In the English Department, we are committed to creating real writers with real stories to tell, confident speakers who know what they think as well as passionate young people who empathise with different perspectives and love to read. We empower students with the ability to access ideas that underpin the world in which we live and then to give students the tools to act on what they feel passionate about. By scaffolding big ideas (through sequenced statements) and key skills across our units of work, we will support the progress of all students from Year 7 to Year 13 and beyond. You can see this on our curriculum map below.
Along this journey, students will think about social responsibility and the way in which power is distributed. Across each year, students will practise transactional writing such as letters, argument writing, persuasive speeches and articles. We aim to give students experience in writing for real-life situations to empower them to make a practical impact on the world around them. Supporting students in developing stronger literacy skills is at our forefront and we incorporate the learning of new vocabulary in all our schemes of work through direct vocabulary instruction. A dedicated approach to literacy marking will ensure that students are able to identify and improve their own SPAG. We will create confident young people who are aware of, and know how to use, their powerful voices.
Throughout the English curriculum, students are taught Literature and non-fiction texts that relate to three Big Ideas which enable students to engage with different viewpoints of the writers and think critically about the world around them. These ‘big ideas’ all relate to the GCSE and A Level set texts, and students engage with ideas that spiral in complexity across the key stages. We do not shy away from teaching texts that help students engage with complex social issues and are committed to fostering a safe classroom environment to support students in the discussion of ideas and attitudes. We are very proud of the diversity of the school community and teach literature that enables students to develop empathy with a range of perspectives from different social, racial and historical backgrounds.
The development of key skills features across each year group with the planned schemes of work incorporating and building on the big ideas so that knowledge and skills are repeated and embedded. These mastery skills are communicated to students in class through the use of marking codes that support students in understanding their strengths and ways to improve with each unit taught and assessed piece of work completed. By the end of their 5 year, we aim for students to be masterful crafters of language, individual lovers of reading and confident speakers able to express their own viewpoint.