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The Beaconsfield School A specialist Arts College



The English curriculum provides a varied and stimulating journey through literature and non-fiction, focusing on an appreciation of different texts from different times and cultures as well as a curiosity for language and the complexities of communication. A majority of our cohort begin their studies above the national average meaning that a challenging and rigorous curriculum is essential to support their motivation. The English department ultimately aims to promote an appreciation of the importance of reading.  Through the texts our students experience different cultures and ideas beyond the classroom.  In line with the school’s Responsive Reading initiative, we believe a rich and varied diet will enhance students’ vocabulary which will elevate their ability to communicate critically and creatively.  This, in turn, will enable them to learn how to influence the written and spoken word in their own writing.  Ultimately, the key to good writing is to read widely. 


The schemes of work are sequenced both around key themes and a  need to give students a balance of Language and Literature from the beginning of year 7. These schemes are linked around a text or theme to include a variety of moral, cultural and spiritual issues relating to identity, diversity and different cultures.  The themes taught include: the politics and economics of government, gender imbalance, communication and social responsibility.  Students in years 7 and 8 are taught the skills required for GCSE and year 9 is a transition year in which these skills are incorporated within a GCSE framework.  GCSE English Literature starts with the study of Shakespeare after Easter in year 9.  Collective lesson by lesson schemes of work are provided for all members of the department and are regularly reviewed and revised.  The department embeds main activities from these schemes of work with opportunities for challenge and stretch across the Key Stages to ensure engagement and progress; appropriate levels of support are included where necessary and differentiated accordingly.


Assessments are completed three times a year in line with the school’s assessment policy.  The dates for these assessments are decided by the department, ensuring they are aligned with the end of the unit and the publication of data to parents.  These are SIR marked with feedback provided in line with the school’s feedback policy.  Other units are concluded with a progress check with feedback provided.  Two of these assessments have a language focus and one has a Literature focus though in years 7 and 8 all are marked against a common language based criteria.  Work is also marked on a half termly basis in line with the school’s Literacy marking codes.


After a hiatus during the pandemic, extra curricular activities are again being introduced in order to further extend students’ skills, knowledge and passion by providing them with opportunities to explore English outside the classroom.  Theatre trips are an important part of this programme and theatre groups are also invited into schools for those less able to afford out of school excursions.  This helps the texts to come alive on the stage, which will in turn improve engagement in the classroom and understanding of the writer’s craft.  The Reading Ambassadors’ group, in alignment with the whole school Literacy policy, also enhances the status of reading across the school. 


Curriculum Maps


Academic Year 2022/2023


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