and a range of poetry. Students will also be provided with numerous formal opportunities to practise and develop their public speaking and debating skills, and will also learn and practise the conventions of a number of different forms and genres of writing. Therefore, by the end of Year 8, all students will have completed their first stage of secondary English studies, enjoying the study of a range of exciting texts and making excellent progress in the key skills of reading, writing, and speaking and listening along the way.

At Key Stage 3, we teach a range of units: novels, poetry, drama, Shakespeare, media, factual, persuasive and creative texts, and myths and legends. The outcomes of these units will mean that students by the time students begin their GCSE studies in Year 10, they will have produced examples of: literature analysis, role-play, rhetorical speeches, film reviews, creative writing, and writing for a variety of other purposes.

We assess students’ progress at the end of each unit, in line with the assessment criteria for the English curriculum. We give students the opportunity to reflect on their own progress and set targets, whilst tracking all progress on a database. We use assignments and an end-of-year exam to give an indication of each student’s progress at the end of each year.

We also run a range of extra-curricular opportunities for students at Key Stage 3: interactive Shakespeare performances; public speaking and debating; creative writing and poetry masterclasses for more able students. Literacy is also embedded in Key Stage 3, with reading schemes and lesson starters.

As a faculty, we are excited about our Key Stage 3 curriculum and all that it offers.

Year 9 curriculum

The year 9 curriculum has been designed as an effective bridge between KS3 and the GCSE courses. This gives us the earlier opportunity to develop skills in topics that students haven’t studied before but that are assessed in the GCSE course. These include the prose study and unseen poetry units. The curriculum also continues to develop the all-round reading, writing and speaking skills that are essential for pupils’ success whilst maintaining an interest and enjoyment in the subject.

KS3 Curriculum Map

KS3 Novels Key Vocabulary

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

At GCSE we follow the AQA specification for English Language and English Literature with all students achieving a GCSE in both. Our results have consistently been outstanding over a significant period of time, with our students making excellent progress and achieving the very highest grades.

However, we do not allow our desire for students to achieve highly to compromise their enjoyment of English and the rich experience that studying literature can provide. The GCSE offers a varied and interesting curriculum covering a number of texts and different forms of writing. The areas of study include writing for a variety of purposes and audiences including creatively, reading fiction and non-fiction texts.

The course is assessed wholly through exams.

We are in a unique position where all GCSE English classes of a particular year group are taught at the same time. This structure has enabled the teachers to collaborate on teaching and learning activities as well as maximise the impact on achievement by sharing resources and expertise. The teaching of the GCSE is a particular strength and area of enjoyment for the English faculty, who enjoy developing the skills and appreciation for literature of the pupils when they have reached this level of maturity.

KS4 Curriculum Map

Key Stage 5 Curriculum

Board: AQA (7712A)

If you are enthusiastic about reading, enjoy discussion, like challenge and want to learn more about human beings and their relationships, then A Level English may be a good choice for you.

A Level English Literature has many advantages:

  • It is a very well respected A Level for university entrance or entry into the workplace.
  • It complements a wide range of other A Level subjects.
  • Its skills are vital for success in all walks for life. The ability to read and respond to demanding material, and the ability to write fluently and cogently is equally important to doctors, lawyers, scientists, linguists and artists. 
  • It is very well taught at SJL. Students make excellent progress, and the faculty has an impressive history of results including 41% A*/A and 79% A*/B grades in the summer 2019 exam series, and 107 A* grades in total in the last nine years.


  • A Level 80% Exam 20% Coursework
  • 2 papers 40% each

Course content

The study of English Literature allows students to develop strong analytical skills by covering a range of texts across different genres, centuries, and from authors of various backgrounds, ages and genders.

You will study a range of texts, from traditional literature and poetry, to new and very exciting literary examples from our own time. In addition, you will learn how authors use language to create meaning and you will explore the social, cultural and historical contexts within which the texts were written. You will also learn how to write cogent and well-structured academic arguments in response to literature and develop group work and speaking skills.

The texts you will study include:

  • Othello
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Pre 20th century poetry
  • Unseen poetry and prose
  • My Boy Jack
  • Regeneration
  • The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry
  • A Doll’s House
  • The Yellow Wallpaper

Where possible, we run theatre trips to see productions of the texts you study; last year, Year 13 went to see Othello at The Globe in London. In Year 13 you will have the opportunity to enjoy a study tour of the battlefields and cemeteries of Northern France and Belgium to enrich your reading and analysis of the literature of the First World War.

Entry requirements

We would expect you to achieve an APS of 4.5 or above and a Grade 6 at GCSE in either English Literature or English Language to study for an English Literature A Level. Grade 6 or above at GCSE in both English Literature and English Language would be desirable.

KS5 Curriculum Map

Marking Policy

Extended Curriculum

The English faculty provides a number of extra-curricular opportunities for our students, including:

  • The opportunity to take part in the national Poetry by Heart poetry recital competition. We run school-based rounds, before entering students for the county-based and national elements of the competition.
  • Numerous opportunities to take part in public speaking and debating competitions. Every year our students participate in the Rotary’s Youth Speaks competition, whilst the faculty runs an annual lower-school public speaking competition in the summer term. Our students have taken part in debating competitions at the Palace of Westminster, having been invited by our local MP, whilst our VI form debating team has organised debating competitions with other local schools.
  • We have close ties with our brilliant library. At all key stages, students are encouraged to become keen, independent readers, and they take part in reading competitions in which they read high-quality, diverse books.
  • Theatre and cinema visits are an important part of our extra-curricular provision; in recent years, our VI form students have seen a production of Othello at The Globe in London and our Y7s enjoyed a production of Michael Morpurgo’s novel Private Peaceful. Years 7 and 8 are treated each year to Anthony Glenn’s one-man productions of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet.
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