Curriculum – English

Curriculum – English

English

The Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. With this in mind, at SHSG students of English will learn to speak and write confidently, fluently, and effectively, at length, for both pleasure and information, so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and, through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. They will consolidate and build on their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary, acquiring and developing the skills and knowledge they need to achieve outstanding grades in public examinations, including reasoning and argument, clarity of written and spoken expression, creativity, and critical reading. Through their study of English, students will encounter a wide range of increasingly challenging literary and non-literary texts that will stimulate and engage them, nurturing their curiosity and broadening their moral and cultural horizons. Our hope is that, when our students have completed their study of English, they will be confident and self-motivated readers who understand that reading literature is not just about encountering good stories; it is about understanding what it means to be human. We also hope that the study of English will encourage our students to form positive relationships by helping them to appreciate the range of human experience and emotion, as it exists now and here, as well as in the past and elsewhere. We want them to better understand the interests, needs and desires of others so that they can treat them with sympathy, tolerance and kindness, whoever they are and however differently they choose to live their lives. Ultimately, students of English at SHSG will be encouraged to think deeply about big ideas that will enrich their lives, develop their character and help them to flourish as human beings.

What does it feel like to be a student in the English Department?

As a student of English at SHSG, you will learn to use language to communicate effectively with others. Above all, this is what English is about. It is the study of language – it just happens that our language is English, so that’s what we call the subject. And language matters. There can be no doubt about that. More than anything else, it is language that makes us human.

At SHSG, you will learn to use language well. You will learn to share with others all the complex thoughts and feelings that every human-being has, swirling around in their head, tangled and muddled, longing for expression, longing for the right words. You will learn to make arguments. You will learn use evidence and reasoning to make a persuasive case for the things that matter to you. You will employ your imagination and creativity too. You will use language to transfer stories, ideas and pictures out of your head and into somebody else’s. This is the wonder of words – their unique magic. Using just twenty-six letters and a handful of punctuation marks, you will create worlds in somebody else’s mind.

You will encounter the words and worlds of others too. You will read great books by great writers, from different times, from different genres and forms, and from different parts of the world. And you will see links between these books and your own life. You will encounter complex, challenging ideas, which will help you to make sense of the world, and which you will learn to discuss and debate productively and respectfully. You will learn to understand other people too, be they the people you know and love, or people from other times and other places who you’ll never meet. You will learn to interpret the ideas and emotions of others, and to understand the motives and subtexts that lie behind their words. You will develop your powers of empathy and understanding, and you will see that stories, even fictional ones, have a great deal to say about real people’s lives and about what it means to be human.

And throughout all of this, you will be supported by teachers who are passionate about English, teachers who genuinely love books and language, deep down in their souls. You will be given clear aims and expectations about what it means to succeed, and you will have access to a lot of support, including written resources, one-to-one help from teachers, and coaching from older students who, no matter how deep the hole you find yourself in, have stood where you stand and know the way out. Your contributions in lessons will be encouraged and appreciated, and you will feel like what you have to say is important. Because it is. When you study English at SHSG, you will know that, like language, you matter.

 

A Level English Language

Studying A-level English Language at Southend High School for Girls will give you an opportunity to experience the multiple disciplines of the subject. The subject will immerse you in the study of writers’ use of language, as well as the study of language use in society.

You will be expected to keep well-informed about how language is evolving. You will look back at the development of the English language over time and will reflect on your own language use, which can provide an excellent insight into language use in society.  You will also be invited to engage in a range of debates around the diversity of the language, using established theories of sociolinguistic topics such as gender, occupation and ethnicity.

The content of the subject is broad and there is both theory and linguistic terminology to learn. We advise students to keep detailed notes to support their learning and retention of linguistic terms. You will apply these terms to a range of texts, from an early 20th century newspaper article to a modern online blog entry.

