English - Curriculum Statement of Intent
Caterham High School’s English Department instils an enthusiasm and love for both English Language and Literature in our students. As a result, this empowers students to fully engage with their environments and society. Our ambition is to nurture confident speakers, erudite readers, accomplished writers and critical thinkers. Our enthusiastic teachers strive toward this outcome through igniting students’ curiosity in their day-to-day teaching in lessons and extra-curricular activities.
The carefully sequenced English curriculum follows the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 and builds on students’ learning from primary school, promoting inclusion at all key stages. It is both progressive and challenging in the broad range of themes and texts selected for pupils to study. It simultaneously encourages pupils to engage with texts that are part of the traditional literary cannon, modern texts, diverse authors and characters, and a range of non-fiction texts from different historical periods. The aim of our curriculum is to systematically develop the skills and knowledge of our pupils, preparing them for both the academic and vocational, creating lifelong learners. This broad foundation supports our pupils to be confident when approaching KS4 and post 16 pathways, and empowers them to become life-long learners able to achieve their future aspirations. Our curriculum has been recently re-examined and developed to ensure that pupils at all Key Stages are able to reintegrate and access learning that has suffered over the Covid Pandemic.
Pupils’ progress is mapped against carefully timed and planned assessments, outlined in our MTPs. We constantly monitor pupil progress to understand gaps in knowledge and skills and to address misconceptions. It also enables us target in-class interventions to ensure that all pupils progress to a mastery of English.
It is important for our pupils to understand that reading is both a good habit and an enjoyable and enriching activity. All pupils supplement our diverse, broad and ambitious range of texts with their own independent reading through encouragement, whole school initiatives (WBD) and dedicated library lessons at Key Stage 3. We seek to encourage our pupils to select challenging works of fiction and non-fiction to read in their own time. The ‘Accelerated Reader’ programme promotes independent reading for pleasure, and we incorporate reading into homework tasks and inspiration from all teachers where the reading experience is shared.
In addition to this home study is promoted through our MTPs that include homework tasks at Key Stage 3 and 4 pre- planned, to allow pupils to consolidate their learning at home. Teachers are encouraged to adapt homework tasks to allow all pupils to participate in relevant and useful home learning. We encourage all pupils to be active and independent home learners.
Caterham High School has many pupils for whom ‘English is an Additional Language’ and students begin their learning journeys from very different starting points, so for all pupils the development of a wide vocabulary is vital to their success. Pupils written and verbal expression is honed through our requirement for them to articulate themselves formally using appropriately complex vocabularies. We strongly believe that the development of expression is profoundly linked to more complex thought. We explicitly teach spelling and grammar rules as we know that a high level of literacy promotes a high level of engagement with society.
We continue to develop cross-curricular links with the humanities subjects, all implementing a systematic approach to extended teaching writing using the same ‘Sequence for Teaching Writing’. This ensures cross-subject consistency in the way pupils are developing their skills as writers for a wide range of purposes. This ensures that by the end of Key Stage 3 all pupils are able to recognise and create the five main types of non-fiction text: formal letters, informal letters, articles, reviews, and reports in addition to academic essay writing.
It is imperative that pupils from all backgrounds can understand the cultural and historical contexts to the texts that they read. We therefore actively provide opportunities for all pupils to extend their sense of cultural capital in the classroom and through extra-curricular opportunities such as theatre trips and performances in school.
As a department we constantly review and refine our curriculum offer to ensure that it stays current and continues to empower our pupils and to address not only the National Curriculum and result in positive outcomes for our students at Key Stages 4 and 5 but also addresses the specific needs of all our learners.
At Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, students study the following:
At Key Stage 4, you can read more about the courses on offer in our Options Booklet
At Key Stage 5, you can read about the courses on offer in our Sixth Form Prospectus
For more detailed information about the English curriculum, please email the subject leader Mr T Bibb at email@example.com