Our curriculum across both KS3 and KS4 is driven by our intent: to create real readers, real writers and real critics, who understand the power, appreciate the power and can use the power, of the written and spoken word.
Through our decisions about curriculum structure and content, we aim to take students on a journey which will ignite and foster a passion for speaking, listening, reading and writing. We want our students to truly appreciate the magnificent power language possesses. We want them to see how it can be used to make a reader or listener FEEL, how it can cause them to think and ask big questions. We want them to feel a sense of awe and wonder at how skilled those writers and orators are, who are able to command this power so that ultimately, they can BE those writers and orators and use those skills – both in examinations and beyond. Further – and crucially – we want our students to become fully rounded, empathetic, understanding human beings whose own experiences and lives are illuminated as a result of exposure to the ‘universality’ of themes and ideas explored within texts.
Key Stage 3 – English Language & English Literature
In Year 7, our Schemes of Learning are built around our ‘Big Questions’ and our aim is to ensure pupils can identify and engage with the ‘Big Ideas’ writers explore and present within their texts.
Are monsters real?
How do authors use the power of words to reveal ‘monsters’ in the world?
What are the origins of storytelling?
What powerful lessons do fairy tales teach us?
Can powerful messages be sent using only a few words?
Is poetry more powerful than prose at making you think and feel?
Do these powerful messages cross boundaries of time and place?
Are Shakespeare’s words still powerful to a modern audience?
Is it only literature that has power?
Can the power of words be used in the real world?
In Year 8, our Schemes of Learning build upon this, and now as well as being attuned to understanding the writer’s messages to a reader, we seek to develop pupil ability to dissect the palette of language devices a writer draws upon to successfully craft these messages, learning how to analyse and critique with confidence.
Are texts a mirror held up to society?
How do authors use the power of words to reveal the good and bad in mankind?
Do poets have a different ‘power palette?’
What makes poetry so powerful?
Is there power in comedy and can it cross boundaries of time and place?
How can comedy be powerful and still make us think and feel?
Is all non-fiction true?
How can you use the power of words to question the truth?
Are rules important in texts?
Is ‘structure’ as powerful a tool as language?
Year 9 builds upon learning undertaken in Years 7 and 8, and now also seeks to help pupils understand the role a given text’s social, historical and cultural context plays, in shaping a reader’s response. We also seek to further develop pupil’s own mastery of the writer’s palette, studying a novel, thematic short story unit, creative writing unit and non-fiction unit, before beginning to turn to the KS4 Literature text list.