Header Image 1
Header Image 2


Curriculum Intent

At Orleans Park, we want our students to be critical readers and confident writers, to challenge what they read and express their views and opinions articulately (both in writing and through oracy). We hope that all students leave our school with a life-long love of reading and literature. Through our programme of study, every student learns how to engage with unfamiliar texts and comment on issues it presents, making links to the world outside the classroom. Students also develop the ability to explore the effects a writer creates through the methods they employ. Writing and speech is accurate and has a desired effect on the reader or listener. Vocabulary is well-chosen to achieve this effect.

Key Stage 3

Harnessing the enthusiasm for reading and writing students develop at primary school, our curriculum gives students the opportunity to:

  • Explore writing from across culture, time and context through a wide range of fiction and nonfiction texts
  • Develop their critical vocabulary, encouraging them to see texts as a product of a moment in time or a need to express issues the writer feels passionately about.
  • Establish a clear and authentic way of expressing themselves across different genres of speech and writing

Each year at Key Stage 3 builds on the last in terms of its structure, developing and refining familiar skills implemented further down the school. These processes are interleaved throughout each year to ensure students encounter them in a range of settings (looking at pre-1900 nonfiction with a Dickens novel, or doing creative writing alongside the study of a class reader, for instance).

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, our GCSE students grapple with texts from across the English Literary canon and hone their skills both as a writer and speaker. In particular, our curriculum affords students the opportunity to:

  • Engage with texts from a range of settings and time periods, including those that challenge the status quo
  • Explore writing from established and newer writers, engaging with issues that shape the world and encourage them to develop their own views on prominent social and political issues
  • Become confident in analysing texts (both fiction and nonfiction, written and spoken), exploring the methods writers choose to use and the reasons for these creative choices
  • Produce clear and confident writing of their own, using the devices they have explored in the work of others to have a desired effect on their own audience
  • Develop their cultural capital and personal engagement with literature, through a range of public speaking, reading and drama events both in and out of the school setting.

Key Stage 5

English Literature encourages students to explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts within which they are written, received and understood. Our text choices ensure that our students are challenged and inspired by what they read. 

Focusing on the central literary themes of identity, place and belonging across a broad spectrum of contexts, students explore and connect texts with each other, drawing out patterns and engaging in detailed, independent textual analysis. English Literature A Level privileges the process of making autonomous meaning, and we actively encourage our students to debate and challenge the interpretations of other readers as they develop their own informed personal responses.

Where can English take me?

English students study for a wide variety of higher level courses, including English Literature, English Language, Linguistics, Law, History, Media or Film Studies and Business Studies. Universities also like to see variety in applicants: many literature students have gone on to study Medicine, Engineering, Maths, the Sciences and Technology-based subjects.

English Curriculum Overview