Gloucester Academy Learning & Education


At GA, we put real focus into developing every child’s ability to master English. A confidence with literacy almost guarantees academic progress in all other subjects. If a pupil cannot confidently read age-appropriate books and write with skill by the end of year 9, they will struggle at school in the GCSE years. Because of this, the school invests a great deal of resources (superb teachers, support from teaching assistants, pupil premium funding, full sets of reading books for each class in years 7, 8, and 9) to ensure that all children master literacy and develop a love of reading.

We expect our most able English students to be fully involved in writing assignments and essays of real quality, to publish poetry (as part of the Cheltenham Literature Festival), and be involved in our drama productions too. We want them to achieve the highest grades at GCSE and continue onto an A-level in English literature.

The unique year 7 New Basics curriculum, which includes many aspects of geography, history, oracy, thinking skills, and religious studies, is driven by literacy. One teacher leads this and follows each child’s progress for 40% of their timetable, and this teacher, who knows each of their students really well, brings high expectations and sets high standards of presentation, skill, and accuracy in their writing. Along with English lessons, this means that there is a high proportion of lessons with a literacy focus.

In KS3, we focus on challenging texts (Oliver Twist, Inspector Calls) and Shakespeare, developing skills with each text. A significant role of the English and New Basics teams is to help pupils to develop a love of reading. We invest in an accelerated reader scheme and a comprehensive Lexia programme. Our tutor time, which takes place each afternoon for 20 minutes for years 7, 8, and 9, is dedicated to joint reading and the list of texts is exciting and challenging.

Excellent Books for Pupils to Read by Year 8

We need your help as parents to support your child by having them read as many of these books as possible before they come to GA in September to build their confidence:

  • Holes – Louis Sachar
  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
  • Private Peaceful – Michael Morpugo
  • The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J. K. Rowling
  • Candyfloss – Jacqueline Wilson
  • Stormbreaker – Antony Horowitz
  • The Recruit – Robert Muchamore
  • Cirque Du Freak – Darren Shan
  • The Suitcase Kid – Jacqueline Wilson
  • The Magician’s Nephew – C. S. Lewis
  • A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  • Peter Pan – J. M. Barrie
  • Face – Benjamin Zephaniah

English Curriculum

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