Year 7 Open Evening – Thursday 15 September 2022, 4:30pm-8pm

English

Curriculum

Introduction

The English curriculum at West Bromwich Collegiate Academy is an interconnected body of knowledge based around the study of great, culturally-rich texts. The English curriculum is cumulative and sequential, focused on providing our students with knowledge which can be carried forward to underpin future learning; with skills taught, retrieved, and applied in successive years. 

Aims

Overall, the curriculum aims to be challenging so that our students:

  • Acquire knowledge that takes them beyond their usual experiences.
  • Are well prepared for terminal examinations and further study.
  • Build valuable academic and subject specific vocabulary and terminology.
  • Develop cultural capital, the ideas and knowledge that can be drawn upon to participate successfully in society.
  • Are exposed to and encouraged to critique the canon, the best of what has been thought and said; each unit will involve the study of a key literary text or set of extracts.
  • Are exposed to and explicitly taught grammar and how to write effectively.

Why study English?

English Language and Literature are delivered in seamless, interconnected ways underpinned by the equal importance of each component.

English Language is vital for young people to be successful in the world. Effective communication is key, be that written or verbal. It is equally important to read with perception, to see through the bias and comprehend the real meaning writers seek to create. Being skilled in English language allows students to think as a free agent about what they hear, see, and read in the world. We do not have to accept one version of the truth when we have the ability to infer, and make our own decisions about the world.

English Literature is the study of plays, poetry and novels that have significance in helping us understand the world around us. These texts are influenced by events that changed the world. Students are encouraged to become agents of their thoughts about the big ideas which help to understand how events have shaped the society we live in today. Students will be immersed in exploring and understanding other perspectives through narratives and characters whereby they can analyse interpersonal relationships in a range of cultural contexts and develop empathy skills.

How is English delivered at West Bromwich Collegiate Academy?

In Year 7 English and Literacy is delivered within our Literacy for Life Programme. Students receive 17 hours of Literacy for Life lessons per week which covers a range of subjects within the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum.

In Year 8, students receive 2 hours of discreet English teaching per week within ability group bands, in addition to English language and literature skills covered within the Year 8 L4L curriculum.

Students receive 4 hours of English per week in Year 9, within ability group bands. Literacy skills are also practised and applied within the L4L curriculum, that is delivered in 5 hours per week.

Click here to see how the English Curriculum is delivered within Literacy for Life themes in Year 7, 8 and 9

What themes and texts do we study?

We study great, culturally rich texts within these themes:

Year 7 – Literacy for Life

Autumn Term

  • Citizen Me – Benjamin Zephaniah poetry; speech writing
  • Journey to the Centre of the Earth – ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ by Jules Verne and Percy Jackson
  • In Days of Old – Transactional writing focus (newspaper article)
  • Fairy Tales – ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by William Shakespeare

Spring Term

  • Journeys – ‘The Canterbury Tales’ by Geoffrey Chaucer
  • i-Robot – Big Write: ‘Is a robot just a robot?’
  • Water – ‘Blessing’ by Imitiaz Dharkar
  • Growing – ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens

Summer Term

  • Silent Movies – Charlie Chaplin’s biography
  • Off With Your Head – Queen Elizabeth I’s speech

Year 8 – English Lessons

Autumn Term: Heroes and Villains

  • Fiction / non-fiction extracts
  • A Christmas Carol

Spring Term: Love and Relationships

  • Poetry across the ages
  • Romeo and Juliet

Summer Term: Dystopian Worlds

  • The Hunger Games
  • Non-fiction extracts

Year 9 – English Lessons

Autumn Term: Creative Worlds

Gothic fiction

  • To develop an understanding of the conventions of the gothic genre through a study of a range of extracts predominantly from the 19th century and more modern extracts.
  • To develop critical analysis of language and form.
  • To enhance creative writing skills focusing on figurative language development to improve descriptive writing.

Crime fiction

  • This scheme of learning will focus on a range of reading skills (inference, deduction, writer’s methods, purpose, structure analysis, characterisation, genre) and writing skills (description, characterisation, viewpoints and perspectives, vocabulary, punctuation, and sentences for effect etc.)

Spring Term 1: Tragedy and Triumph

Othello by William Shakespeare

  • To develop an understanding of the conventions of a tragedy.
  • To study the context and evaluate the creation of the plot and characters of a tragedy and analysing key extracts in detail.

