The English Department has designed its curriculum on the premise that students should be taught to ‘play the whole game’ of English from Year 7. As far as possible they should carry out processes that mirror the work of professionals who read, write and orate for a living. The interesting thing about this is that no one is exempt from these processes or skills! A master of English does not become an ‘Englishian’ or an ‘Englicist’; masters of English are at the top of their chosen field whatever that may be. Lawyers read and dispute contracts; plumbers use and create manuals; estate agents cajole and persuade; the list goes on with parents perhaps having the greatest need of all to infer and negotiate. In short, we believe that a secure grounding in English extends far beyond the discreet academic subject – it prepares the way for our students’ success in adult life.
‘Playing the whole game’ means that students learn to:
• Reading: Understand the writer at work; interpret meaning from the writing of others
• Writing: Be able to write convincingly for a range of audiences / purposes; communicate meaning effectively
• Oracy: Be able to speak articulately, adapting language as appropriate for audience/purpose.
The KS3 English Curriculum at KAA has been devised by working back from the skills and knowledge required for achievement at the highest grades at A Level and GCSE. There is no formal requirement for pupils to be familiar with the different critical schools of thought at GCSE. There is, however, no doubt that by introducing literary criticism and the tenets of Feminism, Marxism and Structuralism before they are explicitly required by the exam board specifications, pupils locate their own interpretations and connections between texts within a broader conceptual framework.
Thus, the ‘flight path’ to GCSE for this skill/knowledge looks like this:
The curriculum map for year 7 is as follows (please click on the image to enlarge):
The curriculum map for year 8 is as follows (please click on the image to enlarge):
There are two 30 minute pieces of English homework set each week, the resources for which will be uploaded onto KAA Online. On occasions, it may be appropriate for the task to be set as one extended hour long piece but, in the interests of helping students organise their time, guidance will always be given about how to break this down into two 30 minute chunks.
In the interests of encouraging independent learning habits, some homework will take the form of a ‘FLIP’ activity whereby future learning depends on students having already completed work outside of the classroom.
How can I support my child?
Ensuring they are organised with the correct equipment, homework completed and a reading book in their bag is the first step. The following will also help:
• Encourage them to read over their work aloud and make corrections before submitting work to be marked. We are teaching them how to proof-read with precision in English and students have green pens to help them do this.
• Never throw away an old English book or piece of work. Encourage them to look back over targets and check what they need to do to improve.
• Read newspapers, websites, books, leaflets with them and discuss:
1) What is the purpose of the text?
2) What are the main points the text is trying to make?
3) What methods does the writer use to communicate their points?
Are they effective and convincing?
• The following websites are particularly useful:
For reading and writing use http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ks3bitesize/
Brush up on grammar and punctuation using:
Mr Clayton – Director of English
Mr Waller – Second in charge of English
Miss Sedgwick – Second in charge of English