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Nottingham Academy

English

Nottingham Academy’s English curriculum aims to inspire and educate our young people each and every day. We offer a broad and diverse range of activities which motivate all to believe they can achieve success regardless of their cultural, social and emotional needs. Within this curriculum we have chosen texts such as Iridescent Adolescent, Our Day Out, Animal Farm, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and Blood Brothers, all of which cover a range of topics and issues which create challenging and sometimes controversial discussions. Our chosen topics have been carefully selected by the English team. We have considered our demographic and the importance of challenge and the need for cultural capital within our subject. Ultimately, our end goal is to encourage our students to have a thorough understanding of the respect values we stand for in our Academy through the love of English. 

Reading 

At Nottingham Academy, our goal is to inspire our students to become enthusiastic, motivated and confident readers. We do this by studying an array of quality novels, plays and poems which they study throughout their time at the Academy. Not only does this encourage them to have a love for reading but will also provide them with the skills to become critical thinkers, more knowledgeable about the world around them and be able to analyse a variety of text and/or situations.  

The book project has been a real success where students choose a book and complete a number of tasks based on the book. This is completed by Years 7-10 and at the end of the year, they present their numerous tasks to their class. This develops, not only their reading ability but also their ability to explore and analyse a text in detail. 

Writing  

At Nottingham Academy, our goal is to shape confident writers that are able to plan and produce effective pieces of both creative and functional writing appropriate for a variety of genres, forms and purposes. We aim for pupils to be able to utilise a full range of language techniques to describe, argue, inform, persuade and entertain readers. To achieve this, pupils will write poems, stories, scripts, letters, articles and speeches. We will develop planning and editing strategies to ensure the content and technical accuracy of written work is produced to the highest standards. These transferrable writing skills are essential for our pupils to possess and apply in their future studies and careers.   

Oracy 

We understand the value of Oracy not just in English but in everyday life. We have built in numerous opportunities for pupils to either work independently or collaboratively to present ideas to an audience. This enables learners to share and explore ideas with pupils they may not necessarily work alongside. This inevitably builds on their confidence and character whilst preparing for their final Speaking and Listening exam in Year 11. Our aim is to provide pupils with a range of opportunities throughout KS3 and KS4 to develop their oracy skills in individual, paired and group situations. Students will explore the importance of planning presentations and speeches in the same detail as other written tasks. They will employ a full set of rhetorical techniques and non-verbal communication skills and apply these to different forms and purposes of speaking and listening tasks. 

Knowledge organisation 

Our lessons are based around enquiry questions that link to the key concept of the lesson. We use retrieval practice at the start of every lesson to recover long, mid and short-term knowledge and use this information to identify areas that need consolidation. The enquiries are designed to take pupils on a journey, building on prior knowledge whilst introducing new concepts to broaden their knowledge. In addition, we carry out regular low stake testing to ascertain whether concepts have been understood and embedded. We use both domain specific substantive knowledge and contextual disciplinary knowledge. Pupils are introduced to and embed required subject specific vocabulary and methods of approach to texts. Pupils will be able to connect arguments and offer opinions and interpretations. Pupils should be able to articulate their ideas with confidence and sophistication. Pupils create knowledge organisers to further consolidate learning. 

Knowledge selection 

Our KS3 curriculum is designed to build upon the prior knowledge gained at KS2 whilst also introducing pupils to all of the necessary substantive and disciplinary knowledge required to succeed at KS4. Our KS4 curriculum is designed to build upon the knowledge gained at KS3 and fully prepare pupils for the rigours of GCSE English Language and Literature courses. Pupils will develop the skills set required for the AQA English Literature and Language GCSE examinations. Our Long-Term Plans ensure that pupils are exposed to a full and rich diet of Reading, Writing and Oracy through the study of a range of modern and past writers, texts and forms. Our Medium-Term Plans include units specifically chosen to build upon prior knowledge whilst linking to future units of study. We have selected a variety of diverse texts that reflect the multicultural and diverse community that we serve and use the texts as an opportunity to discuss important cultural and social issues. We aim to encourage resiliency in our learners and shape pupils that can apply their English skills confidently in whatever future contexts that they require.  

Pupil engagement 

We aim to plan inclusive and challenging schemes of work and teach differentiated lessons that are accessible for all our learners. We teach to the top with stretch and challenge approaches for our high ability pupils. Integral to our teaching is modelling and scaffolding (such as I do, we do, you do) to guide and support all learners to achieve their potential. We believe that challenging and carefully-structured and delivered lessons will ensure pupils are engaged with their learning and thrive in their English lessons.  

Motivation through learning 

Our diverse diet of both modern and pre-1900 texts in a variety of forms including plays, poetry, novels and modern media encourages pupils to discuss and develop their own critical interpretations. We aim for our pupils to develop their critical thinking and be inspired to continue their study of English and further develop their understanding of the cultural and social issues that impact us all in the modern world.  

How will pupils make progress? 

Students undertake a journey of progression in which they develop and apply subject knowledge and continue to develop their reading, writing and oracy skills through the sequential flow of our long-term plans feeding into our medium-term plans. Pupils will show their progress in a myriad of manners including low stakes questioning, extended pieces of writing, class discussion and targeted questioning and regular reading, writing and speaking and listening assessment. Assessment is used to inform teaching and intervention strategies are employed to address pupils that are not making expected levels of progress.  

What are the key assessment skills that pupils will develop? 

  • Pupils will learn to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and themes from various time periods.  

  • Pupils will learn to explain, analyse and interpret a variety of writer’s viewpoints and perspectives. 

  • Pupils will learn to analyse and evaluate different forms of writing  

  • Pupils will write in plethora of forms to suit a range of purposes and audiences. 

  • Pupils will develop their technical accuracy in the use of spelling, punctuation and grammar. 

  • Pupils will develop their ability to create engaging, compelling and convincing pieces of writing. 

  • Pupils will develop their ability to use ambitious vocabulary accurately.  

  • Pupils will develop confidence in their use of volume, pitch, pace and tone and also non-verbal communication skills to impact and involve audiences in a range of speaking and listening tasks. 

Character Curriculum 

In English we aim for our Character Curriculum to allow pupils to flourish so that they are able to achieve their potential and are able to work harmoniously within a thriving community and wider society. Our goal is to shape pupils that are resilient, honest, kind, empathetic and confident. We want our pupils to be aware of the importance of continued self-development and of the important role that they can all play in our wider community. To achieve this we ensure that our curriculum throughout every Year is filled with opportunities to discuss and analyse viewpoints on a variety of topical and historical cultural and societal issues.  

Opportunity Charter 

To ensure our young people enjoy a wide and varied diet within English, we offer an array of extra curricula activities such as First Story, Debate Club, Homework drop in, Creative Writing club, Script Writing and more recently our Golden Thread lectures which focused on pushing and challenging our most able students by teaching critical theories. 

As a core subject it is important that students understand the integral part it plays in their everyday life. We want students to leave our school having gone through a journey which ends with not only a fantastic GCSE in English but be able to use their knowledge of language and Literature to explore and inspire the world around them. 

 

For further information about our English Curriculum please contact:

Curriculum Lead - English - S Evans

sevans@nottinghamacademy.org