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English at Abbeyfield 

At Abbeyfield School, we have high expectations of all students of English in regards to their skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. The English curriculum is designed to promote excellent student progress, building upon skills learned each year, as well as offering challenge and engaging students into become lifelong lovers of English. 

We endeavour to equip all of our students with the skills that they will need to be successful in the ever-changing world of the 21st Century. By delivering engaging and challenging lessons, we hope to inspire, motivate and prepare our students for the demands of not only further study of English literature and language, but also the rigorous demands of other curriculum areas and life beyond school. 

We aim to: 

  • Promote engagement with challenging fiction and non-fiction texts which encourages students to read and explore their world and stimulate their imagination 

  • Study writers from across the 19th-21st centuries and cover a range of genres 

  • Develop creative and analytical writing skills so that students can express themselves precisely, accurately, confidently and in detail 

  • Prepare students for potential further study in GCSE English literature, language and drama, through the study of writers such as Orwell, Shakespeare, Dickens and Russell 

  • Develop confident and articulate speakers, able to communicate and collaborate in a range of contexts 

  • Deliver schemes of work that incorporate a range of reading, writing and drama, using fiction and non-fiction to encourage a breadth of cultural knowledge and understanding 


Key stage 3 

In key stage 3, students study a range of engaging texts and topics that help to prepare them for success in key stage 4. The key stage 3 curriculum follows and exceeds the National Curriculum and includes a wide range of classic and contemporary literature. Students will study a Shakespeare text in each year of key stage: year 7 study The Tempest as part of their introduction to Shakespeare; year 8 study the tragedy Romeo and Juliet; and year 9 study the comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A range of poetry texts are studied as part of key stage 3: we study modern and contemporary poetry when looking at Poems from Other Cultures; and when studying the poets of World War 1 such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon students develop a broad understanding of historical literature. We study classic literature in the form of Animal Farm and The Sign of the Four from the 19th Century as well as contemporary literature such as Noughts and Crosses and The Dark Lady. Students also learn and develop their creative and transactional skills through fiction and non-fiction writing topics such as The Modern World, Quests, and Myths and Legends. 

Reading is at the core of key stage 3 and students love for reading is supported through timetabled library lessons, dedicated time at the start of lessons for reading, and through tutor time slots with a year group novel focus. There are literacy lessons built into the key stage 3 curriculum where students focus on their core skills such as developing vocabulary, spelling, punctuation and grammar. 

Students are able to borrow books from the school library and use the Accelerated Reader system to track their reading progress and access the many rewards we have available for active readers. 


Key stage 4 

At key stage 4, students study towards their GCSEs in English Language and English Literature. We use the exam board AQA for both courses. As part of the literature course students will study the 19th century novel Jekyll and Hyde, the modern drama An Inspector Calls, and the Shakespeare play Macbeth. Alongside this, they will study the poetry cluster Love and Relationships. Students build upon their key stage 3 to further their understanding and analysis of character, plot, themes, and language. For English Language, students will use the skills they have developed in key stage 3 to continue their development in reading and writing; they will study a range of literary fiction and non-fiction texts. 

British Values 

The selection of texts studied addresses a number of important social and historical issues that are still relevant today. We strive to tackle these issues in an open and inclusive way, where every student feels safe and secure in developing and expressing their beliefs. The texts we study, covering a range of literature from key British writers from Elizabethan England to contemporary writers, often deal with areas of British Values. A variety of fiction and non-fiction texts cover themes such as diversity, inclusion, equality.