Curriculum Rationale in: English
The English curriculum at Aston Manor Academy is fundamentally underpinned by our motto: All Different; All Equal; All Achieving.
Our curriculum intent in KS3 aims to ensure two key concepts: to ensure students are exposed to a wide variety of genres, text types and time periods so that they receive a solid grounding in the knowledge and skills needed in preparation for beginning their GCSE studies, and to expose students to topics which develop their cultural capital; demonstrating careful consideration our school’s diverse context and ethos, to ensure we add depth of inference and develop clarity of the nuances found in texts.
End Points for each scheme of work mirror the assessment objectives required by exam boards in KS4, but our focus in KS3 is to provide students with time and guidance; each scheme of work in KS3 involves the explicit teaching and accumulation of new knowledge, thus the build of up of skills is staggered so that time can be taken to ensure they are taught thoroughly before adding an additional component to students reading and writing ability. For all students, the first term of Year 7 focuses on ensuring that all students are taught the knowledge and skills needed to place them at an equal starting point with their peers, so that no students are left behind.
Whilst we are very aware of the requirements exam boards set, we also ensure our syllabus covers the National Curriculum and KS3 Programme of Study. Not only that, but we also fill gaps with content and topics not listed on either the NC or the exam boards but hold a holistic importance to our students’ wider life beyond their academic journey with us. This includes ensuring we teach students about local culture and heritage in their own setting; our KS3 curriculum is very personal to the students we teach in our academy and celebrates their differences whilst actively promoting equality.
Students’ skill set is nurtured and developed; students are encouraged to examine texts critically, make inferences and explore in depth. We ensure our students move from looking literally to examining more metaphorically and classroom discussion and support is crucial to their success. We carefully balance our teaching of reading and writing skills in KS3, and end points clarify this so that all students can achieve their full potential by the end of Year 8.
Year 9 is an important transition for our students; it is a crucial time where we ensure that students have the knowledge and skills required to embark upon their GCSE course from an equal starting point. We feel it is of paramount importance to our students to give them a three-year KS4 programme to ensure they have a transition period and then receive sufficient support and time to gain knowledge needed to access the highest assessment criteria. The English Literature GCSE requires a wider cultural and historical appreciation to contextualise and develop an understanding of the writer’s intentions and the English Language GCSE echoes this implicitly. Therefore, we introduce our students to two of the GCSE set texts in Year 9 to allow ourselves the time needed to fully immerse them in the wider significance of the texts.
We don’t limit our students to the set texts required for GCSE in Year 9 and deliver three schemes of work which are based on developing the skills required through a variety of different stimuli and texts. We have designed our schemes of work so that the topics engage boys and girls and can be accessed by all ability ranges. Our schemes celebrate diversity and equality at their very heart.
The incremental development of key skills in KS3 ensures that by Year 9 students are equipped with the foundation needed to underpin KS4 and to achieve their potential in their terminal examinations.
We deliver AQA English Language and AQA English Literature in KS4. Both our English Literature and Language are 100% exam based.
Paper 1 – Shakespeare and 19th Century Novel
Paper 2 – Modern Play, Poetry and Unseen Poetry
Paper 1 – Fiction reading and writing
Pape 2 – Non-fiction reading and writing
Speaking and Listening component – internally assessed to validate the GCSE
Our aim is to ensure all students leave our academy not only with the skills required to pass their English Literature and Language GCSEs but as well rounded, well-spoken young adults who have the earned advantage of choice.
Click the link below to download our curriculum delivery overview for English: