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Wright Robinson College

English

INTRODUCTION

The themes and ideas that we explore are timeless and, at their heart, fundamentally human helping students’ personal development and growth as they progress through school. Underpinning this study, our curriculum is unashamedly rigorous and academic, with a clear focus on the core tenets of English: reading for inference, interpretation, and enjoyment; reading to understand perspective and bias; writing creatively; writing discursively with purpose.

During Years 7 – 9, we build our understanding of seminal works of literature, ranging all the way Ancient Greece through to modern Britain. We do not shy away from creating a very secure knowledge bank from which to work later. We also develop our ability to write through reading these texts and aim to secure a sound understanding of the mechanics of successful writing across a range of text types.

During Years 10 and 11, we aim to build on the work completed during Key Stage 3 and very deliberately continue to practise the skills required to be successful in our terminal GCSE examinations. In Year 10 we aim every year to attend a live production (theatre schedules permitting) and to read as widely across a range of texts as possible.

KS3 Curriculum Map

english curriculum map.pdf

 

Curriculum in Year 7

In Year 7, students will study three core units: Greek Mythology, The Odyssey and Julius Caesar. This will be augmented with three class readers that will be read for enjoyment alongside. Three writing units will also complement the units of work: Narrative writing, writing to describe and writing to argue and persuade.

How we assess:

Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term
Overview  Greek Mythology The Odyssey Julius Caesar
Content Students will expand their cultural capital by reading stories from mythology and exploring several different characters. They will encounter important genres, themes and vocabulary through their study of the ancient world which they will be able to carry forward and apply to future studies. Towards the end of the topic, students will begin to write from the viewpoint of various characters from mythology, developing their use of emotive language. Students will continue their study of the ancient world by reading a modernised version of Homer's epic poem, ‘The Odyssey’. Through this, students will understand the concept of heroism and the importance of lasting fame – ideas they can apply to their study of war poetry in Year 9, 10 and 11. Students will learn to track a character’s development throughout a story by mapping changes in Odysseus. This skill of exploring a character’s development across a text will underpin what they will later do in their literature studies at KS4.   Year 7 ends with students' first introduction to Shakespeare and a study of the tragedy, Julius Caesar. Students will read and analyse several extracts taken from the original Shakespearean text. This will enable pupils to develop the skill of language analysis which will allow them to build on their ability to comment on a character’s progression throughout a text. This will be an opportunity for students to familiarise themselves with the form of a dramatic text.
Assessment  Students will complete an assessment that will have three sections: knowledge, reading and writing section. The knowledge section will quiz students on key information they have learned over the course of the topic, the reading section will be comprised of comprehension questions based on a given myth. Finally, the writing section will ask students to write from a character’s perspective in a specific myth. At the end of the module students will complete an assessment comprised of three sections: knowledge, reading and writing. The knowledge section will quiz students on key vocabulary and ideas they have learned during the scheme of work. The reading section will be comprehension question based on an extract from The Odyssey. The writing section will ask students to comment on how Odysseus’ character has changed from the beginning to the end of the epic poem. Students will complete an assessment with two sections: knowledge and writing. The knowledge section will quiz students on the key vocabulary, context and plot of Julius Caesar. The writing section will focus on analytical writing and ask students to use an extract as a platform to comment on a how a certain character is presented in the play.
Class Reader Refugee Boy – a story about a young refugee trying to find his place in British society. It follows Alem’s journey and the struggles he faces in seeking asylum) The Hobbit - a fantasy novel about an adventure. The book follows the journey of the unlikely adventurer, Bilbo Baggins, on his quest to win a share of a fabled treasure. TBC

 

How can parents help?

  • Encourage students to join their local library - Gorton Library (on Garratt Way) is the closest to school and is open late on Tuesday nights until 8pm.
  • Develop good study habits by checking on homework completion from the very start of the year. Students will receive a regular piece of homework once a week - this will be directly relevant to the work that they complete in class.

Curriculum in Year 8

In Year 8, students will move on to a further three core units: Oliver Twist, Romeo and Juliet and Animal Farm. Again, there are three class readers, while the three writing units will focus on character and setting.

