Aspire, Achieve and Thrive

English

 Our Aim

The English Department at Downland School is dedicated to providing our pupils with the skills needed to achieve their personal academic goals. By valuing the importance of reading, writing and confident communication, we are preparing our pupils to become life-long, independent learners and contributing members of society.

We encourage our pupils to take responsibility for their own learning. Learning English at Downland School will be challenging, engaging and provide rigorous application of support and strategies to enable young learners to develop academically and personally. Independent and group-working learning opportunities, that are SEN adapted, are encouraged so pupils are fully prepared for the world beyond the classroom. Our curriculum is intentionally challenging to extend the learning of all pupils whatever their ability.

All pupils follow the National Curriculum for English at all Key Stages. This aims to ensure that pupils read regularly to become fluent with good understanding, but also for pleasure and information. We also use discussion to widen vocabulary, enhance understanding and to express ideas. The National Curriculum forms the basis of our core aims:

  • Encouraging and developing reading skills and promoting a love of reading
  • Introducing our pupils to a variety of genres
  • Promoting an appreciation of literature within our classrooms
  • Developing both oral and written communication skills
  • Improving writing skills by exploring a variety of writing experiences including the writing of poetry, essays, and stories
    Teaching the research process
  • Providing all pupils the opportunity to access the curriculum through personalised, short-term achievable goals
  • Developing creativity within the subject using cross-curricular opportunities to reinforce literacy.
    To develop competence in speaking and listening, creating presentations and participating in debate

Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2, we currently only educate Year 6 pupils (age 10-11). We teach literacy lessons to ensure that KS2 pupils are given the support and challenge they need to reach or exceed their age related expectations. At KS2, pupils are given additional opportunities to develop reading and writing skills, for example through text choices for topic and links to other subjects.
Pupils sit national KS2 standard assessment tests (SAT). These assess grammar, punctuation, spelling and reading progress and are taken towards the end of Year 6. The grammar, punctuation and spelling test consists of two parts: a grammar and punctuation paper and a spelling test. The reading paper comprises questions based on 3 different texts.

At KS2 pupils have four lessons per week and are given additional opportunities to develop reading and writing skills, for example through text choices for topic and links to other subjects.

 

Year 6 Curriculum Overview

Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 3

Unit 1: Poetry
Reading/Writing

  • Kennings
  • Rhyming Couplets
  • Poetic devices
  • Comparisons

Unit 2: Roald Dahl
Reading/Writing

  • Characterisation
  • Comprehension
  • Story Mountain
Unit 3: Non Fiction
  • Persuasive writing
  • Letter writing
  • Posters
Spring 4 Summer 5 Summer 6

Unit 4: Shakespeare

  • Exploring and developing characters
  • Understanding Shakespeare’s characters
  • Comparing with current characters
Unit 5: SATs Revision
  • Reading
  • Comprehension
  • SPAG
Unit 6: Holes
  • 1st person writing
  • Diary Entries
  • Comprehension
  • Literacy Skills

 Key Stage 3

We teach Years 7, 8 and 9 in Key Stage 3. In Key Stage 3, we teach four literacy lessons per week to ensure that pupils are given the support and challenge they need to reach or exceed their age related expectations.  We endeavour to allow pupils to foster a love for English. We create specific opportunities to deepen knowledge and creativity, develop understanding and have a particular focus to further embed the skills of success from KS3 to 4 for example: advanced punctuation, textual analysis by providing opportunities to identify techniques and opportunities to use the necessary skills correctly.

Years 7, 8 and 9 follow a curriculum which includes reading and writing that relates to persuasive debate, creative and comparative writing and an introduction to Shakespeare.

WRAT testing is carried out bi-annually to ensure a starting point and that gaps in learning and skills are identified. Teaching tasks are then differentiated and personalised in order to achieve progression. It also allows support to be given across all subject areas with literacy. Core skills required for GCSE are introduced in all KS3 schemes of work.

From September 2020, the English department will be utilising the PIRA system of assessment; this will help to identify the areas which need developing for each pupil. In turn this will lead to development of personalised plans allowing for progress to be made.

