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English

      'The English language is nobody’s special property. It is the property of the imagination.’       - Derek Walcott 

There is something for everyone within English. Students study a wide range of exciting authors, deconstruct various types of texts and create many different forms of writing, as well as honing their spoken skills. As part of the joint specialism, we aim to not only raise achievement in English through quality teaching and high expectations but also to raise achievement across the whole Academy in innovative and exciting ways.  

In English, we work closely with the library to enhance students’ research skills and to foster a love of reading.  Year 7 and 8 students participate in Renaissance Reading - a computer-based programme designed to improve literacy skills, which students can access at home as well as in school. All of the Key Stage 3 schemes have been designed to mirror the skills and requirements of GCSE in order to support students on their journey to successfully obtaining outstanding results at GCSE.  

Students work towards two qualifications at GCSE – English Language and English Literature – for which they are given the opportunity to explore a range of literary texts from Shakespeare to modern prose and plays. In addition to this, students explore a range of fiction extracts that support and develop the skills required for the GCSE language papers. There is also a non-fiction element to the GCSE, providing students with the opportunity to consider the importance of persuasion and entertainment, considering both their own and other’s language and the impact it has. 

Courses in English

Key Stage 4

  • GCSE English Literature(AQA)
  • GCSE English Language(AQA)

Key Stage 3 Curriculum 2020-21

English Curriculum Vision

Our overarching question for our curriculum is the key driving force behind everything we do in the English Department is ‘What does it mean to be human?’. Literature is a reflection of what society thinks and feels at particular moments in history (both modern and otherwise) and our curriculum aims to take a closer look at poignant moments to allow students to create a love of literature and language.    

In the English department we believe in making sure our students are given a wide breadth and depth of knowledge across both language and literature that not only sets them up for excellent GCSE results but also life beyond our classroom. We teach a thematic curriculum which ensures that key skills are interleaved throughout and means that every single student has the chance to revisit and recap key knowledge and skills meaning that no single lesson is ever wasted. In every scheme of learning not only do we read a key text (prose or play) but we also ensure that students are given a varied diet of relevant poetry and non-fiction too. We believe in ensuring that our students are adequately challenged in the classroom to really push them onto ambitious concepts and texts whilst making sure appropriate scaffolds are in place so that your child can access this ambitious and relevant content. As both a school and a department we want students to become wholesome and well-rounded citizens that can both succeed and achieve.    

Students have the right to a rich curriculum, and we believe this what we offer in our English department. 

Year 7

NB Every student will also have a lesson in the library where students will read books that link to the English schemes of learning to provide an even richer reading experience. 

Term

Project

Project Focus

Term 1

Wonder

The beginning of this term actually starts with a transition period; every class will read extracts from and work from the transition novel Wonder by RJ Palacio. This is mirrored across the school as every subject will use Wonder as their inspiration for Year 7s early few weeks into the academy.  

The History of Storytelling 

Big Question: How do stories change over time? 

This scheme of work runs right up until Christmas and explores the earliest stories in our Literary Canon including key Classic and Greek mythology, Biblical stories, the development of our language. It begins by exploring how stories and storytelling changes over time, how contextual factors impact how stories are told as well as looking at archetypal characters and their role in literature. The stories and texts that are chosen for this scheme of work means that every single text that comes after it for both year 8 and 9 but also GCSE Literature and Language can be linked back to it’s starting point here. The skills taught cover both reading comprehension, analysis and narrative writing. It is a wonderful introduction to the magic of Literature and enables students to understand the origin and evolution of literature throughout time.  

 

 

 

Term 2

Childhood 

Big Question: How does our childhood shape us? 

After Christmas, we then move onto reading Diary of Adrian Mole and how literature explores the idea of growing up and the challenges that come alongside it. We also read stories from different perspectives and look to compare how our individual childhood may differ from someone else’s experience. We read extracts from Oliver Twist and other Dickens’ novels as well as poetry and more modern texts that discuss childhood and families, childhood and schooling and how our childhood shapes us in the future. As with all of our schemes of learning, we embed poetry and relevant non-fiction articles to ensure that students can grasp how all aspects of language work together rather that sitting as different entities. The skills covered in this scheme are reading comprehensions, analysis of language as well as descriptive writing and journal/diary writing.  

 

 

 

Term 3

Identity, Community and Culture 

Big Question: What does it mean to be part of a community?  

Year 7 ends with an exploration of what it means to be ‘them’ but also an exploration of different cultures and communities. We read a range of short stories from a variety of writers whilst providing students with an experience of Yorkshire literature to showcase local talent including Simon Armitage, the current poet laureate. This covers a writing from very local Leeds authors but also those from different places around the globe while we explore what it means to have a community and what our British culture is. Students will continue to build on reading analysis but begin to look at more challenging skills such as evaluation as well as comparison between texts. The writing skills covered are narrative writing, some poetry writing as well as how to write both informal and formal letters using examples and key themes from the scheme as inspiration.  

