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English Curriculum 2020-2021

Head of Department: Mr. K. Russell
Email Address: krussell@gilbertinglefield.com 

The English curriculum has been designed to ensure all students have the opportunity to develop the key skills needed for the new National Curriculum through a wide range of engaging and challenging texts.

In all years, students are taught in predominantly mixed ability groups with additional groups for students identified as having Higher Learning Potential as well as those who benefit from a smaller nurture group. Where students have gaps in their learning, intervention groups and sessions will be offered.

In Year 5, English lessons form part of our Creative Curriculum, covering topics such as Ancient Greece, Crime and Punishment and the Victorians. In Year 6, English lessons are based around a variety of texts such as The Titanic and the story of Zhang Qian. All Key Stage 2 students also experience dedicated Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling lessons as well as reading skill sessions.

Working closely with our upper school colleagues, we ensure that our Key Stage 3 curriculum prepares our students for the skills needed for their GCSE courses. In Year 7, this is through novels such as ‘Holes’ as well as poetry from other cultures.  Our Year 8 students continue to develop these skills whilst studying extracts from nineteenth century Dystopian Fictions, exploring media and analysing non – fiction texts.

We ensure students are offered stretch and challenge through a Mastery curriculum. As part of this, students in Years 6 and 8 study a Shakespeare play: ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’.

We recognise that reading for pleasure plays an important role in developing students’ English skills, as well as across the curriculum. Students in Years 5 to 8 all have a Reading Challenge to complete and all students carry a book to read during the day. Additionally, Key Stage 2 students have a dedicated library lesson once a fortnight. Throughout the school, reading skills will be taught through Whole Class Guided Reading. Students are also encouraged to develop their literacy skills through ‘Word of the Day’ as well as 10-minute reading at the start of each lesson.

We encourage students to be articulate and involved in their learning and offer an interesting and diverse programme of extra-curricular activities, such as theatre visits, trips to organisations such as the Guardian Media Centre and a visiting author. We are expanding the enrichment programme this year by offering a variety of lunch time clubs such as debating society and a book club. We also would like to encourage our students to be activities participants in these programmes, spelling bee and poetry slam competitions will be on stream in the coming months. 

Year 5 Curriculum Overview

 Pupils study a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts throughout the year. 

 Autumn Term 

During the Autumn term, students will remain in their form groups, studying Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ whilst also having discrete Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling lessons.

In the second part of the term, as part of our Creative Curriculum, the children will study a narrative poetry unit based on ‘The Highwayman’ as part of their Crime and Punishment topic. There will also be a focus on a range of non-fiction information texts.

Homework will be set weekly and will include handwriting, spelling and writing tasks. It is also beneficial for students to read for approximately two hours a week. This can be alone but also sharing a book with a parent/carer.

Spring Term 

The spring term begins with a unit on Spain where children will develop their creative writing skills using ‘Take One Picture’ as inspiration. They will also read stories based on Spanish culture such as Al Caliente. After half-term, they will focus on Greek myths as part of their ‘It’s All Greek To Me’ topic.

Summer Term 

During the summer term, pupils will study ‘Street Child’ as part of their Victorian topic, writing from a different perspective and creating non-fiction texts about Victorian life. Their final novel of the year will encourage pupils to think about how to write from a different perspective.

Year 6 Curriculum Overview  

 Pupils study a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts throughout the year. 

 Autumn Term 

 Year 6 English lessons begin based on the story of Zhang Qian before moving onto a survival unit, looking at a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts.

After half-term, pupils’ writing will be based on the Titanic and Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Kaspar – King of Cats’.

Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling is taught discretely and then embedded throughout the week. There is also a dedicated reading comprehension lesson each week.

Homework will be set weekly and will include handwriting, spelling and writing tasks. It is also beneficial for students to read for approximately two hours a week. This can be alone but also sharing a book with a parent/carer.

Spring Term 

The focus of the Spring Term is short stories. Pupils will read a collection of ‘Stories from around the World’ encouraging diversity and developing their global understanding of the world.

Summer Term 

During the summer term, pupils will sit the Key Stage 2 tests (SATS). As well as preparing pupils for the tests, we will be supporting their transition to Key Stage 3 by studying ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. At the end of the term, they will get the opportunity to create a transition booklet, supporting learners going into years 5 and 6.

Year 7 Curriculum Overview

 Pupils study a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts throughout the year. 

 Autumn Term 

Year 7 students begin Key Stage 3 studying Louis Sachar’s ‘Holes’. They will develop their analytical skills through studying language, themes and characterisation. Students will begin to write extended essays as well as a variety of creative texts.

After half-term, students study poetry based on the other cultures and traditions.

Spring Term 

At the beginning of the Spring term, students will consider how their English skills are vital for their role in the twenty-first century. They will start the year looking at media, focussing on how newspapers, blogs and magazines discuss the issue of race and diversity. Students will learn how bias is used in the press and the role of ‘fake news’. Each English group will produce their own newspaper. After half-term, we will focus on developing students’ oracy skills through drama and public-speaking, considering the importance of being able to express ourselves eloquently.

Summer Term 

During the summer term, pupils will focus on Shakespeare in performance to strengthen their oracy skills. As well as analysing the texts, they will also be able to write and perform parts of a Shakespearean scene.

The units of work will provide all pupils with opportunities to develop an appreciation and love of reading whilst reading increasingly challenging material independently.

Pupils will learn new vocabulary, relating it explicitly to known vocabulary and understanding it with the help of context and dictionaries.

Through library lessons, they will be encouraged to choose and read books independently for challenge, interest and enjoyment. Pupils will also be encouraged to re-read books encountered earlier to increase familiarity with them and provide a basis for making comparisons.

Year 8 Curriculum Overview

 Pupils study a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts throughout the year. 

 Autumn Term 

During Year 8, students will continue to develop the analytical and writing skills needed to prepare for their GCSE courses. At the beginning of the year, they will study a variety of nineteenth and twentieth century extracts on Dystopian Fiction.

Towards the end of term, students will study ‘An Unseen Poetry’, focusing on language, characterisation and themes. This will enable the students to have the required skills for GCSE poetry analysis.

Spring Term 

The focus of the Spring Term is Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. They will develop their extended writing skills in preparation for an assessment based on a main character.

Summer Term 

During the summer term, they will also be given the opportunity to focus on key scenes from Romeo and Juliet, using critical analytical skills to compare the way two scenes are developed.

The units of work will provide all pupils with opportunities to develop an appreciation and love of reading whilst reading increasingly challenging material independently.

Pupils will learn new vocabulary, relating it explicitly to known vocabulary and understanding it with the help of context and dictionaries.

Through library lessons, they will be encouraged to choose and read books independently for challenge, interest and enjoyment. Pupils will also be encouraged to re-read books encountered earlier to increase familiarity with them and provide a basis for making comparisons.