English - Curriculum Vision
Head of Department - Ms N Daniel
Full Curriculum Map: English Curriculum.pdf
English Literature and Language is the study of the written word and how it is used to educate, challenge, entertain and express opinions and ideas. We see the study of this subject as fundamental to a well-rounded education. Masschelein and Simons’ description of what a school subject is where, ‘students are drawn from their world and made to enter a new one’ is a perfect summation of why we believe this: through literature, and language, students are given the opportunity to hear a variety of voices, across history, considering a vast range of ideas with every text the window to a new world. We also see the subject as a tool for social justice, helping all students regardless of background to stand confidently, able to interpret and converse in the world around them.
Through the subject, students are taught simultaneously to appreciate a viewpoint and way of framing an idea whilst critiquing and challenging both the ideas and the way in which they are communicated. This approach develops their ability to think imaginatively, widening their horizons, exposing them to new perspectives and fostering their cultural sensitivity and empathy. They are also taught the skills and knowledge needed to use the written word to communicate in the real world with clarity and conviction.
All of this is done through a knowledge rich, disciplinary curriculum that emphasises how texts are consciously crafted through language and structure and shaped by the contexts in which they are created and received whilst building a student’s cultural capital. At Key Stage 3, students gain a solid understanding of three forms: novel, play and poetry with a focus on Victorian novels and Shakespearean drama to give them a strong foundation on which to build for their GCSE study. Students’ awareness and understanding of the grammatical rules in language is developed through an independent mastery writing unit that teaches these skills in isolation before being asked to practice them in more complicated pieces of work. Both persuasive and creative writing is taught within this strand. At Key Stage 4, students deepen their knowledge on the three forms explored at KS3, using their accumulated knowledge to offer more insightful analyses and awareness of writers’ methods, intention, and contextual influences. Students will also be given opportunities to read and discuss a range of short stories and non-fiction before practising the methods seen and their knowledge of grammatical rules in their own writing.
We want students to respond to texts critically and appreciate that words on a piece of paper are there to communicate and generate thought; our aim is to encourage students to practice debating their opinions, building this confidence in their ability to assess and articulate with conviction.
Ultimately, our aim is to give students the opportunity to engage with the written word in its many forms and learn how to decipher, debate and write well about the ideas they stimulate, thus allowing them to navigate towards success in whatever field they choose to pursue. Alongside this is the hope that, regardless of whether they continue their study in the subject, we have ignited a joy for the written word and the pleasure of a good book.
The writers’ craft: