At Addey and Stanhope, our vision is to deliver an academically rigorous, challenging and diverse curriculum that will foster a love of great literature and writing. Our curriculum seeks to equip students with the tools to be change makers in their lives, their communities and in the world.
Our choice of texts reflects the wide diversity of the English language and exposes students to a plethora of historical, social, cultural and literary contexts. We develop students’ emotional literacy and wellbeing by exposing them to ideas, situations, characters and issues that they may not have encountered before and by focusing on the vocabulary and grammar they can use to express themselves. Students’ writing skills are built so that they are clear, accurate and sophisticated in expression and we develop skills of analysis and evaluation so that students can appreciate and critique the work of others, as well as their own. Teachers of the subject are knowledgeable, passionate and unswerving in their dedication to give the very best English education to all.
This strand focuses on students improving their reading fluency and comprehension, as well as developing their inference, analysis and evaluation skills, with a variety of texts including short stories, plays, novels and poems.
This strand focuses on students improving their ability to generate ideas, plan, compose, draft, re-draft and proof-read their written work. Students learn how to adapt writing to suit different purposes, audiences and forms.
This strand focuses on students improving their ability to use Standard English correctly, punctuate their work accurately and to make deliberate choices with their vocabulary and sentence structures, that aid clarity and create specific effects on readers.
Lessons are high-quality, engaging and methodical, supporting students to build their knowledge, skills and understanding through the careful scaffolding and sequencing of tasks.
Lessons begin with retrieval tasks, ensuring that students retain key knowledge (such as Tier 2 vocabulary, subject terminology and core concepts) needed to build and deepen their understanding. Lessons are chunked into three main stages and these are explicitly shared with students to support their self-reflection and metacognition. Key concepts and knowledge are explicitly taught and teacher modelling is frequently used to aid understanding. Thinking time and ‘Turn and talk’ strategies, as well as high-quality questioning, are used to support students’ understanding and to pre-empt and rectify possible misconceptions.
Teachers employ a variety of reading strategies, including reading out loud, independent reading and choral reading, in order to improve students’ reading fluency and comprehension. Students are exposed to high-quality, challenging texts that stimulate rich discussion, which is ably facilitated by teacher expertise. Academic reading is also used to support understanding of historical context or critical interpretations of characters and themes.
Students are given ample writing opportunities, as well as high-quality models to ensure they continue to refine and improve their critical and expressive voice. Frequently, teachers use live modelling or ‘think-aloud’ strategies to demonstrate their own writing and editing process. Students are prompted to proof-read and re-draft their work, as well as to evaluate their own work and that of their peers. Teachers use a variety of assessment strategies, both formative and summative, to ensure that feedback is quick, specific and helps students to progress and develop their work.
At KS3, students are given a grounding in the fundamentals of critical reading and comprehension, writing composition and writing accuracy. Students are exposed to a wide variety of texts that have been carefully selected to provide depth and breadth of challenge, whilst preparing them for Key Stage 4. There is a strong focus on building key components of effective writing: from the granular detail of careful and deliberate word selection, through to the crafting of sentences and paragraphs, all the way to effective whole text composition. Opportunities to practice and develop oracy skills are embedded within each of the units of work, and used as a means to improve students’ communication skills, refine their ideas and fine-tune written expression. Core knowledge for each unit is identified, explicitly taught, and practised until secured. Additionally, there is a strong focus on developing a lifelong love of reading through weekly library lessons and on the importance of Tier 2 vocabulary, through weekly homework set on the Bedrock Learning app.
At Key Stage 4, students build on the foundations set at Key Stage 3 through preparation for their examinations in Edexcel English Language and English Literature. Students study a range of texts from the 18th Century through to modern day, as well as a wide variety of different genres, and styles- both prose and poetry. They continue to practise and refine their own writing and their understanding of writer’s craft. Exam success is built on excellent teacher subject knowledge, a scaffolded approach to exam technique, plentiful practice and forensic question-level analysis and feedback. We continue to encourage reading for pleasure through teacher recommendations, author talks and trips; as well as celebrating diverse literature on national days of celebration; for example, on International Women’s Day, Black History Month or LGBTQ+ History Month.