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English

      'The English language is nobody’s special property. It is the property of the imagination.’       - Derek Walcott 

In English at Leeds West Academy, students study a wide range of exciting authors, deconstruct various types of texts, and create many different forms of writing, as well as honing their oracy skills. We also aim to foster a love of reading through working closely with the library; Year 7 and Year 8 students have a reading lesson each week, which involves independent and class reading, as well as opportunities to discuss and debate key themes within the class text.  

This year, we have also introduced ‘Writing Projects’ across KS3 looking at: the elements in Year 7, animals in Year 8 and light and dark imagery in Year 9. The aim of the ‘Writing Projects’ is to allow students develop a bank of ideas to use when they come to future creative writing tasks, as well as allowing their creative flair to develop as they move towards GCSE. To develop students’ oracy skills, we have a big emphasis on speaking within the classroom, and this year we introduced ‘Talk Tuesday’, which aims to support students’ oracy skills whilst also allowing them a safe place to discuss a range of relevant and important topics. 

Students work towards two qualifications at GCSE – English Language and English Literature – for which they are given the opportunity to explore a range of literary texts from Shakespeare to modern prose and plays. In addition to this, students explore a range of fiction extracts that support and develop the skills required for the GCSE language papers. There is also a non-fiction element to the GCSE, providing students with the opportunity to consider the importance of persuasion and entertainment, considering both their own and other’s language and the impact it has.  

Key Stage 3 Curriculum 2023-24

English Curriculum Vision

 Our overarching question for our curriculum is: What does it mean to be human? We believe that literature is a reflection of what society thinks and feels at particular moments in history (both modern and otherwise) and our curriculum aims to take a closer look at poignant moments to allow students to create a love of literature and language. 

In English, we believe in making sure our students are given a wide breadth and depth of knowledge across both language and literature that not only sets them up for excellent GCSE results but also for life beyond our classroom. At KS3, we teach a thematic curriculum which ensures that key skills are interleaved throughout and means that every single student has the chance to revisit and recap key knowledge and skills across their English journey. In every scheme of learning we ensure that students are exposed to a range of extracts, short stories, relevant poetry and a range of non-fiction texts too. We believe in ensuring that our students are adequately challenged in the classroom to really push them onto ambitious concepts and texts whilst making sure appropriate scaffolds are in place so that all students can meet, or exceed, their potential in English. As both a school and a department we want students to become wholesome and well-rounded citizens that can both succeed and achieve. 

Students have the right to a rich curriculum, and we believe this what we offer in our English department. 

Year 7

Half Term

Topic 

Focus

Term 1

Wonder

The beginning of this term starts with a transition period; over summer, students are asked to read the text Wonder and complete tasks to alongside the reading. Across the first few weeks of term, every Year 7 class will read extracts from and work from the transition novel Wonder by RJ Palacio. This is mirrored across the school as every subject will use Wonder as their inspiration for Year 7 for the first few weeks in the academy.    

The History of Storytelling 

Big Question: How do stories change over time? 

This scheme of work runs up until Christmas and explores the earliest stories in our Literary Canon including key Classic and Greek mythology, Biblical stories, and the development of our language. It begins by exploring how stories and storytelling changes over time, how contextual factors impact how stories are told as well as looking at archetypal characters and their role in literature. The stories and texts that are chosen for this scheme of work means that students have the historical knowledge needed to access future texts. The skills taught in this scheme cover reading comprehension, analysis and narrative writing. It is a wonderful introduction to the magic of Literature and enables students to understand the origin and evolution of literature throughout time.    

 

 

 

Term 2

Identity, Community and Culture 

 

Big Question: What is identity?   

This scheme allows students to explore what it means to be ‘them’ whilst also exploring different cultures and communities. We explore a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, such as poems, lyrics, speeches, and articles. In this scheme, students are given the opportunity to explore and engage with pivotal moments in rhetoric and big changes in society, as well exploring opinions through poetic voice, such as the influence of Juno Dawson on the LGBQT community. In this scheme, students will develop their ability to think critically and evaluatively with texts, using the context of the text and drawing on key knowledge and skills gained from wider reading.   

 

 

 

Term 3

Mystery, Power and Gender Stereotypes  

In this scheme, students start with reading the Agatha Christie mystery novel ‘Murder on the Orient Express’. Once students have read the text, they will start to explore the key themes and character development, as well as developing an understanding and love of the mystery genre.  Students will look at what is meant by oppression so that they can analyse the power of language, as well exploring ideas around gender stereotypes so that they can see and challenge them in the world around us. Students will develop their reading, written and oracy skill across this scheme.  

 

Year 8

Half Term

Topic

Focus

Term 1

Gothic Literature  

Big Question: How are texts intrinsically linked to the social, historical and political anxieties of the time? 

