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English is a core subject at KS3 and KS4. English Literature is taught as a choice at A Level.

We aim to provide a rich, varied Curriculum resulting in an interesting and memorable learning experience. Through close liaison with other subjects and text choices, our Curriculum content is firmly based within the social, moral, spiritual and cultural world of the school and the community beyond. Using exam results, lesson observations and SIMS data, we are able to prove that pupils are engaged and well behaved within our lessons, and this is a result of high quality delivery of an appropriate Curriculum. Student Voice has proven that our approach to Curriculum Development supports pupils in understanding how language supports them within the real world.

Our approach to learning is imaginative and innovative; we feel that we strike the fine balance between providing key literacy skills and challenging pupils with rich texts such as poetry and Shakespearian drama. Our approach is flexible; our Curriculum is always under review and adjustments are made to ensure it meets the need of every child and is up-to-date with recent developments.

Exam Boards:

A Level English Literature: Pearson Edexcel

GCSE English: AQA
GCSE English Literature: AQA

Statement of Intent

English is the vessel through which the imagination soars; the vehicle through which students connect with and appreciate the world. English is an international language, that opens up the doors to a plethora of opportunities thus, at Featherstone, we aim to nurture students, helping them become global citizens who are confident and articulate.

We promote high standards of language and literacy, equipping students with a strong command of the spoken and written word. We develop students’ oracy and critical thinking skills through units such as, ‘Let Your Voice be Heard’ and ‘Spoken Language’. Students are taught to express themselves freely and diplomatically. Our KS5 seminar-style lessons ensure our students are not disenfranchised in an ever-changing world, but instead are developing their minds and the skills essential for today’s global environment.

Our students are exposed to a range of enriching activities, such as the Jack Petchey Speak-Out Challenge and the School’s Mace. There are also timetabled Library lessons to encourage students’ passion for reading, for both information and pleasure, broadening their appreciation of a rich literary heritage.

We enrich students’ cultural capital, through the reading of texts such as ‘Welcome to Nowhere’ which develops their political awareness and knowledge of current affairs through exposure to modern civil war conflicts and refugee crises. ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ also exposes students to different learning needs and fosters empathy and inclusivity. We teach a range of non-fiction texts based on ‘Current Affairs’ to further enhance students’ knowledge of the world they live in. We also provide exposure to literature from other cultures and traditions through our ‘Short Stories from Different Cultures’ unit, facilitating an appreciation of cultural worlds and values beyond their personal experience, all whilst promoting respect and tolerance, emphasising fundamental British values.

Students are encouraged to critically consider the importance of education, the moral and amoral arguments of scientific discovery and the philosophy behind fate and free-will through the study of ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Macbeth’. We appreciate the importance of students exploring and analysing some of life’s greatest questions – we assist our young people in gaining the skills required for a deeper thought process to life, encouraging philosophical debate and diplomatic responses. At KS5, students are challenged to consider the changing role of women in society through the study of ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ and ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’. Alongside this, we teach texts that focus on gender politics, race, the crisis of the class system and identity, broadening students’ knowledge and understanding of the world they live in. It is through our expansive literature texts that students also explore human psychology and learn about human behaviour.

From KS3-5, we sequence our curriculum using spacing and interleaving of knowledge of content and skills. Our challenging, yet accessible curriculum at KS3 has been strategically designed to promote an enjoyment and engagement of a range of texts from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century, in preparation for KS4. We teach myths and legends to inform students’ understanding of key themes and intertextuality at KS4. Students are exposed to the impact of industrialisation, social change in Victorian England and poems relating to power and conflict, to support their understanding of texts at KS5. Our curriculum provides students with insight into the past, whilst teaching them about historical figures who have helped to shape and revolutionise the world they live in, exposing them to an appreciation of how and why the world has evolved as it has.

Our Year 9 curriculum prepares students for the challenging academic literacy of the new GCSEs and the complexities of the texts taught (coupled with the high intake of EAL and low-ability students), enabling us to suitably develop students’ subject-based literacy from KS3. At KS3 and 4, English Language and Literature are taught separately and in parallel to expose students to a multitude of unseen texts and writing approaches, whilst promoting a love of literature and its status as a subject of the Arts. For Literature, the first half of Year 10 are foundational years to prepare students for the academic demands of the GCSE course. This also helps us to equip our EAL students who are grasping the language as it ensures we give them the time and tools to develop their acquisition of the language and their ability to access the curriculum. The more intensive spiralling of teaching for the rest of Years 10 and 11 facilitates the development of students’ proficiency in the texts studied and skills required. These are enhanced at KS5, with greater emphasis on responding to and evaluating texts, drawing on interpretations from literary critics and different theoretical perspectives.

The study of English at Featherstone functions, not just as a means of equipping students with the tools to articulate with conviction and express themselves with confidence, but also enables students to evaluate, understand and draw meaning from the world around them.

English Learning Journeys

Learning Journeys Literature

Learning Journeys Language

Programme of Study