Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy

Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy


As a department, we believe strongly that all pupils – regardless of their starting points or academic ability – can achieve in English to become competent, confident and creative readers and writers with a wider understanding of the world around them.

KS3 Vision

In English at OSCA, our main aim at KS3 (Years 7 and 8) is to deliver an engaging and challenging curriculum that equips students with the tools to excel in both GCSE English Language and Literature. Our approach in KS3 involves introducing students to a broad range of fiction, non-fiction and multi-modal texts, allowing them to get a flavour of the standard and understanding that will be expected of them when they reach Year 11. However, we believe it is also important to balance this level of targeted preparation with the enrichment of students’ literary creativity and individuality. Over the course of the year, both years 7 and 8 will be exposed to a broad range of English texts and topics - from Dickens to the art of rhetoric - in order to promote a high standard of language and literacy. With all of this in mind, we acknowledge the importance of shaping the ‘whole child’ and so we have designed a curriculum that enables students to go beyond the confines of the classroom and the curriculum to explore more intriguing and thought-provoking issues that concern the modern world as it stands today. When exploring these topics, we endeavour to encourage students to envisage the ‘bigger picture’ and use their English lessons as stimuli to begin to comprehend the wider world and mature notions, including societal ideology, politics, religion and culture. English at KS3 also aims to develop a love for reading for enjoyment - particularly within boys – and so our curriculum offers a rich diet of authors, texts and text types, from Shakespeare to post-1914 poetry. To accompany our approach to reading for pleasure, we employ high quality resources such as the Renaissance Reading programme to help monitor the impact reading in class has on pupils’ progress. Overall, we aim for students at KS3 to become confident, critical readers and writers with the ability to articulate their understanding in a variety of ways.

KS4 Vision

To compliment previous understanding and knowledge acquired at KS3, we aim to achieve academic autonomy, manifesting itself in students’ ability to develop subject-specific expertise, building upon the ‘bigger picture’ curriculum by exploring writers’ choice and effects of language as well as embellishing this analysis with embedded links to context and the writer’s message. In addition, we believe it is important to invest time in coaching students how to effectively craft their writing to suit a range of purposes – whether that be to respond to an English Literature question or to compose a piece of descriptive writing. Due to this, the teaching and application of exam-specific approaches is a key initiative we aim to disseminate in the department to ensure students have the opportunity to organise their ideas in a sophisticated and logical way, enabling them to access the higher marks awarded on the AQA mark schemes. Furthermore, as a department, we value the opportunity to equip our students with original and enlightened knowledge and so we have developed a programme of Super Learning lectures that offer expert and unique perspectives and ideas on our English Literature texts. For example, when students study Shakespeare’s Macbeth, we encourage students to consider how the play could be a form of social propaganda, acting as an allegorical rulebook for suspect criminals in the Jacobean era. Due to the department’s rich marking experience, we are very clear about what makes a piece of writing, or analysis, a grade 9 and so we share this clarity with both our staff and students in schemes of work, moderation meetings and targeted intervention sessions.



Long Term Plan


Useful links to support progress in English:

BBC Bitesize KS3 English/English Literature GCSE English Language/English Literature www.bbc.co.uk/education 

CGP Books English Grades 1-9 Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar workbooks

AR Book Finder www.arbookfind.co.uk
This website shows the reading ages of the texts, so parents can choose a slightly higher reading age than their child is currently at in order to improve their literacy skills.

We also study a GCSE novel and play in each year, in order to stretch our students. Online resources and study guides are widely available for each:

Year 7 - Animal Farm and Twelfth Night
Year 8 - Anita & Me and Macbeth
Year 9 - Blood Brothers
KS4 - Much Ado About Nothing, An Inspector Calls, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

English Language - GCSE
English Literature - GCSE