Intent & Implementation
Our Curriculum Intent
How our subject curriculum is sequenced and why we plan it this way:
The KS3 thematic curriculum is driven by the concepts of the individual, the societal and the cultural.
In year 7, students study the concept of the classical hero, the development of a protagonist and the theme of identity - concepts fundamental to the literary genre of the novel which is a new area of study for year 7 (they do not study a whole novel at KS2). Apart from the two novels we study, year 7’s understanding of character development is then applied to the study of Shakespeare. They will learn how writers of different genres and contexts within the literary tradition construct character and narrative. Their study of a selection of Romantic poetry as an expression of individuality and as personal, emotional responses to the natural world reinforces their experience of literature as an expression of individuality. Similarly, the year 7 theme of the individual informs our choice of non-fiction subject matter that is engaging on a personal, emotive level. This provides us with an accessible stimulus for teaching point of view writing so that students can begin to express their own individual opinion in a structured and coherent argument.
Year 8 read novels with a focus that moves on from the concept of the individual to explore societal and global issues in, for example, the dystopian genre. Shakespeare study progresses to a thematic focus - the theme of conflict within society - and our year 8 poetry study explores how conflict between different societies is conveyed in poetry from a wider range of cultural and historical contexts. Year 8 non fiction study progresses to challenging texts that express wider societal and political ideas.
In year 9 we move on to a study of the cultural significance of literature; we explore the importance of considering the conceptual and cultural contexts of texts which include seminal works from the 19th and 20th century literary canon. This breadth of study is designed to prepare students for the thematic and contextual foci of the GCSE English courses. Year 9 non-fiction is a progression to the study of nuanced texts which express writers’ perspectives with greater subtlety and complexity; this progression has been designed so that students are able to engage with the challenge of the literary non-fiction they will study for GCSE Language paper 2.
How we connect the knowledge over the key stages (deliberate connections):
We plan our KS3 curriculum so that Key Stage 3 builds upon the knowledge and skills developed in KS2.
We map explicit progression in skills and knowledge thematically across KS3 so that students learn the key concepts that underpin KS4
We study six full works of fiction, two Shakespeare plays, a range of poetry as well as a wide range of non-fiction in KS3 which thematically and linguistically become progressively more challenging and promote cultural capital so that students are well prepared for the set and unseen texts they will study as part of the GCSE syllabus at KS4
We review and consolidate KS2 grammar skills in the early years of KS3 so that students can become confident in recognising, applying and manipulating grammatical structures at word and sentence level
How we make our subject knowledge stick:
We use regular retrieval exercises to support student learning and retention of key knowledge particularly of grammar, literary contexts, language features and ideas. The CCC T & L policy of SDNs embeds this in our practice.
How We Allow All Students to Succeed ( included SEND and disadvantaged )
How we allow all students to reach our ambitious subject end points:
Our core curricular offer is underpinned by key concepts which develop in complexity over time. These are clearly articulated for each unit of work, for example ‘How does a character develop?’ in Year 7’s first unit. This core conceptual knowledge is specifically designed to be accessible to our SEND students via scaffolding and explicit vocabulary instruction which helps build their ability to articulate difficult abstract concepts. This particularly supports students who have processing, social/emotional and cognitive difficulties. Therefore, our SEND students have access to the same learning as our non-SEND students. Within the classroom, this looks like explicit vocabulary instruction supported by vocabulary homework, retrieval of key concepts over several weeks and months (interleaving), and intentional deployment of T.As during writing/comprehension/speaking tasks to support individuals who need help.
Our Curriculum Overview
Curriculum Overview KS3 (Click here)
Curriculum Overview KS4 (Click here)
Our Curriculum Learning Pathway
KS3 Subject Curriculum Pathway (PDF)
KS4 Subject Curriculum Pathway (PDF)
Key stage 3
Reading:The KS3 thematic curriculum is driven by the concepts of the individual, the societal and the cultural. In year 7, students study the concept of the classical hero, the development of a protagonist and the theme of identity in two novels and in a Shakespeare play. They also study a selection of Romantic poetry as an expression of individuality and as personal, emotional responses to the natural world. Year 8 read novels with a focus that moves on from the concept of the individual to explore societal and global issues in, for example, the dystopian genre. Shakespeare study focuses on the theme of conflict within society and our year 8 poetry study explores how conflict between different societies is conveyed. In year 9 we move on to a study of the cultural significance of literature; we explore the importance of considering the conceptual and cultural contexts of texts which include seminal works from the 19th and 20th century literary canon in preparation for the GCSE English course.