We have prepared students for Linguistic courses in higher education at institutions such as University of Cambridge, University of Warwick, King’s College London and University of Sheffield. Many of these students have taken advantage of attending courses run by the English & Media Centre to supplement their learning and affirm their future pathway. Students also have the opportunity to enter prestigious competitions such as the NCH essay competition in year 12.

When you leave the subject at the end of year 13, you will be able to analyse language at a sophisticated level. You will have a strong appreciation of the construction of language and the choices writers make when writing. In turn, you will have the tools to produce structured and purposeful writing of your own. You will also have a broad insight into the way language is used in society. You will be able to identify patterns, usages and variables that characterise one’s use of language.

 

A Level English Literature

As an A-level English Literature student, you will already be an enthusiastic reader who voraciously explores different genres and styles. You will be happy to engage in critical debate and to appreciate ideas in texts which may not fit with your personal tastes in reading. You will be interested in humanity and how humans behave (hopefully, you are quite enjoy gossiping about people’s actions and motivations) and will be willing to explore the consequences of human actions beyond the physical realm. You will be happy to talk in lessons and will find your time in class full of argument, laughter and challenge.

As a student, you will be willing to engage in historical and social research: you will understand that the personal, social and political context of a writer is fundamental to the text and the narrative they wish to communicate. You will also be willing to analyse a text to consider why a writer has chosen the form, style, narrative voice (and even word-choice and rhythm) to best convey an idea, emotion or situation.

Journey

English Curriculum

At Southend High School for Girls we teach a curriculum that is ambitious and takes students on a learning journey beyond the National Curriculum for English. The SHSG English curriculum is what we believe will expose and challenge students to a cultural capital in English that is the best that has been thought and said in this subject.

The English curriculum is planned and delivered using the intellectual framework of the classical education model, the Trivium:

  • Grammar (Knowledge and skills) knowledge, learning by heart, subject terminology, cultural capital
  • Dialectic (Enquiry and exploration) debate, question, challenge, analyse, evaluate
  • Rhetoric (Communication) essays, speeches, performances, presentations

Year 7 – 9

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from Year 6 English ready to study in Year 7 if applicable
N/A

Adjustments from the Pandemic for years 7 – 9 if applicable?

  • Support materials have been created in the Self-help Library to allow students to catch up
  • Coaching system will allow older students to support younger students in a structured and monitored way

The topics below have been chosen as they reflect the ambitions of the National Curriculum, and as a Grammar school, also challenge students beyond the National Curriculum. They have been carefully sequenced in this order to build a student’s learning journey to achieve the aims of our English intent. Along the way students are assessed and topics will be revisited in assessments to keep each stage of this learning journey alive.

Year 7

Term 1

Topic 1

  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Assessment

  • Developing speech creative writing assessment
  • Grandma mini-essay
  • First full story creative writing assessment

Term 2

Topic 2

  • Dystopian Fiction anthology

Assessment

  • Dystopian fiction mini-essay
  • Dystopian story opening creative writing assessment
  • PUP exam

Term 3

Topic 3

  • One World Many Stories anthology

Assessment

  • Quick assessment consolidation activities in creative writing and reading comprehension

Year 8

Term 1

Topic 1

  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Assessment

  • LOTF-inspired island description
  • Hunting Game mini-essay
  • Tension story
  • PUP exam on ideas in LOTF

Term 2

Topic 2

  • Poetry anthology

Assessment

  • The Manhunt mini-essay

Term 3

Topic 3

  • The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Assessment

  • Jessica is missing creative writing assessment

Year 9

Term 1

Topic 1

  • Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Assessment

  • Your own story speech
  • PUP exam on Purple Hibiscus extract

Term 2

Topic 2

  • Other People’s Lives anthology

Assessment

  • Persuasive newspaper article on disability theme
  • Full essay on The Yellow Wallpaper

Term 3

Topic 3

  • The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Assessment

  • Mini-essay on extract from The Crucible

Achieving mastery in English – knowing and remembering even more than what is expected in a grammar school KS3 curriculum

Our assessment practice at SHSG reflects on how successful students have been in knowing, remembering and doing more through the above topics. They are either emerging, developing or proficient in this journey throughout KS3. To go beyond being proficient in what is expected of a English student in Year 7 and achieve mastery in English, students should read widely, engage in watching Ted Talks and recommended research, and learn key language and subject specific terminology.

