English at The de Ferrers Academy aims to inspire and motivate students through a demanding, stimulating and dynamic curriculum. We firmly believe, as the department that delivers literacy to over 2,000 students, that we have a pivotal role to play in the academy’s overall achievements. The knowledge and skills gained through the delivery of high-quality lessons delivered by self-reflective staff will foster a life-long love of reading in a world where technology has made this goal all the more challenging. We aim to provide a variety of stimuli in the texts that we offer to open up our students to different viewpoints and cultures and to allow them to develop their own standpoints as independent learners. Within the Faculty, through careful mapping, students will build core, transferable knowledge and skills (including ICT) which will ultimately prepare them for the challenges of the 21st century.
Aims and Objectives of English:
- To inspire students to be life-long readers.
- To prompt engagement in a wide variety of spoken, written and reading activities.
- To encourage students to produce their own texts that will engage with their intended audience.
- To critically evaluate and understand fiction and non-fiction texts.
- To develop a critical understanding of the impact of English on daily life and the wider world.
The progressive curriculum journey we have created builds on the experiences of students at Key Stage 1 and 2.
They will be introduced to literature spanning the ‘classics’ to modern popular fiction. These texts will seek to inspire our students to read for pleasure as well as academic study.
Building on their learning from Key Stage 2, our students will deepen their understanding of authorial intent, the writer’s craft and technical accuracy at Key Stage 3 in order to appreciate and emulate successful writing. These three elements are revisited, throughout their curriculum journey, to enable students to appreciate the subtleties of an author’s work and how knowledge of this will support their own work in English.
A love and appreciation of English, both the spoken and the written word, underpins our curriculum map. Our teachers aim to foster an enthusiasm for reading and support this via book recommendations, the use of the library and the text choices they make for our students. Within the thematic curriculum of Key Stage 3, designed to embed a love of reading and exploring of literature, our pupils will look at a range of poetry, prose, drama and non-fiction to build on their prior knowledge at Key Stage 2, nurture a critical mind, hone their literacy skills and expand their literary horizons.
As our pupils enter Key Stage 4 they will continue to study many well-loved classics such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth, An Inspector Calls, A Christmas Carol and an Anthology of Power and Conflict Poetry for their English Literature GCSE. The universal messages of these texts will provide our students with relevant and moral messages. Our pupils will also hone their reading and creative writing skills as they explore the English Language GCSE. We also offer GCSE Film Studies as a pathway to post-16 qualifications and to equip our students with the requisite cine-literacy skills.
At Key Stage 5, our A Levels in English Literature and English Language continue to extend the knowledge and learning acquired lower down the school by our students with the ultimate goal of equipping them with a plethora of transferable skills that will prepare them for their future role in society. Similarly, our qualifications in Film and Media are designed to imbue our students with the media and cine-literacy skills to scrutinise the messages that they receive from social and mass media and to develop their global-cultural knowledge base.
Implementation: Delivery and Assessment
The sequence of teaching and assessment is planned to ensure that there is progression. Details of the Curriculum Plan can be found in our Curriculum Map which details how we build and consolidate the skills required to produce critical thinkers and writers.
At Key Stage 3, students have regular, key assessed pieces to ensure continuity in teaching and learning across all groups. This is detailed for each unit and can be found in our Curriculum Map. Retrieval exercises are built in to the delivery of all lessons to ensure students re-visit key terminology and skills at regular intervals, thus securing retention of knowledge.
At Key Stages 4 & 5 there is similar rigorous, continual assessment outlined in our Curriculum Maps with the ultimate goal of preparing our students for the challenges of their terminal examinations.
The impact of Covid on our students’ learning is something that we continue to look at. Baselining literacy skills, using assessment to ascertain where any issues lie and the use of directed teaching methods as well as opportunities beyond the classroom have all been employed to address any perceived gaps in knowledge.
Students will develop detailed knowledge throughout each Key Stage frequently embracing retrieval activities which will ensure that they acquire the dual purpose of English at de Ferrers – to be a lifelong reader and lover of literature as well as being prepared for the next stage of their education, employment or training.