English is a subject that allows students to communicate precisely and powerfully; the study of English gives our pupils the skills to write fluently with passion and flair, read widely and fluently and communicate with power and confidence. The English curriculum at Hayle Academy directs students to read a broad range of literature including plays, novels and poetry. It aims to build students’ level of cultural capital, develop their tier 2 vocabulary and encourage them to build empathy whilst considering challenging local, cultural, emotional and political concepts. We model fluent reading strategies and ensure students are accurately understand the grammar of our language; this is essential at Hayle as often our students have lower than average reading ages.
The aim of our English curriculum is to deliver knowledge via a range of diverse texts which allow students to encounter and understand contexts from the Shakespearean era through to modern society; students are also guided to read a range of ‘satellite’ texts that accompany each of their main areas of study and enable them to develop a broader knowledge of context, concepts and themes . Furthermore, the English curriculum aims to support students to understand and appreciate the English Language and write precisely and confidently. These skills are taught through a range of thematic schemes including dystopia, crime and punishment and activism. This injection of cultural capital and diversity in the English curriculum is essential due to our higher than average proportion of disadvantaged pupils and our unique setting in West Cornwall; our students require explicit teaching of culture and diversity thus this has been incorporated carefully and regularly into the English curriculum through our text choices and pedagogical strategies. Repeat concepts are interleaved to encourage students to make regular links to contexts and demonstrate the changes in the English language. Our repeat concepts include:
- Evaluation of humanity (what it means to be human.)
- The spiritual and supernatural
- Cultural diversity
- Gender and class
- Conflict and tension
- Origins of language or stories
- My own opinion
Our broad and balanced curriculum allows students to contextualise GCSE content and build on prior knowledge to make sense of new and unseen texts that they may encounter in the future. Our schemes of learning are both topic and skills based. For example, context in A Christmas Carol; non-fiction analysis through activism.
Students will acquire a broad and balanced set of skills and knowledge in English. Their understanding of the English language and a range of culturally diverse texts will allow them to understand our increasingly complex world. They will be able to independently form opinions and confidently share their ideas both verbally and in written work, both at Hayle and into the future. These skills are highly sought after in careers such as law, journalism and marketing. It also prepares students for the variety of post-16 options linked to English, including A-level English Language, A-level English Literature and the International Baccalaureate.