Principles and Purpose of the English Curriculum
The purpose of the English curriculum is to equip students with the skills and knowledge to become confident thinkers, speakers, and writers. We want to ensure that students are prepared for each stage of their academic journey and the world beyond the classroom. Through the study of a range of texts written by diverse voices, students are encouraged to discuss, debate, and explore universal ideas.
The following principles have informed the planning of the United Learning curriculum across all subjects:
- Entitlement: All pupils have the right to learn what is in the United Learning curriculum, and schools have a duty to ensure that all pupils are taught the whole of it.
- Coherence: Taking the National Curriculum as its starting point, our curriculum is carefully sequenced so that powerful knowledge builds term by term and year by year. We make meaningful connections within subjects and between subjects.
- Mastery: We ensure that foundational knowledge, skills, and concepts are secure before moving on. Pupils visit prior learning and apply their understanding in new contexts.
- Adaptability: The core content – the 'what' – of the curriculum is stable, but schools will bring it to life in their local context, and teachers will adapt lessons – the 'how' – to meet the needs of their own classes.
- Representation: All pupils see themselves in our curriculum, and our curriculum takes all pupils beyond their immediate experience.
- Education with character: Our curriculum - which includes the taught subject timetable as well as spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development, our co-curricular provision, and the ethos and ‘hidden curriculum’ of the school – is intended to spark curiosity and to nourish both the head and the heart.
Here we explore these principles in the context of the English curriculum:
- Entitlement: All will study a wide range of high-quality texts and writing forms.
- Coherence: The curriculum is carefully sequenced according to themes, ideas, and concepts whilst introducing a variety of literary genres and forms, including different writing forms.
- Mastery: We want our students to be able to link new knowledge to previously taught content and understand the different ways they connect.
- Adaptability: Each lesson addresses a key question, leaving room for teachers to adapt lessons without losing sight of the core purpose.
- Representation: All will encounter texts which offer both a mirror and a window to the rich and multi- layered experiences of the world we live in.
- Education with character: Through the curriculum, students are given many opportunities to share, reflect and learn about each other’s experiences whilst recognising our common shared experiences.