Curriculum Intent

The English curriculum is ambitious for all. Students will encounter, and appreciate, a wide variety of high-quality literature and literary non-fiction involving the best that has been thought and said. Students will be well-versed in a range of fictional forms such as poetry, plays, novels and non-fictional forms such as letters, speeches and articles. This enriching and challenging experience of the world of English is sequenced and arranged thematically by key moral and societal concepts, ensuring that students encounter a wide variety of perspectives, cultures and historical contexts which will allow them to confidently write about the world we share.

Furthermore, students will be able to craft their writing to match the conventions of a wide variety of forms. Students will be able to make judicious choices regarding voice, language, structure and grammar to shape their writing for a range of audiences.

By the end of their education, a student of English at Friesland School will:

  1. Acquire an innate awareness of the ‘writer at work’ and how the writer has consciously constructed a text in order to create meaning.
  1. Acquire a control over both written and spoken language, so that students can discover the power it has in the wider world.
  1. Have an understanding of the world around them and how they are connected to it.


Powerful knowledge

  • The curriculum is intelligently sequenced to ensure students remember powerful knowledge and apply skills in context.  For example, text diversity is a central pillar of our curriculum design, with students being exposed to a variety of books and genres, which reflect different world views and build on the strong foundations of the previous year or Key Stage. Students will be gradually exposed further to the challenging world of English, ensuring a solid grasp of plot and mastery of the important knowledge and processes involved in their reading and writing. The sequencing of core texts involves the mastering of key concepts, time periods and writers including both pre-1914 and contemporary, including prose, poetry and drama; Shakespeare (two plays) and seminal world literature.
  • GCSE texts have been carefully selected to complement the substantive and disciplinary knowledge acquired at Key Stage 3. In An Inspector Calls, students will explore the notion of responsibility, morality and power linking back to the societal understanding they have immersed themselves in during the study of Key Stage 3. For example, the abuse of power in Animal Farm and the portrayal of gender during the study of Powerful Voices.
  • Within each scheme of work, key knowledge is taught and re-visited on a regular basis through interleaved ‘Do Now’ quizzes and repetition of key skills. In addition, 100% sheets provide students with a succinct format for the most powerful knowledge in English and ensure students are exposed to the knowledge needed in order to succeed.

The English curriculum will support and scaffold all students to be successful:

  • All lessons follow an explicit modelling process of I do, we do, you do. This gradual release of responsibility allows students to see the metacognitive process involved in their writing, for example crafting the opening to a narrative or a thesis for their Literature responses.
  • Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary runs throughout the entire curriculum, which ensures students are equipped with the word power they need to succeed, at school and beyond. I say, you say is used in English and is a useful tool when teaching students new words or short phrases, including those on 100% Sheets and tier 2 words encountered in Literature texts.
  • FASE Reading / Control the Game is used when reading texts aloud and students are supported through this process with the text being placed under the visualiser by the expert teacher.
  • The English curriculum is bookletised, which means students are exposed to high quality written texts in paper format thus not relying on transient information on the screen/slides.
  • Accelerated Reader is used to ensure students gain access to the right books, which are appropriate to their reading ages.

The English curriculum contributes to the personal development of students at Friesland School:

  • We teach beyond the curriculum requirements and ensure students are well prepared to be successful in GCSE examinations. For example, students gain an understanding of other cultural concepts such as early twentieth century political literature with Animal Farm, as well as American literature with Of Mice and Men. Students will understand English as a world full of ideas and opportunity beyond the exam specification, which will allow them to write confidently and critically about the world we share.
  • Students are exposed to a number of perspectives that differ from those shared by their own communities thus developing their empathy and understanding.
  • We select texts from a wide variety of cultural contexts and time periods. Therefore, students’ understanding and empathy for a range of cultures, historical periods and social / moral issues is deepened. For example, in year eight powerful voices of poverty, race and gender are explored.
  • We select a variety of non-fiction texts in all year groups, ranging from topics such as: social media use and healthy eating to sustainability and environmental issues, many opportunities for personal development are provided.
  • We believe in the power of Spoken Language and this is a central pillar of our curriculum design. All students study classical Greek rhetoric and apply these skills to their own spoken language presentations, with a speech being delivered to their peers in years 7-9 and 11.

Opportunities are built in to make links to the world of work to enhance the careers, advice and guidance that students are exposed to:

  • Students take part in national writing competitions, where students will be given the opportunity to become published authors gaining insight into this career path and the process and competition involved in becoming a published writer.
  • Students take part in TTCT organised events, such as International Women’s Day where their work is published in an anthology.
  • Students take part in a yearly spoken language presentation thus preparing them for the world of work, including presenting on interview or as part of a job role.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, our curriculum is underpinned by an ambitious range of texts. Through exposure to these texts, our students build the skills to be successful both at Key Stage 3 and beyond. Our students are exposed to both pre-1914 and contemporary texts: including prose, poetry and drama; Shakespeare and seminal world literature. Students at Key Stage 3 also develop the substantive and disciplinary knowledge to be confident readers and writers of fiction and non-fiction texts. Throughout each year, students are assessed through: regular checkpoints, masters of recall assessments and a semester 1 and semester 2 exam. At Key Stage 3, students have 10 lessons of English each fortnight where they study both English Literature and English Language throughout each year.

Curriculum plans

Year 7 curriculum plan

Year 8 curriculum plan

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, our curriculum builds on the knowledge gained at Key Stage 3 and prepares our students with further substantive and disciplinary knowledge to be successful in GCSEs in English Language and English Literature. The text choices made at GCSE are chosen to complement those studied at Key Stage 3 allowing our students to make further connections to societal issues they have already been exposed to. Our students study the AQA exam specification and are assessed at the end of their GCSE course in Year 11. Throughout Key Stage 4, students receive 10 lessons a fortnight and are prepared for their end of Year 11 GCSE exams through regular checkpoints, masters of recall assessments and semester 1 and semester 2 mock exams.

Curriculum plans

Year 9 curriculum plan

Year 10 curriculum plan

Year 11 curriculum plan

Key Stage 5

At Key Stage 5, students have the option of studying either AQA English Language and Literature combined or AQA English Literature. Both courses build on the knowledge mastered at GCSE and allow students to continue to explore the writer at work and how a writer has consciously constructed a text to create meaning. The combined course introduces to students to the importance of ‘mode’ and how this can impact on a text’s reception and production. Students also complete a recreative piece and evaluate the effect of their own choices and how they have been utilised to create an intended meaning. The English Literature course allows students to study texts through the lens of tragedy and crime writing, as well as considering alternative approaches to reading literature when studying for the NEA unit – where students are free to choose a novel and poet to study. Throughout Key Stage 5, students receive ten lessons a fortnight divided between two subject teachers. They are assessed throughout their course through classroom exams and formal mock exam periods. They complete their final examinations at the end of Year 13.

Curriculum plans

Year 12 curriculum plan – English Language

Year 12 curriculum plan – English Literature

Year 13 curriculum plan – English Literature