English and Media Department
Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement
Introduction – Overall Department Intent
At Abbey Park School, the application of reading and writing underpins the success of pupils in all curriculum areas. Consequently, the English and Media department has an integral role to play. We provide an inspirational and challenging learning journey which enables pupils to explore a wide range of texts and develop their enjoyment of reading for pleasure, turning their potential into performance. We draw connections between the curriculum and wider world so that pupils grow into empathetic and understanding members of society, having experienced cultural exposure in the English and Media journey.
Department implementation with the APS 5 Keys to Curriculum Success
|Knowledge, skills & mastery
In the English and Media Department, we aim to explore three analytical viewpoints: that of the writer, the reader and the audience, in order for our learners to become empathetic, independent and critical thinkers. Within English specifically, our two overarching questions posed to pupils are: ‘how do writers use language and structure for effect?’ and ‘how can we as writers use language and structure for effect?’ Within Media, these questions are developed to include a focus on the audience, products and their wider impact on society. This enables pupils to be able to confidently interpret the world around them and justify their own opinion in a balanced, analytical response.
Our department offers a knowledge-rich curriculum which spirals throughout KS3 into KS4, building core skills and concepts around our overarching questions, leading into GCSE examinations. We interweave reading, writing and oracy skills across all schemes of work to ensure pupils experience, develop and build a wide range of skills in all aspects of the English language to prepare them for their future career paths beyond KS4, this in turn allows for pupil ownership when it comes to their own independence and developing their aspirations in English. Conceptual links between English and Media are referenced throughout KS3 allowing pupils to practice analysis of media products and to consider visual elements in addition to the power of colour, text and influence which surround these key themes.
Pupils at both Key Stages at Abbey Park study a range of texts which include social, cultural and historical learning opportunities. This is further reinforced by the range of modern mediums and variety of set products through which we deliver the Media curriculum.
|Literacy & Numeracy
Pupils are encouraged to read and study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, from various cultural backgrounds and time periods. Every fortnight, KS3 classes have a designated library lesson, which incorporates private reading, class reading and author talks offered through PiXL Reading. This gives them opportunities to read complex texts at school, which is then reinforced by whole-school initiatives that are facilitated by the department. For example, every year group at KS3 is offered a different book to read each term, which extends and develops their understanding of central ideas studied within English and allows them to recognise their own reading identity. This is further underpinned by regularly updated recommended reading lists that are sent throughout the year to both pupils and parents/carers.
Extended Written Responses underpin the majority of the English and Media curriculum. Subsequently we encourage pupils to explore their interpretations of texts, topics and products that they study in depth, using the What?How?Why? framework to enable deeper analytical thought and comment. This is additionally reflected in their extended written responses in GCSE Media Studies. Pupils are also able to create imaginative work using a variety of forms across both GCSE courses. The department recognises that as a core subject, the literacy skills developed in English and Media benefit and uplift pupils’ progress across all other subjects. Numeracy elements are indirectly referenced throughout the curriculum through its design which invites our pupils to think logically, identify patterns in texts in addition to predicting the tone, meaning and purpose of a range of writing.
|Entitlement & Engagement
Pupils are guided through the curriculum and are able to reflect upon their own progress by using the PLC sheets each term, which specify for the pupils which particular areas that term’s scheme of work will focus on. English classes are taught in semi-streamed groups at both KS3 and KS4, which allows the department to offer precise and focused Wave One support to pupils of all abilities, leading up to public examinations. Media content is taught within the KS3 English curriculum in order to expose and engage pupils to the skills and knowledge required should they wish to go on to choose GCSE Media Studies as part of their option block. GCSE English Language and Literature papers are non-tiered, and pupils will sit all 4 examinations at the end of their learning journey. GCSE Media Studies focusses on analysing set products as well as the pupils creating their own product (30% of their final grade).
The spirit of adventure is evident through our curriculum design. We layer knowledge and skills, alongside carefully constructed classes, allowing teachers to support pupils in achieving their full potential. This is further complemented through the varied texts we offer in order for pupils to consider and reflect on authors, the narrative, their writing and their own personal journeys in order to learn by example. We also have a specialist Transition Teacher to further support low ability pupils including PP, FSM and vulnerable groups when they arrive at Abbey Park School in year 7. In this instance, differentiated resources and texts help to support the delivery of the Key Stage 3 curriculum, ensuring all pupils’ entitlements are met.
|Aspiration & Wellbeing
The English and Media department aims ensure that the subject is a relevant reflection of the world around our pupils, the local school community and responsive to global issues. To do this, we proactively review new texts which encompass these themes and changes, which are facilitated through library lessons and year group readers. This allows pupils to develop transferable skills that they need across the curriculum and the wider world, providing greater understanding and empathy for others. Our text selection within the curriculum further encourages pupils to reflect on relevant ideas such as loneliness, isolation and mental health; with staff promoting the concept that a ‘good book’ is a place to retreat to and enjoy therefore using the written form as a tool for wellbeing in addition to academic success. This is further supported by SMSC, British Values and APS PROUD, all of which lend themselves throughout the texts and topics studied at both Key Stages and as part of the tutor programme.
Most of the English and Media staff are tutors, supporting the whole-school pastoral programme and enabling them to fully support pupil well-being at all times. Other members of the department are able to offer targeted intervention programmes to KS4 pupils, to address key skills and knowledge gaps, as well as deepening pupils’ understanding of key themes and ideas therefore building their aspirations in the subject. This is further supported by daytime intervention lessons for both KS3 and KS4, run by specialist teachers to enhance pupils’ confidence in the subject
|Community, respect & enrichment
As a team with a wide range of English and Media-related interests, we actively partake in English and Media-specific educational CPD on all the platforms offered to the TPAT Trust. In addition to this, we undertake independent CPD which is offered from the local area, through books and blogs. This allows us to suggest relevant and pertinent changes to enhance our pupils’ experience of English and Media and to keep up-to-date with changes to the English and Media curriculum and its delivery.
We enhance the curriculum for pupils further by building in technologies such as ‘Accelerated Reader and PiXL Reading into lessons at KS3 as a way of developing a broad, balanced and stimulating curriculum. Furthermore, the department leads English competitions both internally and from external agencies such as the local ‘Swindon Youth Festival of Literature’, poetry competitions and more recently, teaming up with a local printing press company to raise charitable funds. This in turn increases pupils’ sense of being part of a community, giving back and enriching their curriculum offer that they receive within the classroom. The application of English is also enhanced through our session 6 offer of a creative and non-fiction writing clubs which are run on rotation by the team, giving pupils the opportunity to further develop their craft in a structured, informal capacity.
At KS3, all pupils have English timetabled for 4 hours a week. One hour a fortnight is a designated Library Lesson for each class. Media related content is integrated within schemes of work, with a full introductory unit in year 9 ahead of choosing option subjects for KS4.
At KS4, pupils are taught 4 hours a week for both year 10 and 11. The majority of the content for both GCSE English Literature and GCSE English Language is covered in year 10, whilst the focus in year 11 moves towards retrieval and preparation for examinations.
GCSE Media Studies is taught for 2 hours a week at year 10 and 3 hours a week at year 11.
KS3 and KS4 English Curriculum Maps
Click below in 'Related Documents' to view curriculum maps.