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English

Curriculum Intent

At Corpus Christi the English curriculum is designed to develop pupils’ skills from KS2 to KS4, as well as inspiring a love of learning about their language and the literature that has shaped their world that they live in. It will arm pupils with knowledge about how their language functions from the spoken to the written word. They will encounter a diverse range of literature from the 16th to the 21st century and develop their ability to both read and analyse these texts. Pupils will become proficient in reading these increasingly challenging texts, developing their appreciation and love of reading in the process. As pupils progress, so too will their knowledge of how to write with fluency, using the correct grammar and vocabulary to communicate effectively and with confidence. Pupils will be able to recognise how the analytical and creative aspects of English blend together across all of language and literature. Their knowledge, understanding and skills in English will provide the background that will enable pupils to explain how to present balanced arguments on a wide range of subject matters and to be able to justify their responses. The curriculum should develop an understanding of how the context of literature impacts on the modern world and the time it was written. By the end of Key Stage 3, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills required by the National Curriculum.

Aims

The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that by the end of their time in our school all pupils:

  • Develop their critical reading and comprehension (literal and inference) skills across a range of texts in order to demonstrate their understanding.
  • Produce summaries and synthesise information from multiple texts.
  • Evaluate a writer’s choice of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural features and consider the effect these choices would have on a reader.
  • Are able to compare texts critically in order to evaluate both their effectiveness as a text and to show an understanding of the impact of the similarities and differences identified.  
  • Are able to write in a clear and coherent way across a range of styles both fiction and non-fiction.
  • Are able to write for specific audiences/purposes to achieve the desired impact.
  • Are able to use Standard English with confidence and accuracy.
  • Are able to communicate clearly and with confidence both through the written word and their verbal interactions.

“English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.”

National Curriculum 2013

The need to communicate with clarity is at the heart of English. Pupils must be able to be able to make themselves understood through both written and spoken forms of communication. In turn they must be able to understand and analyse the written form of a variety of texts, from Shakespeare to the modern day. To equip pupils to be able to do this we teach them a wide range texts, studying the context behind them, their purpose, audience, and the technical aspects which make them what they are.

Discussion is a key element within lessons as pupils learn to work with a partner to discuss the meaning behind the texts they encounter, developing their own viewpoints and learning to support them with evidence found in the texts they are studying. Pupils’ ability to craft well informed views of literary texts is essential to their growth as readers and assists in the development of their critical thinking. By understanding how texts work and how the technical aspects carry detail, pupils are prepared to create similar texts for themselves, synthesising the skills they found in others work for their own purpose.

KS3 Overview

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Fostering a love of reading is important and pupils begin their journey by studying a fiction text in depth in the Autumn term. Across the Key Stage pupils learn about characters, themes and plots through the study of a play in Year 7, gothic literature in Year 8 and dystopian literature in Year 9. By studying how these texts work, pupils are able develop a creative writing piece of their own which applies the specific genre skills they have been learning about in class. Pupils move from fiction to non-fiction in the Spring term, deepening their grasp of how texts are formed by studying articles and reports in Year 7, letters and travelogues in Year 8, speeches and reviews in Year 9. Through these non-fiction texts pupils learn about rhetoric, structure, persuasive language and how to create their own pieces of non-fiction writing. The final part of pupils reading journey is the study of Shakespeare in the Summer term. We begin by looking at how Shakespeare used language in a selection of his Sonnets. From this foundation we then read The Tempest, introducing the themes such as betrayal, kingship and family – themes which we return to in Key Stage 4. In Year 9 pupils read Hamlet, developing their understanding of the themes, and how Shakespeare used them for dramatic effect. Underpinning all of this reading is the regular study of poems, looking at how they are structured and use figurative language to convey emotions.

Year 7

Unit 1 (14 weeks)Unit 2 (11 weeks)Unit 3 (12 weeks)
Theme: Identity and SelfTheme: Heroes and VillainsTheme: Introducing Shakespeare
Fiction Focus  
·          Reading fiction (extracts/Drama Text)
·          Writing fiction
·          Poetry
·          Speaking and Listening (3 person task)
Non-Fiction Focus
·          Reading non-fiction (articles)
·          Writing non-fiction (articles)
·          Poetry
·          Speaking and Listening (2 person task)
Shakespeare Focus (with related texts)  
·          Reading Shakespeare Sonnets 
·          Reading non-fiction relating to Shakespeare
·          Writing non-fiction (reports/recommendations)
·          Speaking and Listening (1 person task)

Pupils must:

Identity and Self

  • Understand the parts of speech and how they go together to form sentences/paragraphs.
  • Understand the genre and conventions of a play.
  • Understand the characters, theme and plot of the Year 7 play selection.
  • Understand and be able to use the WHW analytical approach.
  • Understand and identify the writing to describe terminology for Year 7.
  • Be able to create a useful and creative plan for their narrative.
  • Understand how to structure and be able to write a coherent narrative.
  • Understand and identify poetic terminology for Year 7.
  • Be able to speak in an organised way for a group discussion.  

Heroes and Villains

  • Understand and identify the writing to non-fiction language to argue/persuade/inform terminology for Year 7.
  • Understand the conventions of an article.
  • Understand the qualities of a hero and a villain.
  • Understand and be able to use the TEA analytical approach.
  • Understand and be able to undertake specific roles within a group discussion.
  • Be able to create a useful and creative plan for their article.
  • Understand how to structure and be able to write an article.
  • Be able to analyse the impact of language devices from the Year 7 poetic terminology.

Introducing Shakespeare

  • Understand the structure of a sonnet. 
  • Be able to explain the viewpoints of romantic love in Shakespeare’s sonnets. 
  • Analyse how Shakespeare treats the theme of love using WHW.
  • Be able to analyse the impact of language devices from the Year 7 non-fiction language to argue/persuade/inform terminology using TEA.
  • Plan a report showing understanding of the conventions.
  • Be able to write a personal recommendation of a Shakespearean Sonnet.
  • Be able to speak with clarity in front of their peers.

Year 8

Unit 1 (14 weeks)Unit 2 (11 weeks)Unit 3 (12 weeks)
Theme:  Gothic LiteratureTheme: Society, Crime and PunishmentTheme: Discovering Shakespeare
Fiction Focus
·         Reading fiction (novel- Woman in Black)
·          Writing fiction
·          Poetry + context
·          Speaking and Listening (3 person task)
Non-Fiction Focus
·          Reading non-fiction (letters)
·          Writing non-fiction (letters)
·          Poetry + context/comparison
·          Speaking and Listening (2 person task)
Shakespeare Focus (with related texts)
·          Reading Shakespeare (The Tempest – adapted version)
·          Writing non-fiction (travel writing)
·          Speaking and Listening (1 person task)

Pupils must:

Gothic Literature  

  • Understand and be able to write the different types of sentence: simple, compound and complex.
  • Be able to explain the impact of the different types of sentences on the reader.
  • Understand the genre and conventions of gothic literature.
  • Understand the characters, theme and plot of ‘The Woman in Black’.
  • Understand and be able to use the WHW analytical approach in relation to gothic literature.
  • Understand and identify the writing to describe terminology for Year 8.
  • Be able to create a useful and creative plan for their gothic narrative.
  • Understand how to structure and be able to write a gothic narrative.
  • Be able to speak with clarity in an organised way for a group discussion. 
  • Understand, identify and analyse poetic terminology for Year 8.

Society, Crime and Punishment

  • Understand and identify the writing to argue/persuade/inform terminology for Year 8.
  • Understand the conventions of both formal and informal letters.
  • Be able to write a formal letter.
  • Be able to analyse the impact of language devices from the Year 8 non-fiction language to argue/persuade/inform terminology using TEA.
  • Understand and be able to conduct an interview.
  • Understand the method for comparing two poems.
  • Understand the context behind literary texts.
  • Be able to analyse the impact of language devices from the Year 8 poetic terminology across a pair of poems using WHW.