 

Year 7 Curriculum Overview 

Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 3

Unit 1: Myself Peace and Conflict
Speaking and Listening Unit

  • Introduction to Speaking and Listening

 

Unit 2: Poetry
Reading/Writing Unit

  • Haiku (Fireworks)
  • Colour Poetry
  • Rhyming Couplets
  • Bogeyman
  • Introducing comparison skills
  • Context

Unit 3: BFG
Creative Writing Unit

  • Non-fiction
  • Word choices
  • Effect on the reader


Spring 4 Summer 5 Summer 6

Unit 4: Shakespeare

  • Knowledge about Shakespeare and life in C16 England
  • Exploring texts
  • How to read Shakespeare
  • Sonnets

Unit 5: Ratburger
Reading Unit

  • Character descriptive writing
  • Comparing authors
  • Biographies/autobiographies

Unit 6: Fantasy Mythical Creatures
Reading and Writing Unit

  • Reading for meaning
  • Imaginative writing
  • Creating fantasy descriptions
  • Evaluation


 

Year 8 Curriculum Overview 

Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 3

Unit 1: The Novel (Stormbreaker)
Reading Unit

  • Reading for meaning
  • Comprehension
  • Comparison

Unit 2: Persuasive Debate ‘Crime’
Reading/Writing Unit

  • Debate
  • Writing to argue and persuade
  • Investigation
  • Evaluation

Unit 3: A Monster Calls
Writing Unit

  • Developing terror and suspense
  • Narrative writing
  • Evaluation
  • Structure
Spring 4 Summer 5 Summer 6

Unit 4: Ghost Stories
Creative Writing Unit

  • Techniques of writing
  • Context
  • Writer’s use of language/Viewpoints (1st/3rd person)

Unit 5: Shakespeare
Reading Unit

  • Sonnets
  • Witches speech
  • Characterisation
  • Assessment

Unit 6: Comparative Writing

Key words:

  • News
  • Spot the difference
  • Tasting


 

Year 9 Curriculum Overview 

Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 3

Unit 1: Insightful Readers, Atmospheric Writers
(Rhino Farm)

Reading for meaning
Writer’s use of language
Writing to describe

Unit 2: Insightful Readers, Atmospheric Writers
(Jekyll and Hyde)

  • Writer’s use of language and structure
  • Writing to describe – language and structure

Unit 3: The Novel (Of Mice and Men)

  • Study of a novel
  • Presentation of character (inferring, interpretation)
  • Consideration of context
Spring 4 Summer 5 Summer 6

Unit 4: Plays through time

  • Differences between playscripts and novels
  • Understanding of tone, cadence and volume
  • Exploring a range of genre
  • Writing playscripts

Unit 5: Creative Writing

  • Using different styles of writing as prompts
  • Developing a personal writing style
  • Developing an understanding of different types of punctuation and how to use them.
  • Re-capping sentence structures
  • Whole-text structures

Unit 6: Introduction to GCSE

  • Unit 1 – Evidence from text, Language for effect
  • Unit 2 – Structure and presentation, Writer’s point of view, Developing responses, Comparison
  • Unit 3 – Spoken and Scripted Language, features of spoken language, attitudes towards language
  • Unit 4 – Sentence structure and technique, writing for a specific purpose, persuasive text

Key Stage 4

Teaching English in Key Stage 4 continues with the process of deepening knowledge and understanding of spoken language, reading, writing and basic literacy skills developed in the earlier Key Stages. Pupils have four lessons per week.

Years 10 and 11 study GCSE English Language and Entry Level Certificate Step up to English.

GCSE English Language

Examination Board: AQA (9-1)
Paper 1: Explorations in creative reading and writing
Section A Reading 25% of GCSE – Section B Writing 25% of GCSE
Paper 2: Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives
Section A Reading 25% of GCSE – Section B Writing 25% of GCSE

Both papers are 1 hour 45 minutes

Entry Level Certificate Step up to English

Pupils will either be entered for the Silver or Gold Step depending on ability.
Both Silver and Gold steps include two 90 minute papers.

Paper 1 One spoken language task, reading tasks that include short form questions and one longer writing task – 50% of exam
Paper 2 Reading tasks that include short form questions and one longer writing task – 50% of exam

Skills will be covered in Year 10 and developed and enhanced in Year 11. The teaching and delivery of the content is designed to suit the skill sets of the pupils, containing specific challenge and assistance to maximise their progress and achievement in the subject.

Pupils are either entered for both GCSE and Entry Level Examinations or just Entry Level depending on their ability.

Further information can be found on the following sites:
https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700/assessment-resources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/levels/z98jmp3 (Revision for all Key Stages)