Welcome to the English Department
Because we are "we all come together to learn", there is a strong universal element to our curriculum:we give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
Our vision is to enable students to become readers and writers for life. Their study of English will foster a diverse understanding of the world in which we live. They will experience the very best that Literature has to offer and grasp how it can enhance their own lives.
We want students to blossom as fluent speakers, building a repertoire of spoken language skills that will allow them to be articulate communicators and ardent listeners. We want them to be fervid readers who read, and respond ably to, a range of challenging texts from different eras and genres. They will build the skill of using critical interpretations that will inform their own personal responses. They will write coherently and accurately in a range of formats. We aim to develop a passion, interest and curiosity that extends well beyond the page. Students' English skills will help them access other subjects. In studying English, their empathy will challenge them to become better citizens.
At Key Stage 3 we cover formal and creative reading, writing and enrichment (specifically targeting diverse texts). We also embed the skills required for GCSE study but without making the focus GCSE. We ensure a high-frequency focus on subject-specific vocabulary, interleaving skills and alternating between reading and writing. We finish with our Shakespeare/drama study to ensure a progression of challenge. Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is vertically structured so that we are constantly revisiting, refining and expanding. For example, we teach poetry to all year groups in the same half-term to allow us to calibrate the level of challenge and complexity both of text and response. Our use of ongoing assessments through responsive teaching and feedback allows for the monitoring and embedding of long-term knowledge.
In Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 we use AQA's specifications for English Language and English Literature to inform content but continue to use the same approaches of interleaving, revisiting, engaging and challenging. Formative and summative assessments have an exam focus.
We use questioning, responsive feedback, re-creative activities, and whole-class feedback on extended pieces to maximise progress. Our collaboratively-produced resources revolve around challenging texts that we choose to build depth, diversity and cultural capital. We encourage independent reading and research, and offer a poetry club, creative writing club, theatre trips where possible etc.
We use formative assessments during each scheme to monitor ongoing achievements and have moved to a summative assessment at the end of each year. In Key Stage 4 we use Comparative Judgement (and results from external examinations) to measure our impact.
As well as using data from assessments, we use discussion and student voice to measure the extent to which we have achieved our intent.