English National Curriculum
English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils 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, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
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.
English at Sewell Park Academy is vital because we help students to explore the world of literature and help to give them a voice and the means to express themselves. Ultimately literature is about exploring and understanding the human condition and what it means to be human, which helps develop empathy in students.
Students explore voices and perspectives that they wouldn’t necessarily come across in their own lives. Our curriculum is built around our knowledge of our cohort. Many of our students arrive with low literacy levels so our curriculum must be impactful and adaptive.
Our curriculum has been sequenced based on a number of factors: identifying skills needed by the end of KS4; working collaboratively with other schools on a research led project to support disadvantaged pupils (particularly boys); building a sequence which revisits skills in a timely fashion that suits the cohort and length of term.
In order to support and develop grammar, we teach grammar skills in a discrete manner in Year 7. Students have a weekly session which is split between library and alternating grammar or vocabulary lessons. Our grammar lessons use a booklet and linked PowerPoints to revisit and develop skills students have learned in primary school. Vocabulary tasks aim to close the vocabulary gap and support our specific cohort. We use the Oxford University Press resources for this.
In Year 8 we revisit grammar skills across our different units. Vocabulary is taught from the Oxford University Press second book alongside a fortnightly library lesson.
Year 9 continues a focus on vocabulary (using the Collins Building Brilliant Vocabulary resource) and revises word class, techniques and proofreading skills across our starter booklets.
In English we feel that students should develop their understanding of the opportunities available to them in the future. English is a key skill to unlock many possible futures, some of which students do not always consider as English based. We want to offer insight into creative industries, media industries, the theatre and museum / historical research.
In addition to this, we want to develop engagement in the curriculum by sharing interesting and varied Big Ideas both linked to the texts we study and some of the wider social issues raised in the different units we focus on.
We use social routines to develop a respectful climate where students can engage and learn.
Big Ideas / Future You - Each part identified but may be combined in lessons