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Enabling students to experience and enjoy a wide range of literature is central to the Key Stage Three and Four English curriculum at Nidderdale. Students will be taught by teachers who are passionate about reading and writing, and will learn about a range of literary genres and time periods. Our overriding ambition in English is to use literature to take students beyond their own experience of the world. The students will endeavour to use their experiences in English to further influence their own decisions in life beyond the classroom. The plethora of knowledge and understanding evident within the English curriculum allows empathy, understanding and compassion, something which is paramount to the overall development of individual students.

The curriculum in Key Stage Three is broad, flexible and adaptable. We read texts that allow students to consider a range of themes that are both relevant to their everyday experience of the world, and to build up their repertoire of skills when tackling themes within Key Stage Four. The texts studied will change according to student need and relevance to life in our modern world. The exploration of ideas about gender, family and relationships, and difference and acceptance are central to our Year 7 English Curriculum, and students will experience Shakespeare, 21st Century authors, and poetry. Alongside this, students will get to write in role as authors, magazine journalists and travel journalists.

As the curriculum develops students will explore ideas about power, social-class and societies across time while experiencing poetry, drama, and Victorian short stories. They will write as detective authors, newspaper columnists and poets.

In Year 9 students will explore ideas about identity, war, romantic and family love while experiencing modern novellas, a range of poetry from 1900 (related to conflict), Shakespeare’s romantic plays, and the use of non-fiction in writing speeches. They will be able to produce critical analysis of various texts. Historical analysis and context will be important as the Key Stage draws to a close.

English at Nidderdale goes beyond the school curriculum as students are given the opportunity to develop their experience of the themes introduced within the classroom. This can be in the form of organised trips for students to theatres, historical sites or universities. This will also be seen through excellent student teacher relationships and the recommendation of books, plays or films based on literature.

At Key Stage Four students follow the AQA specification for Language and Literature. We choose texts, short stories and non-fiction articles that allow students to continue to explore ideas about gender, family, power, social class, travel, identity and romantic relationships as they prepare to showcase their knowledge and understanding through their examinations.