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English

Key Stage 3

English is the medium through which every subject is delivered. Thus, the teaching of English should enable every student to be able to communicate, using the written and spoken word to the best of their ability. 

KS3: In Reading, this means: the ability to read critically, with understanding; to be able to interpret texts and to be able to engage with a variety of different experiences through literature. In Writing, this means communicating clearly and accurately for a range of purposes and audiences. Speaking and Listening to this means to be able to communicate and express an opinion with clarity and confidence.

KS3 topics:

Year 7:

History of language; Introduction to Shakespeare; Adventure and detective fiction writing; An introduction to media and Greek myths and legends.

Year 8:

Study of American literature, such as Of Mice and Men; Closer study of a Shakespeare play, typically A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Creative writing using poetry as a stimulus; Autobiographical writing and the study of play scripts.

Year 9:

Study of war poetry, looking at famous war poets such as Wilfred Owen; War novel study; Narrative writing, focusing on shaping a narrative and beginning the GCSE Literature course by studying either Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth or Othello.

How many lessons per fortnight? 8

ILT:  ILT is set once a fortnight, with the expectation that if none has been specifically set they should read independently. Typical ILT could be preparation for spelling tests, research or even timed written pieces.

Assessment: Formal assessments take place six times across the academic year. They are usually at the end of each half-term but smaller assessments can be conducted by the classroom teacher at different points throughout the term.

Out of classroom opportunities:  Theatre visits as well as involvement in the ‘Carnegie Medal Winner of Winners’ debate. We also have a visit from at least one author per year, examples include Chris Bradford, Alan Gibbons and Tanya Landman. As well as this, Year 7s get to receive a free book of their choice as part of the Book Buzz scheme.

Accelerated Reader is also encouraged throughout KS3 linking to House points.

 

Key Stage 4

The impact of the KS3 English curriculum at Dene Magna deliberately widens students' cultural understanding and encourages a range of reading - both literary and non-literary. At KS4 every student will study and achieve both English Language and Literature GCSE. Currently, a third of all sixth form students are studying an English course at KS5 indicating that they wish to pursue English further.

Year 10:

Study of a nineteenth-century text, typically A Christmas Carol; Inference and deduction skills; Prose set text such as An Inspector Calls or Blood Brothers; Creative and functional writing, Shakespeare set text, often Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet, Preparation for Speaking and Listening Eduqas assessment.

Year 11:

Study of Anthology poetry alongside preparation for approaching Unseen poetry within the GCSE Literature exam. Spring and Summer terms are devoted to the revision of both Language and Literature and exam preparation.

How many lessons per fortnight? 8

ILT:  ILT is set once a fortnight, with the expectation that if none has been specifically set they should read independently. Typical ILT could be preparation for spelling tests, research or even timed written pieces.

Assessment: Formal assessments take place six times across the academic year. They are usually at the end of each half-term but smaller assessments can be conducted by the classroom teacher at different points throughout the term.

 

Intent

A high quality education in English will teach students at Dene Magna 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, students have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables students both to acquire knowledge and build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; students, therefore who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.

The overarching aim for English at Dene Magna is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping students with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The curriculum at Dene Magna aims to ensure that all students:

  • 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.

Implementation

Year 7 

Autumn 1 - History of Language 

This unit enables students to look at the earliest examples of literature, how the English language has evolved over time. It enables students to look at etymology and Greek/Latin word origins. It also prepares students for the following unit, Introduction to Shakespeare.

Assessment: Using Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales as a stimulus, write your own moral tale (AO5/6) 

Autumn 2 - Introduction to Shakespeare

This unit covers an introduction to Elizabethan theatre, how to read a script and an understanding of the plot/characters presented in a few of Shakespeare’s plays. Students build on the ability to select quotations and explain meaning, as well as an understanding of staging and performance.

Assessment: Using an extract from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, answer the following question: How does Shakespeare present the genre of tragedy in the Prologue of Pyramus and Thisbe? (AO1/2)

Spring 1 - Contemporary fiction - Wonder R J Palacio

This unit enables students 

Assessment: A newspaper article using August’s story (the bullying he experienced) and what we as a society need to do in order to prevent this happening to other people (AO5/6)

Spring 2 - Detective Fiction - Lamb to the Slaughter, Sherlock, Limehouse Horror

This unit addresses how structure is important when writing. By looking at extracts from detective stories, students can look at the key components that are required to make this style of writing work effectively (e.g. red herring, plot twist etc).

Assessment: How does the writer use…….(AO2/4)

Summer 1 - Media and non-fiction

During this unit, students will discuss topics such as media bias, fake news whilst also learning the conventions of non-fiction text types like speeches, newspaper articles etc.

Assessment: Write a speech with the title, “Should we believe everything that we read in the media?” (AO7/8/9)

Summer 2 - Ballads and Sonnets

This unit will cover a range of poetry forms and also periods in history - e.g. Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shakespeare etc.

