We are a dedicated and well established team of 7 English specialists, including the Head Teacher. We also have our own English learning mentor, who provides extra support in and out of lessons, and an English intervention tutor, who is an English specialist who works with small groups of students for 6 week blocks. We also have a team of student literacy leaders who help support and promote literacy.

Our Aim

Our aim in English is to provide high ambition for all and take the students beyond their everyday experiences. Ivanhoe College believes in teaching the best in what has been thought and said and helping students to retain this powerful knowledge. In English, we believe that chronology is key and will teach our students the ‘Story of English’ from Classical; Early; Renaissance; Victorian and, Modern. We feel that the best way to prepare students for GCSE and beyond, is to share this with all students through the study of great, culturally rich texts.

Clare Sealy, Head of curriculum & standards, States of Guernsey, described a glorious period where children are taught a curriculum jam-packed full of the very best that has been thought, said, and done, so that they enter the latter part of their schools with a broad, deep and rich base of cultural and communal knowledge, to draw upon in later life and, yes, exams.

This is what we aim to do.

English KS3 Curriculum at Ivanhoe College:

Year 7


Telling tales and journeys of discovery.

Ancient Myths (incl. creation and biblical stories);


Homer, The Odyssey Books 1-12

Ovid’s Metamorphoses

-2 tales





Links to Legends




Language Change




Extension – Intro to Shakespeare




Parts of speech: verbs, nouns, articles, adjectives, prepositions; pronouns; subject-verb agreement; tense, basic punctuation and commas

The elements of a sentence. Simple, compound, complex; coordinating and subordinating conjunctions; listing and bracketing commas

Topic sentences, paragraphs, introductions and conclusions

Revision on all grammar leant/revised this year.

Year 8


Aspects of love and the natural world.

Shakespeare, Sonnets (Petrarch, Clare, Armitage) and Much Ado about Nothing.


The art of rhetoric






Romantic poetry


Anthology of romantic and nature poetry.

Contextual study of era.

Extension – Intro to Gothic literature linked to the romantic period and the Victorian era.


Revision of previous year above, plus: adverbs; comparative and superlative adjectives; nouns; plural nouns; use of apostrophes

Revision of previous year above, plus: compound-complex sentences; phrases; minor sentences; conjunctive adverbs; semi colons

Revision of previous year above, plus: connections between sentences; discourse markers; proofreading; drafting and rewriting

Revision on all grammar leant/revised this year.

Year 9


Freedom, rebellion and revolution

Victorian monsters – Frankenstein.







War Poetry


WW1 and 2 with related novels/play texts.


Orwell - Animal Farm (include freedom speeches and return to rhetoric)



Extension – Intro to GCSE.


Include different cultures.


Revision of previous years above, plus: subject, direct object, indirect object; the passive, modal, auxiliary verbs, participles; word endings

Revision of previous years above, plus: restrictive and non-restrictive clauses; colons, hyphens, dashes, punctuating speech

Revision of previous years above, plus: text purpose and audience

Revision on all grammar leant/revised this year.


Within our challenging curriculum, we repeat often the key 6 threshold concepts in English:

  • Structure and coherence
  • SPAG (Spelling, punctuation and Grammar)
  • Awareness of impact
  • Understanding context
  • Using evidence
  • Analysing technique

English lessons at Ivanhoe

‘The more knowledge my pupils have about text and context, the more perceptive their analysis will be. Mnemonic cues and recall exercises prevent them forgetting what they’ve learned. And extended writing practice drills with precise, instant feedback have dramatically accelerated my pupil’s achievement…achievement drives motivation and builds self-esteem; when children start succeeding, they are more likely to buy in.’ Joe Kirby, a British school teacher and deputy head at Jane Austen College, who writes on translating research into the classroom.

Based on research, like this above, Ivanhoe English lessons follow a 3-part structure in mixed ability sets:

  • Re-cap of previous knowledge through low stake quizzing
  • Instruction through high level reading and teacher talk
  • Deliberate practice of threshold concepts

Interleaving lessons

Once a week, students will have an interleaving lesson which interweaves previous learning of topics and grammar knowledge from the curriculum. These lessons are designed to help students move their learning into long term memory. If the learning is a key concept, it needs to be repeated often. We believe it is not enough to simply keep coming back to topics at some point.

English assessments

Students need to remember knowledge before they can understand, apply, analyse, evaluate and create.

In English, we assess students through 50 mark knowledge papers which test what they can remember about the literary canon and threshold concepts. The end of each paper includes application questions to test if they have fully understood the knowledge.

Within lessons, we constantly cover the above threshold concepts and mark using whole class feedback to ensure skills, as well as knowledge, are being improved upon regularly.


English homework

In English, we use our homework to try and close the vocabulary gap between students. Alex Quigley writes that ‘on average, secondary school teachers who took part in the survey reported that 43% of Year 7 pupils have a limited vocabulary to the extent that it affects their learning.’

We need to know 95% of words to ensure reading comprehension. He explains that as teachers, we therefore need to filter the important vocabulary and teach it explicitly.

Students in English learn 10 words and their definitions per week which are all associated to the enriching texts we read in class. They are tested on these and their previous vocabulary each week in their interleaving lesson: revision of previous knowledge.

Extra-curricular activities in English

The English Department provides a range of extra-curricular activities.  These include providing our students with opportunities to attend and appreciate live theatre performances.  In addition, there are many opportunities for students to meet writers who talk to the students about their craft as well as entry into various reading and writing competitions at local and national level and a youth speaks competition. We also run various inter house competitions including a very competitive library challenge; spelling bee and a number of World Book Day activities.

Student Voice Comments

‘I like that in English, the whole class are involved.’ Year 7

‘I like that my teacher constantly gives feedback to help you understand more.’ Year 7

‘I like the class reading and booklet tasks, the spelling tests – pretty much everything.’ Year 7


Image Gallery

World Book Day Book Swap

P.E. End of Year News.

Virtual Sports Presentation Evening 2020 We held our first ever Virtual Sports Presentation Evening on Thursday 9th July. The celebration was very different to what we are used to. We usually have over 300 students and their families in the hall but for obvious reasons that couldn’t happ...

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Proud to support keyworkers

Proud to support keyworkers

At Ivanhoe we are proud to be open and looking after the children of keyworkers, as well as being keyworkers o...

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Home Learning - Reading Help / Lists for Year 7, 8 & 9

Home Learning - Reading Help / Lists for Year 7, 8 & 9

Reading Help & Home Reading Lists Reading Help Dear Parents and Carers, Here are some good places...

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Nut Aware School

Ivanhoe College is a food allergy aware school. This letter is to inform you that there are a considerable number of students at our school who have severe food allergies. The most common of these allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish and shellfish, soy and wheat. The most serious risk in our...

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