English Curriculum Statement
To broaden the students experience of worlds they may never encounter and help them develop a language that can transform the world in which they live; to be not just employable, but promotable.
Haven High Academy English faculty truly believes in the fundamental nature of English language in developing students knowledge and interaction with the world around them. We aim to develop the students’ confidence when interacting with different groups of people in a variety of situations, allowing them to communicate formally and informally in order to affect the world in which they live.
Through Key Stage 3, students are taught to build on the prior knowledge they arrive at secondary school with- developing the learning they have already achieved at Key Stage 2 and recognising gaps in learning that may hinder their development. Our comprehensive program of interventions, both within quality first teaching and by utilising the Additional Learning Literacy team, allows students to excel from their point of entry. The interventions offered create progression within all ability ranges and works specifically with the needs of the individual student.
Through our Key Stage 3 library lessons we promote reading for pleasure and ensure students are familiar with a library setting; an essential skill that will allow them to progress beyond secondary education. Within library lessons, students are given the opportunity to read with an adult, and access a range of literacy based activities that continues the development of their grammatical understanding.
As a faculty, our Key Stage 3 curriculum aims to broaden the knowledge and experience of students, allowing them to engage with a range of high quality texts and use these to develop their ability to express themselves in a variety of formats, including spoken language. Our curriculum is built around a yearly central concept, allowing students to encounter a range of texts that cover the full specification of the Key Stage 3 national curriculum whilst understanding the intertextuality and importance of heritage and tradition. Students are encouraged to make links between texts through the embedded language foci that run through the academic year- our aim is to show the intrinsic link between literature and language so that students are able to seamlessly navigate the intricacies of the Key Stage 4 curriculum.
This enables students to become competent readers, writers, speakers and most importantly, thinkers.
In year 9 the curriculum remains varied and thematic, with the central concept of ‘Human Rights, Human Wrongs’ encouraging the students to consider their place in the world and to develop a critical understanding of how literature can be used as a tool to explore the delicacy of the human condition and create empathy for those around them. The introduction of some of the key authors within the GCSE specification allows students to begin to explore the importance of contextual factors when considering a text, and to develop their own voice as they begin to access the full scope of fiction and non-fiction writing within their language foci.
As pupils enter Key Stage 4 they completed extended studies of the three key literature texts: Frankenstein, Macbeth and An Inspector Calls. Alongside each term-long unit students encounter related poetry from the Power and Conflict anthology. This culminates in the summer term as students explore their own spoken language, choosing a key area of one of the texts to explore in order to create a speech. Year 11 is devoted entirely to second and third readings of the texts studied, allowing students to build their knowledge of key elements: plot; character; themes and context, progressively. Within the English curriculum, students are given the opportunity to revisit texts, deepening their understanding of both the features of language and their own learning style in order to allow students the opportunity to gain independence ahead of GCSE revision. In line with our fundamental belief that language and literature are intertwined subjects that strengthen each other, all students are entered for both GCSE subjects and these are taken at the end of Year 11, when students maturity of understanding is the most developed.
Independence is developed through the use of Knowledge Organisers which allow students to revise key concepts and demonstrates that learning is more than a six week cycle- through or concept based curriculum students are able to see how the same central theme has been approached at different points in history, or how the same genre can transform over time. Recognising this fundamental aspect of literature aims to inspire a love of life-long reading and studying, as students explore the transformation of language and the influence it has in the wider world.
In order to accurately address any gaps in knowledge or skill, and in recognition of the highly interpretative nature of the subject, the faculty standardise and moderate assessments, including all formalised (exam hall based) exams. As a faculty, we understand that a student can approach the same question in a number of ways, displaying a variety of strengths and areas for development, yet arrive at the same band, therefore assessment marking is shared across the faculty. This creates objectivity and allows us to negate the subjectivity of the skills being developed. This data is analysed, in conjunction with reading and spelling data gained through the use of GL assessments, and the skill based element of the curriculum adapted in order to address the wider knowledge gaps, whilst teacher autonomy allows us to address class based knowledge gaps. In Key Stage 4 students’ work is separated into two books; their notebooks and timed practice books. This allows students to see their own development in timed, independent tasks as well as offering them the freedom to present notes in the most effective format for their own revision- placing the emphasis on their personal learning rather than class led activities whilst allowing the teacher to guide their exploration through notes, and check understanding through timed tasks.
In every year group, students are offered the opportunity to develop their creativity and skill within a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Students are able to access First Story, a creative writing development program that has led to our students publishing three anthologies. In every year group students are encouraged to enter competitions and engage with the wider literary community, including taking part in school wide World Book Day activities, celebrating National Writing Day and following the Carnegie book prize to name a few of the wide ranging activities students are offered within the school. Externally, students are offered the opportunity to see literature in action, from Pantomime in Year 7 to Poetry Live in Year 11. Enhancing the cultural experience of the students and bringing the concepts being studied to life enables the faculty to explore the real-life applications of the subject.
The ability of our students to affect the world around them, both formally and emotively, is fundamental in living the Academy’s core values of PRIDE. As an English faculty, we ensure students are provided with a stable diet through our unit intent statements, which allow all students to progress with the same core knowledge whilst maintaining teacher autonomy which we believe is fundamental in conveying the passion we feel for our subject. The strength of the English faculty is borne through our communally held belief that if our students can grasp the effect language can have, and can recognise their own ability to both comprehend and use this, then they will become well-rounded, influential members of the community.
Please find below our warm welcome from our Head of Faculty for English Mrs Wilson
What career can I get with English?
- Digital copywriter
- Editorial assistant
- English as a foreign language teacher
- Magazine journalist
- Newspaper journalist
- Publishing copy-editor/proofreader
- Secondary school teacher
- Talent agent
- Web content manager
Want to know more about the career options available when taking on an English qualification? Why don’t you click the button below to read more and gain support from our aspiration team?
I really love English because it makes my writing much better and more of then making sense and it really inspire me to be an english teacher. Also it is really fun as well. I want to be a teacher or a business worker and English will help me with my speaking and my work.