The English Department at Noadswood prides itself on enthusing students with a love of the English language and Literature. Students are given the opportunity to engage with a range of texts from different cultures and historical periods.
During their time at Noadswood, students will develop the skills needed to communicate effectively through the use of spoken and written language and understand and respond to a variety of texts. There is a strong focus on the key skills of reading, writing and speaking and listening. We aim to improve students’ technical accuracy in written work, raise their critical understanding by developing their thinking and analytical skills, increase their cultural awareness through the exploration of a wide range of reading material and encourage their creativity through drama, independent reading and imaginative writing.
We believe that the study of this subject at Noadswood should not only prepare students for further study and the world of work, but also instill a genuine appreciation and enjoyment of English that stays with them for life.
The English Curriculum at Noadswood 2020 +
We apply cognitive teaching and learning approaches to enhance our pupils' participation in cultural discourse and society.
Our curriculum choices are challenging and ambitious for all pupils. Great care is taken to coherently plan and sequence our teaching episodes from lesson to lesson, text to text and year group to year group. Our wish is that every student, by Year 11, can understand their learning journey, in English, at Noadswood. Our wish is that our students will recognise that we have designed a spiral structured Curriculum. Our wish is that they will see how the skills and texts studied from one year to the next build from and extend prior knowledge. We want them to recognise that our curriculum choices allow them to develop an understanding of the GCSE Examinations, but more importantly to understand the world around them and their place in it. We believe that the study of English at Noadswood should not only prepare students for further study and the world of work, but that it should guide them to grow into: well rounded, free thinking and articulate individuals.
We passionately believe that English is the pivotal point of a student’s development of a Cultural Literacy. We consciously include texts from other cultures; discuss and explore topical Current Affairs and endeavour to expose our students to a myriad of texts to engage them with their social, cultural, and historical context. We teach our students to form viewpoints and perspectives of their own. To actively take part in discourse. To have empathy and a desire for knowledge.
Our classwork, homework, and the enrichment opportunities we offer enable every student to develop their Cultural Literacy.
Our Synopsis of Study
Year 7 – English
In Year 7 we begin with an introduction to English in the Autumn Term 1 – exploring all elements that make up our programmes of study. We touch on reading, Writing and the Spoken Word. We explore some of the earliest writings, in Middle English, through Chaucer and move right up to present day exploring Slam Poetry and current advertisements. In Autumn Term 2 we move on to read a selection of Gothic Short stories. We always devote the week closest to November 11th to Armistice Poetry. This is something we come back to every year - exploring Recruitment poetry in Year 7.
In Spring Term 1 we turn our attention to an in-depth study of English and Media. We look at advertising, marketing, public speaking, gender stereotypes and film reviews. We explore texts and their meanings to allow students to understand deeper issues and the relevance they have to each and every person. We look at the use of language and explore how consumers are targeted, exploring the art of persuasion.
In Spring Term 2 we study a selection of poems with a focus on other cultures. We teach a range of poetic devices and begin to develop a student’s ability to respond to poetry. Exploring the work of others and allowing a creative outlet of poetry writing for themselves. We explore how poetry can be a medium for self-expression, for educating and for pleasure.
In Summer Term 1 we turn our attention to Shakespeare. In Year 7 we are transported to the forests of Athens to meet with Puck and cause some mischief in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. In Summer Term 2 we read, explore and discuss a modern novel. This is currently under review – with a panel of students from our Diversity Role Model Group as part of the decision-making process.
Year 8 – English
In Year 8 we begin with a continuation of exploring texts from time gone by, this leads on from the gothic studies of Year 7. We walk the streets of Victorian London with some of its most infamous villains (Bill Sikes by Charles Dickens, Miss Havisham by Charles Dickens, Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo and Frankenstein's monster by Mary Shelley). In Term 2 we use what we have learnt about the villains above and we focus on the Dickens classic: A Christmas Carol. This ambitious text serves as an introduction to an extended Victorian text. We look to use this text to build confidence in the exploration of an esteemed Victorian novelist.
We also devote the week closest to November 11th to Armistice Poetry. This time we focus on understanding what we can learn about the reality of the conflict from the words of Wilfred Owen.
In Spring Term 1 We move to Media. English is not just the written word. The study of English covers a plethora of sources, from advertising in digital and print, all the way to gaming and how games tell the stories that captivate us. This scheme of work is offered to allow students to dip their toe into the study of media, alongside their study of English. It draws on many skills learnt in year 7 and works in tandem with the Citizenship curriculum in studying marketing and predatory marketing tactics. Video games are often overlooked as vehicles to tell hard-hitting and important stories and this scheme of work is there to allow students to see English in a different light – in a way that they have not considered before: that the things they do in their leisure actually matter.
In Spring Term 2 we study a selection of poems, building on the study from last year. We add the next set of poetic devices to this study, and we make links to the previous learning on Year 8.
In Summer Term 1, it's time to take the journey from the forests of Athens (Year 7s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’) to the open seas of Europe with Shakespeare's ‘The Tempest’.
In Summer Term 2 we enjoy a modern text: ‘Trash’ by Andy Mulligan.
Year 9 – English
In Autumn Term 1 we continue our wanderings in the streets of Victorian London, following ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde’. This is our first read of the 19th century novel that is a set text for GCSE. We take this time to read it for pleasure; to discover the plot and the arcs of our main characters. We explore the context of Victorian London – building on prior learning from Year 7 & 8. The exploration of this text serves as a bridge between the final year of KS3 to the beginning of the GCSEs. We choose to use Jekyll & Hyde as a gateway text to enable our students to gain confidence with a GCSE text. This builds on from the study of ‘A Christmas Carol’ in Year 8.
In Autumn term 2 we travel the world exploring poetry from other cultures.
In the Spring Term we travel to Shakespearean Italy and explore the romantic entanglements of Romeo and Juliet - in the play of the same name - or Portia and Bassanio in ‘The Merchant of Venice’.
In Spring Term 2 we voyage to America and learn about life in the 1930s through ‘Of Mice and Men’ or ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.
In this term we prepare for their first formal exam experience, and we study the conventions of the spoken word. Specifically, looking at the language of Sport Commentary. From the tennis courts at Wimbledon to the pitches of the Premier League. From the greens of the Belfry to a cricket match at Lords.
Year 10 – English Language & English Literature
Through Year 10 and 11 we deliver the two separate English GCSE courses. GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. In Autumn Term 1 Shakespeare takes us to Scotland as we study the play ‘Macbeth’ and in Autumn Term 2 we explore the Power & Conflict collection of poetry. All the texts we study follow a golden thread of Power and Conflict. These all have similar contextual links, and this was the rationale for choosing this set of texts, from the choices we have from the AQA exam board. We explicitly make these links throughout our study. Alongside these Literature texts, we take one lesson a week to complete an extended writing task. Writing skills make up 50% of the GCSE English Language paper, so the regular practice of these skills is essential. Each week we will complete either a creative writing task or a persuasive one.
In Spring Term one we revisit the novella ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. This text has a first read in Year 9 and now, in Year 10, we explore it in greater depth. We do a deep dive into the key themes and big ideas presented by Robert Louis Stevenson. We also revise the context of: Victorian London; the developments in science and the questioning of religion that derives from this time. We relate these to the issues of today too.
In Spring Term 2 we read and explore our final Literature text - ‘The Lord of the Fies’. From this point we like to discuss how Jack (the antagonist in ‘The Lord of the Flies’) is like Macbeth and Dr Jekyll. We can also link these characters to the Duke of Ferarra in the poem ‘My Last Duchess’. Writing tasks continue to be a focus for one lesson a week.
Through this term it is all about the GCSE English Language papers as we build up to the Year 10 Exams. We will build on the writing skills taught and developed though our discreet weekly writing lessons and teach the reading skills, that are examined, over the two English Language papers.
Year 11 – English Language & English Literature
By Year 11, all aspects of both the GCSE English Language and GCSE English literature courses have been covered. We have studied and assessed all the Literature set texts, through Year 10, and we have completed a first attempt at both GCSE English language exam papers. We complete these, in the exam window, at the end of Year 10. Throughout the Autumn Term, of Year 11, we follow a revision schedule bespoke to individual groups. We will base this schedule on the areas identified for improvement. We will use Year 10 assessments and the Year 10 Summer exams for these diagnostics. We will also be prepping for the Mock Exams that fall in Autumn term two.
Throughout this term it is revision all the way. Again, this will be a bespoke plan individual to each group’s needs.