English at TLWS
The Pioneer and Explorer pathways follow a KS3 English curriculum which is closely aligned to the National Curriculum.
The Explorer English curriculum is differentiated to support learning and engagement with non-age-related-expectations in terms of attainment. Our minimum entry requirement for students to be able to engage with the English curriculum on the Explorer pathway from year 7 is NC level 2.
The Pioneer pathway is more closely aligned to age-related-expectation but with a high level of differentiation and adaptation. The structure and units of the English curriculum at KS3 can be found below along with the level descriptors.
Explorer English curriculum year 7 -9:
Year 7 -Autumn term begins with Creative writing based around Roman Myths and Tales and Fables from India. Spring term is an opportunity for students to persuade, debate and argue through newspaper recounts and non-chronological writing. Summer term is an introduction to Shakespeare followed by a half term study of (and lots of writing) of Poetry.
Year 8 - Autumn term is concerned with fiction as well as as an extension to an early introduction to gothic literature through fairy tales. Spring term is all about non-fiction mediums of writing (diary entry, Newspaper reporting, Non-chronological historical reports) using a class fiction book as stimulus. Students read The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Summer term is an introduction to Nineteenth century writing through the work of Dickens.
Year 9 - Students begin looking ahead at their Functional Skills courses in KS4. Autumn term is creative writing with a focus on grammar and punctuation. Spring term is non-fiction looking at Great Speeches of our time as a stimulus for students to write their own speeches. The year ends with a combined English and Drama focus looking at plays, both analysing and performing.
There are termly visits to the library to embed community access skills and a love of reading, guest speakers in school as well as a yearly theatre trip to either the West End or another major theatre.
Explorer English Curriculum KS4
Explorer pathway students complete English Functional Skills qualifications in Key Stage 4. The aim is for all students to achieve level 2 by the end of Key Stage 4 but the classes are differentiated to support varying rates of attainment. All students will achieve a minimum of Functional Skills Level 1 as an outcome.
Why do we teach what we teach in the Explorer English KS4 curriculum?
The explorer curriculum is designed to give students a wide grounding in literature, a passion for reading and narrative, language and writing skills to facilitate community inclusion and employment as well as to instil British Values through the enjoyment of post colonial texts and themes. We do this through the curriculum materials and narratives ( The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Fables from India, Roman Myths, Dickensian storytelling, and Great speeches). We also embed wider social references such as an introduction to Shakespeare and Gothic literature. These themes give social capital. It supports students to communicate with peers and to feel a comparable academic journey to that of a diverse range of peers who have learnt through the National Curriculum. We teach and certificate through Functional Skills in order to give our students employability and independence skills in adult life. These qualifications are practical and relevant in nature. They do however rely on wider learning and knowledge (such as writing a review of an event, or making a complaint) which comes through our wider learning within the KS3 English programme as well as enrichment subjects.
Pioneer English Curriculum Year 7 -9:
Year 7 - Autumn term is a time of creative and descriptive writing with The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas as the class text. Spring term is based around the book Kensuke's Kingdom and students learn to write to persuade, argue and debate. In Spring 2 students are introduced to transactional writing and their features (emails/letters). Summer term means an introduction to Shakespeare and then poetry.
Year 8 - Autumn term in year 8 is an introduction to Gothic literature and the codes and conventions of this through fairy tales.
Spring term is time for the fantastic novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. This is the stimulus for non-fiction writing and non-chronological reports. Summer term means Macbeth (or should we say "The Scottish play"). Summer 2 is an opportunity to explore 19th century literature and language extracts.
Year 9 - Autumn term is a very pleasant lead up to Christmas exploring Dicken's A Christmas Carol. Spring term is an introduction to War and Conflict poetry whilst looking at Great Speeches of our time. This is followed by more transactional writing. Summer term is a combined English and Drama unit studying and performing An Inspector Calls.
Students have multiple trips to local libraries in Year 7. Year 8 students attend professional theatrical performances. Year 9 students have the opportunity to attend a West End performance as well as wider enrichment experiences including a Shakespeare play.
Pioneer English Curriculum KS4
In KS4 all English Pioneer students study for AQA English Language. Some students will study for AQA English literature but this in not uniform for all students. It is also possible to study language in year 10 and literature in year 11. We routinely take exams prior to the summer of year 11. Our literature texts are: Macbeth, A Christmas Carol, An Inspector Calls and Of Mice and Men.
Why do we teach what we teach in the Pioneer English Curriculum?
The Pioneer English curriculum at KS3 is wide and enriched in order to instil an interest in language as well as embed the reading and writing skills required to access wider learning across the school and community. Our students gain an understanding of literature from a range of different time periods (from The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time). All of our texts reflect British values and leave our students with an ingrained appreciation of these values. We teach in a way that encourages debate and contribution but maintains high expectations of academic engagement. The work load is not insignificant but English as a subject is essentially the study of communication and we are a communication orientated environment.