Discovering Shakespeare  

  • Understand who William Shakespeare is and where he fits into history.
  • Understand the generic conventions relating to a Shakespearean comedy.
  • Understand the context behind the play ‘The Tempest’.
  • Understand the characters, theme and plot of ‘The Tempest’.
  • Be able to understand and analyse the language of William Shakespeare using WHW.
  • Plan and write a piece of travel writing showing understanding of the conventions.
  • Be able to analyse the impact of language devices from the Year 8 non-fiction language to argue/persuade/inform terminology using TEA.
  • Be able to speak with confidence in front of their peers.

Year 9

Unit 1 (14 weeks)Unit 2 (11 weeks)Unit 3 (12 weeks)
Theme: Dystopian LiteratureTheme: Conflict, Chaos and DisorderTheme: Exploring Shakespeare
Fiction Focus
·          Reading fiction (novel – Mortal Engines)
·          Writing fiction
·          Poetry + context
·          Speaking and Listening (3 person task)
Non-Fiction Focus
·          Reading non-fiction + comparison
·          Writing non-fiction (speeches)
·          Poetry + context/comparison 
·  Speaking and Listening (2 person task)
 Shakespeare Focus (with related texts)
·          Reading Shakespeare (Hamlet – adapted version)
·          Reading non-fiction relating to Shakespeare
·          Writing non-fiction (review)
·          Speaking and Listening (1 person task)

Pupils must:

Dystopian Literature

  • Understand and be able to identify the word classes and types of sentences used in writing.
  • Understand the genre and conventions of a dystopian narrative.
  • Understand the characters, theme and plot of ‘Mortal Engines’.
  • Understand and be able to use the WHW analytical approach in relation to dystopian literature.
  • Understand and identify the writing to describe terminology for Year 9.
  • Be able to create a useful and creative plan for their dystopian narrative.
  • Understand how to structure and be able to write a dystopian narrative.
  • Be able to speak in a confident manner during a group discussion. 
  • Be able to compare two poems.
  • Be able to analyse the impact of language devices from the Year 9 poetic terminology across a pair of poems using WHW.
  • Understand and comment on the impact of context when reading a literature text. 

Conflict, Chaos and Disorder  

  • Understand the impact of context when looking at speeches.
  • Be able to analyse the impact of language devices from the Year 9 non-fiction language to argue/persuade/inform terminology using TEA.
  • Be able to create a useful and creative plan for their speech.
  • Understand the conventions of and be able to write a coherent speech.
  • Be able to analyse the impact of language devices from the Year 9 poetic terminology within a pair of poems using comparative techniques.
  • Be able to comment on the context within a pair of poems using comparative techniques.

Exploring Shakespeare  

  • Be able to make links between ‘Hamlet’ and the context in which it was written.  
  • Understand the generic conventions relating to a Shakespearean tragedy.
  • Understand the characters, theme and plot of ‘Hamlet’.
  • Be able to understand and analyse the language of William Shakespeare using WHW.
  • Plan and write a piece of review writing showing understanding of the conventions.
  • Be able to analyse the impact of language devices from the Year 9 non-fiction language to argue/persuade/inform terminology using TEA.
  • Be able to speak assuredly in front of their peers.

KS4 Overview

The literature texts in Key Stage 4 have been carefully selected to build on the knowledge acquired in Key Stage 3 and further develop pupils’ knowledge of the techniques employed by the writers and their effect on readers. Pupils begin with the study of the gothic 19th Century novel A Christmas Carol, before moving onto the 20th Century play An Inspector Calls. When studying these texts pupils are extending their understanding of character, theme and context. Linked to these texts we study selected anthology poems which contain similar themes in order to enable pupils to develop their critical thinking. Through the study of unseen poetry pupils hone their ability to read for meaning and to analyse figurative language and its effect on the reader. The study of English language is covered across all of Key Stage 4, with the fiction elements of Paper One further developing the work undertaken in Key Stage 3, and similarly the non-fiction elements of Paper Two building on the work completed across the range of texts in Key Stage 3.