 

Year 8

NB Every student will also have a lesson in the library where students will read books that link to the English schemes of learning to provide an even richer reading experience. 

Half Term

Project

Project Focus

Term 1

Gothic Literature  

Big Question: How are texts intrinsically linked to the social, historical and political anxieties of the time? 

Year 8 starts with an exploration of gothic literature, in line with looking at how key social and historical context has an impact on the way literature is written. Students will look at the impact of Byron and both Percy and Mary Shelley coming together in Villa Diadoti and how this was the birth of texts such as Frankenstein and Dracula. We evaluate the impact that Romanticism, Industrial Revolution and scientific advancements had on writers and the way tension, suspense and uncertainty is developed in these texts. Students then look at how writers create characters and setting so that they can write a description of their own gothic character using the key gothic motifs studied throughout. We link back to the local Bronte sisters as a way of weaving in more Yorkshire literature and discuss the impact of setting in gothic literature. After looking at a range of Gothic texts we study Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in its entirety and students look at the social and moral implications of this novel and how this can be read as a Victorian reader but also in modern society. Students end with a literature essay looking at how far A Christmas Carol can be considered gothic.  

 

 

 

Term 2

Power and Conflict 

Big Question: How is the exploitation of the powerless by the powerful represented and challenged? 

This scheme will focus on a study of Julius Caesar by Shakespeare and looking at how rhetoric is used by those in a position of power to control, manipulate or use it for the good of the people. Students will explore the way characters behave and interact whilst looking at the theme of betrayal and how language has power. To compliment this study of Shakespeare, students will explore the rhetoric of leaders throughout the World Wars and how poets use language to counteract and respond to this in times of conflict. We also study the British Empire and how the power and control of empire can be used to exploit people around the world and the way it is intrinsically linked to modern society and poet’s response to this. Students will continue to analyse and evaluate language use across different text types and will focus on writing non-fiction texts; particularly speeches and how to write from a particular viewpoint.  

 

 

 

Term 3

Expeditions and Escapades 

Big Question: Why is travel important and how does this link to our understanding of our place in the world? 

Year 8 ends with a wonderful plethora of texts from around the world! Students will study Life of Pi with a focus on the way writers use language to create descriptions of the world around them and evaluate the impact of using imagery. The study of this text is interleaved with travel writing texts from Bill Bryson and other writers as well as looking at 19th Century explorers and addressing the prejudices some people face around the world. This scheme builds onto the last Year 7 scheme focussing on the local and community where this scheme takes students on a journey beyond their local area and why it is important to learn about the world beyond Yorkshire. Students continue to build on reading skills and will write a piece of travel writing about somewhere they have visited (near or far) and then work on creating their own adventure story.  

 

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Breakdown

Year 9 - Exam specification AQA

Half Term

Topic

Learning Outcomes

Assessment

Term 1

Shakespeare: Macbeth

(GCSE Link – Literature Paper 1)

To develop a secure knowledge of the play Macbeth so that students can improve the key skills needed to succeed in the English Literature exam.

Starting with this speech explain how far your think Shakespeare presents Macbeth. 

Write about:

  • How Shakespeare presents Macbeth in this speech
  • How Shakespeare presents Macbeth in the play as a whole.

 

Poetry: Love & Relationships

(GCSE Link – Literature Paper 2))

To examine key poems from the anthology to secure knowledge regarding the poet’s intention and how context can influence poetry.

Compare how poets present platonic love in ‘Mother, any distance’ by Simon Armitage and in one other poem from ‘Love and relationships’.

 

 

 

 

Term 2

Modern Text: Animal Farm

(GCSE Link: Literature Paper 2)

To develop a secure knowledge of the novella Animal Farm so that students can improve the key skills needed to succeed in the English Literature exam.

How does Orwell use the character of Old Major to suggest ways that society could be improved?

Write about:

  • What society is shown to be like in Old Major’s speech and how it might be improved
  • How Orwell presents society through what Old Major says and does..

Shakespeare: Macbeth

(GCSE Link – Literature Paper 1)

To develop a secure knowledge of the play Macbeth so that students can improve the key skills needed to succeed in the English Literature exam.

Starting with this speech explain how far your think Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as ambitious. 

Write about:

  • How Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth in this speech
  • How Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth in the play as a whole.

 

 

 

 

 Term 3 


Shakespeare: Macbeth

(GCSE Link – Literature Paper 1)

To develop a secure knowledge of the play Macbeth so that students can improve the key skills needed to succeed in the English Literature exam.

