"One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world"

- Malala Yousafzai - 

The English Department at Barnsley Academy is fully committed to ensuring every student makes above expected progress in both reading and writing. Our team is determined to equip our students with both the skills and qualifications that will open doors and allow them to become successful in life.   

Curriculum Vision 

Our English curriculum develops students into critical, independent readers who are confident, creative communicators. We encourage a sense of enthusiasm around academic study of literature, and, through this, we provide students with the opportunities to learn about different eras, different cultures, different beliefs and themselves. Within the curriculum, the English Department is committed to nurturing our students into becoming powerful readers, with a strength and passion for reading. 

All students make connections between texts and the contexts that they were written in 

We place importance on the teaching of context around the texts that our students learn. Every student has the historical, cultural and social knowledge to effectively understand texts in their context. 

All students have access to a broad and diverse selection of literature texts 

We regularly review and improve our curriculum to ensure that it is diverse and broad. This means that students read about a range of experiences and ideas and see writers and readers as diverse and relevant to their lives. 

Through the reading curriculum, students are exposed to an even broader range of texts that cover a range of literary genres and styles. 

All students develop critical thought around literature 

Within literature, all students are exposed to an aspirational academic standard of literary thinking. This is developed through classroom discussion, Expert Modelling of analytical interpretation leading to Independent Practice, the use of critical theory and expansive questioning.  

All students express themselves confidently and creatively 

Through discussion and writing, students engage with the world and the issues around them. We ensure that their persuasive and discursive writing reflects issues that they encounter in the real world so that they are empowered to comment on and change their environment. 

All students develop a love of reading 

Reading is the foundation of all learning within English. Throughout the curriculum, students are exposed to challenging texts that inspire a love of reading. A range of genres of texts are studied, spanning from adventure bildungsroman and Shakespearean tragedies to nonfiction self-development texts and identity and cultural poetry.  

University and Careers


Our curriculum introduces students to some A level content at KS4. Students are equipped to be able to discuss complex and challenging ideas getting them ready for the rigour of both college and university life. 


We teach students that English is a vital subject for all careers. Being articulate is a skill that we praise highly and that all teachers model. In writing, we ask students to think about why and how they communicate, a skill that can lead to effective writing in all walks of life. 

Career Pathways for English

Below are just a few of the exciting career paths you can pursue with qualifications in English:  

  • Marketing: An English GCSE can begin to pave the way for a career in writing. Marketing includes writing for businesses and brands to promote products, services and ideas. 

  • Copywriter: Copywriter's use their imagination and creativity to produce renowned slogans for the famous brands you wear and see every single day.  

  • Playwright: A playwright is the person responsible for writing material for performance within theatre.  

  • Journalism: A journalist is someone who investigates, collects and presents information as a news story. This can be presented through newspapers, magazines, radio, television and the internet. 

  • Screenwriter: A Screenwriter is a writer who creates the exciting and interesting scripts we see in films, documentaries and TV series.  

  • Ghost Writer: Ghost writing is writing on behalf of others to create a piece of literature, often biographies. Ghost writers transform other people's life story into a piece of literature. 

  • Speech Writer: Speech writing normally consists of creating pieces of writing which are intended to be spoken to a group of people. Many different types of employment and roles require speech writers, including politicians, senior businesspeople, presidents and keynote speakers. 

Examples of apprenticeships that relate to English:

The English Team

The English Department at Barnsley Academy is made up of a dynamic team of teachers who inspire students to achieve highly. Students are encouraged to ask probing questions and debate issues that arise from the literature studied, facilitated with skill and passion by their teachers

  • Brittany Ellis – Head of Department 
  • Ryan Byrne – Assistant Head of Department 
  • Lucy Woods – Teacher of English and Literacy Lead
  • Richard McNicholas – Teacher of English and Vice Principal 
  • Robert Brougham – Teacher of English and Head of Year
  • Harriet Whinkup – Teacher of English 
  • Rowena Brown - Teacher of English and Head of Year
  • Anita Alliu – Teacher of English 
  • Max Rodney - Teacher of English and Music

More Information 

For more information on our curriculum please contact:

Miss Brittany Ellis
Head of English
Ryan Byrne
Assistant Head of English