Teaching Staff

  • Mr Doolan - Head of Curriculum Area
  • Mrs Fennelly - Associate Head of Curriculum Area
  • Mrs Palmer - KS3 Coordinator
  • Mrs Gillett
  • Mr Hogan
  • Miss Schunmann
  • Miss E Thomson
  • Ms Way



In English we aim to introduce students to a broad range of Literature – including poetry, plays, short stories and novels – from across different periods and from different places.  They study poetry chronologically as follows:

  • Year 7 – Homer to Milton: An Epic Journey
  • Year 8 – Romantics and Victorians
  • Year 9 – The Moderns and World Poetry

This journey that takes them from Homer to Milton and then onto the Romantics and Victorians before looking at 20th and 21st century poetry from across the world. They also study a series of major novels and shorter novellas and stories. Over the course of KS3 they will all read:

  • Year 7 - Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and Call of the Wild
  • Year 8 - A Christmas Carol and Gothic short stories and either Animal Farm or Coram Boy
  • Year 9 – The Yellow Wallpaper and either The Woman in Black or Lord of the Flies

Across KS3 we also introduce students to Shakespeare studying:

  • Year 7 - Romeo and Juliet
  • Year 8 - The Tempest
  • Year 9 - Julius Caesar

They will also study one of two modern plays by Arthur Miller in Year 9 – either The Crucible or A View from the Bridge.

Literature and reading are at the heart of our curriculum and we encourage students to read widely and for pleasure, with regular library lessons in KS3.

To this end each student is given a Reading Passport where they keep a record of their reading and are awarded Proud Points and other awards based on their reading. We encourage students to share and recommend books based on their reading through discussion and reviews which are displayed around 

the department [and online] We have also established the role of The Alec Hunter Poet Laureate at KS3, where each year a boy and girl are selected and produce a poem per term linked to key events in world, the local community or the school.

Embedded into the study of literature and the development of our students as readers are the teaching of writing and speaking and listening. Students begin to engage with essay writing from the start of Year 7 and the skills continue to be developed across KS3. We also embed creative writing - including descriptive, story and point of view writing – into all of our units of work. Within each unit there are opportunities for discussion and presentation and students are encouraged to develop as confidents speakers.

Our aim is for our students to be confident and fluent readers, able to engage with and understand varied texts. Our goal is to further develop our students into confident young people, able to speak and write with confidence, consciously crafting their language for different contexts. To be able to speak and write imaginatively, discursively and analytically.



At KS4 our students follow the AQA English Literature and English Language courses. In Literature we study:

  • Macbeth, William Shakespeare
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
  • An Inspector Calls, J B Priestley
  • AQA Poetry Anthology: Power and Conflict poems

These text choices are directly linked to the work completed at KS3. Students have already studied three Shakespeare plays in year 7 – 9 and end KS3 with the study of Julius Caesar, a play with direct thematic links to Macbeth. Furthermore, they have studied The Yellow Wallpaper in year 9, a story also concerned with ideas about identity and duality, linking directly to Jekyll and Hyde. The modern plays studied in Year 9 are also concerned with issues relating to class, power and society – ideas which are developed in a different context in An Inspector Calls. Across KS3 students have read and explored a range of poetry preparing them for the poetry they will study in Years 10 and 11. The text choices provide continuity for our students and allow them to engage with the texts at the highest level.

We continue to build on the essay writing skills that have been developed across KS3, teaching students to see essays and creative and exploratory pieces of writing where students develop their own arguments in response to the texts studied.

In the Language GCSE we continue to develop the students’ independent reading skills in Paper 1 and 2, emphasising the cross-over between skills in Literature and Language, especially in relation to Language Paper 1. We encourage the students to read broadly in terms of non-fiction, setting reading and vocabulary homework to continue to expand the students’ ability to engage with a range of texts and to build their confidence as readers. Alongside this they continue to learn how to develop effective pieces of creative writing in terms of description, stories and point of view pieces looking at how to effectively use language, form and structure to develop coherent and powerful pieces of writing.

Students engage in discussion-based work throughout the course and are given opportunities to present on topics. This allows them to develop as independent learners and grow confident in terms of Speaking and Listening. Oracy is a key skill, and we focus on ensuring students are able to speak assuredly and with confidence. Through this they are prepared for their Speaking and Listening assessment which takes place either at the end of Year 10 or is completed as part of a Skills Day in Year 11.

Our aim is to align our KS3 and 4 curriculums in order to enhance our students potential and to allow them to develop to the best of their ability and achieve to the highest levels in their GCSE examinations, enabling them to make the choices they want as they go forward into Higher Education.


  • GCSE English Language
  • GCSE English Literature


Please see below for Curriculum Overview Maps for a breakdown of what is taught in each year group and by term:

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Alec Hunter Academy - Living for Learning, Learning for Life

Address: Alec Hunter Academy, Stubbs Lane, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3NR | Telephone: 01376 321 813 | Email: admin@alechunter.com

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