"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader"
At St Andrew's, the English Department is committed to providing a stimulating and inclusive learning environment that fosters a deep appreciation for language, literature and critical thinking. Our curriculum intent is centred around the following key areas:
1. Vocabulary development
We recognise the vital role that vocabulary plays in language acquisition and comprehension. Through targeted instruction, students will develop a rich and varied vocabulary, enabling them to effectively express themselves and engage with complex texts.
2. Developing curious readers
We aim to cultivate a love for reading among our students, empowering them to become curious and critical readers. By teaching them the skills to interrogate texts, students will understand how literature is shaped by its historical and cultural context and how it contributes to resonate in society today.
3. Exposing students to diverse texts
We believe in the power of literature to broaden students' perspectives and foster empathy. Our curriculum ensures that students are exposed to a wide range of texts from diverse cultures, backgrounds and perspectives. This exposure will encourage students to appreciate and embrace different voices and narratives.
4. Linking themes, context and perspective
Understanding power dynamics and conflict is essential for students to engage with the complexities of the world around them. Through the study of literature, students will explore themes related to power, inequality and conflict, enabling them to critically analyse and evaluate different perspectives.
5. Writing for a range of purposes
Effective communication is a crucial skill for success in school and beyond. Our curriculum empowers students to write for a range of purposes, such as persuasive, descriptive and analytical writing. By providing opportunities for practice and feedback, we prepare students to excel academically and confidently express themselves in various contexts throughout their school career and in their future endeavours.
By embracing these key areas, we strive to equip our students with the necessary skills and knowledge to become lifelong learners, critical thinkers and effective communicators. Our curriculum encourages students to engage with the world around them, fostering their personal, social and intellectual growth.
Key stage 3
In Year 7, students will explore a wide range of captivating themes and texts that foster a love for reading and critical thinking. Our curriculum begins with an exploration of the theme of "Childhood and Growing Up," allowing students to relate to the experiences of young characters in various contexts. We will then delve into the enchanting world of "The Girl of Ink and Stars," a novel that transports readers to a mythical island filled with adventure and discovery. Year 7 also marks an introduction to the timeless works of Shakespeare, as students explore his captivating stories and language. They will also discover the rich tradition of "Women's Literature," featuring stories and voices that celebrate the achievements and challenges faced by women throughout history. In addition, students will analyse a rage of emotive and powerful "War Poetry," gaining insights into the impact of conflict on individuals and societies.
In Year 8, students will explore a diverse range of themes and texts that foster critical thinking and a deep appreciation for literature. We begin the year with "The Bone Sparrow," a poignant novel that explores the experiences of refugees, fostering empathy and understanding. Next, we venture into the intriguing world of "Gothic Writing," uncovering the mysteries and dark tales that define this literary genre. Students will then dive into George Orwell's "Animal Farm," delving into the allegorical masterpiece that sheds light on power, politics, and society. They will also develop their writing skills with a focus on "Transactional Writing," honing their ability to communicate effectively Year 8 also offers an exploration of thought-provoking poetry, where students will engage with themes of "Pride Not Prejudice" to explore the voices of different cultures, languages and sexuality. Students will then explore the world of Shakespeare's "Victims and Villains” to develop their understanding of a range of Shakespeare’s famous characters.
In Year 9, our English curriculum offers an exciting and diverse range of texts and topics to develop students’ creative and analytical skills. One of the highlights of Year 9 is the exploration of dystopian writing, where students will analyse thought-provoking texts that challenge societal norms and provoke critical thinking. This includes examining classics like "The Giver," which delves into a world devoid of emotions and choices. Students will also journey through the passionate tale of "Romeo and Juliet," discovering Shakespearean language and timeless themes of love and conflict. They'll explore the contemporary "Black Flamingo," exploring issues of identity and belonging, as well as delve into the beauty of Romantic Poetry. In addition to these texts, Year 9 also marks the beginning of preparation for the GCSE Speaking and Listening assessment, building essential communication skills.
Key stage 4
One of the key texts for Year 10 is "An Inspector Calls," a thought-provoking play that explores themes of morality and responsibility. Students will also delve into the Power and Conflict poetry anthology, studying a selection of poems that offer profound insights into human nature and society. Shakespeare's timeless tragedy, "Macbeth," will allow students to analyse themes around gender roles, corruption and power. Additionally, students will focus on "Unseen Poetry," honing their ability to critically analyse and interpret poems they have never encountered before. Students will also rigorously prepare for Language Paper 1 and Language Paper 2, ensuring that students develop strong writing and comprehension skills necessary for their GCSE exams.