English, MFL & Communications


Members of Staff

Ms E Woodhead: Head of English, Language & Communication
Ms A. Phakey: 2/ic of English 
Ms L. Eatwell: Teacher of English
Ms S. Busson: Teacher of English
Mrs M. Joyce: Teacher of English
Ms V. Levison: Teacher of English/ESLT
Ms D. Chohan: Teacher of English
Mr M. Ashraf: Teacher of English

English at KS3

At Lancaster we have developed a KS3 curriculum in English that we feel prepares our students very well for the examinations they will face at the end of year 11, but which also means students will get to read plenty of literature.

The curriculum we have developed includes opportunities for students to read a range of modern and classic fiction, themed poetry and plays. In addition, students are given opportunities to showcase their skills in half-termly assessments that enables them to develop their understanding and what they need to improve to make best progress. In addition, students are regularly given feedback on their classwork, homework and speaking and listening through discussion points and oracy in the classroom. Our curriculum is mapped in a way that ensures students cover all of the essential skills they need in order to succeed at GCSE.

Students will be set regular homework in English; this may be linked to the curriculum content being covered at the given time or may be linked to our whole school initiative on Reading, whereby students could be set projects and tasks on Myon.


English at KS4 

GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature

At Lancaster, we aim for all students to study English Language and English Literature at GCSE.

We offer the AQA syllabuses for both English Language and English Literature.

In English Language, students will develop an ability to read critically and to respond to unseen literary extracts and non-fiction texts. They will learn to write for an audience and purpose, and will develop their creative writing skills too. In Literature, students will study one pre-twentieth century text, one modern text, a whole Shakespeare play and a collection of themed poetry. Students will also develop the ability to respond to poems that they have never seen before.

The texts studied at Lancaster are:

An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Power + Conflict Poetry Anthology [AQA]

Step Up to English – Entry Level Certificate

If we feel that a student is ill-suited to studying English at GCSE level, we will offer them the chance to take an alternative qualification. Step Up to English is a course designed by AQA and offers an Entry Level qualification and helps students to develop basic literacy skills and to improve their confidence using the English language.


Modern Foreign Languages

Members of Staff

Mrs R. Sinnott: Subject Lead MFL
Ms C. Bhandal: Subject Lead French
Ms C. Hurst :Teacher of MFL/ Careers Co-ordinator
Ms A. McElhill: Teacher of MFL

The Modern Foreign Languages department is dynamic and forward-looking and successfully combines enthusiasm with experience in teaching our students. We believe in teaching the knowledge of how to learn a language combined with the linguistic and cultural aspects of the language itself. 

‘It’s a small world!’ A phrase often used, and at Lancaster, we believe that studying languages is an important part of your child’s education as it helps them to aspire to grow in becoming more effective and independent communicators.

In the course of our teaching we enable and encourage students to look beyond the British linguistic and cultural boundaries to experience the wider world.

In using the communicative approach, we:

  • Differentiate teaching and learning for all students;
  • Establish a solid foundation on which to build their further learning of the subject;
  • Contextualise students’ learning by providing access to authentic resources and establishing contacts both nationally and internationally for the purposes of project work;
  • Create an environment where students are challenged by the learning materials and content, become more independent in their learning, while being stimulated and rewarded.

French / Spanish at KS3

Over the two years KS3, students which access both languages and we have developed a programme of study which reflects the structure of the new GCSE.

Our KS3 curriculum provides the foundation for learning further languages, equipping students to study and work in a broad range of industries and roles as well as other countries.

The curriculum has been mapped out so that students cover all of the essential skills they need in order to succeed at GCSE, including extended writing, spontaneous responses to images, translation and role plays.

Students are formally assessed in accordance with the whole school assessment calendar. Students are given regular feedback on the level of accuracy, complexity and variety to ensure there are incremental improvements in their spelling, punctuation and grammar broadening their range of their ability to become confident communicators.

Students are set a weekly homework in MFL. This could be vocabulary learning, grammar work completion or using online websites for particular practice and consolidation of their learning.


Topics covered within the KS3 Programme of study are:

Year 7

Year 8

Greetings & introductions to MFL

Healthy Living


Pocket Money


Natural Hazards

Pets and descriptions

School life


There will be rotations for students over the two years between the languages so that when options time comes around that all students will have the choice to take any language further into KS4.

GCSE French / German / Spanish  

As KS4 now includes year 9 students, we have designed a programme of study for that first GCSE year to serve as a foundation on which to further build students’ skills. This will include exams skills practice, following the themes covered in the 2yr course, but with a focus on getting the grammar right, so our students can become more creative and expressive as their learning continues.

We offer the AQA specification for GCSE French / German / Spanish.

Through studying a GCSE in a modern foreign language, students develop their ability and ambition to communicate with native speakers in speech and writing. The study of a modern foreign language at GCSE should also broaden students’ horizons and encourage them to step beyond familiar cultural boundaries and develop new ways of seeing the world.

Students study all of the following themes on which the assessments are based:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment

For a more detailed view of the course content and assessment please click here.

Trips, visits and residential opportunities within the Communications Faculty.

The English, MFL and Communications faculty has offered many opportunities to students to take part in curriculum related visits. For example:

Whole year group trips to the theatre for years 10 and 11 to watch “An Inspector Calls”

Theatre visits to Curve theatre to watch Shakespeare performances

Theatre visits for year 9 students to view performances related to the texts they are studying

Trips to Leicester City Football Club as part of Literacy intervention programmes.

We also:

Run a successful writing group for interested students in conjunction with First Story. The group works with a professional poet to develop their writing and eventually produce a published poetry anthology.

This year, as part of our First Story project, we worked in collaboration with Babington Community College and Curve theatre.


As a parent /carer it can be challenging to know how best to support your child in their language studies.

The websites below will allow you to guide your child towards positive use of the internet for learning. - Students Know the login details.

- Elementary - The basics (non-confident)

- Beginner - Basic Vocabulary

- Intermediate 

- KS4 More Complexity - Vocabulary and grammar work with instant feedback.


English as an Additional Language

Members of Staff

Ms. S. Ali: EAL/Learning Support Assistant

English as an Additional Language

The aim of the EAL Department is to enable EAL students (those who have been exposed to 2 or more languages at home or are new to the UK) to access the national curriculum in all subjects by developing skills in English and helping students to become independent learners. We provide both academic and pastoral support to help students achieve this.

For EAL students who are new to the UK and those who move to Lancaster from other schools we have a support system which helps students to settle in as quickly as possible.

On arrival students have an assessment of their English and Maths skills so that we can see how best to support them. We try to place students in lessons according to their academic potential to ensure that they are challenged at an appropriate level.

We pair a new EAL with a buddy to look after them while they settle in. Ideally the buddy will speak the same language. The buddy will show the new student around the school and take care of them during breaks and lunchtimes.

Support is offered at a range of levels, and individual needs are taken into account. Depending on their level of English, students may receive weekly individual lessons to develop fluency in reading, writing and speaking, whereas more advanced EAL learners may be supported in mainstream lessons by our EAL teaching assistants.

Home languages of EAL students are valued, and where possible, students are encouraged to sit GCSE's in their mother tongue. The languages our students have taken so far include Polish, Russian, Arabic, Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati, Chinese, Italian and Turkish.