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Hungerhill School

English

“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” Maya Angelou 

At Hungerhill, we believe that every child is entitled to an English curriculum which is ambitious, inclusive and rich in literary heritage. Through the study of English, we aim to develop students who think deeply about humanity; we want our students to know that they, too, are connected to the universal and timeless themes they encounter in the texts we study, and be able to evaluate their own feelings and opinions on a topic. We aim to broaden students’ perspectives, teach them tolerance and ignite their curiosity in the world around them. We believe that reading is a fundamental skill for life, and so text lies at the heart of everything we teach in English. Through text, we teach our students to think, evaluate and to write like the writers whose work they read, through explicit teaching of vocabulary and grammar. Our texts span multiple contexts, time periods, genres, cultures and topics, and are written by a wide variety of authors, thus equipping our students with the knowledge they require to access any text they encounter, and build their cultural understanding for life beyond the classroom. The study of English provides the foundations upon which all other learning takes place, so our overarching aim is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping our students with a strong command of both spoken and written language. 

Our curriculum will: 

Develop the character of all students 

  • In English literature, we study texts which are thought provoking, and help our students to make links to the world around them, teaching them to evaluate and formulate their own balanced opinions.  
  • We aim to give every student a voice through our speaking and listening activities and structured discussion.   
  • In both KS3 and 4, we teach topics which enable students to demonstrate tolerance and empathy with others; from learning what it means to be an individual in our ‘Identity’ scheme in Y7, to exploring how a 17th century audience might have received Lady Macbeth, in KS4. 

Ensure all students are literate and numerate 

  • From the moment our students arrive in Y7, we are aware of their starting points in literacy, and implement strategies to ensure all our students can access the curriculum and be successful. 
  • Every English lesson promotes high standards of literacy, from students’ oral literacy to the words on their pages. We believe that it is through constant, repeated practice that students become truly competent in their use of the English language.  
  • Through Accelerated Reader, reading clubs, competitions and discreet Reciprocal Reading lessons, we encourage our students to develop the habit of reading widely and often, for information and improvement, as well as for pleasure. 

Build knowledge and aspirations of all students 

  • Our curriculum is designed so that key knowledge, skills and concepts taught in Y7, are revisited periodically with an increase in challenge at each point, allowing our students to deepen their understanding as they journey from Y7 to 11. 
  • Our English lessons provide challenge for all students – we believe that every student should learn to challenge themselves every day, so we aim high and support our students in achieving the ambitious goals we set through careful guided instruction. 
  • Throughout KS3 and 4, we teach a challenging range of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. We use the Reciprocal Reading strategy to support our students with overcoming challenging vocabulary, and understanding texts above their reading age. We believe that pitching texts above a students’ reading age, and providing the scaffold for them to access these, secures rapid progress in reading ability.  
  • We teach our students to think hard about complex topics and concepts, and empower them to become the teachers, which creates an excitement and engagement for learning which sees them rise to the challenge and celebrate their own successes. 

Ensure all students have the secure foundations to progress into further education and employment 

  • Our English curriculum ensures that students acquire high standards of written and spoken literacy, equipping them for their school, and future careers.  
  • Our intrinsic teaching of tier 2 vocabulary supports our students to write in a sophisticated and educated manner. 
  • Our English literature curriculum provides strong links for A Level English, English Literature and humanities subjects, focusing on ambitious themes, challenging concepts and writing the ‘perfect’ essay. 

Develop cultural capital of all students 

  • Through the inclusion of texts and topics which support students’ knowledge and understanding of topics such as racism, sexism, politics and society as a whole, with a particular focus on current affairs e.g. ‘the working poor’. 
  • Throughout all 5 years at Hungerhill, our students will encounter texts written by authors from a wide variety of cultural heritages, and study topics which aim to build their understanding of global culture, reaching far beyond the villages they live in. 
  • Novels, poetry and plays are taught from pre-19th century to modern day, from the traditional literary cannon to more recent offerings – these texts immerse our students in rich themes, characters, plots, contexts and cultures and ensure they experience a wide breadth of highly valuable and influential literature. 
  • Our curriculum includes regular opportunities to participate in structured discussion, individual presentations, and debates on key themes from our texts, or issues in our world. 
  • We aim to expose every student to 2 educational trips or theatre experiences throughout their time at Hungerhill (e.g. live broadcast of Macbeth by the RSC, virtual theatre tour for Y7 and 8 students). 

Mrs R Ryan
Curriculum Leader for English

In English we aim to develop:

  • an appreciation and understanding of the English language
  • a love of literature (poetry, plays, and novels)
  • communication skills (both speaking and listening)
  • reading comprehension
  • technical accuracy (spelling, punctuation, and grammar)
  • writing skills (creative, letter, emphatic, argument, persuasion, etc.)

