Curriculum Overview


Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Sixth Form

Term 1: Clap When You Land

Students will begin this term reading 'Clap When You Land' by Elizabeth Acevedo. Studies will focus on the representation of themes, character and genre. This is an opportunity to engage with a challenging contemporary novel, written in verse form. The text is rich in engaging theme and makes use of a dual narrative, exploring the perspective of two teens facing huge upheaval in their lives. Students will learn more about the Dominican community, both i the DR and in New York. They will also have the opportunity to develop their skills analysing Language and Structure techniques.

Students will complete a range of activities which will enable them to develop their close analytical skills across a range of text types.

Words that create pictures in the readers mind.

The main voice of a text. The voice that comments on plot or storyline in a play.

Point of view.

Dependent on a single point of view e.g. a subjective opinion hasn’t considered all sides of the argument.

A conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning.

A style or category of art, music, or literature.

The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

A change in mood or tone.

The attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something non-human, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.

A result or effect of an action.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Students will develop empathy skills in addition to inference and deduction skills, understanding how to approach texts critically and with an open mind.

Create a supportive community:
Students will often lead the learning, engaging in wider discussion and helping to build a secure and safe learning environment.

Term 2: Crime and Punishment

Students will read, interpret and analyse in-depth a range of short stories and fiction extracts from the 19th Century relating to crime and punishment. They will develop their analytical skills and respond by creating their own pieces of fictional writing.

Students will complete a range of tasks that enable them to develop their imaginative writing, with a focus on structural aspects.

A situation where details and/or outcomes are unknown.

A point of view on a topic.

Arrive at (a fact or a conclusion) by reasoning; draw as a logical conclusion.

A conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning.

To collect evidence and study it in order to solve a problem or mystery.

The infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offence.

Pertaining to the period when Victoria I was on the throne.

Having or likely to have the effect of proving a case.

Restriction of the freedom and responsibilities of subordinates or dependants in their supposed interest.

Relating to or using analysis or logical reasoning.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Students will learn to explore different texts from the 19th Century, thinking about cultural and historical influences on writers and their writing.

Create a supportive community:
Students will engage in collaborative reading, planning and writing activities which will develop their teamwork and communication skills.

Term 3: Blood Brothers

Students will study the play 'Blood Brothers'. During this unit they will have the chance to develop their writing and literature skills through writing in character, analysing key passages and crafting correspondence. Speaking and listening activities will allow students to develop their role-play skills and practice key oracy techniques. They will also study Russell's stagecraft, form and language in the play, focusing on how characters are developed and themes are portrayed within the settings and events.

Students will complete a range of tasks developing their ability to evaluate both fiction and non-fiction, with a focus on developing a critical overview.

They will complete an extended essay on a theme or character.

The act of breaking something or people apart.

A mirror image difference e.g. black and white, hot and cold.

Envy based on sexual feelings ie he was jealous because the man had stolen his girlfriend.

The state of being extremely poor.

A widely held but irrational belief in supernatural influences, especially as leading to good or bad luck, or a practice based on such a belief.

The distinctive characteristics that someone or something is born with.

How someone's environment influences their personality or character.

Social class
A division of a society based on social and economic status.

Stage directions
Information given by the playwright indicating setting and character behaviour.

Starting point of the plot of a play.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Students will learn about how poverty affects individuals on a personal level - they will look at how families approach money problems and how the welfare state operates to support them. They will develop a wider knowledge of politics, in particular government policies to support the poor and the government's approach to education. This will allow them to develop critically thought-out opinions of the current political climate.

Create a supportive community:
Students will be encouraged to look at the lives of those less fortunate and also to reflect on their own privilege (or lack of). They will be encouraged to be empathetic of the characters portrayed in the play, whilst evaluating the social situations and making decisions based on their own experiences. Students should feel safe sharing these ideas.

Term 4: Romeo and Juliet

Students will study extracts from Shakespeare’s 'Romeo and Juliet', developing understanding of Shakespeare’s use of language and gaining an understanding of key features of the tragic genre. They will make comparisons between key scenes, exploring how the playwright has developed ideas. They will also complete transactional writing tasks based around the play.

