Curriculum Plans: Please click here for the curriculum plans for English
The purpose of the English curriculum at Trumpington Community College is to equip students with the skills and knowledge to become confident thinkers, speakers, and writers. We want to ensure that students are prepared for each stage of their academic journey and the world beyond the classroom. Through the study of a range of texts written by diverse voices, students are encouraged to discuss, debate, and explore universal ideas. The following principles have informed the curriculum planning in English here at Trumpington:
• Entitlement: All pupils have the right to learn what is within the curriculum, and we have a duty to ensure that all pupils are taught the whole of it. All will study a wide range of high-quality texts and writing forms.
• Coherence: Taking the National Curriculum as its starting point, our curriculum is carefully sequenced so that powerful knowledge builds term by term and year by year. We make meaningful connections within English and between also making links with other subjects. The curriculum is carefully sequenced according to themes, ideas, and concepts whilst introducing a variety of literary genres and forms, including different writing forms.
• Mastery: We ensure that foundational knowledge, skills, and concepts are secure before moving on. Pupils revisit prior learning and apply their understanding in new contexts. We want our students to be able to link new knowledge to previously taught content and understand the different ways they connect.
• Adaptability: Each lesson addresses a key question, leaving room for teachers to adapt lessons without losing sight of the core purpose.
• Representation: All pupils see themselves in our curriculum, and our curriculum takes all pupils beyond their immediate experience. All will encounter texts which offer both a mirror and a window to the rich and multi-layered experiences of the world we live in.
• Education with character: Through the curriculum, students are given many opportunities to share, reflect and learn about each other’s experiences whilst recognising our common shared experiences
Key Stage 3
Over the course of KS3 students are introduced to both the key reading and writing skills, as well as texts and authors that stretch and challenge their understanding of the world around them, as well as the thoughts, feelings and perceptions of a broad range of authors and thinkers. The course is inclusive and challenging, preparing students for the rigours of GCSE, and building up skills which are constantly revisited and deepened in each successive year. Students will study playscripts, novels, poetry and non-fiction writing, learn how to communicate verbally and through their writing expressively and comprehensively, building confidence and their knowledge as they move towards KS4. Each KS3 year builds around a theme – in Year 7 this is conflict and the effect of war on individuals, in Year 8 we begin to explore ideas of social justice and equality, which culminates in Year 9 with texts exploring relationships and identity.
Key Stage 4
We follow the AQA English Language and English Literature courses at GCSE level. In Year 10, students study a range of literature texts, such as Macbeth, A Christmas Carol and An Inspector Calls. Students also practise and prepare reading and writing skills for English Language paper 1, which gets them to explore a creative fiction extract and write descriptively or narratively. Towards the end of the year, students are introduced to the skills of reading an unseen poem and will prepare and carry out an extended spoken presentation.
In Year 11, students study a range of poems on the theme of power and conflict for English Literature, moving on to prepare for English Language paper 2, which asks students to compare and analyse two linked non-fiction texts, as well as write persuasively, informatively or argumentatively in a range of different possible formats. Students will review and revise all texts and courses studied in Years 10 and 11, practicing their exam skills and preparing for examination through the rest of the year.
Useful websites and links
Students are provided with not only excellent notes and ideas through lessons, as well as access to lesson notes on TEAMs, but also, at GCSE level, receive study guides of all texts studied to support revision. However, there are a number of useful sites to support learning throughout the key stages:
BBC Bitesize – excellent supportive resources for all texts studied and both subjects
Seneca Learning – online revision platform with tests / revision notes / lessons
Bedrock Learning – supporting students revision of vocabulary
Sparx Reader – helps to improve students’ literacy and ability to read for meaning
Snap Revision guides – help to support students with all areas of KS3 study as well as all GCSE Literature texts and Language skills.
Progression to University and Careers
The curriculum at Trumpington celebrates the power of the subject of English and the vital role it plays in preparing students for the different pathways they may take. Through the curriculum, pupils develop a range of vital skills, for example, the ability to analyse sophisticated ideas, how to synthesise complex information, how to construct a convincing argument, and how to be an effective speaker and writer.
English Literature A-Level is a facilitating subject for Russell Group Universities, which means that pupils who choose to continue to progress to Key Stage 5 will have a wide range of options for degree study. It is widely recognised that the skills developed through the study of English are among the most transferable and highly sought after by employers. English graduates go on to a wide range of careers including broadcasting, publishing, law, journalism, and PR and marketing. More information on English degrees can be found here: https://www.ucas.com/explore/subjects/english