Year 10

Unit 1 (14 weeks)Unit 2 (11 weeks)Unit 3 (12 weeks)
Theme: 19th Century TextTheme: 20th Century Drama – AICTheme: Anthology Poetry
·          Christmas Carol
·          Anthology Poetry – London
·          Language Paper 1 Reading (Q1, 2 & 4)
·          An Inspector Calls 
·          Language Paper 1 Narrative or Descriptive Writing (Q5)
·          Language Paper 1 Reading (Q3)
·          Speaking and Listening (recorded 1 person task)
PRE MOCK
·          Language Paper 1 Revision
·          Anthology Poetry – Ozymandias & My Last Duchess.
POST MOCK
·          Anthology Poetry – Prelude, Charge of the Light Brigade, Storm on the Island, War Photographer, Tissue, The Emigree, Checking Out Me History, Exposure, Bayonet Charge & Kamikaze

Pupils must:

19th Century Novel

  • Deepen understanding of the KS3 poetic devices in the ‘GCSE Anthology’ poem and 19th Century text.  
  • Understand the impact of context on the ‘GCSE Anthology’ poem.
  • Understand the relevant context surrounding Charles Dickens and the 19th Century text ‘A Christmas Carol’.
  • Understand the characters, plot and themes of the 19th Century text ‘A Christmas Carol’.
  • Be able to analyse language and make relevant textual references using the WHW approach.
  • Be able to link contextual understanding to the analysis of the 19th Century text ‘A Christmas Carol’.
  • Understand the language approaches to Language Paper One, question two.
  • Understand evaluation approaches to Language Paper One, question four.
  • Be able to respond with clarity using TEA to Language Paper One, questions two and four.

Anthology Poetry  

  • Understand the relevant context surrounding J.B. Priestley and modern drama text ‘An Inspector Calls’.
  • Understand the characters, plot and themes of the modern drama text ‘An Inspector Calls’.
  • Understand the writer’s choices and the desired impact of their conscious constructs.
  • Be able to analyse language and make relevant textual references using the WHW approach.
  • Be able to link contextual understanding to the analysis of the modern drama text ‘An Inspector Calls’.
  • Understand the conventions of a narrative and a descriptive piece of writing for Language Paper One, question five.
  • Be able to create a useful and creative plan for their narrative.
  • Understand the importance of varying vocabulary for effect.
  • Further develop and utilise KS3 descriptive terminology in the writing of a narrative and a descriptive piece of writing.
  • Understand structural approaches to Language Paper One, question three.
  • Be able to respond with clarity using TEA to Language Paper One, question three.
  • Understand the requirements of making a solo presentation to the class.
  • Be able to verbally present a planned topic to the class in a formal fashion.

20th Century Drama  

  • Revise question approaches to Language Paper One, question one to five.
  • Be able to respond with clarity using TEA to Language Paper One, question two and three.
  • Be able to plan and write an engaging narrative in response to Language Paper One, Question Five.
  • Deepen understanding of the KS3 poetic devices in the ‘GCSE Anthology’ poems.
  • Understand the impact of context on the ‘GCSE Anthology’ poems.
  • Understand the analytical approach to ‘GCSE Anthology’ poetry and be able to write analytically about selected poems.
  • Be able to link contextual understanding to the analysis of ‘GCSE Anthology’ poems.
  • Be able to compare poems from the ‘GCSE Anthology’.

