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Curriculum rationale: English

Our English curriculum takes students on a journey through a variety of carefully sequenced texts. 

High-quality texts permeate, and the challenge is implicit across a wide range of texts. We give our students the substantive texts of the canon to enable us to weave diverse texts to subvert and challenge what has gone before and created critical readers and thinkers.  

The curriculum enables our pupils to have a personal connection with the knowledge that they can then translate to the world around them. It helps them to have a balance of learning about and analysis of (patterns of plot, grammar, and character) which students recognise and remember to the set text of key stage 4 and beyond. We want pupils to become thinkers of future knowledge, and this should provide the foundation for them to question and critique the world for themselves. 

We aim to ensure that all our pupils who are disadvantaged or have any special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) have access to a carefully planned curriculum. Our curriculum aims to provide pupils with SEND with explicit systematic teaching and rehearsal of knowledge. We also ensure that these pupils have the time they need to study important subject content in English. 

Curriculum Intent: English 

At King’s Leadership Academy, Liverpool, the English Department strives to ensure our students are: resilient, inquisitive, driven, lifelong learners.  Studying English at Kings will help students develop the ability to think critically and creatively, to express themselves with confidence and coherence, and to combine deep understanding with personal engagement in their responses to language and literature. We aim to ensure that our students are the very best readers, writers and communicators that they can be so that they enjoy access to all aspects of society beyond their school life.

Our curriculum is varied, extensive and challenging, offering a pathway to success through texts that engage, inspire and motivate our students. Students will be challenged to think beyond their own life experiences and consider a wide range of contextual influences, cultures and global issues.

The students will develop the skills of empathy, critical thinking and reflection through the exploration of a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Students will have the power to interpret the written word, evaluating the context and the cultural landscape they encounter. They will also develop their writing in a creative, conscious and fluent way, selecting effective vocabulary to achieve their desired effect. Central to our ethos is inspiring a love of reading and appreciation of the written word; deliberate and explicit teaching of vocabulary is at the forefront of all of our lessons, and students will engage with a wide range of ambitious vocabulary that will enable them to articulate themselves clearly in a range of situations both inside and outside of the classroom.

At King’s we create the conditions for students to develop their own opinion and question and challenge perceptions. Our vision is to encourage our students to be confident in their spoken communication; to be accomplished, observant readers and to be critical, evaluative writers.

At Key Stage 3, students study a variety of diverse texts including, ‘Noughts and Crosses’ and ‘Literature from different Cultures’ as well as more traditional texts such as ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Animal Farm.’ The breadth of the programme of study includes creative and transactional writing as well as the study of detective fiction and dystopian writing. Students particularly enjoy the variety of different writing styles through the exploration of units such as Dickensian London, the art of rhetoric and gothic writing.

At Key Stage 4, students follow the AQA syllabus in both English Language and English Literature. The course builds on the skills which have been embedded in Key Stage 3 in a continuum of learning. Students are encouraged to respond to fiction and non-fiction texts with breadth, in an understanding of the impact of their cultural contexts, and depth, in an appreciation of the effect of stylistic devices. They are given opportunities to write for a wide range of purpose and audience, in tasks which promote expressive fluency as well as ensuring a firm foundation of technical accuracy.

For English Language, the students experience a broad range of 19th century fiction and 20th century non-fiction texts. They have the opportunity to write creatively as well as learning the key skills needed for transactional writing.  In English Literature, students study a range of prose, poetry and drama, ranging from classic to contemporary. As a result of their analysis of a variety of stimulating texts, our students develop a critical understanding of how meaning is shaped both in works from the literary heritage of diverse cultures, and in non-fiction. It will also support cross - curricular achievement and provide an excellent skills base for lifelong learners.


Year 7 curriculum overview

Year 8 curriculum overviewYear 9 curriculum overview

Year 10 curriculum overview

Year 11 curriculum overview

For each curriculum overview, additional documentation is available upon request. This document outlines the exact subject knowledge your child must know and remember. These documents also include the types of teaching activities that subject staff have chosen to help your son/daughter learn the curriculum here at King’s Leadership Academy Liverpool. 


To check how well our pupils are learning the curriculum, teachers use a full range of assessment techniques. These include diagnostic questions to reveal your child’s English preconceptions and common misunderstandings, questioning and end-of-topic/learning cycle assessments.