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RWSCurriculum Transparent

Intent and Vision

Our vision in English is for all students to become perceptive, thoughtful, confident and articulate readers, writers and speakers. At Ravens Wood, we place great emphasis on core skills and offer a programme of developing both creative and critical writing. Students will learn to habitually write at length, with accuracy and sophistication.

Our aim is to cultivate an instilled love of reading and writing and the pleasure they bring. Our reading programme is valued and effective and it is very much a part of students’ experience in English and across the school. Poetry is also at the heart of our curriculum and a priority each year. Students are given a bespoke anthology of poems that should resonate with them into adulthood. Our chosen texts expose students to a broad range of different cultures, experiences and ideas, establishing a firm foundation as readers and an insight into the literary canon.

Key Concepts that Underpin the Curriculum

  1. A love of language
  2. Punctuation, spelling and accurate and sophisticated use of grammar and a broad, rich and ambitious vocabulary
  3. Crafted language features for effect
  4. Organisation and structurally crafted responses
  5. Confident use of own personal voice
  6. Reading, understanding and responding to fiction and non-fiction texts
  7. Selecting and embedding textual references to support interpretations
  8. Learning and applying accurate subject terminology
  9. Learning to analyse writer’s ideas and the methods used to convey them, including influence of historical and social context
  10. Sustained writing that adapts to the audience and purpose

Key Features of Learning

We believe the best way of doing this is teaching students a love of reading and through exposure to a wide range of materials, as well as instilling (from day one, and whole school) the habit of silent, independent writing every day.

How Does our Curriculum Shape Learners?

Our curriculum helps students to develop an appreciation of English through time and its impact on discussing, as well as shaping our world. They, in turn become clear, confident, informed communicators. Our curriculum also focuses heavily on the skillset required to communicate orally and through writing as essential, empowering, lifelong skills.

The Learning Journey: End Points for Each Academic Year

Year 13

By the end of Year 13, students will now appreciate the importance, value and power of their own critical voice. They will be able to discuss their own readings and interpretations of texts with confidence and assertiveness, because they have ownership of the texts, developed through repeated, and wider reading, and the personal linguistic toolkit to be able to formulate evaluation and debate around them with clarity, concision and sophistication.

A Level Literature
Students have now completed studies of the full and broad range of Literature, from contemporary prose and drama, to the works of the Romantics and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Understanding of plot - or in the case of the poetry, its sentiment or central ideology- is secure. Students appreciate, and can engage with, a wealth of critical approaches and contextual influences. They understand how these insights can influence their own readings. For example, they explore the roots of Shakespearean tragedy and the attitudes to Hamlet as a tragic hero over time – how its impact and meanings are fluid, yet transcend time and culture, eliciting many different reactions and readings. Their personal voice is evident as they write critically around such ideas.

A Level Language and Literature Combined
Students will now understand that language is an evolutionary process, influenced by so many contextual factors. They can talk confidently around features of discourse in the spoken, written, digital and blended modes, and appreciate the subtle links, connections and influences across them. They have an excellent toolkit of subject terminology to identify features of language. They have read the three prescribed literary texts and can write about explicit and more complex ideas, with a strong understanding of the writers and the contexts in which they have been written and received. They have read widely around the texts, which has informed their own opinions and interpretations. The prescribed reading has informed and inspired their decisions about their own portfolio of original writing. They can discuss their generic and linguistic choices with confidence and are proud of the process of crafting and shaping their own works.

Year 12

By the end of Year 12, A Level English students will have started to develop a bank of enhanced critical and literary terminology, through provision in class and their own wider reading and independent study. They will look at a range of both exemplar student work and published critical work to enable them to develop their own sense of voice and style, which by now, includes both assertive and tentative expression. A’ Level English requires enhanced word and sentence level analysis, which students are staring to demonstrate, as they discuss grammatical structures, lexical choices and narrative structure, as well as exploring symbolism and linguistic methods used by writers. Whether studying on the Literature or combined course, all students have the opportunity to read Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire and will develop an understanding of theatrical forms such as plastic theatre, realism and expressionism.

A Level Literature
Students will have read and understood The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Toni Morrison’s Beloved and will be able to have detailed critical discussions around the thematic, structural and stylistic links and connections across texts. Their comparisons are purposeful and students can move with some confidence around the whole text, drawing on relevant examples. They will also have studied a range of poetry from Poems of the Decade and can discuss some of the complex issues they address, navigating the variety of contemporary forms, structures and voices.

A Level Language and Literature Combined
Students will have read our two linked anchor texts A Room with a View by E M Forster and Angela Carter’s The Bloody chamber. They can articulate and express their ideas around the key themes and appreciate the ways ‘encounters’ (our overarching theme) are explored by each writer. Students will start to appreciate English Language as a broad and complex entity, with sets of conventions, patterns and technicalities, and one which is constantly evolving. They will have studied a range of texts from the spoken, written, digital and blended modes, and can look at their construction with a developing critical eye.


Year 11

By the end of Year 11, students will have a sound knowledge of the different approaches to analysing fiction and non-fiction texts. They will be confident at writing timed, structured responses that clearly focus on the required point of analysis and respond to a question with a specific area of focus. Quotations will be selected with greater precision and students should now be confident in their discussion of the selected evidence and analysis of how the writer’s methods have been used to create and shape meanings. They will appreciate the wealth of linguistic and structural features they could apply to their own work, and have a developed awareness of crafting, as well as a personal voice, and some understanding of the importance of nuance and subtlety.
Students will think deeply around their studied Literature texts, looking at a range of pinnacle ideas, such as challenging the writer’s intentions and views; different readings over time; the big questions and how we might develop our understanding through application of critical theories and the reading of others. Students can make links between and within texts with confidence and now have a good bank of useful quotations learnt by heart, which they are able to reference and discuss effectively in their critical responses.

Their English learning journey to this point will equip students with a rich knowledge of literature through time, as well as key relevant social and historical issues, and a sense of how literature has documented and even shaped the social and historical landscape.

Year 10

By the end of Year 10, students will have a sound knowledge of the multi-faceted nature of texts and how writers employ methods of language, structure and form to craft and shape ideas. They will have learnt to write extended responses to fiction and non-fiction texts, with well selected textual evidence and will be able to explain the writer’s choice of method and its effect. They will appreciate that the methods they explore in the work of others are transferable to their own writing, and in turn, this will inspire and inform the decisions that they make, from varied language choices, to structural features, and adaptation of voice. Writing will start to become ‘successful’ and ‘convincing’.

Students will also have read the Literature texts Macbeth and An Inspector Calls, which they will be able to discuss in some depth, having secured a good understanding of their central plotlines and themes, and developed an in-depth knowledge of the significant contextual influences. Their advancing critical vocabulary will enable students to discuss more complex ideas about plot such as exposition, cyclical structure and denouement as well as looking at ambiguities, interpretations and a range of critical debates around the texts.

There will be a broad coverage of the Love and Relationships poetry cluster in Year 10. Students will understand the central ideas within most of the poems and can discuss how they have been constructed to convey meanings. Students will have developed a good understanding of poetic form and the range of techniques used by the poets to shape meaning and convey feelings. Learning and recital of key quotations will be well underway.

Year 9

By the end of Year 9, students will begin to write essays and creative pieces independently, to embed the skills required for their GCSE studies the following year. They will read challenging and diverse material and further develop their knowledge of context and its significance for both modern and 19th century texts. They will revisit non-fiction and creative writing, this time critically picking texts apart and truly understanding what makes a piece of writing engaging. Their knowledge of Shakespeare’s theatre will be developed as they look at a variety of extracts from his plays and understand what defines the different genres. Some of the poetry they will study at GCSE will be introduced with a focus our important modern poets.

Students will begin year 9 by reading Steinbeck’s classic Of Mice and Men, a text which they can use as a springboard for sustained, independent analytical writing, and which will continue the important discussions to be had around prejudices, acceptance and evolving social attitudes over time. They will also look at extracts from plays across Shakespeare’s genres, including Richard III, Julius Caesar and Twelfth Night to give them an appreciation of a range of Shakespearean texts. What are typical plotlines? How do these vary across genre? What discussions have Shakespeare's plays provoked among audiences? Both modern and 19th century extracts are included within schemes of work in order to provide a rich and broad curricular diet, including discussions around diversity. Students will now also have a secure and broad repertoire of sophisticated vocabulary and subject terminology, equipping them to write appropriately and with confidence at GCSE level.

Year 8

By the end of Year 8, students will have the skills they need to write sustained pieces of writing in both an analytical and creative style. They will learn how social and historical contexts are key when exploring literature texts and begin to apply this knowledge to their writing to demonstrate their broader understanding of writers' intentions. Applying what they learnt in year 7, students will be able to use subject specific terminology in a more purposeful way and comment on the structure of a text, as well as the language used. Classroom teachers will still give support to students in the form of scaffolds and clearly labelled success criteria, beginning to use some of the phrasing in mark schemes that they will see in later years.

Throughout the autumn term, all students will study The Gothic, with a particular focus on key extracts from Frankenstein. This unit of work will enable them to understand the key conventions of the gothic genre and look at pinnacle ideas and concepts such as the uncanny, the influence of the scientific enlightenment and The Romantics. Their journey through classic literature will continue as they study Romeo and Juliet, and extracts from Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, helping them to make connections on how language and societal factors have evolved through time. We will revisit poetry, this time with a focus on the themes of ‘power and conflict’ and how these have been explored in contemporary poetry. Our vision is that literary appreciation and the skills of essay writing and analysis are ingrained, and that our students see its value from the outset, across the curriculum and into later years. Year 8 will look at a variety of fiction texts with a key focus on critical analysis and exploring writers' methods and will now hold a range of skills in being able to discuss these effectively.

Year 7

By the end of Year 7, students will have learnt to synthesise and develop the basic analytical skills acquired in year 6, by using a detached voice to develop more sustained analytical paragraphs and ‘mini-essays’. They will be able to make comments on how writers use language and start to apply subject specific terminology they have learnt to their analysis. We will also teach them to structure their ideas in a clear and perceptive way, using sentence starters and scaffolds. With all schemes of work, there will be an opportunity for students to practise writing creatively, using the texts they have studied in class as key stimuli for this, alongside success criteria set out by their teachers.

They will study a range of texts including: A Christmas Carol, a selection of stories from Stephen Fry’s Mythos, and extracts from a range of contemporary fiction texts. They will also explore The Media, looking at a range of non-fiction texts of different forms and genres, as well as being introduced to the core skills needed when analysing and discussing poetry. Alongside their main English lessons, students will also have the opportunity to visit our Reading Room once a week and be introduced to a variety of fiction books, reading these both individually and as a class.


Provision Maps

English - Y7 - 1 - Monstrous and Magical Imagining
English - Y7 - 2 - Dickens
English - Y7 - 3 - Mythos
English - Y7 - 4 - Read All About It
English - Y7 - 5 - Exploring Imagination
English - Y7 - 6 - Poetry - Breathings of your Hea
English - Y8 - 1 - The Gothic
English - Y8 - 2 - Stepping Back in Time
English - Y8 - 3 - Romeo and Juliet
English - Y8 - 4 - Fiction Under the Microscope
English - Y8 - 5 - Poetry - The Pen is Mightier...
English - Y9 - 1 - Of Mice and Men
English - Y9 - 2 - Think like a writer
English - Y9 - 3 - Macbeth
English - Y9 - 4 - Go compare!
English - Y9 - 5 - Contemporary poetry
English - Y9 - 6 - Exploring Non-Fiction
English - KS4 Y10 - 1 - Macbeth
English - KS4 Y10 - 2 - Poetry
English - KS4 Y10 - 3 - An Inspector Calls
English - KS4 Y10 - 4 & 5 - The Language Paper
English - KS4 Y10 - 6 - Spoken Language
English - KS4 Y11 - 7 - Jekyll and Hyde
English - KS4 Y11 - 8 - Revision and Exam Prep
English Combined - KS5 - Component 1
English Combined - KS5 - Component 2
English Combined - KS5 - Component 3
English Literature - KS5 - All