Students will complete a range of tasks developing their ability to write a piece of transactional writing.

An ongoing argument, sometimes lasting years.

The fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect.

A figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.

Dramatic Irony
The expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

Skill in or the art of writing or staging plays.

English playwright (1564-1616) and poet whose works are noted for their plot, characterisation, wit and use of language.

Iambic Pentameter
A line of verse with five metrical feet, each consisting of one short (or unstressed) syllable followed by one long (or stressed) syllable, for example Two households, both alike in dignity.

The outcome of a situation, when something is decided or made clear.

A separate introductory section of a literary, dramatic, or musical work, which indicates the genre and plot.

The development of events outside a person's control, regarded as predetermined by a supernatural power.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Students will be able to build links between the world in Shakespeare's time and now. they will be able to understand why Shakespeare is still a relevant author and how his work affects the lives of young people today - even if it is not obvious! Students will also look at the moral messages within the play and look at how the world has changed for women since the play was written.

Create a supportive community:
Students will build drama skills and resilience through performance of key scenes. Group reading and analysis will allow students to develop the confidence to tackle a Shakespeare text in full.

Term 5: Civil Rights

Students will look at case studies of segregation and discrimination, to include key figures such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. We will also look at speeches from American presidents, both past and present. Students will analyse persuasive speech techniques to lead to the writing and delivery of their own individual persuasive speech.

Students will sit an End-of-Year examination paper. They will analyse an unseen non-fiction extract. They will also need to compare two unseen extracts, focusing on language use and structure.

They will also be asked to compose a transactional piece for the examination, drawing on all they have learned this year in order to engage the reader thoroughly.

The art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing.

When someone looks at the positive and negative of something and makes a decision regarding whether it is worthwhile or helpful.

The act or practice of segregating; a setting apart or separation of people or things from others or from the main body or group; the institutional separation of an ethnic, racial, religious, or other minority group from the dominant majority.

Treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favour of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.

Hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Non-violent resistance
The practice of achieving goals such as social change through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political non-cooperation, or other methods, without using violence.

A public speaker, especially one who is eloquent or skilled.

An organized course of action to achieve a goal.

A quality that evokes pity or sadness.

A policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Students will learn how to approach texts critically, a skill which can then be taken outside the classroom and employed in a variety of situations. They will also learn about cognitive dissonance and how to avoid this when reading and evaluating a range of texts.

Create a supportive community:
Students will engage in healthy debate, drawing on their own experiences to contribute to a range of discussions in which they will be encouraged to recognise their value. Students will develop key critical thinking skills that will allow them to recognise each others' strengths.

Term 6: Conflict Poetry

Students will explore a range of poetry on the theme of Conflict, focusing on five key poems from the GCSE Anthology. They will revise key poetic terms, preparing for poetry questions in the exam.

Students will complete a comparative essay assessment on two poems.

To look at two or more things together for similarities and differences.

A group of lines forming the basic recurring metrical unit in a poem; a verse.

Internal rhyme
A rhyme involving a word in the middle of a line and another at the end of the line or in the middle of the next.

The continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.

Iambic Pentameter
A line of verse with five metrical feet, each consisting of one short (or unstressed) syllable followed by one long (or stressed) syllable, for example Two households, both alike in dignity.

The measured flow of words and phrases in verse or prose as determined by the relation of long and short or stressed and unstressed syllables.

Two or more words that have the same sound e.g. gate and hate.

Repetition of a specific consonant sound within text for effect.

The speaker of a text or play.

The use of repeated 'b' or 'p' sound in order to create a forceful tone.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Students will look at different relationships, including love, family, friendships. They will think about relationships through different perspectives, enabling them to develop empathy skills, students should become more accepting of the different types of relationships they could be involved in. They will also think about different types of love and our responsibility to others within relationships.

Create a supportive community:
As with all poetry units, students will be working in groups, sharing and consolidating their ideas through discussion. Students will engage in peer-assessment activities that will allow them to evaluate themselves and each other.