The English Curriculum
We support all our learners to become excellent students of English. We want our students to develop excellent communication skills; accurate and fluent writing skills and to be critical and engaged readers. We aim to inspire, to promote curiosity and to fuel a desire to learn more about how our language works and the world of literature. Our ultimate ambition is that each of our students leaves Temple Moor as a confident, articulate communicator and with the literacy skills to enable them to achieve their personal and professional ambitions.
Assistant Principal: Jane Dixon
Subject Leader: Victoria Byrne
Assistant Subject Leader: Anthony Rowley
Programme Leaders: Rebecca French & Michael Storey
Teachers of English:
Val Dreze, Sharine Gibson, Steve Lawrence, Sara Linsdell, Rebecca Maidens, Lisa Robinson & Ian Smith
Why Study English and what skills will I develop?
English is a core subject in the National Curriculum and through study, we hope you’ll develop an appreciation of and a love for both Language and Literature.
Achieving excellence in English will result in you being able to use both the spoken and written word accurately and influentially. In reading, you will be fluent and expressive; you will be able to appreciate the nuances and subtleties in language which influence us all. As well as reading for pleasure, your development of a critical approach to texts, will be the foundation for forming your opinion of issues within the wider world.
- GCSE English (AQA): All students
- GCSE English Literature (AQA): All students
- Level 1/2 Vocational Qualifications in Creative and Media (WJEC): A options course
- A level English Language (AQA): A Key Stage 5 option
- A Level English Literature (AQA B: A Key Stage 5 Option
Across all Key Stages, development of the fundamental skills of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, is integral to our teaching. The programme of study in Key Stage 3 is designed to prepare the students fully for the GCSE language and literature courses they will undertake in Key Stage 4. Across the year groups, students are grouped in a variety of ways to ensure maximum progress is made by all.
All lessons commence with 10 minutes of reading and our weekly ‘Writing Challenge’ runs from Year 7 to Year 10. The ‘Writing Challenge’ alternates between fiction and non-fiction challenges and allow students to experiment with different forms; peer and self assess and to draft and edit their writing.
Key Stage 3
Students will develop coherence, fluency and accuracy through a range of writing tasks. They will read texts both fiction and non-fiction and are encouraged to explore the craft of the writer from the beginning. Our units of work provide regular opportunities for spoken language activities and students are given the opportunity to communicate in a variety of styles, developing their literacy skills whilst being creative and imaginative.
In Year 7, students will have regular class readers such as ‘The Graveyard Book’ by Neil Gaiman and ‘I have no secrets’ by Penny Joelson. Students continue to develop their writing accuracy and style through our weekly writing challenge. Students begin by following a crime and detective scheme of work, designed to develop inference, logic and communication skills. They will then explore performance poetry, including the work of Benjamin Zephaniah. The study of gothic horror acts a stimulus for creative and descriptive writing and the study of non-fiction texts enables students to develop their ability to write from different viewpoints and perspectives. Reading focused schemes include exploring the novel ‘Tins’ by Alex Shearer. Year 7 concludes with Shakespeare and students have the opportunity to take part in a production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
In Year 8, students will have regular class readers such as ‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth and ‘Stone Cold’ by Robert Swindells. Students continue to develop their writing accuracy and style through our weekly writing challenge. Students begin by following a Roald Dahl scheme of work, designed to explore the writing and shaping of language by this widely popular and master craftsman. Dahl’s work is also used as a stimulus for creative and descriptive writing. They move on to study war poetry including the works of Owen and Brooke. Students’ knowledge of well-known fairy tales provides the starting point for an exciting twist on non-fiction writing from different viewpoints and perspectives. Reading focused schemes include the novel ‘Wonder’ by R. J. Palacio and a Shakespeare play: ‘Romeo and Juliet’.
In Year 9, students will have regular class readers such as ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck, ‘Noughts and Crosses’ by Malorie Blackman and also increasingly read excerpts of thought provoking non-fiction texts. Students continue to develop their writing accuracy and style through our weekly writing challenge. Students begin by following a gothic reading scheme, designed to develop their analytical skills in exploring writers’ use of language and structure. The extracts are also used as stimulus for writing tasks. Students will also be introduced to the texts which will underpin their Literature GCSE: ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens, ‘DNA’ by Dennis Kelly, ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare and ‘Power and Conflict’ poetry which includes work by both pre and post 1914 poets. In Year 9 the emphasis is on plot, character and context, key knowledge which underpins the learning in subsequent years. The themes in these texts are used to explore viewpoint and develop longer written pieces.