English KS3

Main skills developed in Year 7: Main skills developed in Year 8:
  • identifying key themes and characters in texts
  • selecting evidence to support views
  • collating information from a range of sources
  • developing vocabulary, using the Reciprocal Reading strategy
  • oracy
  • organising writing into paragraphs
  • using a range of punctuation and sentence types
  • developing different genres of writing, including narrative, descriptive, informative, and persuasive
  • developing personal responses to literary texts
  • summarising a range of information from different sources
  • using a range of sentence structures and varied vocabulary for effect
  • adapting speech to a range of contexts
  • developing analytical responses to texts from different sources
  • developing and improving different styles of writing, including narrative, descriptive, informative, argumentative, and persuasive
​How parents can help to support their son's/daughter's learning in Year 7: ​​​How parents can help to support their son's/daughter's learning in Year 8:
  • encourage use of a dictionary and thesaurus
  • encourage reviewing of written work and re-drafting for improved technical accuracy
  • encourage reading for pleasure through visits to libraries and book shops, and by supporting Readathon and the Accelerated Reader programme
  • encourage use of a dictionary and thesaurus
  • encourage reviewing of written work and re-drafting for improved technical accuracy
  • encourage reading for pleasure through visits to libraries and book shops, and by supporting Readathon and the Accelerated Reader programme
  • support with home learning and I am Learning
  • support with literacy skills, including: spelling, punctuation, and grammar
  • draw your child's attention to items of interest in newspapers
  • encourage your child to examine all texts critically, e.g. leaflets, letters, articles, web pages, etc.

English KS4

Exam Board:

AQA

Qualification:

English GCSE

English Literature GCSE

Both qualifications are 100% examination.

Outline of course content:

Students will develop the following skills:

  • speaking, listening, and communication
  • reading
  • writing

Outline of course structure:

Reading:     

During Years 9, 10 and 11, you will read a number of texts and complete work based around these in preparation for the examination.  You will study a Shakespeare play, novels, short stories, and non-fiction texts. You will complete a range of assessments throughout each year that will prepare you for your examinations and develop your skills as a critical and evaluative reader. This will help to support your understanding in all other subjects.

 

Speaking and listening:

You will have a range of opportunities – including formal talks, interviews, discussions and group work – to display skills in spoken English. These communication skills will support you with your learning elsewhere in the school, as well as equipping you with the confidence to use language verbally for your education and future career.

 

Writing:

You will produce a range of written work, including narratives, diaries, letters, discursive and descriptive pieces. Not only will you work to create your own imaginative pieces, but you will learn to write formally, using Standard English effectively, and will be offered regular opportunities to learn from ‘real life’ examples. You will be encouraged to redraft your work and will gain the ability to self-check your spelling, punctuation and grammar, in preparation for examinations and your future careers.  Like your reading, writing will be assessed in regular assessments throughout each year and then in a full examination in the summer term.

 

Careers using English

t’s everywhere! Can you think of a job which doesn’t involve, at least, some of the following:

  • speaking to people – face to face, phone calls, individuals, and groups
  • reading – information, plans, reports, e-mails, manuals, instructions, guides
  • writing – reports, notes for colleagues, e-mails, tweets
  • for EVERY career, ability with English is an advantage.

Skills and how the subject relates to work:

Every day we’re all required to:

  • communicate with others – customers, colleagues, clients
  • follow written instructions and procedures
  • read, understand, and use information we receive in writing
  • write things down for others to read – notes, reports, e-mail

Potential jobs:

The following may appeal to those who really enjoy English:

 

Writers – authors, journalists, reporters, website bloggers, researchers. Writing words to inform, entertain, amuse.

 

Media work – radio / TV, advertising, and public relations. We constantly hear ‘words’ on the TV, radio, online, in advertising campaigns, in speeches by politicians – who writes these?

 

Teaching - universities, colleges, and schools. Perhaps you’d like to pass on your love of English to someone else? Teaching English to speakers of other languages is also a rapidly growing industry.

 

Legal work – Solicitors and barristers usually have outstanding English skills to read complex documents, produce reports, and speak in court.

Also imagine you’re a:

Social worker, accountant, psychologist – you’ll write notes and reports. You’ll spend all day talking to people and helping them understand their problems.

 

Medical jobs (Doctor, speech therapist, nurse, radiographer, dietician, occupational therapist, and lots more) - you’ll be writing notes, producing reports, understanding new ways of working, receiving written information about new methods and techniques.

 

Architects, builders, and engineers – you’ll be following written instructions, researching new developments, presenting your ideas to customers, and writing reports.