The English curriculum is designed to broaden pupils’ knowledge of their literary heritage as well as building upon skills in reading and writing; studying a vast range of texts and writing, in styles for different purposes and audiences. We seek to provide a stimulating curriculum encouraging pupils to grow as enriched, well-rounded citizens; whilst establishing a life-long love of literature and learning. Our curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to become confident communicators and readers, enabling them to embrace this thought-provoking subject. The curriculum utilises key concepts that underpin the study of the subject: competence, creativity, cultural capital and critical understanding. We aim, through a cohesive and engaging curriculum, to deliver the skills and content outlined in the National Curriculum and to provide opportunities for every student to achieve their potential.
KS3 – English
In KS3, we study two Shakespeare plays: Romeo and Juliet and Othello, also researching the historical and societal background of the era, the playwright and the origins of The Globe.
During this key stage, a unit of work is based upon George Orwell’s Animal Farm, where alongside the study of the text and characters, the influence of the Russian Revolution on the writing is examined; exploring the art of satire and allegory.
Another focus is controversial characters from the world of Literature and we examine individuality, protest and rebellion whilst making fascinating links to current controversial issues in society.
We also look at a broad range of poetry, from significant events like WWI, and the Holocaust to 9/11; building upon pupils’ analytical skills via a variety of forms, structures and poets.
As part of the curriculum, we explore a range of short stories from different voices and study the crafts of memoir writing, article writing and creative prose; as well as the crucial study of rhetoric which underpins the art of persuasion in speech writing. The pupils will then rehearse their oracy skills with the presentation of a speech they have written.
Our curriculum time also focuses on the reading of whole texts over the year; the choice of texts will alter between classes – the main aim being to continue and solidify a love of reading; enhancing reading comprehension skills and expanding vocabulary. Of Mice and Men will be studied along with other texts during these lessons in Year 8.
KS4 – GCSE English Literature
Pupils follow the Eduqas specification for English Literature and study this over two years. The texts we currently study are Shakespeare’s Macbeth, An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestley; A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens as well as a selection of unseen poetry and the Eduqas Poetry Anthology. During the course, we build upon established critical reading skills where pupils make evidence-supported interpretations to a broad range of texts, commenting on writers’ use of language, characterisation, themes and narrative techniques. The study of historical and societal contexts is also a key component to this pathway, with a small proportion of marks in the exams given to technical accuracy such as: punctuation, sentence structures, grammar and spelling.
KS4 – GCSE English Language
Pupils follow the Eduqas specification for English Language and study this over two years. The curriculum typically involves studying representative works from each genre, analysing their characteristics, themes, and narrative techniques for Component 1. For Component 2, it is non-fiction, utilising the same skills but applying them to media texts and other non-fiction sources. The writing requirements of these exams involve a descriptive narrative and two forms of non-fiction writing such as a speech, a review, a letter, a report; a guide or an advertisement leaflet. Students are taught to analyse how language is used in different texts, including newspapers, advertisements, speeches, and online media. They learn to identify and explain the effects of various language features, such as figurative language, persuasive techniques, rhetorical devices, and tone.
The syllabus focuses on developing pupils' reading comprehension abilities. Students are required to read and understand a variety of texts, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama. They learn to analyse the language, structure, and themes of the texts, as well as identifying the writer's techniques and intentions.
The writing component aims to enhance pupils' ability to express themselves clearly and coherently in written form. They are taught different types of writing, such as descriptive, narrative, argumentative, and persuasive. Pupils learn to adapt their writing style for different purposes, audiences, and contexts. The technical accuracy aspect of writing is addressed in lessons, with a focus on grammar, spelling, sentencing and punctuation. Students learn to apply these rules consistently in their writing to enhance clarity, coherence, and accuracy.
Speaking and listening skills are also a fundamental part of the qualification, although not directly assessed in the final GCSE exam, these skills are an integral part of the English Language curriculum. Students participate in discussions, presentations, and debates, developing their ability to articulate their thoughts, listen actively, and engage in effective communication.
Personal Development Opportunities
The study of these subjects provides the development of analysis skills; as well as planning and research skills. There are plentiful opportunities for group work, class discussions and debates on morality and the effects of the era a text was written so historical knowledge is also strengthened. English also enhances vocabulary use for writing and speech; aiding presentation skills as well as the written word - both vital in the workplace and further education. The skill of letter writing is integral to job applications and other opportunities. Evaluative and research skills are practised in this subject, which are important tools at degree level as well as in the workplace. Ultimately, English provides an excellent opportunity to hone language skills, critical thinking abilities, and communication techniques.
Details of the following content for the subject of English can be viewed below: