English at Moat

The Moat English Department leads the city-wide English Hub, and we were recently shortlisted for the national TES Award for ‘English Team of the Year’ based on our extensive whole-school approach to improving literacy. We are a partner school of Curve Theatre, and we work closely with the University of Leicester.

Our department motto, ‘it’s all about the students’, translates into an ambitious approach to teaching and learning within the classroom and beyond. 

Our KS4 curriculum is taught over three years, and all Y10 students sit their English Literature GCSE exam a year early. The intensive focus on literature and academia in Y9 and Y0 has improved student outcomes and reading ages. We have discovered it has also provided a better foundation for our study of English Language in Y11. 

Literacy and Reading at Moat

Whole School:

  • Our literacy motto - ‘The knowledge of a subject is the language of a subject’ – is fundamental to our approach to literacy at Moat. We teach reading for understanding through high-impact whole school strategies that consolidate the teaching and learning and promote a word-rich environment.
  • The Moat Proofreading Code, introduced in English lessons and used school-wide, encourages students to communicate accurately and effectively in their written work.
  • We test students’ reading ages annually (using Access Reading Tests) and continue to see significant reading-age progress throughout the school. Our most capable readers in Y7-8 have reading ages above 19 years old, and in Y9-11 above 20 years old. We provide targeted reading intervention for all students with a reading age below 9 years old.
  • We run the Highfields area Curve Young Community Company and provide opportunities for students to obtain an Arts Award qualification.
  • We are currently in the process of designing a whole-school approach to reading for understanding that will become part of our weekly routines in the tutorial programme. This learning will be supported by vocabulary books and Knowledge Organisers.


  • All Y7 students have a weekly library and literacy lesson.
  • Our Y7 bespoke scheme of learning, The Kid in the 10 Shirt, contains a fiction book, 40+ hour scheme of learning, and accompanying vocabulary books. Our case study students have made up to four years reading-age progress within a five-week period of intensive literacy focus.
  • Our SEND shadow curriculum in Y7 focuses on literacy disciplines using fiction texts to support the learning.
  • We provide dictionary training through our Y7 tutorial programme.
  • Y7 students regularly read with Y9 mentors.
  • All Y7 students are invited to participate in the ‘Blind Date with a Book’ initiative.
  • In Y8, our bespoke scheme of learning, The Kid in the 10 Shirt, is expanded through the teaching of a sequel, which includes themes from the PDe curriculum. Accompanying vocabulary books ensure vocabulary is taught explicitly in preparation for KS4.
  • All Y8 students are invited to participate in our in-house Reading Rampage initiative (which is differentiated for our SEND learners).
  • Our Y8 students participate in the Holocaust project and Hub-wide essay writing competition coordinated by Moat.
  • Y7 and 8 students are invited to attend weekly drama sessions taught by our partners, Curve Theatre.
  • Students’ vocabulary is monitored in Y8 into Y9 with vocabulary size testing.


  • We have recently introduced a Greek classics module for our high ability learners in Y9. Students attend lectures based on the pre-reading which is done in lessons.
  • Our Y9 Moat Mentors are provided with training to support Y7s with their reading.
  • We have a Y9 Carnegie reading group and are the host school for an annual Hub-wide Carnegie celebration event.
  • Our Y10 and 11 learners participate in an academic reading programme in English, History, Maths and RE. Students discuss A-Level/degree texts and resources that expand their learning.
  • We provide targeted handwriting intervention for students whose handwriting impacts the legibility of their exam responses.
  • Departments have collaborated to develop cross-curricular writing frameworks to consolidate teaching and learning.
  • We provide lecture style revision sessions and have uploaded a library of in-house revision videos accessible to all our exam students.

English Curriculum:

At KS3 (Years 7 and 8), all students follow the National Curriculum and study English language and English literature. Our department KS3-4 narrative builds on KS2 learning.  

Our GCSE curriculum is supported with rigorous and targeted intervention. Assessment of knowledge is formative, thorough, and regular. Feedback provides students with the basis for improvement.
The department narrative is accessible for all with accelerated learning opportunities for high achievers. SEND students can access all the curriculum through schemes of learning that are suited to their prior knowledge and skills development. The department narrative provides enrichment through subject material that develops cultural capita so that all Moat Community College students fully access their learning.

Exam Boards:

  • AQA English Language
  • Eduqas/WJEC English Literature


Year 7 English:

In Year 7, students follow bespoke reading and literacy schemes that embed the knowledge and skills required for KS3, before embarking on context-based learning using a wide range of nineteenth-century fiction and non-fiction texts, as well as a Shakespeare play and poetry.

Autumn Unit 1 – The Kid in the 10 Shirt – Bespoke Literacy Scheme

Autumn Unit 2 – AQA English Language Reading Fiction

Spring Unit 3 – Creative Writing

Spring Unit 4 – AQA English Language Reading Non-Fiction

Summer Unit 5 – Shakespeare: Macbeth

Summer Unit 6 – Transactional Writing (Article)

Year 8 English:

In Year 8, students study Gothic literature, Shakespeare, poetry, creative prose writing and transactional skills that are extended in Year 9 with an introduction to the KS4 GCSE curriculum and the study of a third Shakespeare play and the poetry anthology.

Autumn Unit 1 – The Kid in the 10 Shirt: Transition – Bespoke Literacy Scheme

Autumn Unit 2 – AQA 19th Century Literature Extracts

Autumn Unit 3 – Poetry Booklet

Spring Unit 4 – Shakespeare Play

Spring Unit 5 – Shakespeare Sonnets

Summer Unit 6 – Post 1914 Text

Summer Unit 7 – Spoken Language

Year 9 English:

In Years 9 and 10, all students study GCSE English Literature so that they can be entered for their literature exam at the end of Year 10.

Autumn Unit 1 – Post-1914 Text – Animal Farm/Lovely Bones/Of Mice and Men

Autumn Unit 2 – Post-1914 Text – An Inspector Calls

Spring Unit 3 – Shakespeare – Romeo & Juliet

Summer Unit 4 – Eduqas Poetry Anthology: War/Nature/Love

Summer Unit 5 – 19th Century Prose – A Christmas Carol/Jane Eyre/Jekyll & Hyde

Year 10 English:

Autumn Unit 1 – 19th Century Prose – A Christmas Carol/Jane Eyre/Jekyll and Hyde

Autumn Unit 2 – Eduqas Unseen Poetry

Spring Unit 3 – Eduqas Poetry Anthology – Remaining Themes

Spring/Summer Unit 4 – Revision of Y10 Curriculum (prior to the GCSE)

Summer Unit 5 – AQA Spoken Language

Year 11 English:

In Year 11, all students study the AQA GCSE Language Curriculum. With a full year dedicated to the topic, students are entered into an exam without the stresses of English language and literature. With the literature programme finished, students can fully commit to language and work towards better grades and higher achievement.

Autumn Unit 1 – Language Reading Fiction

Autumn Unit 2 – Creative Writing

Spring Unit 3 – Language Reading Non-Fiction

Spring/Summer Unit 4 – Transactional Writing

Summer Unit 5 – Revision of Y11 Curriculum (prior to the GCSE)


English Information