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At Spires Academy, English should be a creative, inspiring subject.

Across both key stages our students study a wide range of 19th, 20th and 21st century texts. Throughout our learning journey our students are immersed in a variety of works by writers such as: Shakespeare, Dickens, Orwell and Coyle. Modern classics by Morpurgo, Sachar, Zephaniah and Swindells are studied to allow students to enjoy reading. Students also delve further into the poetic works of Owen, Wordsworth, Byron, Blake, Weir, Levertov and other contemporary poets.

We believe that English allows the development of high standards of language and literacy so that students can accept responsibility for their actions, effectively communicate their ideas, views and emotions with increasing fluency, competency and confidence, whether in writing or speech. Spoken language underpins the development of students’ reading and writing and students receive opportunities for discussion and debate, collaborative and individual presentations and speeches, performing play scripts and reading poetry and stories aloud.

We promote reading as a way of acquiring knowledge and as a way of exploring the world culturally, emotionally, socially and intellectually. We encourage reading for pleasure across all years to appreciate and learn about our literary heritage and to gain information from a variety of sources. Through reading, students explore themes and develop respect for cultural differences, such as: class divide, abuse of power, gender boundaries and inequality that influence the intentions of writers, themes that continue to build our future.

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum aims to enable all young people to become:

  1. Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  2. Confident individuals who lead safe and healthy lives
  3. Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

Powerful knowledge in English

  • To understand and acquire a control over language, both written and spoken, so that students can discover the potential it can have and can give.
  • Students to understand that behind every text ever written there is writer intent.
  • Students to know that we can and should make predictions by asking questions about any text both fiction and non-fiction.
  • There are a set of timeless themes/ideas that influence the intentions of writers
  • Students to know that they too are connected to these themes/ideas and this can inform their own personal responses to a text.

Curriculum Features

  • In the first three years students will follow a ‘mastery’ curriculum.  This will form the framework of knowledge and skills that support future learning in English Literature and Language.
  • Precise teaching of vocabulary and writing creates a framework for students to develop their written skills and accuracy in writing.
  • As they prepare for their GCSE Examinations in English Literature and English Language, the curriculum structure aims to improve student retention of knowledge, build confidence, resilience and give a clear, consistent routine to learning. 
  • A curriculum that teaches beyond what is simply required by the exams. Both the Language and Literature curriculums are built around a process of interweaving topics and self-testing.

Curriculum Enrichment

  • Theatre trips to develop a broader understanding of texts
  • Opportunity to debate important issues
  • Creative writing
  • Royal Shakespeare Schools Associate Programme


English Curriculum Map

English Long Term Plan

GCSE English Specification

GCSE English Literature Specification