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Curriculum purpose and impact

The English team at UHS are committed to ensuring that through the study of language and literature students are given opportunities to develop life-long skills which transcend beyond the classroom and school context.

We offer a creative and rigorous curriculum which promotes motivated readers, inquisitive, critical and reflective thinkers. Students explore contemporary issues through the study of a wide range of literature and non-fiction texts across a range of historic periods.

We ensure that our students are provided with opportunities to work collaboratively, and practice public speaking and debating skills within our curriculum plan. Additionally, we embed values linked to morality, social responsibility, perseverance and resilience.

We ensure that students can develop their independent learning and we make certain that students are able to develop their research skills, revision skills and creativity, in addition to honing their reading and writing skills.  This is achieved through the careful planning of home-learning projects, workbooks and on-line revision tools which complement our units of work across all year groups.

The English team ensure that students with low literacy skills and weaknesses are supported through the Accelerated Reading programme and additional English booster lessons. These lessons have units of work which are designed to motivate, engage and create an enjoyment of English whilst facilitating progress and improvements in literacy.

The design of our curriculum from the very first Foundation year is based on the ethos of engagement, developing well rounded learners. We strive to ensure our students are equipped for the world outside academia and are fully prepared and confident by the time they reach their GCSE and GCE external examinations.

Foundation, Transition, Mastery and Advanced

The English curriculum and its learning-journey is strategically and meticulously planned to ensure that students’ continuously re-visit and build upon their existing knowledge, skills and understanding. 

Year on year students will continuously and constantly improve and advance their skills set and develop reading and writing skills, working memory, examination technique. 

At the heart of the English learning journey is the belief that all our students are offered a rigorous, inclusive and accessible curriculum which encourages and promotes self-belief, engagement and progress within our subject.

Niffi Balogun – Year 9

In year 9 we have studied texts, language techniques and practised exam papers; I enjoyed the presentations we did on our favourite songs to the class during the poetry unit of work.  I felt like as I had never done a presentation before, it was good practice, and it gave me the skills to do it somewhere else.

My favourite text I have studied so far in English was Of Mice and Men in year 8.  It was very interesting as it represented lots of different social groups who experienced prejudice and the novel showed how they were treated at the time.  This brought awareness to me about the struggles that some groups of people had and still have today which helps our understanding of others.

This year I have really enjoyed breaking down language and it is more challenging now I am in year 9. I feel that communication is an important aspect of life and English has done a good job on teaching us the weight and power of words.

The English department has also done well in educating students and myself in preparing us for the exams; the skills have been getting hard each year which is good because it means I’m ready to tackle the GCSEs.

Wider curriculum

In order to encourage students to be inspired by our subject and perhaps follow a career path using the skills English teaches; we have guest authors, poets and performers embed into our curriculum plan and offer students opportunities to take part in the ‘BBC School’s report’ program and the Jack Petchy ‘Speak out’ competition. We also run extracurricular clubs such a our ‘Book club in the library and ‘The Advance English club.