Year 11

Unit 1 (14 weeks)Unit 2 (11 weeks)Unit 3 (12 weeks)
Theme: Shakespeare – MacbethTheme: Unseen PoetryTheme: Exam Season 
·          Reading Shakespeare: Macbeth
·          Language Paper 2 Reading (Q1 & 4)
PRE MOCK
·          Language Paper 2 Transactional Writing (specific element for mock)
POST MOCK
·          Poetry Anthology – Remains & Poppies
·          Unseen Poetry
·          Language Paper 2 Transactional Writing – Article, Review, Formal & Informal Letters & Speeches (Q5)
·          Revision
Revision 

Pupils must:

Shakespeare: Macbeth   

  • Understand the relevant context surrounding William Shakespeare and the play ‘Macbeth’.
  • Understand the characters, plot and themes of the play ‘Macbeth’.
  • Deepen understanding of the KS3 poetic devices in the play ‘Macbeth’
  • Understand the writer’s choices and the desired impact of their conscious constructs.
  • Be able to analyse language and make relevant textual references using the WHW approach.
  • Be able to link contextual understanding to the analysis of the play ‘Macbeth’.
  • Be able to identify truthful statements from the text for Language Paper Two, question one.
  • Understand summary approaches to Language Paper Two, question two.
  • Revise the TEA style response to Language Paper Two, question three.
  • Understand and be able to identify the word classes and types of sentences used in writing.
  • Understand comparative approaches to Language Paper Two, question four.
  • Be able to respond with clarity using comparison to Language Paper Two, questions two and four.
  • Further develop and utilise the KS3 non-fiction language to argue/persuade/inform terminology used in Language Paper Two, question five.
  • Deepen understanding of KS3 poetic devices in the ‘GCSE Anthology’ poems.
  • Understand the impact of context on the ‘GCSE Anthology’ poems.
  • Understand the analytical approach to ‘GCSE Anthology’ poetry and be able to write analytically about selected poems.
  • Be able to link contextual understanding to the analysis of ‘GCSE Anthology’ poems.
  • Be able to compare poems from the ‘GCSE Anthology’.

Unseen Poetry

  • Deepen understanding of KS3 poetic devices in the ‘Unseen Poetry’.
  • Understand the analytical approach to ‘Unseen Poetry’ and be able to write analytically about selected poems. 
  • Deepen understanding of the KS3 argue/persuade/inform terminology used in Language Paper Two, question five.
  • Understand the importance of meaningful planning.
  • Further develop and utilise the KS3 non-fiction language to argue/persuade/inform terminology in response to a range of transactional writing tasks for Language Paper Two, question five.

Reading

In English we take responsibility for teaching pupils how to read with confidence and fluency, because reading is the gateway to the curriculum in all subject areas. As a department we will ensure that the reading strategy will be in place whenever we are approaching a text to build pupils fluency and their command of vocabulary. To ensure parity of education across all ability ranges, key curriculum texts are selected to suit the abilities of readers, but still providing the necessary challenge for them to improve the reading skills and confidence. Having high expectations of pupil engagement and collaboration are at the forefront of our approach to reading.  

The heart of our reading strategy is that every pupil reads for ten minutes at the beginning of each English lesson. Before reading new content, pupils will reflect on the previous sections covered to clarify understanding. Once prior learning has been clarified, the teacher will then model good reading with the class to enable pupils to hear the text read aloud and to be taught the key complex language. Pupils will then read the text for themselves, whilst the teacher monitors their progress and identifies further language which they need support in understanding.

We use a wide range of approaches when reading to engage pupils’ skills and to improve their confidence. These include: emotive reading of dialogue by pairs of pupils with a focus on how dialogue between people should sound different from the rest of the text; repeated reading by teacher of a section, were pupils then reread section as a choral reading or in pairs with a focus is on tone and expression; reading round the room; reading on in pairs through short sections of the text and reading segmented sentences to show pupils how to use punctuation with the focus on pupils breaking longer sentences into meaningful phrases.

At the conclusion of the reading, the teacher will then clarify any words or phrases which pupils were not able to decode for themselves. Pupils are encouraged to create a glossary of words in the back of their exercise books that they can refer to and employ in their own growing language base. When encountering new language, we encourage pupils to employ the school’s approach to spelling words they have made mistakes with. Pupils will identify the correct spelling of the word, cover it up and try to write it down from memory before uncovering the word and checking the spelling. With the spelling correct they will then repeat the process until the spelling is secure.

