English at TLWS
The English Key Stage 3 Curriculum is closely aligned to the National Curriculum.
The English curriculum is 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. The school follows a Mastery programme of English study. This gives an 'overlearning' structure for students and leads to higher retention and recall. Many of our students benefit from this approach and it is often a documented need.
Functional Skills English Curriculum KS4
Some students will 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 English adapted KS4 curriculum?
The adapted 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.
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.
English Curriculum KS4
In KS4 some 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 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.