Department: English

Head of Department: Mr C Osbourne

If you wish to learn more about the curriculum, please contact the Head of Department by email: ­­­­

Curriculum Intent

The aim of the curriculum within the English Department at Oaklands :

The study of English is the core of academic progress, since confident literacy is a key component to a life of success and fulfilment and form most individuals as students, providing long-lasting opportunities in the adult world. In addition, it is the access ‘medium’ for most other subjects and is key to success in the entire examination system.

The overarching intent is to promote high standards of literacy by equipping students with the knowledge and skill, so they have a strong command of the spoken and written word. We aim to develop a love of literature in many forms through widespread reading for challenge and enjoyment.

We also see it as our mission to give students access to cultural capital so that they can participate fully as successful members of society.

It is our intention to ensure that our curriculum provides opportunities for students to develop leadership skills, for example, in Yr 12 students assist lower ability KS3 readers.

Our subject forms part of the rich tapestry  of the experiences students have in school, it is our intention to  contribute to the school ethos in a number of ways. Catholic social teaching is a central and essential element of this.

Our English curriculum is ambitious because:

  • We have a distinctive vision of learning and knowledge – endorsing creation and innovation to promote cultural capital, inculcating a clear pathway for students to make exceptional progress across the key stages.
  • We introduce students to a complex range of text at an early age.
  • Through our study of Language and Literature, we develop critical thinkers, discussing, analysing and evaluating a wide array of texts from the British Literary heritage – both fiction and non-fiction. As a result, students experience a vast number of different concepts, themes and thought-provoking ideas as part of their exploration into the world of Language and Literature and our English department aims to inspire, challenge and motivate every student, to develop confident and perceptive readers and writers.
  • We provide students with access to a range of both fiction and non-fiction literary texts, students will develop a knowledge, awareness and understanding of our world, culture, and heritage. Students will be equipped with a broad range of knowledge and the confidence to interact with this knowledge through critical and quality thinking.
  • The curriculum offers a wide range of voices and experiences across different genders, cultures, religions, races and ethnicities. Students will interact with these experiences to broaden their cultural awareness.
  • We ensure students explore the values and virtues that will allow students to make informed and rational choices in the adult world.
  • The rich profusion of texts and materials we have embedded within all areas, allows us to offer a robust, stimulating and enriching curriculum; this is reinforced with expert teaching in every area and ensuring students receive enhanced outcomes in their results.
  • We deliver a progressive curriculum that allows for interleaving and the retention of key knowledge pertaining to all elements of English Language and English Literature.

We share a delight in books and reading but we are also united by our love of language in all its breath-taking richness. It is our aim to convey our enthusiasm and love for our subject to the students in our care, inspiring them to read widely, to fulfil their imaginative potential and to develop their own love of Literature and Language. We recognise the strong foundations laid down by colleagues in KS2 to promote strong grammatical knowledge. The majority of our primary feeder schools teach within the main literacy lesson, where a rich text stimulus drives the learning journey, and in small group Guided Reading time. Reading skills are explicitly taught and modelled by teachers, and students use reading comprehension toolkits (reading mats, targeted questions and dialogic talk) to support them in choosing efficient strategies to help them comprehend a text. Our curriculum is carefully designed recognising the range of experience and mastery children enter Key Stage 3 with. We seek to augment this and teach students how to use this knowledge when analysing the techniques used by a variety of authors in a range of contexts and disciplines.

We aim to promote rigour in the accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar as tools for successful writing. Students need the knowledge of grammatical techniques. We also intend to instil a greater understanding of the historical, cultural and social contexts which give rise to different texts, and which have shaped the ways we think of ourselves and the world around us. We expect students to begin to think about, analyse and interpret text with increasing independence. We aim to enhance students’ moral and spiritual integrity through the challenging themes and topics we cover, there is a resonance here with the values and virtues the school supports and the ways we ask students to explore the nature of their own humanity.

The knowledge developed through the English curriculum underpins and enables the application of skills; both are entwined. We have a clear understanding of what students need to know and this is drawn out through an astutely planned progressive curriculum.

We use the texts we teach as an opportunity to build Cultural Capital by discussing the context around which the author forms and writes a text. We want students to understand the power of the written and spoken word, and how different contexts have a huge impact on how these forms of communication are used/received.  We ensure that the curriculum covers both key writers, including Shakespeare at an early age, as well as contemporary literature. Students are taught about the significant impact language and literature has had on the world.

We encourage wider reading and the exploration of related texts we have a well-resourced library to support this.

As students move through the school, we ensure the level of challenge is high, encourage pupils to think critically and offer support for students who need it.It is our intention to support cross curricular links, this starts with the Year 7 reader ‘Trash’, an initiative offering an immersive experience to start students on the journey of personal development, discovery and progression.

Updated July 22