“Reading is an exercise in empathy; an exercise in walking in someone else’s shoes for a while.” - Malorie Blackman
“Books break the shackles of time – proof that humans can work magic.” - Carl Sagan
We wish our students to develop a love of reading and to become critical thinkers in order to navigate an increasingly complex world and to be discerning when encountering the myriad of information with which they will be faced. Our curriculum seeks to prepare students for this world through our choice of challenging and sometimes polarizing texts, including a range of literary fiction and non-fiction from diverse sources. Students’ love of reading is encouraged with a careful selection of novels that challenge their world view and ask difficult questions.
We begin the year with a novel which demands commitment, focus and investment from students. We want them to care about characters and it is through the power of shared reading that they walk in the footsteps of others and share those journeys, some so different from their own.
Developing evaluative and empathetic responses from immersive reading builds on the ethos of Hedingham School and our core values of community, respect and resilience. We also wish our students to become passionate advocates for those without a voice and to be able to articulate feelings and emotions in order to foster a sense of wellbeing. To express a viewpoint eloquently, and sweep your audience along with the power of your rhetoric, is a skill which will stay with them for life.
At Key Stage 3 we move from novels to a range of non-fiction, incorporating journalism, voices through time and the concepts of representation and activism in order to lay the foundation for future studies. Students study a range of poetry, from the Romantics to the voices of the war poets, which provides a backdrop for the ways writers shape meanings and structure their messages; skills which underpin all studies of English. Our year concludes with Shakespeare and a reading unit where we bring the page to life with drama, debate, discussion and reading performances. In this way, we conclude each Key Stage 3 year by celebrating the written word as it is spoken and interpreted by each new cohort of students.
At GCSE we enrich our curriculum with drama workshops, oracy and speech training and the interleaving of exam texts to aid long term memory and provide the best model for independence and revision, thus allowing students to develop the traits that make them active and motivated learners with a clear pathway to KS5 and beyond.
Please click on the box below to download a copy of the Curriculum Map for Key Stage 3 English and the subject overview documents for GCSE English Language and English Literature.