Assessment

In English, we believe that high quality summative assessment must primarily enable pupils to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding acquired throughout the implementation of the planned curriculum. Subsequently, this will allow teachers to measure the progress made by pupils through the English Curriculum, in relation to learning outcomes set out in the schemes of work. Through regular measuring by formative assessment in class of the extent to which pupils have acquired knowledge and secured their understanding, teachers will be able identify gaps in learning which inform future teaching and planned interventions.

In English, all assessments are challenging and adapted to meet the needs of all pupils, and have been checked and verified with line managers. In Key Stage 3, formal summative assessment will take place towards the end of each unit of work and in the Summer Term. In Key Stage 4, formal summative assessment will take place in the Summer Term for year 10 and in the Autumn Term for year 11. Assessments in Key Stage 3 are adapted to ensure all academic groups can demonstrate their understanding and have the opportunity to make outstanding progress through the curriculum. It is the responsibility of each teacher to ensure their classes are suitably ready for assessments and all content has been covered thoroughly, considering the needs of all pupils. Once assessments have been completed the staff will moderate the marking for quality assurance and accuracy.

All pupils will be regularly assessed during lessons through questioning and feedback. In English, there are many opportunities for pupils to discuss and feedback to the class. By assessing pupils through formative assessment, we enable their teachers to check progress constantly and adapt teaching to their needs. In English, the use of formative assessment will enable teachers to use this daily feedback from questioning and marking to inform decisions related to progress grades which are in line with the shared rationale for the awarding of progress grades as set out by the Head of Department.

Curriculum Impact

The impact of the English curriculum can be seen in the depth of secure knowledge acquired by our pupils over their course of study. This significant improvement can be seen in the external examination results for Language and Literature. . In 2022-23 examinations we have achieved the best ever 4-9 grades for English in the history of the school; with more pupils achieving a grade 4+ in Literature than ever before.

 2017-182018-192019-202020-212021-222022-23
Language
Grade 4+
57.75666.964.267.2465
Literature
Grade 4+
60.8606663.466.377.9
Best  
Grade 4+
66.46070.874.875.977.9

We provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities which develop English skills, engagement and enhance the ability of our pupils outside of the National Curriculum. The activities consist of a writing club which focuses on improving the creative skills of pupils; a debate club which develops individual persuasive skills and the pupil’s ability to structure a coherent argument for debate; and a games club which develops pupils’ oracy and team work through a growing range of board/role playing games.

We are a regular participant school in the Lancashire Book of the Year reading competition, attending the moderation meetings to share our views of the short listed novels and taking an active role in the final selection process of the winning novel.

In the 2022 we took part in the Young Writer’s ‘Twisted Tales’ short story competition. Sixty eight of our KS3 pupils had their work published in an anthology of scary short stories. Our Year 11 pupils attend the GCSE Poetry Live event as a part of their preparation for the GCSE Literature examination. This is an opportunity to listen to renowned poets Simon Armitage, Carol Ann Duffy, John Agard and others reading and discussing their poetry.   Our extended learning day provision allows pupils to develop their confidence in a variety of ways linked to the skills developed within English. In collaboration with the Computing department we give Year 8 pupils the enjoyable experience of creating their own Fighting Fantasy style game book. Pupils take the time to explore this nostalgic sub-genre of literature and write detailed descriptions of the rooms, traps, monsters and the hero who undertakes the adventure in the style of the 1980’s Ian Livingstone novels. In Year 11, pupils experience revision days to enhance their existing subject knowledge and to support their Literature revision around the drama texts ‘Macbeth’ and ‘An Inspector Calls’, focusing on the characters, plot and themes.

For further information regarding the English curriculum please contact:
Mr Forsyth, email: afor@ccc.lancs.sch.uk or telephone school reception: (01772) 716912.

Together In One Body
Corpus Christi Catholic High School
St. Vincent’s Road, Fulwood, Preston PR2 8QY
Telephone: 01772 716912 Fax: 01772 718779 Email: admin@ccc.lancs.sch.uk