Curriculum Leader: Miss Clemmett
Deputy Curriculum Leader: Miss Day
In their study of English at Norton College, we empower our students to become confident readers, writers and speakers. Our team of experienced teachers promote a culture of high aspiration and high challenge, supporting students in their encounters with a broad range of texts and concepts. Our students understand how their commitment to the study of language and literature will equip them for success beyond school, as well as providing them with a deep understanding of the world and themselves.
Key Stage 3
The Key Stage 3 English Curriculum is strategically designed to support students’ personal, social and emotional development, as well as providing academic rigour. We operate under a conceptual or “ideas based” curriculum, which directs students to deeply explore a new idea each term. For example, in Year 7 students will explore the concepts of Good vs Evil, Society and Human Nature. Each idea is interrogated through a broad selection of texts, ranging from Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to more modern texts such as The Hunger Games. While their study of literature promotes a love of reading and intellectual curiosity, the English team are equally dedicated to fostering students’ confidence in literacy. Our teachers use a variety of strategies to assess the needs of individual students, using this information when planning programmes of study to ensure that students being taught what they need, not what they are expected to need. Alongside this flexible approach, students are guaranteed an element of the explicit teaching of reading skills, spelling skills or vocabulary acquisition every lesson.
Key Stage 4
Having benefitted personally and academically from the Key Stage 3 concept-based curriculum, as they transition to Key Stage 4 students are already fully equipped with a deep understanding of the themes which underlie the GCSE Literature texts. For example, having explored the concept of Social Divides in Year 8, students are now ready to apply this learning to their study of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol; similarly, students may apply their deep understanding of the concept of The Power of Language acquired in Year 9 to their exploration of Lady Macbeth’s use of rhetoric in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. With this ‘head start’, teachers are able to focus on developing students’ close analysis skills in order to match the sophistication of their ideas.
While students are required to become experts in their understanding of the GCSE English Literature texts, they continue to gain from the exploration of new and challenging fiction and non-fiction texts as required by their study of the GCSE English Language course. At Norton College, we benefit from the insight of members of our experienced team who have marked for the exam board AQA both for the GCSE English Literature and GCSE English Language courses. GCSE English Literature Texts (AQA):
· Macbeth – William Shakespeare
· A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
· An Inspector Calls – J. B. Priestley
· AQA War and Conflict Poetry Anthology
Key Stage 5
Students choose to study English Literature at Key Stage 5 for a number of reasons: the opportunity to develop their critical and analytical thinking skills; the high regard for the course among top universities; or simply a deep love of reading. Our Key Stage 5 students benefit from small class sizes in which we can offer tailored support and feedback every lesson. As success at A Level is founded on students developing their critical voices, our small study groups provide the right environment for students to test, refine and expand upon their ideas through discussion with their teacher and peers. In Year 13, students create an independent coursework study, in which they will explore texts and topics which link to their interests. This provides students with an opportunity to develop academic writing skills such as referencing, which will prepare students for the study of any arts or humanities subject at degree level. Our students are prompted to make links between their study of English Literature and the study of their other chosen A Level subjects in order draw links between art and culture and the world around them. On completion of their study, our students are critical, insightful and rounded individuals.
A Level English Literature Texts (AQA):
· AQA Love and Relationships Anthology (Post-1900)
· Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte (to be compared with anthology poetry)
· Othello – William Shakespeare
· Skirrid Hill – Owen Sheers