How we assess:

Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term
Overview  Oliver Twist Romeo and Juliet Animal Farm
Content Students will explore the Victorian era and be introduced to the work of Dickens by studying an abridged version of Oliver Twist. Students will read extracts from the original version and analyse the way Dickens uses language to present his characters. This topic will also be used to introduce students to themes such as poverty and betrayal, as well as key vocabulary they will be able to apply to their study of Dickens at KS4. Students will read an abridged version of Romeo and Juliet told through a series of detailed extracts from the original text. Students will continue to develop their analytical skills and become familiar with a variety of methods used by Shakespeare. Students will explore how both characters and themes are presented in the play and use quotations and references to the text to explain their answers. Students will read Animal Farm in full, before going on to study the context, characters and themes in more depth. In this topic students will focus on close word analysis to further their analytical writing. They will write comparatively, examining differences and similarities between characters. Students will become familiar with the concept of an allegory and its purpose. 
Assessment Students will complete an assessment with two sections: knowledge and analytical writing. In the knowledge section students will be quizzed on the plot, context and key ideas studied during the topic. In the analytical writing section students will be provided with an extract and asked to comment on how a character is presented both in the extract and other parts of the novel. Students will complete an assessment with two sections: knowledge and analytical writing. In the knowledge section students will be quizzed on the plot, context and key ideas studied during the topic. In the analytical writing section students will be provided with an extract and asked to comment on how a character or theme is presented both in the extract and other parts of the play. Students will complete an assessment with two sections: knowledge and analytical writing. In the knowledge section students will be quizzed on the plot, context and key ideas studied during the topic. In the analytical writing section students will be provided with an extract and asked to comment on how a character or theme is presented both in the extract and other parts of the novel.
Class Reader Noughts and Crosses -  a dystopian tale, focusing on the lives of two characters who are separated by prejudice, distrust and injustice. It is a doomed love story that provokes interesting discussions on prejudice and discrimination.  TBC TBC

 

How can parents help?

  • Parents can encourage students to take an interest in current affairs, especially when students come to study Animal Farm. Ideas around leadership, government and power in the world around us will be very valuable throughout their study of the subject.
  • Encourage students to use their planner to proof read their work. The planner has sections that can be used to check the accuracy of their spelling, punctuation and grammar. Getting in to good habits in this area will have significant benefits throughout their time at school.

Curriculum in Year 9

In Year 9, students will again study three core units: War Poetry, Journey’s End and Henry V. There will be three class readers as there have been throughout Key Stage 3. The writing units will help students write from a character’s perspective, write a persuasive speech and write about the natural world.

How we assess:

Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term
Overview  War Poetry Journey's End Othello
Content Students will read and analyse and anthology of WW1 poetry. They will be introduced to several forms of poetry including a sonnet. Students will learn to comment on tone and structure, as well as continuing to develop their language analysis. Pupils will learn about the context of WW1 and how to apply this meaningfully to comments on a poet’s intentions. They will also learn to compare and contrast poems. Students will read the play Journey's End, before studying the text in greater depth. Students will already have a sound understanding of the context of WW1 and they will build on this through analysing characters and themes in the reality play. Students will compare characters and explore what the playwright has constructed each character for. This skill of considering a writer’s intention behind creating characters will be essential for English Literature at KS4. Students will read an abridged version of the original play – this is made up from a large number of extracts, covering all the key moments within the play. Throughout, students will explore themes such as betrayal and moral corruption (similar to themes they will encounter in Macbeth at KS4). They will be expected to learn key quotations by heart and how to use them to comment on a character or theme. During this topic, students will continue to develop their understanding of methods used by Shakespeare and comment on the effect of these methods.
Assessment Students will complete an assessment with two sections: knowledge and writing. The knowledge section will quiz students on the context of WW1, key vocabulary from the topic and key ideas they have studied about prominent poems from WW1. The writing section will focus on analytical writing and ask students to analyse a given poem and compare it with another one they have studied from the anthology. Students will complete an assessment with two sections: knowledge and analytical writing. In the knowledge section students will be quizzed on the plot, context and key ideas studied during the topic. In the analytical writing section students will be provided with an extract and asked to comment on how a character or theme is presented both in the extract and other parts of the play. Students will complete an analytical writing assessment. This will be a question on how Shakespeare presents a character or theme within a text. Students will be given an extract but they will be expected to talk about the character or theme in the wider play as well as within the given extract.
Class Reader The Outsiders – a modern classic that explores themes of growing up, struggle, peer pressure and redemption. Told from the perspective of a 14-year-old boy, this novel explores the challenges of making difficult decisions in the face of adversity. The Old Man and the Sea - another modern classic from the master of the short story, Ernest Hemingway. The Old Man and the Sea is the story of an epic struggle between an old, seasoned fisherman and the greatest catch of his life. TBC

 

How can parents help?

