Arthur Mellows Village College

Delivering learning for life within an aspirational culture


The English department is a thriving and successful department, comprising a Head of Department and eleven members of teaching staff.

The excellent GCSE and A Level outcomes in English have been achieved as a result of a shared vision: English is communication and our students learn from what others have communicated to them – past and present – but they also need to learn how to communicate for themselves, and this is something that they will need for the rest of their lives. We want our students to love and enjoy reading because if we want to improve literacy, then we need to show our students that reading is still a pleasurable activity and not an out-dated chore. We want AMVC students to appreciate that reading is the gateway to learning in all subjects, and of course, that it can be a rewarding pastime too.

At Key Stage 3, students are taught in sets and the year is divided into two populations. The department follows a themed curriculum, exploring a broad range of texts and genres including Alice in Wonderland, gothic writing, crime writing and Animal Farm. Students enjoy exploring a range of texts and producing their own creative responses to a number of tasks, such as writing their own adventure stories and expressing viewpoints about characters’ actions and behaviours in dystopian worlds.

At Key Stage 4, students continue to be taught in sets and the year group is divided into two populations: X and Y. All students will be entered for two GCSES: English Language and English Literature and this includes a compulsory spoken language assessment. Students will experience a variety of fiction and non-fiction extracts and will continue to develop and shape their creative and persuasive writing skills. Literature texts include Shakespeare, a collection of poetry, a 19th Century novel and a modern play. We subscribe to Digital Theatre + which means that we can watch new and exciting productions in the classroom, enhancing students’ understanding and appreciation of their set texts.

At Key Stage 5, we offer three A Level courses: Language, Literature and Combined Language and Literature, and all students follow a linear qualification that is taught across the two years. We subscribe to an excellent study resource called Massolit which gives students access to talks recorded by lecturers and professors from around the country.  

English Literature (AQA B): The A Level in English Literature will require students to develop their judgement and independence as they reflect upon their knowledge and understanding of a range of literary texts and ways of reading them. There are three components: Elements of Tragedy, Elements of Crime and Theory and Independence (NEA).

English Language (OCR): The A Level in Language will require students to consider how linguistic choices are affected by context, whilst exploring and analysing the linguistic features of a range of written and spoken texts. There are three components: Exploring Language, Linguistic Variations and Independent Language Research (NEA).

Combined Language and Literature (Edexcel): The A Level in English Language and Literature will require students to develop and apply their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation of a range of literary and non-fiction texts. It will also require students to use linguistic and literary approaches in their reading and interpretation of texts, showing how the two disciplines can relate to each other. There are three components: Voices in Speech and Writing, Varieties in Language and Literature and the NEA which includes original writing and analytical commentary.  


The department enjoys good facilities, including the school library. All English rooms are equipped with SMART boards and of course, a well-stocked book cupboard.