Spring Term 2: Race and Discrimination

Non-fiction extracts

  • To develop an understanding of a range of non – fiction and pre and post 20th century unseen poetry.
  • To explore and consider a range of global issues including: the environment – plastics/CO2/climate change, equality, exploration and travel, poverty and 3rd World deprivation.

Summer Term: Conflict and Displacement

Modern novel

  • To read a novel and study the writer’s creation of plot, characters and evaluate the themes and ideas in the narrative.
  • To learn about the context of the novel and develop critical analysis skills.

Conflict poetry

  • To study a range of pre and post 20th Century poetry based on the theme of war and conflict
  • To learn comparison skills and about the importance of context

(Texts to be delivered later in the year may be subject to change)

How is the English Curriculum delivered?

We deliver the concepts of reading and writing in an interleaved way, preferring the twin strands of creativity and analysis to be experienced holistically. Subject specific expertise and good practice are regularly shared during meetings to ensure all staff are able to deliver the curriculum effectively. Teaching will be guided by the following principles:

  • Learning is defined as a change in long term memory; teaching needs to be focused on memory and retention.
  • Lessons will involve regular, cumulative recap and retrieval of knowledge.
  • Sustained progress is preferable to rapid progress; learning is distinct from lesson performance.
  • Each year will involve guided practice of the three writing styles needed to be successful students of English (analysis, description, rhetoric).
  • Each year will involve guided practice of the three writing styles needed to be successful students of English (analysis, description, rhetoric).
  • To ensure good quality communication is frequently addressed, each half term will include a transactional writing opportunity – even when the focus is Literature based.
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar will be practised in all years with regular tests both in English lessons and within Academic Skills sessions withing the Form Time Programme.

 

We aim to support all children. Our units will be pitched so that children with different starting points can access them. We will be guided by the principles of the National Curriculum to ensure pupils are exposed to foundational knowledge, such as phonics and rich vocabulary, which will allow them to be successful and to articulate their ideas. Our lessons will be sequenced so that each builds on prior education. Our activities will be scaffolded so all children can succeed. However, the aim of teaching is to bring all children to achieve highly, regardless of their starting points.

Evaluating the curriculum

Ultimately, the success of any curriculum must be measured against the outcomes of our students in terminal examinations, their progression to Post 16 study, and their ability to participate positively in society. Our curriculum is a work in progress; it will be evaluated and refined each year based on student outcomes and other wider intelligence. English is a subject with must remain perceptive to the progressive world and English at WBCA will continue to be informed in this way.

There are several ways that we currently measure impact in English here at WBCA. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Spelling tests of key vocabulary provided at the start of each new unit
  • Pre and post knowledge and skills tests (Microsoft forms quiz)
  • Reading assessments (based on GCSE Language style questions)
  • Writing assessments (based on GCSE Language style questions)
  • Literature assessments – character, plot, setting, theme based on focus text
  • Speaking and Listening assessment
  • GL based exams
  • Reading age tests (start, middle and end point)
  • Regular verbal feedback
  • Live marking


The English department will share progress with students and parents alike in a constructive way and in line with the schools’ assessment policy. The expectation is to provide an ‘on, expected, or below’ comment on focused pieces of work across the year. Students can expect to receive an assessment tracking sheet and an assessment folder where they will record their unique progress across the year.

How can you support your child with English at home?

  • Take your child to a local library regularly and encourage them to read a range of genres
  • Encourage your child to read a variety of texts, including newspaper articles and online blogs including Accelerated Reader and myON. This can include audiobooks and podcasts.
  • Help your child with practising spellings and learning new vocabulary – students are provided with a list of key spellings on a half-termly basis to support their unit of study
  • Discuss character arcs and plot devices in TV shows and films , particularly those which are based on novels
  • Watch the news and topical shows and discuss domestic and global issues.
  • Use resources available on Century Learning, Digital Theatre+
  • Websites: BBC Bitesize, Digital Theatre+, Mr Bruff analysis videos on YouTube
  • Parents may wish to purchase an English work book or revision guide, or notes to accompany the texts studied in lessons, though we will provide core resources for students
  • Parents of Year 9 students may wish to purchase an English Language or Literature GCSE revision guide in preparation for Year 10 term 1. Our exam board will be AQA