Key Stage 4
Throughout Key Stage 4, students are taught GCSE Language and GCSE Literature as discrete courses, providing clarity over the exam expectations. Students continue to develop coherence, fluency and accuracy through a range of writing tasks. Students focus on producing writing for impact, hone skills of drafting and editing and are encouraged to view themselves as a craftsman. Both creative and non-fiction writing are equally valued and students practice writing in a range of forms, for different audiences and purposes. Students read a variety of texts and excerpts, both fiction and non-fiction. Additionally, students study in depth, the set texts for their Literature GCSE. Our units of work continue provide regular opportunities for spoken language activities and students are given the opportunity to communicate in a variety of styles, strengthening their literacy and creative skills as part of their GCSE preparation.
We follow the AQA Specification and the exam is linear and consists of 2 papers.
Paper 1: Explorations in creative reading and writing.
Paper 2: Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives.
A compulsory ‘spoken language endorsement’ is assessed at the beginning of Year 10.
Across Year 10 and Year 11, students are taught the skills required for each element of the GCSE exams. Our topics are thematic covering mental health, natural disasters, science & science fiction, travel and villains & monsters. Each topic covers all skill elements required for the GCSE examination allowing students to practice, refine and finally rehearse the structures and skills necessary for success.
Reading skills include: information retrieval, inference, analysing language, analysing structure, responding to viewpoints, summarising, comparing and evaluating.
Writing skills include planning & editing, ideas, sequence, tone, voice and technical accuracy.
We follow the AQA Specification and the exam is linear and consists of 2 papers.
Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th century novel
Paper 2: Modern Texts and poetry.
Throughout Years 10 and 11, the focus is on exploring, analysing and evaluating the set texts. Language, form, structure, context and writer’s choices are integral to our approach in each unit. Each text is explored in context and students consider different audiences’ responses. Students begin Year 10 with a focus on poetry, we explore the ‘Power and Conflict’ cluster before moving on to unseen poetry and comparison skills. We then study the modern drama ‘DNA’ by Dennis Kelly and ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare. Year 11 commences with ‘A Christmas Carol’ before returning to poetry and DNA as we approach the GCSE examinations.
Students write analytically about literature texts in every lesson, developing their ability to analyse layers of meaning and also their academic expression. Students are encouraged to think critically about not just their ideas but also about their expression and establishing their critical voice. Self-assessment and editing and peer support is built into each scheme we study so that students have an opportunity to support each other’s’ development.
The WJEC Level 1/2 Vocational Qualifications in Creative and Media offers our KS4 students a learning experience that focuses on skills development through applied learning set in sector or subject contexts that have many of the characteristics of real work.
The applied purpose will also enable learners to learn in such a way that they develop: skills required for independent learning and development; a range of generic and transferable skills; the ability to solve problems; the skills of project based research, development and presentation; range of technical skills and the fundamental ability to work alongside other professionals, in a professional environment.
The course follows a ‘plan, do, review’ approach to learning. This approach mirrors working in creative and media industries and also provides for learning in a range of contexts, enabling learners to apply and extend their learning.
Key Stage 5
We offer A level English Language and English Literature at Key Stage 5, both of which are very popular courses
We follow the AQA Specification and the exams (80%) are linear.
The 2 papers are:
Paper 1: Language the Individual and Society
Paper 2: Language, Diversity and Change
The Non-Examined Assessments (20%): Language Investigation and Original Writing are introduced to students in the summer term of Year 12.
Throughout Key Stage 5, students work to become independent analysts who are confident in both exploring the meaning created by others’ language choices and in manipulating language for their own purposes. Students engage with global language discourses and the emphasis is on critically exploring texts, learning about and challenging theorists’ viewpoints and reaching independent conclusions.
In Year 12 we begin by building subject expertise and vocabulary focusing on language frameworks and concepts. This broadens into the study of identity and diversity. Key factors studied include: gender, technology, geography, social groups and occupations. In Year 13, the focus in on Child Language Acquisition and language change- both in the UK and on a global scale. The NEA offers an opportunity for students to conduct their own language investigations and produce creative texts.
We follow the AQA B Specification and the exams (80%) are linear.
The 2 papers are:
Paper 1: Aspects of Tragedy
Paper 2: Social and Political Protest
The Non-examined Assessment (20%): Theory and Independence, is introduced to students in the summer term of Year 12.
Throughout Key Stage 5, students work to become independent and critical scholars. We believe that English Literature has been a powerful weapon for hundreds of years and throughout Years 12 and 13, students explore some of the voices it has created. Excellent literature students gain a different and deeper perspective of the world, write in an academic register and examine the debates surrounding texts and critical approaches. Following the AQA B specification, students study Shakespeare’s King Lear, Miller’s Death of a Salesman, a range of Keats’ poetry, Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. In Year 12 students study texts through the lens of tragedy. In Year 13, the texts are examined as expressions of social and political protest. The NEA essays provide students with the opportunity to examine a novel and a collection of poetry of their choosing from a number of critical perspectives, including from a feminist, Marxist, and eco-critical perspective.