We see the development of English knowledge and skills as a journey, and that is why the transition between Primary and Secondary is very important to us. The text that students study on arrival to Cantell is a transition text: Story Like the Wind- This project is something that has been developed over years of collaboration with our feeder primary schools.

Due to this strengthening relationship, we have been able to create a learning journey through KS3, building on learning from KS1 and 2 all the way to KS4. The curriculum we have designed gives students time to enjoy and explore various plays, poems and novels. This encourages students to learn about the history of texts, engage with writers’ ideas and develop their own interpretations.  We develop students’ abilities to read, write and talk: all vital components for everyday life and future careers. Students are given opportunities to be imaginative and exhibit their writing skills, we seek to develop their communication skills by learning how to adapt speech to different situations and audiences.  Our aim is for students to be successful readers and writers providing opportunities for students to apply key techniques, ideas and structures identified in our set texts to their own writing.

As a department, we know the importance of developing key knowledge and skills, but also how that relates to the wider world. Our KS3 curriculum provides opportunities for our students to develop their critical thinking, use prior knowledge to inform their interpretations, and to form opinion-based responses, all of which are transferable skills within society.

At KS4, the curriculum is tailored to ensure the needs of all students are met. All students follow the Edexcel English Literature and English Language curriculum. This is an exam-only course that requires students to sit four exams over a two-year period.

In English Language, students are asked to analyse texts and write with flair. Each paper is divided into two sections: Section A: Reading and Section B: Writing. Each section is worth 50% of the paper.

The English Language exams include the following:

Paper 1: Explorations in creative reading and writing

Paper 2: Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives

In English Literature, students are asked to analyse a range of set literary texts including a Shakespeare play; a modern prose or drama text such as An Inspector Calls or Lord of the Flies; a 19th-century novel such as Jekyll and Hyde, Great Expectations or A Christmas Carol and a range of poems.

The English Literature exams include the following:

Paper 1: 19th-century novel and the Modern text (Jekyll and Hyde and An Inspector Calls)

Paper 2: Shakespeare and poetry (Macbeth and Conflict Anthology)