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Subject Leader Miss J Kilmore
Second in English Mrs E Brameld
English Teacher Miss R Wharton
English Teacher Miss J Laird
English Teacher Miss J Collins
Core Skills Coach Mrs S Parkinson

English Curriculum Intent

The Axholme Academy English team strives to ensure that all pupils enjoy and engage fully in the English curriculum, whilst achieving high academic standards throughout our five year learning journey.  Within a local context, where book ownership and reading everyday is at the lowest level nationally, reading is the driver for progress in our department. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum.  From entry in Year 7, the English Language and Literature curriculums are sequenced separately to support pupils in their progression towards two distinct qualifications at GCSE, enabling all of our students to access the post-16 pathway they aspire to. We aspire for our students to become effective communicators and confident speakers who are able to meet the requirements of the world beyond our school community. We commit to nurture a love of Literature, to provide a challenging and diverse range of reading materials and to promote Literature as an attractive option for post-16 study.

The Literacy curriculum is designed to foster a love of reading. Using the Accelerated Reader programme, we encourage students to read independently and respond to a wide range of texts, whilst also monitoring the progress of students in reading, and offering interventions to students when needed. Within Literacy, we address knowledge gaps relating to spelling, punctuation and grammar and equip students with a broad and sophisticated vocabulary. The Literacy curriculum also supports Literacy across the wider curriculum, enabling students to understand and embed the command words used across a range of subjects.

The English curriculum consists of:

  • KS3 NC Programmes of Study

  • GCSE English Language

  • GCSE English Literature

  • Entry Level English certificate

  • Post 16 - Related A level/Vocational qualifications. Taster sessions are delivered in school to encourage the take up of English post-16

The subject content contained within our curriculum is fully compliant with KS3 statutory content, and fully compliant with the statutory content outlined in KS4.

English Language & Literature Curriculum Model

All students develop their skills in the three main strands of English Language which progress throughout KS3 and KS4. The strands are:

  • Reading

  • Writing

  • Speaking and listening

In addition, all students develop their skills in English Literature which progress throughout KS3 and KS4. The objectives are:

  • Read, understand and respond to texts. 

  • Analyse the language, form and structure used by a writer to create meanings and effects, using relevant subject terminology where appropriate.

  • Show understanding of the relationships between texts and the contexts in which they were written.

Students also study a wide variety of literary texts, novels, plays and poems, within English Language and English Literature lessons. The texts chosen build on the reading experienced in our feeder primaries and range from classics to modern texts.  Texts are chosen to enable our students to explore potentially challenging and diverse language and themes in order to broaden their understanding of the world around them.

The English curriculum model allows students to revisit and develop skills in each element of curriculum content at several points in KS3 and KS4, in both English Language and English Literature; the complexity of the subject, text or skill increases with each revisit, therefore new learning has a relationship with previous learning allowing students to progress and reach their full potential. Using this model enables knowledge and skills to be reinforced and solidified each time the students revisit. It allows a logical progression from simplistic skills to highly developed skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening, and students are taught explicitly to apply the knowledge and skills acquired each year to later curriculum learning intentions.

English is taught in mostly mixed-ability groupings, which we believe ensures best progress for all students of all abilities. To support this approach, our lessons incorporate a variety of differentiation strategies. The use of modelling and scaffolding is embedded in our pedagogy to enable all students to access the learning at the highest possible level. A range of assessment approaches is used to identify gaps in learning and address them. Low-stakes retrieval assessment tasks are used in every lesson to consolidate skills or knowledge. Live marking is also embedded in department pedagogy to give students instant feedback on their work and quickly address misconceptions. Students in the I groups, which support lower ability learners, experience the same curriculum as those learners in our GROW sets. The curriculum for the T group is closely aligned with the English curriculum.

Students keep all work, including assessments, in their exercise books or in a Google Classroom, so that they are able to track their progress, and reflect on and refer to prior learning.


In English lessons, students develop their employability skills. Progress in reading and spelling is monitored closely in KS3 Literacy lessons. As well as progressing in reading skills, in English lessons students develop their skills in functional writing and communication & presentation skills. In addition, Students are further encouraged to develop employability skills by effective communication, planning, organising, self-management, teamwork, presenting, problem solving, creativity, initiative, aiming high, leadership and staying positive.

Progression from KS2

We ensure that Year 7 effectively builds upon content delivered during Key Stage 2 by analysing and sharing KS2 test data with colleagues teaching year 7 to allow appropriate interventions to be put in place where needed. We meet with staff from our key feeder primaries to discuss the implementation of learning links between our curriculums and to standardise assessments. Our curriculum builds on the curriculums delivered by the feeder schools, ensuring progression and challenge in the texts we read.

Skills in reading, spelling and punctuation are consolidated during Year 7 Literacy lessons and low-stakes retrieval activities in English lessons. 

Links with other curriculum areas

The skills which are developed in English provide the building blocks which allow students to access many other curriculum areas effectively. There are also links between content and knowledge.For example, in English ‘An Inspector Calls’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’ are introduced as GCSE Literature texts in year 10.  In History, there is an ILT project rotation across KS3 for both of these texts, to develop students’ knowledge of the context of the texts. We are able to refer to this prior learning in our teaching. There are learning links between our Yr 9 Equality unit and work delivered in RE. 

The Literacy curriculum has links with many subject areas, such as Science, Geography, PE, RE and History. KS3 students are taught the meaning of the command words used in many subject areas through a sequence of themed units of work. 

Cultural Capital

We develop students’ Cultural Capital whilst studying English through our involvement with The Axholme Pledge, celebrating National Poetry Day with our Year 7 students, Shakespeare Day and World Book Day each year. Where the opportunity arises,  students will be offered live performances of the KS4 Literature texts and each year there is a cross curricular collaborative trip, which allows students to experience the theatre in London.