Staff Quote

Subject Leader

Miss Red Bensley


Teaching Staff

  • Mrs Josephine de Garis (Second in Department)
  • Mr Martin Tingle
    (English Teacher with Responsibilities)
  • Mr John Gibbens
  • Mrs Katya Gibbs
  • Mrs Bethan Griffiths
  • Mr Guy Hassan
  • Ms Bernadette Kirby
  • Miss Jessica Pitman
  • Miss Saadia Rehman
  • Ms Christine Townsend

The value of English in the curriculum? What can I say? Without English, nothing. And without good English, nothing very well.

Anne Fine, author

English is the language of the future, the language of the computer. English is the most important tool you’ll ever need, no matter what career you choose. You have the right to English. Make it your right!

Benjamin Zephaniah, Poet

Studying English literature at school was my first, and probably my biggest, step towards mental freedom and independence. It was like falling in love with life.

Ian McEwan, author

The Importance of English

English is a subject at the heart of secondary education – a subject that enables us all to engage with literature, language, culture and history. It is a subject that instils and encourages creativity and valuable skills for work and for life.

Key Stage 3

KS3 students at the Voyager Academy study a rich and diverse curriculum that provides students with stretch and challenge. Building upon the achievements of Key Stage 2, our curriculum is designed to emulate the AQA examinations that students study in Year 11. Students are assessed each half-term and teachers work with students to develop the vital examination skills needed throughout their school careers.

Students will gain experience with a range of different types of writing and reading – from persuasive and argumentative texts to analysis of writers’ methods. Students also read a variety of literature novels, from Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games to gothic literature and poetry.

Links to useful websites for KS3



Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 students (those in Years 10 and 11) are set in gendered groups, as studies show this facilitates progress and enables our teachers to tailor teaching specifically to the needs of their students. Our students study the revised AQA GCSEs in English Language (8700) and English Literature (8702). These qualifications are 100% terminal – they are assessed entirely through examinations at the end of Year 11.

GCSE English Language enables students to read and write different text types – from creative reading and writing, where writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to engage the interest of readers, to non-fiction texts where different writers present their viewpoints in a range of ways. The qualification also includes a spoken assessment, which provides students with the opportunity to develop speaking and listening skills for life.

The English Literature GCSE is engaging and challenges students to engage with a diverse range of texts. Students study a Shakespeare play, a novel from the Nineteenth Century, a modern text and a collection of poems that are thematically linked. These texts help deepen the understanding of contexts and issues within the English Language GCSE, allowing both to be studied alongside one another.

Links to useful websites for KS4





Key Stage 5

We offer Post-16 students, who perform well at GCSE, the option of A-Level English Language (AQA 7701, 7702) or English Literature B (AQA 7716, 7717). Both are two-year courses. In the first year, students undertake an AS-Level qualification, before completing the full A-Level In the second year. A-Level study encourages students to become independent learners and practitioners.

English Language further develops GCSE skills to deliver a qualification based around English usage in different forms and contexts. The qualification is based around data analysis and research-based investigative writing, and enables students to develop and sustain arguments and writing skills that are invaluable for further study and future employment.

English Literature tasks students with studying a range of different texts, based around the genres of comedy and crime writing. These include Shakespearean drama and more modern texts. Students have the opportunity to engage with a non-examined assessment which explores critical theory – approaches that form the basis of literary study in A-Level and into University.