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The Curriculum

English

The Curriculum Intention

”To take concepts first. My argument is that concepts ‘are holding baskets’ for facts. They help make sense of multiple pieces of information and this makes them efficient. Concepts are largely, but not exclusively expressions of important ideas within an academic discipline. Our pupils are entitled to know them and to use them. Concepts enable connections to be across a disparate range of facts; they reside in the long-term memory and can be called on to make sense of new information. Concepts provide the intellectual architecture on which new knowledge and insights can be pinned.”

(Mary Myatt author of The Curriculum: Gallimaufry to coherence)

English is more than just the study of literacy, it is the study of life. The study of English and its related concepts allows us to interpret, question and evaluate the world around us.

The higher order skills in English require students to approach texts from a “conceptual, exploratory and critical” standpoint, and the English curriculum at Lawnswood is designed to support students in developing these higher order thinking skills from the moment they join us in Y7.

The texts we study at KS3 are ones which both engage and challenge students through their exploration of concepts such as morality, society, relationships and power. These concepts are ones that run throughout all quality texts and through engaging with these big ideas early on in their high school career, students become comfortable discussing such ideas which are then built upon and furthered through the study of GCSE texts at KS4.

The requirements of the National Curriculums for English at KS3 and KS4 are central to the learning journey upon which students embark. Units of study, and their sequencing, have been decided upon to ensure that students see connections in the work that they undertake and are able to access prior learning in order to support and develop new learning. For example, students develop their understanding of the concept of power and society in Y7 through their study of Orwell’s Animal Farm and these ideas are then returned to and further developed through the study of Lord of the Flies in Y8; Of Mice and Men in Y9; and An Inspector Calls at KS4. In structuring the curriculum in this way, students are continually developing and extending a conceptualised approach to texts.

Key concepts

Definition

1. Identity 

Noun:

“the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.”

2. Morality

Noun:

“principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour.”

3. Power

Noun:

  1. The ability or capacity to do something or act in a particular way.
  2. The capacity of ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events.

4. Ideologies

Noun:

1. A system of ideas and ideals, often in terms of how people view the world in terms of political viewpoints.

5. Relationships

Noun:

The way  in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected.

6. Society

Noun:

People living together as a community in an organised way, with shared customs and laws.

Students study in the following hours per fortnight:

  • Year 7: 8 hours
  • Year 8: 6 hours (plus 2 hours of Wider World)
  • Year 9: 6 hours (plus 2 hours of Wider World)
  • Year 10: 9 hours
  • Year 11: 9 hours
  • Years 12-13: 10 hours