Head of Department: Kate Worden

Members of department:

  • Rachel Armitage (KS5 Coordinator)
  • Jo Bailey (Assistant Headteacher) 
  • Hannah Brewer (Intervention Coordinator)
  • Liam Cannell (Deputy Head of Department)
  • Penny Downes (Assistant Headteacher) 
  • Amy Fletcher
  • Bella Godsil (Assistant Headteacher)
  • Lizzie Hester
  • Sophie Hood
  • Penny Johnson
  • Sabiha Rehana
  • Jemima Reilly (Headteacher)
  • Charlie Smith
  • Sam Smith (Assistant Headteacher) 
  • Elis Williams
  • Madia Zahid

Click here for curriculum overview

KS3 curriculum

Our KS3 curriculum offers pupils the opportunity to study two novels, a Shakespeare play, and a wide range of fiction, including pre 20th Century, contemporary and seminal world literature as well as literary and media non-fiction.

We help pupils develop and hone the core skills of reading and writing, including grammar, and spoken language, with a strong emphasis on discussion skills and critical thinking. 

Independent reading is promoted and monitored through the ‘Accelerated Reader’ programme and dedicated time in all lessons.

Assessment is frequent and formative: Over the two years pupils produce a Portfolio of best work which might include creative writing, essays, poetry, spoken performances, annotated posters amongst other pieces. 

KS4 curriculum

We view Year 9 as a bridging year from KS3 to KS4 during which the level of challenge for all pupils is suitably increased.

Independent reading continues to be promoted and monitored through the ‘Accelerated Reader’ programme and dedicated time in all lessons.

Engagement, exposure to a wide-range of texts and the continued development of resilience and independence are at the heart of the curriculum. Pupils will study two significant 20th and 21st novels, explore Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ through a study of the Tragedy genre; read, perform and analyse older and contemporary poetry as well as studying and producing non-fiction texts.

KS4 Curriculum

GCSE Literature and Language are assessed by 100% closed-book examination only.

At Morpeth, our GCSE exam board is Eduqas. Our set texts for GCSE are ‘Macbeth’, by Shakespeare; ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens and 20th century play ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J. B. Priestley.

Both the Literature and Language GCSEs will contain unseen texts, therefore our focus is on building and developing pupils’ independent reading and writing skills across all years, before focusing closely on examination skills in Year 11.

Our curriculum offers interesting and challenging texts across the two-year course to develop pupils’ confidence and resilience, as well as equip them with the skills they will need to be successful in Key Stage 4 studies and beyond.

As a department we use a wide range of lesson activities and teaching techniques as well as maintaining the importance of high quality speaking and listening to develop pupils’ oracy, as well as literacy.

KS5 curriculum

Students have the opportunity to study A Level English Literature (Edexcel exam board) during which they study contemporary literature alongside the classical canon.

Students study a range of post-2000 poetry, as well as studying the poetry of Christina Rossetti. They study a range of drama, including Twelfth Night, The Importance of Being Earnest and A Streetcar Named Desire, with an opportunity to select individual research areas for their coursework component. In addition, they compare two prose texts: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Students are supported in developing and strengthening their academic writing to a high level. We provide enriching opportunities, such as theatre trips, regular book clubs and other relevant cultural excursion


Arvon Creative Writing Residential: ‘Gifted and Talented’ pupils work with professional writers during a week-long trip to Devon.

‘Slambassadors’:  performance poetry regional competition, working with professional poets and competing with other school pupils.

‘Absolutely Write’: Pupils across the key stages work with a professional writer to produce their own piece of creative writing which is collated and published in an anthology at the end of each year.

Theatre trips: We regularly take pupils to various theatres and productions at London theatres.

The Young Shakespeare Company: Performances of set texts every year.

Author Visits: Professional authors, come to meet with pupils and read their work in the school Library.

A Level: Students are supported through Academic mentoring sessions and trips to the theatre.