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English

Information for the website for English at Trinity

English at Trinity

Our curriculum is based upon challenging, canonical texts. Students study classic works of literature, allowing them to broaden their background knowledge and take part in the conversation of humanity. All of our units contain a wealth of non-fiction and short stories and reading is at the core of what we do. Across 5 years, students are explicitly taught vocabulary as well as specific sentence constructions in order to raise the sophistication and clarity of their writing.

Main Aims:

  • Students will grapple with what it means to be human, leaving Trinity with a broad understanding of a range of abstract, philosophical and psychological ideas that will help them make sense of their own existences
  • Students will develop their ability to write with precision and sophistication across ‘The Big Three’ genres of analysis, rhetoric and creative
  • Students will be able to craft essays and develop arguments using a range of academic constructions and approaches.
  • Students will be able to read accurately and fluently, with an ability to analyse nuance, tone, mood and the effect of language.

English Curriculum 2021-2022

Sequencing and Progession

In year 7, students study the basics of ‘The Big Three’, often working at a sentence level to hone the components of each genre. When writing analytically, the focus here is on character. When writing rhetorically, they practice specific techniques and write mini speeches. With creative writing, they practice phrases, building upon the KS2 grammar curriculum, writing short pieces of description and emulating model texts. Year 7 texts have been chosen to provide a foundation for later years. In year 8, students begin to write about theme and also begin comparing texts. Units then become term long and interleave ‘The Big Three’. In year 9, students begin unseen analysis and learn how to write analytical introductions. This is the point that most students will begin to write full essays competently.

KS3 as a whole is sequenced so that almost all students will begin KS4 with the required writing skills so that KS4 can concentrate on GCSE content and practice. Students initially learn, practice and combine the components of extended writing, slowly building up to writing extended pieces.

English at GCSE

All students are entered for both English Language GCSE and English Literature GCSE.

English Language GCSE

Students will draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus and engage with creative as well as real and relevant contexts. Students will have opportunities to develop higher-order reading and critical thinking skills that encourage genuine enquiry into different topics and themes.

Students will:

  • read a wide range of texts, fluently and with good understanding
  • read critically, and use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
  • write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
  • use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately
  • acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
  • listen to and understand spoken language, and use spoken Standard English effectively.

In this qualification, students sit two written examinations, both requiring them to respond to unseen texts and write extended pieces. Students’ spoken language is also assessed, although this does not contribute to their final GCSE grade. Here is a detailed breakdown of the qualification:

English Literature GCSE

In this qualification, students sit two written examinations. Except for an unseen poetry question in paper 2, all of the texts that are assessed will have been taught and prepared in class beforehand. At Trinity, we have chosen the following set texts as we believe they give students the best chance of success at English Literature GCSE:

Paper 1: Shakespeare and 19th Century Novel

  1. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  2. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry

  1. An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley
  2. Power and Conflict Poetry Cluster

In studying these set texts, students will have the opportunity to develop the following skills:

Reading comprehension and reading critically

  • literal and inferential comprehension: understanding a word, phrase or sentence in context; exploring aspects of plot, characterisation, events and settings; distinguishing between what is stated explicitly and what is implied; explaining motivation, sequence of events, and the relationship between actions or events
  • critical reading: identifying the theme and distinguishing between themes; supporting a point of view by referring to evidence in the text; recognising the possibility of and evaluating different responses to a text; using understanding of writers’ social, historical and cultural contexts to inform evaluation; making an informed personal response that derives from analysis and evaluation of the text
  • evaluation of a writer’s choice of vocabulary, grammatical and structural features: analysing and evaluating how language, structure, form and presentation contribute to quality and impact; using linguistic and literary terminology for such evaluation comparing texts: comparing and contrasting texts studied, referring where relevant to theme, characterisation, context (where known), style and literary quality; comparing two texts critically with respect to the above

Writing

  • producing clear and coherent text: writing effectively about literature for a range of purposes such as: to describe, explain, summarise, argue, analyse and evaluate; discussing and maintaining a point of view; selecting and emphasising key points; using relevant quotation and using detailed textual references
  • writing with accurate Standard English: accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Here is a detailed breakdown of the qualification:

Assessment in English

We use Comparative Judgment to summatively assess extended writing three times a year. Every time we complete a judging session, we compile a whole class feedback sheet that records strengths and weaknesses. These inform the next teaching steps as well informing curricula amendments. We also use whole class feedback when marking: teachers go over excellent pieces of work and reteach or correct misconceptions and omissions. Most lessons involve low-stakes retrieval practice and restrictive practice activities that focus on the component parts of writing and responding to texts. These tasks allow teachers to give instant corrective feedback live in class.

Booklets

At Trinity, we teach English using mastery booklets. These contain everything that student’s need for an entire unit of study and complement the main literature texts that are taught. Booklets typically contain:

1. Vocabulary Tables

These tables are used to teach high-utility, academic vocabulary, providing students with example sentences and all relevant forms of the words that are taught. Students practice using these words, initially at a sentence level and then in wider writing

  1. Short Stories

Here are some of the short stories that students will read and study at Trinity:

Year 7:

  1. The Compass and Torch by Elizabeth Baines
  2. Eleven by Sandra Cisneros
  3. Charles by Shirley Jackson
  4. All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury
  5. The Street Sweep by Meron Handero

Year 8:

  1. Games at Twilight by Anita Desai
  2. The Darkness Out There  by Penelope Lively
  3. The Test by Angela Gibson
  4. I Used to Live Here Once by Jean Rhys
  5. Dagon by H.P. Lovecraft

Year 9:

  1. War by Jack London
  2. The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin
  3. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce
  4. Rain Horse by Ted Hughes
  5. The Knowers by Helen Phillips

Year 10:

  1. The Mask of the Red Death by Edgar Allen Poe
  2. A Glowing Future by Ruth Rendell
  3. Gift of Magi by O. Henry
  4. Paper Menagerie by Ken Lui
  5. The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Year 11:

  1. A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  2. Birdsong by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  3. Sew my Mouth by Cherrie Kandie
  4. Eveline by James Joyce
  5. Kew gardens by Virginia Woolf

 

  1. Non-Fiction Articles

Students read and respond to literary journalism, polemics, speeches and articles that cover relevant domain knowledge, helping them to build their understanding of the world and how language is used to represent it.

  1. Knowledge Organisers

Each unit has an accompanying knowledge organiser which contains the most useful and important knowledge that is taught. Here is an example: