Welcome to English
Head of Department - Ms Cunningham
The purpose of the AGFS English curriculum is:
- Ambition is promoted by ensuring scholars have the knowledge and skills required to gain access to a Russell Group university. Students are exposed to a range of challenging texts and academic reading to prepare them for A level and university study. 54% of scholars achieved a 6+ in Language and 57% in Literature which will allow them to study English at A-Level.
- By giving scholars the opportunity to experience ‘controlled failure’ and develop resilience and independence we encourage growth through the consistent refinement of work; developing planning and redrafting skills. Revisiting key grammar and analytical writing skills throughout the curriculum gives scholars the opportunity to see their own development and reflect on how they have improved.
- The English curriculum encourages fellowship by giving scholars the knowledge to think critically about the world and acknowledge different perspectives. English includes study of a range of texts from a wealth of perspectives, time periods and cultures. This encourages scholars to consider the viewpoints of others through debate, critical analysis, and writing.
- Scholarship is promoted through the pursuit of mastery including key grammatical and analytical skills built throughout KS3 and applied and practiced through KS4. This is enhanced through drop-in intervention sessions, Jack Petchey, debating and the independent reading programme.
The English curriculum is organised by the power standards. These standards reflect the essence of the subject as an academic discipline and reflect the strands of each discipline that must be developed to achieve mastery. These threads are cross-referenced against the KS3 national curriculum, GCSE, A Level specification, and degree courses at Russell Group universities to ensure that scholars’ experience of the subject is as broad and as academically rigorous as possible.
The English power standards for reading and writing are:
- Clear, relevant, and developed points
- Wide range of textual evidence judiciously used
- Analysis of a writer's use of methods (language techniques, structural techniques, words and phrases).
- Evaluate the effect on the reader/audience.
- Relating a text to its contexts (e.g. social, historical, literary, religious etc.)
- Use a wide range of grammatical and sentence structures.
- Control punctuation for effect.
- Select unusual vocabulary appropriate to specific purpose.
- Use the whole text structure to deliberately affect meaning.
- Use paragraphs effectively to control coherence.
Scholars receive verbal, self and peer feedback every lesson through:
- Whole class feedback on common misconceptions in the read now, recall now activities and during daily review.
- Responses to the whole class checking for understanding activities, such as hand signal responses, ‘heads down’ and mini whiteboard tasks.
- Teacher intentional monitoring during deliberate practice activities.
Scholars are expected to respond in the moment to this feedback to show they can correct errors and improve their knowledge and understanding.
Scholars receive written teacher feedback after each checkpoint. Scholars complete checkpoint tasks independently so teachers can review what they know and can do. Checkpoints in English consist of:
- Section A: Knowledge check questions on core knowledge
- Section B: Extended writing
Written feedback from checkpoints will consist of:
- A score for section A and section B.
- Celebration of what has gone well.
- Identification of a high leverage target.
Scholars will complete a refinement task to show their understanding of the target and to demonstrate their capacity to improve their work. This could be achieved through redrafting a section of their work or attempting a similar task
Ambition and careers
English is arguably the most important subject in terms of future careers. There is not a career that the skills in English do not apply to. However, success in English can lead to careers as a :
Cultural Capital, Enrichment & Visits
Through the study of English, scholars will be exposed to a range of culturally rich texts. These range from famous speeches throughout history, to texts from the literary canon and novels and poems from different cultures and historical periods. These texts address key issues and questions about the world we live in and how society functions. Some examples of texts studied are:
- Speeches from Martin Luther King Jr and Greta Thunberg
- Shakespeare: The Tempest, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet
- Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
- Poems by Maya Angelou, Benjamin Zephaniah, Caleb Femi, Imtiaz Dharker, and Grace Nichol
- News articles and opinion pieces
- J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls
We cover enriching activities within our Drop Down Days. These include:
- A trip to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre- Year Group dependent on play showing
- Public speaking workshops in Year 7
- Museum trip to inspire creative writing in Year 8
- Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge: Spoken Word- Year 10