Subjects

English

The Subject Way

Our subject has a ‘Subject Way’ at the heart of it. Our Subject Way is designed to help students become young subject specialists. The Subject Way has two main purposes:

Firstly, to teach students the vital skills they need to achieve their full potential and gain the very best grades they can. Secondly, to teach students how each subject relates to the wider world, incorporating the life skills they will learn.

It is our belief that knowing how what you learn links to the wider world brings a subject to life and therefore improves overall understanding and engagement.

Long Term Plans

Year 7

Half term 1 Half term 2 Half term 3
During the first half term of Year 7, students learn about the concept of war and the ways this is explored in texts. They start by studying three war poems and exploring how ideas are presented. After this, students start reading The Boy at the Top of the Mountain; this is a novel set in World War II that explores issues surrounding the Holocaust. This is used as a stimulus for students’ descriptive writing. Students are prepared for a writing assessment in which they describe a setting. After October half term, students continue reading The Boy at the Top of the Mountain and exploring the concept of war in the text. They gain knowledge of the text whilst practising important reading skills. These skills, as well as students’ knowledge of the novel, are assessed during the half term. Before Christmas, students prepare to perform one of the poems they read at the start of the term. They consider performance poetry choices and this is supported in their drama lessons. After Christmas, students start studying a scheme of work entitled ‘Love and Tragedy’. They study a range of texts which explore these concepts, including poetry and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Pupils explore the concepts of love and tragedy when reading the play and use this as inspiration for their own narrative writing. Students then complete a narrative writing assessment.
Half term 4 Half term 5 Half term 6
After February half term, students continue studying Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. They interpret the characters, themes and how Shakespeare uses language to present love and tragedy. This allows them to develop a confident knowledge of the play whilst practising reading skills. After Easter, students start studying a scheme of work entitled ‘Our Hidden Voices’. This unit explores issues surrounding British identity and what it means to be British today. One way students explore this is through an anthology of nonfiction extracts; these are used to develop knowledge of British history and practise unseen reading skills. Alongside this, students read the novel The Boy at the Back of the Class. This is read during lessons and at home, allowing pupils to explore the issues of the unit when reading independently. During the final half term, students continue to study the ‘Our Hidden Voices’ unit. They explore further issues through extracts and the novel The Boy at the Back of the Class. These issues are also explored through students’ writing. They practise viewpoint writing, with a particular emphasis on writing for purpose and audience. Students write a speech that they practise and perform for their peers.

Year 8

Half term 1 Half term 2 Half term 3
During the first half term, Y8 students will start the ‘Heroes and Villains’ unit. They will develop an understanding of this concept and explore how it has been presented in literature. This will lead into a study of the Shakespeare play ‘Othello’. This is used as a stimulus for students’ descriptive and narrative writing. Students are prepared for a writing assessment in which they complete a piece of creative writing based on an unseen image. After the October half term, students continue to read ‘Othello’ and explore how the concepts of ‘Heroes and Villains’ are presented in the play. They gain knowledge of dramatic conventions whilst also developing key reading and comprehension skills. These skills, as well as students’ knowledge of the play, are assessed before Christmas. After Christmas, students start studying a scheme of work entitled ‘Politics and Society’. They will study a collection of extracts that will help them develop an understanding of different political systems and the impact they can have on society and culture. They will then read ‘Animal Farm’ and explore how ideas about these different political systems are presented in literature. These ideas are used as a stimulus to develop their own speech writing skills. The assessment this half term will be to write a speech based around a certain topic.
Half term 4 Half term 5 Half term 6
After the February half term, students will continue their reading of ‘Animal Farm’. Students will develop a confident knowledge of the plot, characters and context of the novel, whilst also developing key reading skills.  After Easter, students will start studying a scheme of work entitled ‘Myths and Legends’. Students will develop an understanding of classic myths and stories from different cultures. They will explore how these stories created mythological worlds and helped people understand different moral messages. These stories will then be used as a stimulus for students to develop their own creative writing, specifically focusing on how to effectively craft their descriptive writing. During the final half term, students continue to explore different classic stories and myths from different cultures. As they read, they students will develop different reading and comprehension skills, understanding how writers use different characters and literary devices to help achieve their purpose or present a moral message.

Year 9

Half term 1Half term 2Half term 3

After the Summer Holidays, students will work on texts based on the theme of Community. During this project, students read a wide variety of

texts which allow them to interpret different ideas about community. They will use this to inspire their own choices, followed

by being assessed on their ability to write a description or narrative.

Towards the end of this half term, coinciding with the theme of Community,

students will then begin their study of the novel Lord of the Flies and research the context which inspired the novel.