Assessment: Compare the two ballads, (AO2, AO3, AO4)

 

Year 8 

Autumn 1 - Seminal Literature (Novel study)

During this unit, students will study an entire text from Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, Brave New World, Animal Farm. During this unit, students will be taught how to write essay responses and add context to their responses.

Assessment: Essay response using one of the following titles:OMAM: TKAM:BNW:AF:(AO1, AO3, AO4)

Autumn 2: Media and non-fiction

Assessment: Write a speech…

This is a spoken assessment (AO7, AO8, AO9)

Spring 1: Shakespeare (Whole play study)

Students will study a Shakespeare play in its entirety from the following: A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado. During this unit, students should have the opportunity to perform parts of the play looking at drama conventions and performance.

Assessment: Extract question (in shared area) How does Shakespeare present:

AMND: MA: MV: T: (AO1, AO2)

Spring 2: Poetry Conventions

Students will study a range of forms and will develop a greater understanding of poetic technique during this unit. This unit will then culminate in a piece of creative poetry.

Assessment: Write a poem or series of poems in a form of your choice along with poetic conventions suitable for your poem. (AO5, AO6)

Summer 1: Playscript study

Students will study an entire play from the following list: Our Day Out, Noughts and Crosses, Whispers in the Graveyard, Frankenstein. During this unit, students will understand the conventions of a script and will have the opportunity to look at the performance of aspects of the text and staging.

Assessment: Re-creative piece. Students will be given a piece of prose to turn into a script. (AO5, AO6)

Summer 2: Nineteenth century novel

During this unit, students will study key aspects of the Victorian period and how this context has shaped the literature of this time. Students will read an entire text from the following: Tom Sawyer, Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island.

Assessment: An essay response from the following titles: TS:AWL:TI:

(AO2, AO3, AO4)

 

Year 9

Autumn 1: War Poetry

A study of a selection of poetry from WW1 and other conflicts. Students will gain an understanding of how context impacts upon content, as well as how poetic conventions enhance meaning. During this unit, students also have the opportunity to visit the Imperial War Museum to enhance their learning.

Assessment: A comparison of Dulce et Decorum Est with one other poem from those studied. (AO2, AO3, AO4)

Autumn 2: War Novel

Students will study one of the following and read in full: Heroes, The Boy in Striped Pyjamas or Private Peaceful. During this unit, students can look at the difference between poetry and prose and also look at how writers use the theme of war to present character and setting in their novel.

Assessment: Students will analyse a specific extract and AO1 and AO2 will be the focus of the assessment.Heroes:BSJ:PP:

Spring 1 - Creative writing - using short stories as a stimulus

Students will begin by studying a range of short stories (The Signalman/Red Room etc) to look at story structure and the build of character and setting. They will then create their own narrative piece from one of the following titles:

Assessment: ((AO5, AO6) 

Spring 2 - Dickens’ World and Characters

Students will study a whole text from the following: Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Students will build on contextual knowledge at the end of Y8 and will also build on their familiarity with nineteenth century conventions. 

Assessment: An essay response to one of the following titles:

(AO1, AO2, AO3)

Summer 1:Speaking and Listening (speech presentation on the subject of their choice)

Students will prepare, and deliver a recorded speech using the appropriate conventions. (AO7, AO8, AO9)

Summer 1 into Summer 2 - Shakespeare GCSE text (Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth or Othello). During this unit, students will study the entire play and be able to comment on the plot, characters and themes of the play as well as be able to analyse an extract/ and respond to a whole play question.

Assessment: Summer 1 - an extract response to the play chosen (AO1. AO2).

Summer 2 - an essay response to a whole text question (AO1, AO2, AO4)

 

KS4

English Language

Component 1 - Section A (20%) – Reading: Understanding of one prose extract from the 20th century Section B (20%) – Prose Writing: One creative writing task.

Component 2 - Section A (30%) – Reading: Understanding of two extracts, one from the 19th century, the other from the 21st century  Section B (30%) – Writing Two compulsory transactional/persuasive writing tasks.

Component 3: One presentation/speech, including responses to questions and feedback 

English Literature:

Component 1 - Section A (20%) Shakespeare Section B (20%) Poetry from 1789 to the present day.

Impact

The impact of the English curriculum at Dene Magna deliberately widens students' cultural understanding and encourages a range of reading - both literary and non-literary. At KS4 every student will study and achieve both English Language and Literature GCSE. Currently a third of all sixth form students are studying an English course at KS5 indicating that they wish to pursue English further. 

 

Success in English leads to success in future life by our students being able to express themselves with clarity and confidence; to be critically aware and to be empathetic of global issues, encompassing past, present and future.

 

Experiences: A wide range of extra-curricular opportunities from the theatre, to contextual visits (Globe, Imperial war museum, Harry Potter), experience in journalism, debating, creative competitions and also inspirational external visitors, such as novelists and poets.

 

Results: We aim for our students to achieve results that allow them to go on to their next step, be in line with their targets and significantly above national averages in all areas.