The Year 7 curriculum begins with a transition unit, building on the skills and knowledge acquired at KS2. Over the course of the year, students will then study a number of different texts and topics, including: being introduced to Shakespeare’s plays; studying a modern play; exploring a selection of poetry from different time periods, as well as exploring both fiction and non-fiction texts from the Nineteenth Century. Students will complete an assessment at the end of each half term, based on the unit of work, with final end-of-year examinations in reading and writing skills. These exams will be based on the skills developed over the course of the year, so revision will be very important.
During Year 8, students will continue to build on their knowledge of a range of text types, studying units on both contemporary texts and texts from our literary heritage, of both fiction and non-fiction. Students will also complete a unit on presentational skills, to develop their Speaking and Listening. Students will be expected to show their knowledge of each text and its context in the form of essay-type responses, which also include analysis and awareness of the writer’s techniques. Each half term, students will be assessed for their proficiency on the skills, whether reading or writing, developed throughout the unit of work. Year 8 students will also sit an end-of-year exam which will cover the skills studied throughout the year, so revision is vital.
In Year 9, students will begin preparing for their GCSEs in both English Language and Literature. They will develop their reading writing skills, learning how to vary their writing for different audiences and different purposes, and focusing on analysing writers’ methods within a text. Students will solidify their knowledge of Shakespearian conventions by exploring ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and will also study ‘Animal Farm’, a number of extracts taken from Nineteenth Century texts, building on their understanding of the language used by writers in Nineteenth Century literature. Additionally, students will study a selection of poetry based on a particular theme. As with Years 7 and 8, students will sit end-of-year exams which will assess their progress in the key skills required for the GCSE course.
For each unit, students are given an ‘Independent Learning Project’ booklet. Over the course of the half-term, students will be expected to complete three tasks from a list of given options, including one written, one visual and one oral task. Additionally, students will be given an Independent Study Task to complete, usually a research task, to complete prior to studying a new unit of work.
The English department runs a fortnightly Book Club and a fortnightly Creative Writing Club. The English department also runs a Book Fair twice a year, giving students the opportunity to buy discounted books in school.
Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Development
The English department encourages spiritual, moral and social development. Students engage with values and beliefs, including religious beliefs when engaging with specifically Christian focused texts. Questions of morality and justice are considered carefully by students when studying a range of texts, and the key British values of equality and tolerance are explored when assessing the context of, for example, the Nineteenth Century. Students are encouraged to explore and develop what animates themselves and others through various speaking and listening activities. Creative writing tasks (monologues, diary entries etc) and the Creative Writing Club are used to give students the opportunity to understand human feelings and emotions, the way they affect people and how an understanding of them can be helpful. The department has a strong commitment to the development of cultural capital and often uses music and art as well as history and literature to elucidate key learning intentions. Book Club provides students with opportunities to explore texts of cultural value outside of lessons.