Recommended reading in English for Lower School (Years 7 – 9)

  • SHSG English KS3 Glossary
  • Any novels from the KS3 Reading List

Useful websites, TED Talks and research for Lower School (Years 7 – 9)

  • We have a range of support materials available in our Self-help library
  • ‘Exploring’ padlets provide links to additional reading related to the different texts on the curriculum
  • LitCharts is a good source of free online study guides, though like all study guides, they are more aimed at KS4 or KS5

English-specific language to master in Lower School (Years 7 – 9)

  • All required technical terminology can be found in the KS3 Glossary
  • Key concepts to understand for essay writing: inference, argument, reasoning.
  • What is meant by ‘methods’ in English
  • What is meant by ‘context’ in English Literature

At Southend High School for Girls we teach a curriculum that is ambitious and takes students on a learning journey beyond the National Curriculum for English. The SHSG English curriculum is what we believe will expose and challenge students to a cultural capital in English that is the best that has been thought and said in this subject.

The English curriculum is planned and delivered using the intellectual framework of the classical education model, the Trivium:

  • Grammar (Knowledge and skills) knowledge, learning by heart, subject terminology, cultural capital
  • Dialectic (Enquiry and exploration) debate, question, challenge, analyse, evaluate
  • Rhetoric (Communication) essays, speeches, performances, presentations

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from Year 7-9 English ready to study in Year 10 if applicable
N/A

Adjustments from the Pandemic for Years 10 – 11 if applicable?

  • Support materials have been created in the Self-help Library to allow students to catch up
  • Podcasts have been created covering several units, including the poetry anthology, And Inspector Calls and Macbeth to allow students to revise the topics studied during the Pandemic
  • Coaching system will allow older students to support younger students in a structured and monitored way
  • Curriculum adjustments with examinations – Year 10 examinations for current Year 11 were restricted so Year 11 PPE examinations cover more Year 10 topics this year

The topics below have been chosen as they reflect the ambitions of the National Curriculum, and as a Grammar school, also challenge students beyond the National Curriculum. They have been carefully sequenced in this order to build a student’s learning journey to achieve the aims of our English intent. Along the way students are assessed and topics will be revisited in assessments to keep each stage of this learning journey alive.

Year 10

Term 1

Literature topic 1

  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Assessment

  • A Christmas Carol mini-essay (extract only)
  • A Christmas Carol full essay

Term 2

Literature topic 2

  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Assessment

  • Macbeth mini-essay (extract only)
  • PPE examination: A Christmas Carol

Term 3

Literature topic 3

  • Macbeth (continued)

Assessment

  • Macbeth full essay

Literature topic 4

  • Poetry anthology – Part 1

Assessment

  • None

Language topic 1

  • English Language Paper 2 – reading

Assessment

  • English Language Paper 2 reading section (Q1-4)

Language topic 2

  • English Language Paper 2 – writing

Assessment

  • English Language Paper 2 writing section (Q5)
  • PPE examination: English Language Paper 2 reading section (Q1-4)

Language topic 3

  • English Language Paper 2 – consolidation

Assessment

  • English Language Paper 2 full paper

Year 11

Term 1

Literature topic 1

    • An Inspector Calls

Assessment

  • An Inspector Calls mini-essay
  • PPE examination: Poetry comparison and Macbeth

Term 2

Literature topic 2

  • Poetry anthology – Part 2 + unseen poetry

Assessment

    • PPE2 examination: Unseen Poetry

Term 3

Literature topic 3

  • Revision

Assessment

  • None

Language topic 1

  • English Language Paper 1 – reading

Assessment

  • PPE examination: Paper 1 (Q1-4)

