Purpose of study
English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English teaches pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
The overarching aim for English is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The curriculum for English ensures that all pupils:
· 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 elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
· Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
The curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language continues to underpin the development of pupils’ reading and writing during key stages 3 and 4 and teachers therefore ensure pupils’ confidence and competence in this area continue to develop. Pupils are taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate, as well as continuing to develop their skills in working collaboratively with their peers to discuss reading, writing and speech across the curriculum.
Reading and writing
Reading at key stages 3 and 4 should be wide, varied and challenging. Pupils should be expected to read whole books, to read in depth and to read for pleasure and information.
Pupils continue to develop their knowledge of and skills in writing, refining their drafting skills and developing resilience to write at length. They are taught to write formal and academic essays as well as writing imaginatively. They are taught to write for a variety of purposes and audiences across a range of contexts. This requires an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.
Opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary will arise naturally from their reading and writing. Teachers show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language.
Pupils are taught to control their speaking and writing consciously, understand why sentences are constructed as they are and to use Standard English. They understand and use age-appropriate vocabulary, including linguistic and literary terminology, for discussing their reading, writing and spoken language. This involves consolidation, practice and discussion of language. Pupils learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within teaching.
Teachers build on the knowledge and skills that pupils have been taught at earlier key stages. Decisions about progression should be based on the security of pupils’ linguistic knowledge, skills and understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils whose linguistic development is more advanced are challenged through being offered opportunities for increased breadth and depth in reading and writing. Those who are less fluent consolidate their knowledge, understanding and skills, including through additional practice.
English – Key Stage 3 Subject content
Pupils are taught to:
R1: Develop an appreciation and love of reading, and read increasingly challenging material independently through:
· Reading a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, including in particular whole books, short stories, poems and plays with a wide coverage of genres, historical periods, forms and authors. The range will include high-quality works from:
- English literature, both pre-1914 and contemporary, including prose, poetry and drama
- Shakespeare (two plays) and seminal world literature
· Choosing and reading books independently for challenge, interest and enjoyment.
· Re-reading books encountered earlier to increase familiarity with them and provide a basis for making comparisons.
R2: Understand increasingly challenging texts through:
· Learning new vocabulary, relating it explicitly to known vocabulary and understanding it with the help of context and dictionaries
· Making inferences and referring to evidence in the text
· Knowing the purpose, audience for and context of the writing and drawing on this knowledge to support comprehension
· Checking their understanding to make sure that what they have read makes sense.
R3: Read critically through:
· Knowing how language, including figurative language, vocabulary choice, grammar, text structure and organisational features, presents meaning
· Recognising a range of poetic conventions and understanding how these have been used
· Studying setting, plot, and characterisation, and the effects of these
· Understanding how the work of dramatists is communicated effectively through performance and how alternative staging allows for different interpretations of a play
· Making critical comparisons across texts
· Studying a range of authors, including at least two authors in depth each year.
Pupils are taught to:
W1: Write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length for pleasure and information through:
· Writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences, including:
- well-structured formal expository and narrative essays
- stories, scripts, poetry and other imaginative writing
- notes and polished scripts for talks and presentations
- other narrative and non-narrative texts, including arguments, personal and formal letters
· Summarising and organising material, and supporting ideas and arguments with any necessary factual detail
· Applying their growing knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and text structure to their writing and selecting the appropriate form
· Drawing on knowledge of literary and rhetorical devices from their reading and listening to enhance the impact of their writing
W2: Plan, draft, edit and proof-read through:
· Considering how their writing reflects the audiences and purposes for which it was intended
· Amending the vocabulary, grammar and structure of their writing to improve its coherence and overall effectiveness
· Paying attention to accurate grammar, punctuation and spelling; applying the spelling patterns and rules set out in English Appendix 1 to the key stage 1 and 2 programmes of study for English.
Grammar and vocabulary
Pupils are taught to:
GV1: Consolidate and build on their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary through:
· Extending and applying the grammatical knowledge set out in English Appendix 2 to the key stage 1 and 2 programmes of study to analyse more challenging texts
· Studying the effectiveness and impact of the grammatical features of the texts they read
· Drawing on new vocabulary and grammatical constructions from their reading and listening, and using these consciously in their writing and speech to achieve particular effects
· Knowing and understanding the differences between spoken and written language, including differences associated with formal and informal registers, and between Standard English and other varieties of English
· Using Standard English confidently in their own writing and speech
· Discussing reading, writing and spoken language with precise and confident use of linguistic and literary terminology.
Pupils are taught to:
S1: Speak confidently and effectively, including through:
· Using Standard English confidently in a range of formal and informal contexts, including classroom discussion
· Giving short speeches and presentations, expressing their own ideas and keeping to the point
· Participating in formal debates and structured discussions, summarising and/or building on what has been said
· Improvising, rehearsing and performing play scripts and poetry in order to generate language and discuss language use and meaning, using role, intonation, tone, volume, mood, silence, stillness and action to add impact.
