The English department is a driving force at MGS, with a focus on promoting the academic excellence, love of learning in students, while challenging students and developing their critical thinking skills. We pride ourselves in our consistency and collaboration to ensure all students achieve and desire success.

Our Motto is: Inspire, Challenge, Exceed.

The English department teaches a broad range of skills from retrieval, identification, analysis, evaluation, creative and transactional writing and spoken language skills. Students will learn the foundations of all skills in year 7 and utilise GCSE level material early on to build the skills and confidence to achieve success at GCSE, A-Level and beyond. We are driven to inspire students, challenge them and help them exceed targets.

At Key Stage 3 we offer a hybrid approach to teaching English Literature and Language, exploring a range of diverse and challenging texts to intrigue and inspire students and build the vital skills they need later on.

In year 7 and 8 students will develop the core skills to succeed at GCSE and beyond, examining a wide array of diverse texts from poetry, modern and Shakespearean plays, novels and extracts. Students will learn and consolidate their understanding of: close level language and structural analysis; the significance of context in influencing the effect of a text and consider the wider messages the writers were trying to achieve. Students will springboard from the texts studied to create their own creative writing and non-fiction writing to utilise similar themes, ideas and conventions in their own writing for effect.

In Year 9 we prepare students directly for their GCSEs ensuring all the skills learnt in year 7 and 8 are now applied to a variety of literature plays, novels and extracts, utilising the GCSE style questions, but utilising diverse texts and not the year 10 and 11 curriculum texts. Students will explore a GCSE level novel examining how to analyse an extract closely for meaning and evaluating a theme/character or character relationship across a text to track the writer’s intentions. Students will explore a modern play to mirror the evaluative style questions required at GCSE and finally move into their Shakespearean text study where they will grapple with Shakespearean language and the exam board requirement that context be used to validate all intentions raised. Students end the year by studying five of their actual GCSE literature poems from the conflict cluster to enable interleaving of assessment to occur in year 10 and 11 and push revision early.

At Key Stage 4 we offer a hybrid approach to teaching the Language GCSE, through using the literature texts as a springboard to creatively write and explore non-fiction writing.

In Year 10 and 11 our intent is to ensure students feel confident and prepared for their GCSE English language and literature examination. The English language skills are taught alongside the literature with Macbeth being taught first as a challenging text to ensure the longest amount of time to develop and revise the core skills of analysis and evaluation linked to contextual understanding. Jekyll and Hyde is studied next, grappling with the 19th Century language, linking to texts taught in year 7 to 9. Students will then finish the year exploring the conflict cluster of poetry they began in year 9, allowing for a refresh and consolidation and expansion of knowledge to occur. At the end of year 10 the Spoken Language Endorsement will be completed. Year 11 will begin with An Inspector Calls, developing students contextual knowledge linking to intentions and focus on evaluating alternative interpretations and justifying which is the strongest and why. Students will then practise unseen poetry comparison and all language paper skills, alongside revision in preparation for their examinations.

At Key Stage 5 we explore English Literature and examine a wide array of literature, from comparing named Post-2000 Poetry to unseen poetry, to comparing two prose texts (The Handmaid’s Tale with Frankenstein or The War of the Worlds), to comparing Donne Poetry, and examining themes/characters and character relationships across a Shakespeare play (either Othello or King Lear.) Students will also complete an independent coursework study worth 20% of their final grade, writing a comparative analytical and evaluative essay that shows off their skills on two texts chosen by themselves.

The English learning journey from year 7 to 13 at Maidstone Grammar School is rigorous and intense aimed to develop confidence in our students to express themselves in both the written and verbal form. The English department thrive on challenging our students to achieve the best they possibly can and work hard to support all students meet and exceed their academic potential.

The document linked below outlines how we have sequenced knowledge and skills in each academic year:


The English Department provide a wide array of extra-curriculuar opportunities.

At Key Stage 3 we have a creative writing club where students will enter national competitions with their own creative stories to win prizes and recognition.

At Key Stage 3, we have a year 7 and 8 stretch and challenge club which aims to provide opportunities for students to be academically challenged to meet their potential, through a range of more advanced reading material. We provide opportunities here for our English Prefects to lead these sessions to develop their own skills and teaching potential.

At Key Stage 4, we have a year 9, 10 and 11 stretch and challenge club, which aims to provide students with additional univeristy level critical readings to enhance their understanding of the texts they are studying in class, to give more unique and higher order thinking opportunities to our students.

At all key stages we have a variety of intervention opportunities, all the way up to KS5 through our weekly clinic. This allows all students from year 7 to 13 to access additional support and guidance when needed to help all students meet their potential.

Click here to read our MGS Extra Prospectus and find out what clubs are on offer.

Click here to access the KS3 and KS4 English Super Curriculum.

Click here to access the KS5 English Super Curriculum.


Through studying English all students develop valuable life skills that feed into a wide array of careers in the future. The skills students explore and develop throughout their study include:
– Reading.
– Retrieval.
– Comprehension.
– Analysis.
– Evaluation.
– Creative writing.
– Transactional writing – writing to advise, inform and explain, persuade and argue, review.
– Oracy – developing spoken communication and presentation skills.
– Debating.
– Listening – developing ability to listen and decode information.
– Questioning.

Each of these skills are vital for numerous jobs in the wider world. Some career ideas the above skills feed into include:
– Lawyer/Solicitor/Judge
– Human Resources
– Marketing
– Sales
– Product Design
– Teacher
– Police Officer
– Novel writer/Poet
– Editor of texts
– Publisher
– Copywriter
– Journalist

Many of our students who have taken English Literature at A-Level have gone on to study at top universities exploring subjects like Law, Politics, History and English to name a few. English is a gateway subject that allows all potential career choices to become a distinct reality.

Click here to find out more about careers in English.

Key Stage 3

Over a fortnightly timetable, KS3 students receive:

  • 5 hours of guided learning (Year 7)
  • 6 hours of guided learning (Year 8)
  • 1 hour of homework.

Key Stage 4

Qualification: GCSE English Literature & GCSE English Language
Exam board: EDEXCEL Literature; AQA Language

Over a fortnightly timetable, GCSE students receive:

  • 7 hours of guided learning.
  • 2 hours of homework.

Click here to find out more about this GCSE course.

Key Stage 5

Qualification: A Level English Literature
Exam board: EDEXCEL

Over a fortnightly timetable, A Level students receive:

  • 9 hours of guided learning.
  • 10 hours of homework.

Click here to read more about this course.