  • If they haven't already, encourage students to join their local library - Gorton Library (on Garratt Way) is the closest to school and is open late on Tuesday nights until 8pm.
  • Independent study is only going to become more and more vital as students end Key Stage Three and move in to studying for their GCSEs. Encourage students to see the value in regular, consistent completion of homework and talking with their English teacher if they feel there is an area that they need particular help with.  

Curriculum in Year 10

In Year 10, students begin their study of AQA GCSE English Language and Literature. They begin by studying An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley and then, as we move towards the festive season, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Students then turn their attention to English Language and study this through to Easter. We then move on to Anthology Poetry – the students will study the Power and Conflict cluster.

How we assess: AQA English Language and AQA English Literature - 100% Examination Assessment.

Links to the exam board specifications:

GCSE English Language

GCSE English Literature

Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term
Overview  An Inspector Calls / A Christmas Carol A Christmas Carol / English Language English Language / Anthology Poetry
Content Students will study An Inspector Calls and A Christmas Carol. We read the texts in full and develop students' understanding of their context and themes. At the end of each unit, students will sit a GCSE English Literature style question paper, testing their knowledge and understanding and giving students a clear sense of what the examination requires of them. Students will complete their study of A Christmas Carol and then move on to studying GCSE English Language Paper 1 and 2. At the end of the Language unit for each paper, students will sit a GCSE English Language style question paper, giving students a clear sense of what the examination requires of them. Students will complete their study of English Language and move on to the 'Power and Conflict' cluster of Anthology Poetry. They will study 15 poems and in September of Year 11 will complete a GCSE English Literature style examination paper, testing their knowledge and understanding and giving students a clear sense of what the examination requires of them.

 

How can parents help?

  • As students begin their GCSE study, it is very important to support students' independent reading. 
  • Encourage students to join their local library - Gorton Library (on Garratt Way) is the closest to school and is open late on Tuesday nights until 8pm.
  • Talk to students about what they are studying in English lessons - ask them to retell the story of the texts we are reading or show you examples of the writing they have completed. This interest in what students are completing will help them see the value in their study of the subject.
  • Revision guides for all the texts we study are available via the website.

Curriculum in Year 11

In Year 11, students will study Macbeth as their final English Literature text. After this is complete, we begin a period of revision and consolidation of the Key Stage 4 work so far. There will be a significant number of revision and intervention opportunities for students to take advantage of throughout the year.

How we assess: AQA English Language and AQA English Literature - 100% Examination Assessment.

Links to the exam board specifications:

GCSE English Language

GCSE English Literature

Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term
Overview  Macbeth Revision and Consolidation Examination Preparation
Content Students will study Shakespeare's Macbeth. We will read the text in full and develop students' understanding of their context and themes. At the end of each unit, students will sit a GCSE English Literature style question paper, testing their knowledge and understanding and giving students a clear sense of what the examiantion requires of them. The final two terms of the year will help students prepare for their examiantions. There will be significant intervention and revision provision and students will practise responding to examination style questions and developing their examiantion technique.

 

How can parents help?

  • In terms of preparing for the closed book examinations in English Literature, students will, unavoidably, be anxious about learning quotations. The exam is a closed book exam so students will not have access to their copy of the play. Teachers will be providing students with lists of important quotations that students should endeavour to become comfortable with. Parents and carers can support students by testing regularly and even learning the quotations with your child! 
  • Talk to students about what they are studying in English lessons - ask them to retell the story of the texts we are reading or show you examples of the writing they have completed. This interest in what students are completing will help them see the value in their study of the subject.
  • There are very good filmed adaptations of all the texts that we study - these are available online via most streaming services. We particularly recommend the BBC version of An Inspector Calls.
  • Revision guides (York Notes) for all the texts we study are available via the school website.