Language topic 2

  • English Language Paper 1 – writing

Assessment

  • PPE2 examination: Paper 1 (Q5)

Language topic 3

English language consolidation (Paper 1 and 2)

Achieving outstanding outcomes in English – knowing and remembering even more than what is expected in a grammar school KS4 curriculum

Our assessment practice at SHSG reflects on how successful students have been in knowing, remembering and doing more through the above topics. To go beyond what is expected of an English student at GCSE and achieve outstanding outcomes  in English, students should read widely, engage in watching Ted Talks and recommended research, and learn key language and subject specific terminology.

Recommended reading in English for Middle School (Years 10 – 11)

  • SHSG English KS4 Glossary, available on our website
  • Any novels from the KS4 Reading List
  • SHSG English short story anthologies
  • SHSG English non-fiction anthologies

Useful websites, TED Talks and research for Lower School (Years 10 – 11)

  • We have a range of support materials available in our Self-help library, including study guides for literary texts and how to guides for the English Language questions – http://www.shsgenglish.org/
  • LitCharts is a good source of free online study guides – https://www.litcharts.com/
  • You can’t go too far wrong with Mr Bruff on YouTube
  • BBC Radio4’s ‘In Our Time’ podcast has a huge archive of useful podcasts to really deepen students’ understanding
  • The British Library website has plenty of excellent extra reading – https://www.bl.uk/
  • The V&A learning library – https://www.vam.ac.uk/info/learn

English-specific language to master in Middle School (Years 10 – 11)

  • All required technical terminology can be found in the KS4 Glossary

English Language

At Southend High School for Girls we teach a curriculum that is ambitious and takes students on a learning journey beyond the National Curriculum for English Language A level. The SHSG English Language A level curriculum is what we believe will expose and challenge students to a cultural capital in English Language A level that is the best that has been thought and said in this subject.

The English Language A level curriculum is planned and delivered using the intellectual framework of the classical education model, the Trivium:

  • Grammar (Knowledge and skills) knowledge, learning by heart, subject terminology, cultural capital
  • Dialectic (Enquiry and exploration) debate, question, challenge, analyse, evaluate
  • Rhetoric (Communication) essays, speeches, performances, presentations

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from Year 11 English Language

  • Grade 6 or above in GCSE English Language.

Adjustments from the Pandemic for Years 12 – 13 if applicable?

Year 12

  • Increased measurement of knowledge of language levels and terminology upon induction to the course.

Year 13

  • Increased opportunity to study and analyse older texts.
  • Curriculum adapted to allocate more time to the theory topics of occupational language and language and ethnicity before beginning Child Language Acquisition unit.
  • Additional one-to-ones offered to students for preparations for non-exam assessed components.

The units follow the AQA syllabus. They have been carefully sequenced in this order to enable students to experience both sides and set papers on the course from the beginning of the A level. Studying theoretical topics from the beginning will also open up topics for coursework investigations. Throughout the course, students are assessed and topics will be revisited in assessments to keep each stage of this learning journey alive.

Year 12

Term 1

Teacher 1

Paper 1: Language, The Individual and Society

  •  Genre, audience, mode & Purpose
  • Language levels: graphology; phonology; lexis; semantics; discourse; grammar

Assessment

  • Paper 1, Question 1 Analyse how writers use language to create meanings and representations

Term 2

Teacher 1

Paper 1: Language, The Individual and Society

  • Analysis of older texts
  • Comparing texts

Assessment

  • PPE:  Paper 1, Section A

Term 3

Teacher 1

Non-exam assessment

  • Original Writing 

Assessments

  • Analysis of sample style models

Teacher 2

Paper 2: Language Diversity

  • Gender
  • Accent & Dialect
  • Introduction to Language Discourses Writing

Assessment

  • Theory-based essay
  • Language Discourses – transactional writing.