After their writing assessment on description/narrative, students will have opportunities in lessons to improve their writing skills whilst they continue to read Lord of the Flies. The majority of lessons will then focus on reading skills: retrieval, inference, analysis and evaluation. Students will be assessed on an extract based question linked to a theme from the novel. 

After Christmas, students will begin a new thematic study of Identity.

During this half term, students will begin to explore this concept as they read the novel The Boxer and continue to build on the reading skills from the Autumn term. They will also work on their writing skills by starting to create their own viewpoints and perspectives in the form of speeches, letters and articles.

This writing skill will be assessed by writing a persuasive orargumentative piece of work.

During this half term, students will begin to explore this concept as they read the play East is East and continue to build on the reading skills from the Autumn term. They will also work on their writing skills by starting to create their own viewpoints and perspectives in the form of speeches, letters and articles.

This writing skill will be assessed by writing a persuasive or argumentative piece of work.

Half term 4Half term 5Half term 6
After their writing assessment on viewpoints, students will continue to read The Boxer and trace how the concept of Identity is presented in the play. In addition to this, students will explore how culture and societal expectations have an impact on characters’ and their own identities, supplemented by looking at a small collection of modern poetry based on the theme of identity. They will also prepare for a reading assessment by looking closely at extracts from the play and making links to the whole text in terms of theme and character. Students will develop skills here which they employed in their Autumn lessons on Lord of the FliesAfter Easter, students will begin a new unit on the theme of Inequality and will study Blood Brothers by Willy Russell, engaging with the characters’ relationships and learning about the social state of Liverpool in the 1980s. This half term, assessments will be formative, rather than summative, focusing on consolidating and building on reading and writing skills from previous terms. Students will have further opportunities this half term to complete viewpoint writing centred around the theme of inequality.In the final half term, students will continue to read Blood Brothers and explore the theme of Inequality. The majority of lessons will then focus on reading skills: retrieval, inference, analysis and evaluation. Students will complete a formative assessment on a character or theme from the novel, similar in style to a GCSE Literature exam question.

Year 10

Half term 1 Half term 2 Half term 3
Students will begin the year by studying the core skills required for English Language Paper 1. Half of these will focus on close reading skills, evaluation and language analysis. When writing, students will practise their story telling and descriptive skills, as well as working on their technical accuracy.  After their Language Paper 1 assessment, students will begin studying the novel: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde. They will explore context, plot, characters and themes, leading up to an assessment inspired by the novel task from Literature Paper 1. When this has been covered, students will study a small sample of poems from their Power & Conflict anthology for Literature Paper 2. After Christmas, students will study two of the high tariff questions from Language Paper 2, much like how they began the year with language Paper 1. This time, the reading skills will focus on comparison, exploring perspectives and language analysis. For writing, students will work on arguing and persuading. 
Half term 4 Half term 5 Half term 6
Having covered the highest tariff questions for both Language papers, students will move onto studying the Shakespeare play Macbeth. They will explore context, plot, characters and themes, before working on their essay technique established during their study of the novel.  Students will move on to the modern play, An Inspector Calls in this half term, again exploring context, plot, characters and themes. They will once again work on targets for writing Literature essays.  In the final half term of the year, students will complete the study of An Inspector Calls, and then cover three more poems from the Power & Conflict poetry anthology.    The final two weeks of the year are reserved for students to complete their Spoken Language NEA, which is a required component of their English Language GCSE. 

Year 11

Half term 1 Half term 2 Half term 3
Students will primarily be focusing on studies for their first mock of the year. They will go back over key aspects of Macbeth again, having covered it towards the end of Y10, and they will be introduced to the unseen poetry questions. They will also have one introductory English Language Paper 1 lesson a week, preparing them for their mock in November.  Having completed their Literature mock for Macbeth and unseen poetry, students will then focus entirely on Language Paper 1 until the end of the Mock Week.  After this, students will have two weeks to study a sample of poems from their Power & Conflict poetry anthology.  Poetry will remain a focus for students initially in this half term, and then change to one lesson per week. Two lessons will be allocated to the revision of An Inspector Calls, which will prepare students for their second Literature mock of the year.  The final lesson of the week will be spent revising Language Paper 2, which students covered over the same period of the year during Y10. 
Half term 4 Half term 5
Students will begin this half term with their Literature mock (An Inspector Calls & Power & Conflict Poetry), then fully focus on Language Paper 2. This will then culminate in their final Language mock of the year.  Students will be on bespoke plans to prepare them for their upcoming exams.