Key Stage 3
The intention of our English curriculum is to provide an excellent education for all and to create successful, resilient, highly literate students who are articulate communicators, attentive listeners and passionate learners. The English curriculum aims to build students’ cultural capital, and develop their reading and writing skills through analysis and exploration of a wide range of genres and culturally diverse texts including non fiction, poetry, 19th century, Shakespearean plays and modern novels. In addition students are offered many opportunities to develop their oracy with presentations and debates on a range of topics.
The English curriculum has a deliberate focus on increasing students’ vocabulary, which is supported by our use of Bedrock Vocabulary and knowledge organisers. There is a strong focus on developing analytical skills across key stage 3 through a rigorous focus on the authorial intention and purpose. Students are encouraged to develop their understanding of how meaning is shaped through writing, and then to practise and develop this themselves in their own work. This builds the required familiarity with the rigorous requirements of the GCSE exams. Frequent and purposeful practise of extended writing and exam-style questions is also built into the curriculum which becomes progressively more challenging.
Key Stage 4
The English Language curriculum has been created to allow students to study a range of literary fiction and non-fiction texts, examining how writers build up description for effect in their writing, use language and structure for specific purposes and how writers convey their viewpoint persuasively. Additionally, students will develop their skills in writing for different purposes: descriptive, argumentative, advisory, explanatory, and persuasive writing. Accuracy in spelling, punctuation, and grammar continues to be a key focus. There is a continued focus on developing students’ oracy skills and they undertake a separate endorsement for Speaking and Listening.
In English Literature, students continue to build on and develop their analytical ability and essay writing skills through the study of key set texts that encompass a range of genres and eras. These include: a Shakespeare play, a nineteenth-century novel, a modern novel or drama text, and poetry. Students are challenged to think deeply and to consider how the writers have used literary devices for effect by closely focusing on key words, elements of structure, characterisation, setting, themes and links to social and historical context that they have incorporated into their works. Students continue to actively participate in debates, presentations and clear articulation of their personal responses to themes, ideas and authorial viewpoints.