Bluecoat Aspley Academy English Curriculum Intent Statement
At Bluecoat Aspley, our varied, enriching and academically challenging English curriculum ensures students are able to develop the characteristics of a literary scholar – promoting empathy, curiosity and resilience, while equipping them with the mastery of language to be confident and aspirational members of society.
Our curriculum is based on the principles of mastery: offering students a knowledge-rich, in-depth study of literature, enabling them to engage with the literary world around them. Rooted in social, cultural and historical context, we support students to develop cultural literacy around the importance of texts in their time and the relevance they hold today.
Our curriculum is both aspirational and courageously inclusive by nature: promoting the qualities we wish to develop in our Bluecoat family. We approach literature as both a mirror and a window: firstly, through the study of literary heritage, students are supported to access challenging, culturally-rich canonical texts that will help them to reflect on questions of individuality, community and faith. Secondly, students study a range of diverse world literature reflecting a range of human experience, encouraging students’ imaginations to extend beyond the realm of their immediate experiences. By exploring characters from a range of cultures, imagined worlds and historical periods, we promote students’ development as empathetic citizens of the world. We want our students to develop a love of reading, fostered through shared reading experiences that allow them to develop their sense of identity and respect for others.
Students will learn of the enormous power of language and its ability to both shape and share our experiences. Students will learn to analyse how writers craft language to produce the most compelling representations of human experience, and in turn will develop the skills required to write creatively themselves. Through the detailed study of grammar and explicit vocabulary instruction, students will learn to master their own language use, using it precisely and accurately – preparing them for the rigour of academic study and providing them with the tools to be influential voices in their communities, faith networks and wider society.
It is our hope that through the study of English, and its transformative power to both reveal and reflect, will ensure that students have a conceptual understanding of language as the key to unlocking all other forms of knowledge.
Expand each Key Stage to access the Curriculum Map and see an overview of what is covered in this subject:
At KS3 in English, pupils have four hours of lessons a week. Please see the curriculum map to see what pupils will learn over the course of their study. Our KS3 curriculum focuses on building a secure foundation of concepts to enable students to explore challenging texts in our knowledge-rich curriculum. Students develop their writing skills in weekly lessons which build on the grammatical knowledge secured in KS2, and focuses on writing accurately and creatively. In Years 7 and 8, students also benefit from a weekly Reading for Pleasure lesson in the library, where they enjoy shared reading alongside vocabulary instruction.
At KS4 in English Language, pupils have three hours of lessons a week. We follow the AQA GCSE English Language Specification. Students will draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus (non-fiction and fiction from the 19th, 20th and 21st century), and engage with creative as well as real and relevant contexts. Students will be supported to develop higher-order reading and critical thinking skills. Students work towards two examination papers:
Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (50%)
Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoint and Perspectives (50%)
At KS4 in English Literature, pupils have three hours of lessons in Year 10 and two in Year 11. We follow the Edexcel GCSE English Literature Specification. Students study a range of texts: Macbeth, An Inspector Calls/Refugee Boy, Frankenstein and the Love and Relationships cluster of poetry from the Edexcel anthology. Students work towards two examination papers:
Paper 1: Shakespeare and Post-1914 Literature (50%)
Paper 2: 19th-century Novel and Poetry since 1789 (50%)
At KS5 in English Language, pupils have five hours of lessons a week. We follow the AQA A Level English Language Specification. Students will develop their understanding of how language is shaped by and responds to audience, purpose, genre and mode. They will explore how language varies across groups in society, and explore concepts and issues relating to language such as power, gender and technology, as well as the history of language change and child language acquisition. Students will complete an independent language investigation and a piece of original writing for their non-exam component, and work towards two examination papers:
Paper 1: Language, the individual and society
Paper 2: Language diversity and change
At KS5 in English Literature, pupils have five hours of lessons a week. We follow the AQA A Level English Literature Specification. Students will study a range of Literature texts through the lens of Tragedy, Social and Political Protest and Critical Theory. The texts include Shakespeare plays, poetry and prose with the stipulation of pre-1900 and post-2000 will be included in the selection of texts. Students will complete two pieces of NEA (coursework, and work towards two examination papers:
Paper 1: Literary Genres
Paper 2: Texts and Genres