Curriculum Intent

The English Department, as stakeholders, have had input into the design of the curriculum and share its vision and rationale.

The intent of the English curriculum is to offer all students the opportunity to read a wide range of non-fiction and literary texts with an established critical reputation which will inspire and challenge them. The English Department allows all students to reflect upon and discuss the central themes of these texts and apply these core values to their own lives. All students should leave the Archbishop’s School as thoughtful, literate individuals, confident to take part in all aspects of life, whether in the written or spoken form.

Teaching in mixed ability groups, we expect all students to achieve regardless of their individual starting points. We value the written and spoken form of communication and recognise that students bring a range of qualities to the classroom; building upon students’ innate strengths, the curriculum develops the confidence of all students to achieve their true potential.

Curriculum Implementation

From Year 7, the English curriculum is built upon the key foundation skills of language analysis and the ability to write extended pieces of work in a range of forms. Whilst the topics vary from traditional plays
by Shakespeare to the more contemporary study of iconic figures of the 20th century, such as Nelson Mandela, students are taught to analyse the written word critically and with growing independence, applying these writing styles to their own work. These skills are revisited in every unit of work so that across time their application is firmly embedded in students’ understanding of the subject. All of the Schemes of Work are written to deliver cultural capital, often in tandem with our Christian ethos. The Year 9 unit exploring language change over time, uses the Genesis story of Creation to look at the way in which this allegory has become a fundamental part of our literary heritage as well as underpinning the core values of loyalty, love, and trust. Cross-curricular links also ensure that we deliver cultural capital, for example, in the Autumn term Year 9 students study World War One in History alongside ‘Journey’s End’ in English whilst a battlefields trip coincides with Remembrance Sunday.

Curriculum Impact

Progress is assessed through agreed termly core assessments. At Key Stage 3, class data folders allow each teacher to identify individual underachievement and to track the progress of key subgroups: girls/boy split and PP students. At Key Stage 4 these core assessments are cross marked and moderated, thus sharing good practice and ideas across the Department. The Department’s  Key Stage 4 tracking sheet clearly identifies underperformance across groups and subgroups, signposting to teachers where further teaching is required, either to a whole class or to subgroups or identified individuals. Teacher feedback is central to fill gaps in learning and this is clearly identified in students’ books by the use of the green pen. Students also have the opportunity to upgrade their own work, also identified by using a green pen. Students not making the expected progress are firstly dealt with via communication with home; this often has a positive impact on engagement in the classroom and work output. Six-week blocks of Intervention sessions also target Year 11 students at risk of not achieving their potential: delivered twice a week, this enables students to practise a discrete skill and then have written feedback for the following week.