Aim

Our aim is for students to:

  • read easily, fluently, with good understanding and comprehension
  • develop the habit of reading a breadth of texts for information and for pleasure
  • approach texts critically: analysing, inferring and evaluating in order to understand writers’ intention
  • acquire a wide vocabulary to facilitate reading, writing, and oracy skills
  • write clearly, accurately, coherently and engagingly for a range of purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn, explaining their own views and listening to those of others both informally and formally
  • develop cultural capital by reading, writing and talking about lives beyond their own

Course principles

Examples of how we match and exceed the National Curriculum:

  • read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, including in particular whole books, short stories, poems and plays with a wide coverage of genres, historical periods, forms and authors
                ⇒  we are studying up to date Young Adult fiction as well
  • the range will include high-quality works from English Literature, both pre-1914 and contemporary, including prose, poetry and drama.
    ⇒  Shakespeare (two plays in Key Stage 3) we read a Shakespeare play each year in Year 7, 8, and 10.  We also study a selection of Shakespeare’s sonnets and extracts from other plays.
  • understand increasingly challenging texts through: learning new vocabulary, relating it explicitly to known vocabulary and understanding it with the help of context and dictionaries
              ⇒   we explicitly teach vocabulary at the beginning of each unit and use research-based methods to aid recall
  • studying setting, plot, and characterisation, and the effects of these
              ⇒   we build on this foundation each year in increasing complexity
  • make an informed personal response, recognising that other responses to a text are possible and evaluating these
              ⇒   we build an increasing critical voice and build interpretative skill
  • write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length: a range of other narrative and non-narrative texts
              ⇒   we write for real purposes and audiences and link narrative writing to reading

The Year 7 -11 curriculum follows three threshold complex knowledge webs of: inference, writers’ intention, and reflection in writing. These knowledge areas underpin the choice of topics and are the driving force for the whole curriculum. The topics and texts are sequenced to be increasingly challenging through years 7 to 11.  These thresholds are returned to in each term with knowledge webs being reminded, honed and developed: in this way it works on a snowballing principle. This also aids long term memory and ensures that all learning is connected to previous units.

Each term has explicit curriculum goals; schemes of work are clearly phased with components of learning outlined on short term plans with clear goals and progress check points. Check- ins are formative assessments and take the form of multiple choice/quiz knowledge checks for immediate diagnosis of students’ weaknesses and misconceptions. Summative assessment are the end goals and take the form of written response to reading and writing for audience and purpose. In this way assessment follows a progression model.

Through reading, comprehending, analysing and evaluating a rich and broad breadth of texts (both of the canon and new YA texts), students will be able to use the vocabulary and style that they have been exposed to as a springboard for their own writing. Vocabulary will also be taught at the beginning of each unit and constantly returned to. All forms of writing poetry/fiction/drama/non-fiction will be covered each term in order to ensure mastery of skills; in this way skills are snowballed.