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Curriculum Overview – English

Offering a diverse curriculum and boasting a range of extra-curricular activities, English undoubtedly plays a hugely important role in the lives of pupils at Lordswood Boys’ School.  Students are valued as individuals and ensure that they are grouped in sets, according to their ability, to allow for the pace of delivery of English to be adapted to suit their needs. As well as this, students have direct access to their current grades and are given bespoke information about how to make progress in reading, writing and spoken language.

The students at Lordswood Boys’ School enjoy studying a range of topics, and interactive methods such as presentations, role-play, question and answer sessions and peer assessment are utilised to stimulate and engage the boys. The KS3 curriculum has been reformed so that the English department can fully prepare our students for the exam-only GCSE English Language and Literature specification. Our long term plans are continually evaluated and adapted in order to meet the demands of the raised standards and expectations of the KS4 curriculum while also being tailored to the meet the needs of our students. The units in place cover a range of literary eras. All students, regardless of ability, are appropriately challenged with both non-fiction and texts spanning from pre-19th Century to the modern day.

In addition, all students embark upon the Accelerated Reader scheme where, once per week, the boys are given a reading lesson and undertake a quiz on their selected novel, in the library; this is just one of eight lessons of English taught every two weeks.  There are also lessons dedicated to fill gaps in grammatical knowledge as well as to promote the use of academic literacy. This takes the form of small group intervention, which works alongside the Accelereated Reader scheme.

Curriculum Content

Transition Unit: Persuasive writing and spoken language

19th Century Fiction: ‘A Christmas Carol’

The Author’s Craft: ‘War Horse’ – Michael Morpurgo

Shakespeare play study: Julius Caesar/Midsummer Night’s Dream

Heroes: English Language Paper 1 Focus (Question 4: Critical evaluation)

English Language Paper 1 skills

Each of the units above are injected with focused teaching of spelling, punctuation, grammar and promote use of academic English.

Shakespeare play study: ‘Much Ado about Nothing’

Post 1914 prose fiction: ‘Animal Farm’ – George Orwell

Comparing literary non-fiction including 19th Century texts: English Language Paper 2 Focus (Question 4: Comparing viewpoints and perspectives)

Poetry and Culture

‘Sherlock Holmes’ – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Writing an engaging narrative

English Language Paper 2 skills

Each of the units above are injected with focused teaching of spelling, punctuation, grammar and promote use of academic English.

The Author’s Craft: ‘Of Mice and Men’ – John Steinbeck

Selected conflict poems (AQA GCSE anthology) and non-fiction texts

GCSE Shakespeare play study: Macbeth

Creative writing based on Shakespeare study

GCSE 19th Century Novel: ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ – Robert Louis Stevenson English Language Paper 1 Skills

Each of the units above are injected with focused teaching of spelling, punctuation, grammar and promote use of academic English.

Formal assessments take place twice in a half term and are graded.

Homework will focus on spelling, punctuation and grammar. Schemes of work allow for various research and pre-reading tasks to prepare students for any new knowledge so that the focus in lessons may be on the development of analytical and writing skills. Class teachers may also set homework at their discretion to support students with any additional activities.

Students are required to read their school library book for 30 minutes on a daily basis as part of the Accelerated Reader scheme.

How do I support my son?

You can support your son by encouraging him to read a range of texts, including newspapers and fiction, ranging from pre-19th Century to the modern day.

The English department follows examination guidance from the awarding body AQA. Any English Language revision guides that are approved by AQA will be suitable to support your son’s progress at home to extend and challenge.