Similarly, the year 7 theme of the individual informs our non-fiction focus on subject matter that is engaging on a personal, emotive level and then in year 8 progresses to texts expressing wider societal and political ideas. Year 9 non-fiction is a progression to the study of nuanced texts which express writers’ perspectives with greater subtlety and complexity; this progression has been designed so that students are able to engage with the challenge of the non-fiction they will study for GCSE Language.
They will develop their understanding of the different nuances of sophisticated (tier 2) vocabulary and use this to explain the effects of language and linguistic devices and structures. We will teach a bank of target vocabulary to each year group and by encouraging and monitoring the use of this target vocabulary we can support students’ vocabulary acquisition across the key stages. They will learn to explain writers’ attitudes and viewpoints and compare different perspectives in increasing detail so that they can engage meaningfully in a wide variety of text types. They will also learn how different contexts - historical, personal and thematic - create meaning in a wide range of texts and this will enhance their cultural capital.
Writing: We begin by revisiting and consolidating the recognition of the various sentence structures taught at primary level and as students’ confidence in knowing and applying these various structures in their own writing develops, we teach how grammar can be varied for specific effects.
Over Key Stage 3, students will develop their ability to write fiction and non-fiction with greater impact and control of how language is used for effect, adopting and adapting the different structures and conventions, such as those of genre, when describing and narrating a story or manipulating a reader’s response when conveying a point of view. Students will also be encouraged to develop subtlety in their application of tone and stylistic features particularly in the development of a formal, critical style of exploratory academic analysis.
Oracy: We give our students opportunities to develop their ability and their confidence in the skills of dialogue and discussion which are a key aspect of each lesson. We also give students the opportunity to practise public speaking in a formal context.
Students study both English Language and English Literature in Key Stage 4 and this leads to two separate GCSE qualifications. We follow the AQA GCSE syllabus for both subjects.
English Language is assessed by two examinations. Paper 1 includes an extract of fiction that students are asked to analyse before producing some creative narrative or descriptive writing themselves. Paper 2 assesses non fiction reading and writing skills; it includes two extracts of non fiction linked by subject. One of the texts will be a 19th century extract. As in paper 1, students complete a series of reading tasks before completing a piece of writing to express their point of view on a given subject.
Similarly, English Literature is assessed by two examinations and we cover the five key elements of the course over Key Stage 4: Shakespeare, a 19th century novel, modern prose or drama, poetry and unseen poetry.
Transition & Building on KS2 / KS3
CCC has worked closely with our primary partners during 2021/22. We have shared knowledge on the curriculum intents at key stage two and key stage three to enhance student transition and the sequencing of learning.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 we aim to:
- create literate, articulate students who are able to engage meaningfully in the written word and communicate effectively as individuals
- provide students with a wide range of engaging, challenging and complex texts that broaden their understanding of the world and their investment in “cultural capital”
- systematically teach students the fundamentals of grammar so that they are then able to manipulate linguistic structures to communicate both accurately and effectively
- explicitly teach and train students in the use of tier 2 vocabulary so that they build an understanding of the nuances of language, a rich and varied active vocabulary that effects success at GCSE but, more importantly, develops their potential to think with accuracy
- develop students’ oracy so that they are able to articulate their ideas, develop their confidence and their individual voice
Key Stage 4
Study of the GCSE English Literature content begins in the summer term of year 10 when students begin their study of Macbeth. The GCSE course for English Language begins in year 10.
What Examination Course(s) do we follow?
We enter students for the AQA English Language and Literature courses.
Curriculum Impact- How we measure attainment and progress:
In English, assessment happens in many ways. Books are marked in-line with our marking policy and we use common assessment tasks which are set for all students at coordinated points scheduled across the year as outlined in the GVC. These have been designed to assess the key learning objectives of each SoL within the GVC plan. The assessments reflect the progressive curriculum design as outlined above.
How do we enrich our subject outside the classroom?
In English we have organised trips to the theatre and had visits and workshops by children’s authors.
Please list any useful websites:
KS3 English: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/z3kw2hv
KS4 English: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/zcbchv4
GCSE Macbeth: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zgq3dmn
GCSE A Christmas Carol: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zwhkxsg