English – Key Stage 4 Subject content
AQA English Language GCSE (1-9)
Pupils will draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus and engage with creative as well as real and relevant contexts. They will have opportunities to develop higher-order reading and critical thinking skills that encourage genuine enquiry into different topics and themes.
Pupils will build on prior learning to read fluently and write effectively, demonstrate a confident control of Standard English and write grammatically correct sentences, deploying figurative language and analysing texts.
Pupils will be taught to:
· Read fluently, and with good understanding, a wide range of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including literature and literary non-fiction as well as other writing such as reviews and journalism
· Read and evaluate texts critically and make comparisons between texts
· Summarise and synthesise information or ideas from texts
· Use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
· Write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
· Use grammar correctly and punctuate and spell accurately
· Acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
· Listen to and understand spoken language and use spoken Standard English effectively.
Pupils will study and develop detailed knowledge and understanding of high-quality, challenging texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Each text studied represents a substantial piece of writing and makes significant demands on pupils in terms of content, structure and the quality of language. The texts, across a range of genres and types, support pupils in developing their own writing by providing effective models. The texts include literature and extended literary non-fiction, and other writing such as essays, reviews and journalism (both printed and online).
Critical reading and comprehension
· Critical reading and comprehension: identifying and interpreting themes, ideas and information in a range of literature and other high-quality writing; reading in different ways for different purposes, and comparing and evaluating the usefulness, relevance and presentation of content for these purposes; drawing inferences and justifying these with evidence; supporting a point of view by referring to evidence within the text; identifying bias and misuse of evidence, including distinguishing between statements that are supported by evidence and those that are not; reflecting critically and evaluatively on text, using the context of the text and drawing on knowledge and skills gained from wider reading; recognising the possibility of different responses to a text
· Summary and synthesis: identifying the main theme or themes; summarising ideas and information from a single text; synthesising from more than one text
· Evaluation of a writer’s choice of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural features: explaining and illustrating how vocabulary and grammar contribute to effectiveness and impact, using linguistic and literary terminology accurately to do so and paying attention to detail; analysing and evaluating how form and structure contribute to the effectiveness and impact of a text
· Comparing texts: comparing two or more texts critically with respect to the above.
· Producing clear and coherent text: writing effectively for different purposes and audiences: to describe, narrate, explain, instruct, give and respond to information, and argue; selecting vocabulary, grammar, form, and structural and organisational features judiciously to reflect audience, purpose and context; using language imaginatively and creatively; using information provided by others to write in different forms; maintaining a consistent point of view; maintaining coherence and consistency across a text
· Writing for impact: selecting, organising and emphasising facts, ideas and key points; citing evidence and quotation effectively and pertinently to support views; creating emotional impact; using language creatively, imaginatively and persuasively, including rhetorical devices (such as rhetorical questions, antithesis, parenthesis).
· Presenting information and ideas: selecting and organising information and ideas effectively and persuasively for prepared spoken presentations; planning effectively for different purposes and audiences; making presentations and speeches
· Responding to spoken language: listening to and responding appropriately to any questions and feedback
· Spoken Standard English: expressing ideas using Standard English whenever and wherever appropriate.
AQA English Literature GCSE (1-9)
Pupils will study the following works of English Literature:
Area of Literature
A Christmas Carol
An Inspector Calls
AQA poetry anthology (15 poems within Power and Conflict Theme)
Unseen poetry (students develop their ability to closely analyse unseen poems and compare features).
In studying the set texts pupils will develop the following skills:
Reading comprehension and reading critically
· Literal and inferential comprehension: understanding a word, phrase or sentence in context; exploring aspects of plot, characterisation, events and settings; distinguishing between what is stated explicitly and what is implied; explaining motivation, sequence of events, and the relationship between actions or events
· Critical reading: identifying the theme and distinguishing between themes; supporting a point of view by referring to evidence in the text; recognising the possibility of and evaluating different responses to a text; using understanding of writers’ social, historical and cultural contexts to inform evaluation; making an informed personal response that derives from analysis and evaluation of the text
· Evaluation of a writer’s choice of vocabulary, grammatical and structural features: analysing and evaluating how language, structure, form and presentation contribute to quality and impact; using linguistic and literary terminology for such evaluation
· Comparing texts:comparing and contrasting texts studied, referring where relevant to theme, characterisation, context (where known), style and literary quality; comparing two texts critically with respect to the above
· Producing clear and coherent text: writing effectively about literature for a range of purposes such as: to describe, explain, summarise, argue, analyse and evaluate; discussing and maintaining a point of view; selecting and emphasising key points; using relevant quotation and using detailed textual references