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English is the study of how the English language has been used over centuries and across the world by writers to communicate their ideas about the world in which we live. A high-quality education in English will teach students to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them.
The English department aims to inspire an enthusiasm and a love of reading by encouraging students to engage with a variety of texts. Students will read a wide range of literature from classical to modern literature, and the English department works in close partnership with the academy’s library to ensure that students have access to books that will challenge them intellectually and emotionally. Students are provided with ample opportunity to read through weekly DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time alongside reading in English lessons. Our students are taught to read critically and evaluatively so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas. It is our aim that every student at Harris Academy Wimbledon reads for pleasure and appreciates the depth and power of literary heritage.
Students will also develop their writing skills so that they write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately. Students will acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language. In addition to this, students will develop and explore the use of spoken language and performance so that they are able to present information and ideas effectively and respond appropriately to any questions through the effective use of Standard English.
Underpinning all English study is the understanding of ideas, methods and context from key stage 3 through to A Level. We have been keen to ensure that the curriculum and assessment cycle leads to progression and lifelong learning, with students gaining knowledge and honing skills over the years so that they develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually and mature into principled and productive adults able to make a difference in society.
The Key Stage 3 English curriculum must:
- challenge students’ ideas and perspectives, building independence, relevance to their lives and promoting enquiry
- foster an appreciation and love for reading, writing and spoken Standard English.
- feature diverse texts that explore different cultures, while addressing gaps in cultural capital
- develop and cultivate central skills for future English study whilst avoiding mirroring the GSCE specification
The Key Stage 4 English Literature curriculum must:
- support students in developing a critical understanding of the ways in which literary texts reflect and explore the human condition
- hone students’ ability to develop and present informed, critical responses to the ideas in literary texts and the ways in which writers present these ideas
- enable students to make links between a variety of written texts as well as the context within which the text was shaped
The Key Stage 4 English Language curriculum must:
- develop students’ critical awareness of how writers’ choices can influence and shape a readers’ understanding and perspective whilst reading both fiction and non-fiction texts
- advance students’ articulacy and support their creativity within their own writing
- enable students the opportunity to sharpen their skills in speaking and listening in order to create confident and effective orators