Starting with this speech explain how far your think Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as ambitious. 

Write about:

  • How Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth in this speech
  • How Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth in the play as a whole. 

 

Poetry: Love & Relationships

(GCSE Link – Literature Paper 2)

To continue to examine key poems from the anthology to secure knowledge regarding the poet’s intention and how context can influence poetry.

Compare how poets present love in ‘Winter Swans’ by Owen Sheers and in one other poem from ‘Love and relationships’. 

Poetry: Unseen

(GCSE Link – Literature Paper 2)

To examine a range of unseen poems to secure a strong knowledge of poetic techniques and writer’s methods.

In ‘To a Daughter Leaving Home’, how does the poet present the speaker’s feelings about her daughter?

 

 

Year 10 - Exam specification AQA

Half Term

Topic

Learning Outcomes

Assessment

Term 1

19th Century Text: The Sign of Four

(Literature Paper 1)

To develop a secure knowledge of the novella The Sign of Four so that students can improve the key skills needed to succeed in the English Literature exam.

 

Students will complete exam style questions throughout the scheme to boost familiarity with the exam style and prepare them for the GCSE.

 

 

 

 

Term 2

Shakespeare: Macbeth

(Literature Paper 1)

To develop a secure knowledge of the play Macbeth so that students can improve the key skills needed to succeed in the English Literature exam.

SStudents will complete exam style questions throughout the scheme to boost familiarity with the exam style and prepare them for the GCSE.

 

 

 

 

Term 3 


Poetry: Love & Relationships

(GCSE Link – Literature Paper 2)

To examine key poems from the anthology to secure knowledge regarding the poet’s intention and how context can influence poetry.

Students will complete exam style questions throughout the scheme to boost familiarity with the exam style and prepare them for the GCSE.

Language Paper 1: Creative Reading & Writing

The exploration of creative works of fiction from the 19th, 20th and 21st century, considering how and why writers influence readers.

Students will complete exam style questions throughout the scheme to boost familiarity with the exam style and prepare them for the final GCSE. Question 1 will be tested as the connect activity from Lesson 1 – 15 allowing progress to be tracked over time. Students will also complete a full paper as a mock exam.

Modern Text: Animal Farm

(GCSE Link – Literature Paper 2)

To explore key concepts of the novella Animal Farm in order to develop the key skills needed to succeed in the English Literature exam.

Students will complete a pre-assessment during the first part of this unit in the style of the GCSE exams. This will then be revisited in Year 11 and further testing will take place.

19th Century Text: The Sign of Four

(Literature Paper 1)

Continue to develop a secure knowledge of the novella The Sign of Four so that students can improve the key skills needed to succeed in the English Literature exam.

Students will complete exam style questions throughout the scheme to boost familiarity with the exam style and prepare them for the GCSE.

 

Year 11 - Exam specification AQA 

Half Term

Topic

Learning Outcomes

Assessment

Term 1 

Language Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

The exploration of non-fiction writing from the 19th, 20th and 21st century, considering how and why writers influence readers.

 

Students will complete exam style questions throughout the scheme to boost familiarity with the exam style and prepare them for the final GCSE. Question 1 will be tested as the connect activity from Lesson 1 – 15 allowing progress to be tracked over time. Students will also complete a full paper as a mock exam.

 

Poetry: Love & Relationships

(GCSE Link – Literature Paper 2)

To examine key poems from the anthology to secure knowledge regarding the poet’s intention and how context can influence poetry.

 

Students will complete exam style questions throughout the scheme to boost familiarity with the exam style and prepare them for the GCSE.

 

 

 

 

 

Term 2  

 

Modern Text: Animal Farm

(GCSE Link: Literature Paper Two)

To develop a secure knowledge of the chosen play so that

students can improve the key skills needed to succeed in the English Literature exam.

Students will complete exam style questions throughout the scheme to boost familiarity with the exam style and prepare them for the GCSE.

Language Paper 1: Creative Reading & Writing

 

The exploration of creative works of fiction from the 19th, 20th and 21st century, considering how and why writers influence readers.

Students will complete exam style questions throughout the scheme to boost familiarity with the exam style and prepare them for the final GCSE. Question 1 will be tested as the connect activity from Lesson 1 – 15 allowing progress to be tracked over time. Students will also complete a full paper as a mock exam.

 


Term 3 


 

Teacher led revision of all GCSE topics:

  • Language Paper One
  • Language Paper Two
  • Macbeth
  • The Sign of Four
  • Animal Farm
  • Love & Relationships Poetry
  • Unseen Poetry


For further information on the curriculum offered please contact the Academy F.A.O Miss R Kilburn by email  kilburn.r@whiteroseacademies.org