Year 8 starts with an exploration of gothic literature, in line with looking at how key social and historical context has an impact on the way literature is written. Students will look at the impact of Byron and both Percy and Mary Shelley coming together in Villa Diadoti and how this was the birth of texts such as Frankenstein and Dracula. We evaluate the impact that Romanticism, the Industrial Revolution and scientific advancements had on writers and the way tension, suspense and uncertainty is developed in these texts. Students then look at how writers create characters and setting so that they can write a description of their own gothic character using the key gothic motifs studied throughout.  

 

 

 

Term 2

Power and Conflict 

Big Question: How is the exploitation of the powerless by the powerful represented and challenged? 

This scheme focuses on a study of Julius Caesar by Shakespeare and looking at how rhetoric is used by those in a position of power to control, manipulate or use it for the good of the people. Students will explore the way characters behave and interact whilst looking at the theme of betrayal and how language has power. To complement this study of Shakespeare, students will explore the rhetoric of leaders throughout the World Wars and how poets use language to counteract and respond to this in times of conflict. Students will continue to analyse and evaluate language use across different text types and will focus on writing non-fiction texts; particularly speeches and how to write from a particular viewpoint.    

 

 

 

Term 3

Expeditions and Escapades 

Big Question: Why is travel important and how does this link to our understanding of our place in the world? 

Year 8 ends with a wonderful plethora of texts from around the world. This scheme is interleaved with fiction extracts and travel writing texts, as well as looking at 19th Century explorers and addressing the prejudices some people face around the world. Students continue to build on their reading skills, and they will write a piece of travel writing about somewhere they have visited (near or far) and then work on creating their own adventure story.  

 

Year 9

Half Term

Topic

Focus

Term 1

Subversion and rebellion: Romeo and Juliet 

Year 9 starts with an exploration of subversion and rebellion in Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet and how this often mirrors what we still see in society today. We look at how sometimes rebellion leads to society changes including key non-fiction articles relating to racial injustice from both the UK and abroad. Students will also look at how teenagers behave and focus on gang violence in the UK and how the media shapes our views and opinions on topics, with students writing their own speech on important societal injustices. The teaching of Romeo and Juliet means that students become familiar with the language of Shakespeare before they get to GCSE and can begin to gain confidence in the study of such a text.

 

 

 

Term 2

Future: Run, Rebel 

Big Question: Why are the futures important 

In this term students will read the novel Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann. Across the scheme they will track how and why characters change, as well as exploring some of the big themes within the text and developing their essay writing and transactional writing skills. They will look at why futures are important, but specifically the importance of alternative perspectives when considering someone’s future. Through this text students will also develop their understanding of immigration and how this is continually adapting.

 

 

 

 Term 3 


Social Diversity

 

Big Question: How does societies' diversities allow for a better human experience 

In the last term, students move into a study of the modern play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. This ensures students have read a wide range of genres across KS3 and continues with the thread of societal injustice through disabilities. Students build their understanding of the genre of the modern play, and this could open the opportunity for extracurricular enrichment through live productions of this. The curriculum then balances the exploration of the human condition with non-fiction and poetry from authors with additional needs to broaden students’ reading experiences. This scheme will lead students into writing more academic literature essays based on key questions from the play as well as writing their own narratives based on differing perspectives beyond their own lives

 

Key Stage 4 Curriculum 2023-24

Year 10

Half Term

Topic 

Focus

Half- Term 1

Language Paper 1- Introduction to Section A and Section B 

The exploration of creative works of fiction from the 19th, 20th and 21st century, considering how and why writers influence readers.

Students will first explore the reading section of Language Paper 1 and complete exam style questions throughout the scheme to boost familiarity with the exam style and equip them with the needed exam knowledge and skills. Students will receive regular feedback, and look at exemplar responses, to ensure that they are confident with this part of the exam.

For the second half of this half-term, students will start to look at the creative writing element of the exam. They will build a bank of ideas through looking at fiction extracts and developing their use of extended metaphors and semantic fields, as well as looking at how to structure their response and include a range of vocabulary

 

 

 

Half-Term 2

An Inspector Calls 

To develop a secure knowledge of the play An Inspector Calls so that students can improve they key skills needed to succeed in the English Literature exam.

Students will develop their understanding of the play An Inspector Calls as an allegory and morality play. They will explore the concept of collective responsibility portrayed by Priestley and read the play as a teaching of social responsibility. Students will develop their analysis skills, as well as their ability to make relevant links to the play’s context and writer’s intentions. They will work on crafting essays in line with the demands of the literature GCSE.

 

 

 

Half-Term 3 

Unseen Poetry 

Students will look at how to approach and unseen poem and write an appropriate analytical response.