Teacher 2

Paper 2: Language Diversity & Change

  • Occupation & Social groups
  • Language Discourses Writing

Assessment

  • PPE: Paper 2, Section A

Teacher 2

Paper 2: Language Diversity & Change

  • Ethnicity

Non – exam assessment

  • Language Investigation

Assessments

  • Practical analysis of data

Year 13

Term 1

Teacher 1

Paper 2: Language Diversity & Change

  • Language change history & theory
  • Attitudes to language change
  • Introduction to Language Discourses analysis

Assessment

  • Theory-based essays

Term 2

Teacher 1

Paper 2: Language Diversity & Change

  • English as a World Language
  • Political Correctness
  • Language Discourses analysis

Assessment

  • PPE: Paper 2 – Theory-based essay (choice of Diversity or Change)
  • Language Discourses analysis

Term 3

Teacher 1

Revision

Assessment

  • PPE: Paper 1, Section A

Teacher 2

Paper 1: Language, The Individual & Society

  • Children’s Language Development

Assessment

  • Theory-based essays

Teacher 2

Paper 2: Language Diversity & Change

  • Recap Language Diversity Theory
  • Language Discourses: Writing an opinionated piece

Assessment

  • PPE: Paper 1 – Children’s Language Development

Teacher 2

Revision

 

Assessment

  • Language Discourses writing

Achieving outstanding outcomes in English – knowing and remembering even more than what is expected in a grammar school KS5 curriculum

Our assessment practice at SHSG reflects on how successful students have been in knowing, remembering and doing more through the above topics.

To go beyond what is expected of an English Language student at GCSE and achieve an outstanding outcome in English Language, students should read widely, engage in watching Ted Talks and recommended research, and learn key language and subject specific terminology.

Recommended reading in English for Upper School (Years 12 – 13)

  • A Level English Language for AQA Student Book
  • Any other text from the English Language reading list

Useful websites, TED Talks and research for Upper School (Years 12 – 13)

  • Lexis Podcast – Dan Clayton and guests
  • BBC 4 Word of Mouth – Michael Rosen
  • EngLangBlog – Dan Clayton

English-specific language to master in Upper School (Years 12 – 13)

  • All required technical terminology can be found in the AQA English Language A level glossary

English Literature

At Southend High School for Girls we teach a curriculum that is ambitious and takes students on a learning journey beyond the National Curriculum for KS5 English Literature. The SHSG English Literature curriculum is what we believe will expose and challenge students to a cultural capital in English Literature that is the best that has been thought and said in this subject.

The English Literature KS5 curriculum is planned and delivered using the intellectual framework of the classical education model, the Trivium:

  • Grammar (Knowledge and skills) knowledge, learning by heart, subject terminology, cultural capital
  • Dialectic (Enquiry and exploration) debate, question, challenge, analyse, evaluate
  • Rhetoric (Communication) essays, speeches, performances, presentations

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from KS4 English ready to study in KS5 if applicable

  • Currently grade 6 in either Eng Lang or Eng Lit: Hopefully will change to grade 7 in Eng Lit.

Adjustments from the Pandemic for years 12-13 if applicable?

  • Clear that students who have come to SHSG for A-level Lit are less prepared for poetry (if this topic was dropped for GCSE in their school). Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that lessons on Poetry and Unseen Poetry are clearly taught.  Podcasts/pre-recorded lessons are also made freely available on Teams so that students can relisten to poetry lessons and check knowledge and learning in their own time and at their own speed.
  • Podcasts are made readily available for all students in year 12 and year 13 on Rebecca, Poetry Anthology and Wilfred Owen – this gives flex in terms of accommodating teacher sickness/absence due to C-19 if necessary.
  • There are also a series of pre-recorded lessons on ‘The Gothic’ to allow students to begin preparing for their course work independently.

The topics below have been chosen as they reflect the ambitions of the exam board, and as a Grammar school, also challenge students beyond the specification of the exam board. They have been carefully sequenced in this order to build a student’s learning journey to achieve the aims of our English intent. Along the way students are assessed and topics will be revisited in assessments to keep each stage of this learning journey alive.

