Intent of Curriculum
In the English department, it is our intent to nurture well-read, insightful, knowledgeable, inquisitive, thoughtful and enthusiastic readers and writers, who are confident verbal communicators and attentive listeners. We aim to introduce a broad range of texts to students to develop key critical and communicative skills that contribute to their social and spiritual development. In addition we want to offer opportunities for students to understand and become confident in presenting their ideas in a variety of ways. As a department, we recognise the importance of students being able to place texts within their historical and cultural context and to recognise their cultural value. We recognise our vital role in developing our students’ literacy and intend to introduce them to key tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary and to help hone our students’ grammatical awareness.
Implementation of Curriculum
In the English department we will offer a range of complementary schemes of learning that build across the year groups. The schemes will be categorised into wider areas within the English curriculum so that students receive a broad and balanced offer in English at Babington. Our schemes will cover the following broad areas: modern fiction, classic fiction, drama, poetry, Shakespeare, reading non-fiction texts, written communication (including creative and transactional writing) and spoken language. Grammar for writing, opportunities for speaking and listening and reading for pleasure will be interleaved throughout the schemes of learning.
Impact of Curriculum
The impact of the English curriculum will be monitored vigorously through:
- Formative assessment
- Summative written assessment
- Monitoring of student books
- Student-teacher communication
- Knowledge and vocabulary testing within lessons
- Student voice
English at KS3
At Babington we have developed a KS3 curriculum in English that we feel prepares our students very well for the examinations they will face at the end of year 11, but which also means students will get to read plenty of literature.
The curriculum we have developed includes opportunities for students to read a range of modern and classic fiction, two sets of themed poetry and several plays. In addition, we have identified several half terms where students concentrate on reading non-fiction texts critically.
We have mapped out the curriculum so that students cover all of the essential skills they need in order to succeed at GCSE.
Students will be formally assessed in English each half terms, they will carry out tasks that have been developed using the same wording or format as the tasks used at GCSE. In addition, students will be regularly given feedback on their written accuracy, to ensure that their spelling, punctuation and grammar improves.
Students will be set regular homework in English. This includes a fortnightly spelling test as well as tasks relating to the topic they are studying at the time.
For an overview of the topics studied and assessment tasks set in KS3 English at Babington, please click here.
English at KS4
GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature
At Babington, we aim for all students to study English Language and English Literature at GCSE.
We offer the AQA syllabuses for both English Language and English Literature.
For an overview of AQA’s English Language qualification, please click here.
For an overview of AQA’s English Literature qualification, please click here.
In summary, in English Language, students will develop an ability to read critically and to respond to unseen literary extracts and non-fiction texts. They will learn to write for an audience and purpose and will develop their creative writing skills, too. In Literature, students will study one pre-twentieth century text, one modern text, a whole Shakespeare play, a collection of themed poetry. Students will also develop the ability to respond to poems that they have never seen before.
Typically the texts studied at Babington are:
An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens or Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Romeo and Juliet or Macbeth by William Shakespeare
A collection of poetry from the AQA poetry anthology
For an overview of the topics studied and assessment tasks set in KS4 English at Babington, please click here.
Step Up to English
If we feel that a student is ill-suited to studying English at GCSE level, we will offer them the chance to take an alternative qualification. Step Up to English is a course designed by AQA and offers an Entry Level qualification and helps students to develop basic literacy skills and to improve their confidence using the English language.
To view the specification for Step Up to English, please click here
Trips, visits and residential opportunities
The English, Media and Communications faculty has offered many opportunities to students to take part in curriculum related visits.
In recent academic years we have offered the following visit opportunities:
Whole year group trips to the theatre for years 10 and 11 to watch An Inspector Calls
Theatre visits to Curve theatre to watch Shakespeare performances
Theatre visits for year 9 students to view performances related to the texts they are studying
Trips to LCFC for week long intervention programmes
We currently run a successful writing group for interested students in conjunction with First Story. The group works with a professional poet to develop their writing and eventually produce a published poetry anthology.
This year, as part of our First Story project, we are starting an exciting collaboration with The Lancaster Academy and Curve theatre.