Key Stage 3
The English Key Stage 3 curriculum is student-driven and embraces the idea that very little in life is so binary that it has a right or wrong answer. Our curriculum embraces a broad range of topics at both local and hidden levels, engendering an appreciation of human creativity and achievement. We offer challenge and support to enable all learners to make progress and do not subscribe to ‘intervention-led’ approaches which remove the joy from our subject.
We encourage students to undertake the same behaviours as professional writers. Our curriculum teaches the entire writing process from generating ideas to planning, writing, re-drafting, proof-reading thus removing the climate of fear around writing and encouraging a sense of volition in terms of our students’ motivation to write.
We also teach grammatical concepts and rules in a logical sequence, allowing students to deliberately practise concepts to the point of mastery. Because to enjoy phrases, sentences and paragraphs, it helps to know how they’re put together; how language works. Yes, grammar is important!
Reading for pleasure
We introduce students to the shared reading of a range of engaging texts and use this as an opportunity to explicitly teach vocabulary, enabling students’ integration of this vocabulary as opposed to their words being ‘divorced’ from the fluency of responses and meaning.
We continually expose our students to challenging stories which have changed the world, broadening their idea of what ‘English’ is, involving them proactively in their own learning and providing opportunities for spiritual, moral and cultural debate.
To assist students in developing their own literacy skills as independent learners, we have timetabled lessons dedicated to literacy with a view to developing the role of speaking and listening within the curriculum in the form of a fortnightly ‘pens down’ lesson. Such lessons cumulate in visible, high profile events such as debating and public speaking competitions.
Our Key Stage 3 curriculum includes a fully integrated assessment model. A new assessment framework for years 7, 8 and 9 has been developed in line with the new, whole-school KASH approach to assessment.
Student wellbeing is as important as academic outcomes and will be treated as such and we strive to maintain a culture of support for our students.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, students follow the AQA syllabus, leading to a GCSE in both English Language and English Literature.
In a manner similar to Key Stage 3, we integrate the teaching of sophisticated, subject-specific vocabulary and grammar and writing skills into our lessons, balancing the technical elements of the course with the more holistic aspects of the study of Language and Literature.
For English Literature, students study a rich variety of texts including a Shakespeare play, a nineteenth century novel, a modern text and a range of poetry. For English Language, students study towards two exams: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing and Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives. The papers require students to respond to both fiction and non-fiction texts as well as demonstrating their ability to write in different styles and for different audiences. Finally, students undertake a non-exam assessment in Spoken Language.
Assessments consist of ‘mock’ versions of the different GCSE exam components alongside formal mock exams. Students receive formal feedback after each assessment point. This cumulates in four GCSE exams taken at the end of the course.
Enrichment activities include theatre trips, writing workshops, Rotary public speaking competitions, book clubs, visiting authors, and access to an audiobook platform.
Key Stage 5
"Language tethers us to the world; without it we spin like atoms" Penelope Lively
The A level qualification is a two year course which consists of two examinations and two pieces of coursework.
Students develop a clearer understanding of the English language - which is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world today - by studying its structures and functions along with its developments and variations. Students will also develop awareness of how language is connected with other aspects of society, through technology, power, gender, culture and ethnicity.
Students consider how we learn to speak and write and how language has changed over the centuries and continues to change and create new words.
Students learn how to collect language data and how to analyse, interpret and evaluate it as well as gaining an understanding of language diversity, language change over time and the varying attitudes towards language use.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!" Hunter S. Thompson
We value the fact that to study literature is to study both what and how it is to be human. The A level course provides an experience that only literature can give you: that of seeing and understanding the world through another person’s viewpoint and emotional prism.
You will gain most from studying English Literature if you love reading and sharing ideas about what you’ve read, enjoy discussion and developing a line of argument, and, if you like, to evaluate the ideas of others.
The A level qualification is a two year course which has three components:
- Aspects of Comedy or Tragedy
- Elements of Crime or Political and Protest Writing
For Paper 1, students study three texts: one Shakespeare text; a second drama text and one further text, of which one must be written pre-1900. They are subsequently assessed by a two and a half hour written examination which will include one passage-based question on a set Shakespeare text, one essay question based on the same text, and one essay question linking the other two texts.
For Paper 2, students study three texts: one post-2000 prose text; one poetry text and one further text, one of which must be written pre-1900. The three hour written examination includes one compulsory question on an unseen passage, one essay question on a set text and one essay question which connects two texts.
Coursework consists of the study of two texts: one poetry and one prose text, informed by study of a Critical Anthology.
Key Stage 5
Please view our Sixth Form Courses Booklet for more information about this subject in Sixth Form.
|Key Stage 3 Curriculum Map||Download|
|Key Stage 4 Curriculum Map||Download|
|Key Stage 5 English Language Curriculum Map||Download|
|Key Stage 5 English Literature Curriculum Map||Download|
|AQA English Language and Literature Long Term Plan||Download|