‘A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it’ — Roald Dahl
English is the foundation from which all other academic success is dependent. It is all around us: from being able to read through terms and conditions in a contract; to the ability to write a formal letter expressing interest in a job; to having the confidence and speaking and listening skills to be able to succeed in an interview or working environment. English truly is the subject that reaches out to everyone and aligns all students with the Grace Vision: ‘to develop well-educated, considerate and caring citizens’ who can ‘contribute to modern society’.
English is taught in two brackets that are aligned at Key Stage 3 and then disjoin in KS4: English Language and English Literature. At Grace Academy, we follow a bespoke 5 year plan that offers a skills-based curriculum so that students are equipped to achieve their potential, whatever their life choices. In year 7, students are introduced to the fundamental skills of the specification and the focus is one building a love, engagement and interest in the subject. As students develop, the complexity of set tasks and materials increases throughout Key Stage 3 so that everyone can challenge their own perceptions regardless of ability. The curriculum covers a range of topics and themes in order to educate them about the world, relationships and our history as British citizens. Each skill and question type for the GCSE exam is practised and formally assessed in Assessment Points at KS3, from years 7-9.
At Key Stage 4, English disaggregates into Language and Literature. In years 10 and 11, students apply the skills and contextual knowledge that they have obtained at KS3 level to the set texts for Literature. This culminates in 4 GCSE examinations: two English Language exams (both 1 hour, 30 minutes) and two English Literature exams. Literature paper 1 is assesses knowledge of a 19th century Literature novel and a Shakespeare play, lasting 1 hour 45 minutes, whereas Literature paper 2 assesses a modern text, a cluster of poems and an unseen poem, lasting 2 hours 15 minutes.
At Key Stage 5, we offer students the opportunity to develop their love of English Literature and students are assessed at the end of Year 13.