 

In this unit students will develop their understanding of how to structure an analytical response to a poem.  They will further develop how they can apply language and structural analysis skills to an unseen poem, which will also further strengthen their overall analysis skills.  They will also develop an understanding of key and common themes in poetry and how to write about them. 

Half-Term 4

Creative Writing Revisit 

Language Paper 2: Writing Skills 

Students will continue to develop their writing skills with a focus on effective non-fiction writing in line with the GCSE demands.

For the first 2 weeks of this half-term, students will revisit their creative writing skills from half-term 1, with a focus on structuring a response and using techniques effectively.

Following this, students will be introduced to the transactional writing element of Language Paper 2 where they will look at the art of rhetoric through a range of non-fiction texts such as speeches, letters and articles. Students will then start to hone their non-fiction writing skills with a focus on structuring their response and creating a clear and powerful voice in their writing.

 

Half-Term 5 

Language Paper 2: Reading Section 

The exploration of non-fiction works of fiction from the 19th, 20th, and 21st century, considering how and why writers influence readers. 

Anthology Poetry: Love and Relationships 

Students will look at how to approach the anthology poetry element of the exam and write an appropriate comparative analytic response. 

Students will first explore the reading section of Language Paper 2 and complete exam style questions throughout the scheme to boost familiarity with the exam style and equip them with the needed exam knowledge and skills. Students will receive regular feedback, and look at exemplar responses, to ensure that they are confident with this part of the exam.

Looking at the poem from the anthology, students will then develop their understanding of how to structure a comparative response. They will further develop how they can apply language and structural analysis skills to a poem, whilst making links to the context in which it was written. They will also develop an understanding of big picture ideas around Love and Relationships, and explore how perceptions of love and relationships have changed over time.

Please note: before HT5, students will have already looked at and annotated 10 out of the 15 poems from the anthology.

Half-Term 6

Revision: Language Paper 1, Language Paper 2, Unseen Poetry, An Inspector Calls, and Anthology Poetry 

 

Spoken Language 

In the lead up to their mocks, students will complete mini schemes on: Language Paper 1, Language Paper 2, Unseen Poetry, An Inspector Calls and Anthology Poetry. These schemes will focus on the needed skills and knowledge for their exams and will include a range of exemplar responses and writing opportunities.

Students will also plan, practise, and deliver their speeches for their Spoken Language assessment.

Year 11

Half Term

Topic

Focus

Half-Term 1 

An Inspector Calls 

To develop a secure knowledge of the play An Inspector Calls so that students can improve the key skills needed to succeed in the English Literature Exam. 

Students will develop their understanding of the play An Inspector Calls as an allegory and morality play. They will explore the concept of collective responsibility portrayed by Priestley and read the play as a teaching of social responsibility. Students will develop their analysis skills, as well as their ability to make relevant links to the play’s context and writer’s intentions. They will work on crafting essays in line with the demands of the literature GCSE.

 

 

 

 

Half-Term 2  

 

Revision: Language Paper 1, Language Paper 2, and Macbeth 

 

Spoken Language 

 

In the lead up to their mocks, students will complete mini schemes on: Language Paper 1, Language Paper 2 and Macbeth. These schemes will focus on the needed skills and knowledge for their exams and will include a range of exemplar responses and writing opportunities.

Students will also plan, practise, and deliver their speeches for their Spoken Language assessment.

 

Half-Term 3 

Jekyll and Hyde 

To develop a secure knowledge of the text Jekyll and Hyde so that students can improve the key skills needed to succeed in the English Literature exam. 

Students will read the text Jekyll and Hyde and develop their understanding of the novella as an exploration of the duality of man. They will explore the concept of being a Victorian gentleman and the importance of reputation as well as looking at the comparison of the treatment of the upper and lower classes. They will explore Stevenson’s intentions through looking at the use of characters to criticise society and teach a message to the reader. Thet will explore the relationships between characters and the themes, as well as making continual links to the text’s context and message. This scheme also aims to build on students’ essay writing skills, with a specific focus on developing the depth of their analysis.

Half-Term 4

Revision: Exam Preparation  

In the lead up to their exams, students will complete mini schemes on: transactional writing, unseen poetry, Macbeth, creative writing and anthology poetry. These schemes will focus on the needed skills and knowledge for their exams and will include a range of exemplar responses and writing opportunities.

 

Half-Term 5

Teacher led revision of all GCSE topics:

Language Paper 1, Language Paper 2, Macbeth, Jekyll and Hyde, An Inspector Calls, Love & Relationships, Unseen Poetry.

 Students will revise the key texts and exam skills across this half term. Teachers to focus on the needed skills and knowledge for their exams and will include a range of exemplar responses and writing opportunities.



For further information on the curriculum offered please contact the Academy F.A.O Miss R Kilburn by email  kilburn.r@whiteroseacademies.org