The English curriculum is designed to develop adaptable communication skills in our students to prepare them for the ever-changing world of work.
The aim of the English curriculum at the Farnborough Academy is to develop children into confident and competent readers who are able to view texts with a critical eye and understand the range of methods a writer may use to: develop meaning; influence and control the response of the reader and have an impact on the audience. Students will experience a range of increasingly challenging texts and extracts from KS3 to 4, building on their reading from KS2, including Shakespeare and others from the literary canon to increase the cultural capital. Learners will have the opportunity to analyse, infer and respond to fictional texts in prose, poetry and drama form. Students will also study non-fiction texts in various forms, such as articles, web pages, letters, speeches and essays.
Students will learn about the conventions of these forms and the range of methods, as above. Students will also be taught key skills such as selecting evidence, skimming, scanning, summarising and evaluating critical comment on texts with increasing sophistication from KS3 to 4. Students will also be encouraged to become independent and discerning readers with an enjoyment of books and all they have to offer.
The English curriculum at Farnborough Academy also aims to develop students into confident and competent writers. Students will learn how to plan, structure and improve through editing when writing both creatively and critically with increasing challenge from KS3 to 4. Students will have the opportunity to write to describe, narrate, inform, persuade, explain, argue and analyse in both Key Stages for a range of audiences. The curriculum will cover the conventions of the main forms of writing, such as, letters, scripts, articles and speeches and allow students to practise these forms in their own responses drawing on literary devices they have studied. Students will have the opportunity to learn and apply knowledge of vocabulary and grammar and build on their writing from KS2. The writing completed by students will be inextricably linked to their reading and study of the texts of other writers, including models from students of their own age. Students will also have the opportunity to assess their writing against criteria, including the GCSE mark scheme criteria at KS4 in order to edit and improve their responses.
Furthermore, the English curriculum at Farnborough Academy aims to develop students who are confident and competent in spoken language and listening skills. Pupils will be taught to speak confidently and effectively, including through using Standard English in a range of formal and informal contexts, together with classroom discussion. Curriculum opportunities at KS3 and 4 will include giving short speeches and presentations, both individually and in small groups, expressing their own ideas as well as summarising and evaluating the ideas of others. At both Key Stages, students will have the opportunity to participate in structured discussions as well as asking questions and commenting on the presentations of others. Pupils will be able to perform play scripts and recite poetry in order to generate language confidence and discuss language use and meaning, using role, intonation, tone, volume, mood, silence, stillness and action to add impact. Emphasis will also be placed on the importance of active, critical listening and note-taking in many forms, including the use of mind maps and dual-coding graphic organisers. At KS4, this will include the formal Spoken Language assessment, where students will write and perform a persuasive speech to an audience of their peers on a topic of their choice.
The KS3 curriculum uses a mainly thematic approach which allows students to explore links across topics and subjects, whereas KS4 is based around the study of the GCSE literary texts and the necessary skills of analysis, evaluation, creative and critical writing. To ensure that students are knowing and remembering more, content and skills are studied in a curriculum spiral that increases the level of challenge in each year of KS3 and 4. A focus is placed on assessment, recall and revision to support long term memory retention and mastery of both English skills and knowledge. This curriculum structure aims to: improve student retention of knowledge; build student confidence ahead of assessments and give a clear and consistent routine to lessons.