Year 12

Term 1

Teacher 1 (x5 hours a fortnight)

  • Love through the Ages Poetry Anthology
  • Unseen Poetry Practise

Assessment

  • Baseline: Unseen Poetry Comparison (Burns and Gizzi)
  • Comparison poetry essay

Term 2

Teacher 1 (x5 hours a fortnight)

  • Rebecca – taught and linked to Poetry Anthology

Assessment

  • Rebecca and Unseen Poetry essay

Term 3

Teacher 1/ 2(x5 hours a fortnight)

  • PPE examinations 19-27 May: whole paper 1 = Othello, Unseen Poetry, Rebecca-Poetry Anthology comparison question

Revision for paper.

Teacher 2 (x4 hours a fortnight)

  • Othello
  • Unseen Poetry Practise

Assessment

  • Othello essay
  • Unseen Poetry essay

Teacher 2 (x4 hours a fortnight)

  • Revise Othello
  • Unseen Poetry Practise

Assessment

  • Othello essay
  • Unseen Poetry essay

AFTER HALF TERM

  • Begin Gothic course-work

Assessment: Unseen Prose essay (Blind?)

Year 13

Term 1

Teacher 1 (x5 hours a fortnight)

  • Preparation for Unseen Poetry UCAS question.
  • Gothic course work.
  • Wilfred Owen Poetry.
  • Revise for PPE1s

Assessment

  • UCAS Unseen Poetry essay.
  • 1ST NEA draft due in at half term.
  • Final NEA due in at Xmas.

Term 2

Teacher 1 (x5 hours a fortnight)

  • PPE1s: All of paper 1 and 2 questions from paper 2
  • Teach ‘First Casualty’ to compare with Owen.

Assessment

  • PPE: Unseen poetry, Rebecca-Poetry, Wilfred Owen question

Term 3

Teacher 1 (x5 hours a fortnight)

  • Finish teaching ‘First Casualty’ and revise

Assessment

  • Public examinations

Teacher 2 (x4 hours a fortnight)

  • Gothic course work.
  • Unseen WW1 prose question.
  • Revise for PPE1s

Assessment

  • Unseen Prose essay.
  • 1st NEA draft due in at half term.
  • Final NEA due in at xmas.

Teacher 2 (x 4 hours a fortnight)

  • PPE1s: All of paper 1 and 2 questions from paper 2
  • Teach ‘Journey’s End.’

Assessment

  • PPE: Othello, Unseen Prose question.

Teacher 2 (x4 hours a fortnight)

  • Finish teaching ‘Journey’s End’ and revise

Assessment

  • Public examinations

Achieving outstanding outcomes in English – knowing and remembering even more than what is expected in a grammar school KS5 curriculum

Our assessment practice at SHSG reflects on how successful students have been in knowing, remembering and doing more through the above topics.

To go beyond what is expected of an English Literature student at A level and achieve an outstanding outcome  in English, students should read widely, engage in watching Ted Talks and recommended research, and learn key language and subject specific terminology.

Recommended reading in English for Upper School (Years 12 – 13)

  • Other texts written by set writers
  • Any novels from the KS5 Reading List
  • The KS5 Gothic reading list
  • WW1 texts

Useful websites, TED Talks and research for Upper School (Years 12 – 13)

  • Academic articles on the V&A website
  • British Library online articles
  • Academic articles in Massolit
  • Radio 4 documentaries and podcasts on WW1, the Gothic and set text writers
  • Academic texts to borrow in Ms Wilkins’s lending library in B8.

English-specific language to master in Upper School (Years 12 – 13)

  • How to construct a clear, logical line of argument in timed conditions
  • AO1 critical terminology successfully applied in AO2 analysis
  • AO4 concepts of literary historiography
  • Inclusion of A05 academic and critical views within an argument
  • Referencing and bibliography skills
  • What is meant by ‘context’ in English Literature