Why is the English curriculum as it is?
Bede Academy’s Christian Ethos underpins our English curriculum; texts are carefully chosen for their literary merit and spiritual value, and unit plans are designed to foster both spiritual and personal growth as well as the academic development of each student. Our objective is that all students fulfil their personal and academic potential by what they read, and how they write, speak and listen. We seek to engender a love of, and an appreciation for English Literature, and to build high levels of competency in spoken and written communication skills so that our students can function effectively within the community and world of work. Bede Academy’s Christian ethos underpins our English curriculum such as the awareness that speaking and writing can be used for honourable purposes and to uphold or obscure truth. Our intent is that our students will learn to use their own reading and spoken and written language to celebrate the wonder and diversity of the world around them, to discern truth and to communicate and act as morally responsible individuals.
At Bede Academy, we recognise the importance of English in every aspect of daily life. As a core subject, all objectives are in line with the requirements for GCSE and beyond.
Our aim is to give all children a strong understanding of the English Language and its place in the world around them, exploring how a writer crafts their language to reveal their viewpoints and worldview. Substantive knowledge is developed to ensure our students are GCSE and Post-16 ready for the specific disciplines of English Literature and Language. Key concepts are built on and re-visited in order to ‘make it stick’. This model allows children to build on prior knowledge (including KS2 links in KS3) and increases their enthusiasm for topics whilst embedding this knowledge into their long-term memory.
Disciplinary knowledge is embedded into each topic the children study and are re-visited and developed throughout the school. All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including developing an understanding of language through inference, evaluation, comparison and analysis. Furthermore, writing skills are cultivated through a focus on literacy skills, use of figurative language, knowledge of structure and form and the celebration of imagination. Moreover, aiming to develop students’ confidence through oracy ensures they become self-assured, eloquent and workplace-ready individuals.
Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and constantly built upon, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged. Concepts taught are reinforced by an exploration of challenging literature through discussion, debate and creative responses.
We also aim for our students to become fluent and confident readers who take pleasure in their own reading. We aim to create independent readers who will gain a life-long love of reading and pass this on to future generations. For this reason, reading is encourage, embedded and taught from Early Years right through to Year 13.
Where possible, links are made to our local context of local Blyth and wider North East communities in which our students live.
Enrichment opportunities, such as visits and extra-curricular provision (theatre trips, creative writing club and public speaking events) support the acquisition and application of both substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
We endeavour to promote cultural enrichment and higher education opportunities in the field of English. This is accomplished through partnerships with local universities, theatre companies and local primary schools.
Relevant values to be developed in students include: diligence, honesty, responsible stewardship, cooperation, integrity, cooperation, clarity, discernment and reasoning, creativity, perseverance, respect for life, precision, tolerance and accuracy. The English curriculum provides ample opportunity for students to develop in these traits: they analyse and comment on characters’ actions, qualities and motivations; they research and write about topics of importance to them and learn to communicate authentically and with integrity
Subjects include GCSE English Language, English Literature, A-level English Language and A-level English Literature