“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.”
Rita Mae Brown (writer, activist, feminist)
We believe all students deserve an English curriculum that is ambitious and rich in knowledge. We aim to instil a life-long passion for reading and critical thinking; we are passionate about developing creative, articulate young people that can articulate themselves with confidence in real world situations. In line with the Trust’s vision, we want all young people to ‘make outstanding progress’ through an exciting English curriculum that aims to provide our learners with a secure knowledge-base in literacy that sets them up for life as successful, valuable and socially responsible young people.
Careful consideration has been, and continues to be, put into developing the English curriculum; the curriculum spirals and is planned and sequenced so that new component knowledge and skills build on what has been previously taught; we revisit key component knowledge throughout years 7-11. Each year, we explore Shakespeare, Poetry and a range of canonical and seminal Literature, building up and consolidating knowledge. Our carefully sequenced, broad and balanced curriculum, underpinned by inclusive practice, aims to provide our children with the opportunity to build on their experiences in order to achieve their goals. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education across the curriculum.
Students will be taught units of work that cover and go beyond the requirements of the national curriculum, and this should enable students to:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding,
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information,
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language,
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage,
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences,
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to articulate, elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas,
- have competence in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate,
- think critically and perceptively.
English has an important role in developing students’ cultural capital. English is key for developing a student’s cultural awareness, knowledge and competence; it is one of the key ingredients a student will draw upon to be successful in society, their career and the world of work. Studying English helps shape pupils’ sense of identity by giving them an opportunity to understand and discuss the impact of Literature. By reading widely and often, pupils understand and investigate a range of contexts, genres and time periods that are relatable to their own identity and heritage.
Some examples of key issues that are discussed are; Power and Conflict, Personal Identity, Social Responsibility, Discrimination and Prejudice, Belief Systems and Political Ideologies, Gender and Relationships.