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Red Kite Learning Trust



Overall English Intent: 

English at HGS will foster a life-long love of English.  

  • English will teach students to communicate orally and in writing with conviction and precision; to develop an independent voice underpinned by the wide vocabulary necessary to express it. This will include the rhetoric of effective engagement. 
  • Students will read widely and learn to decode inferentially and metaphorically, evaluate the impact of language effectively and recognise patterning and literary tropes. 
  • Our curriculum will teach students key literary contextual knowledge and cultural capital from which to build skills and develop as empathetic global citizens. 

Key Strengths of the Curriculum

English at HGS exceeds the National Curriculum for English

  • We deliver one explicit reading lesson per cycle for Yr7 and 8 in the LRC. 
  • We also teach two ‘Big Write’ lessons per half term in Yr7 and 8 which improves students’ written literacy and stamina for extended writing.
  • In Yr9 we teach an explicit Oracy and Debate lesson which improves students’ independent research skills alongside developing their spoken oracy.  
  • Students are exposed to a range of appropriately challenging literary and linguistic texts (novel, poetry, plays) which build incrementally across KS3 allowing students to face the challenges of KS4 with success and independence.  
  • Students are given the opportunity to write in polemical and creative forms whilst presenting and debating verbally. This writing is modelled and scaffolded successfully early in KS3 with students becoming increasingly independent as the curriculum progresses.  
  • Literacy is explicitly taught alongside an overt focus on widening students’ vocabulary (as inspired by topic and theme), revisiting basic KS2 word categories, spellings and sentence functions through to grammatical sentence forms and higher-level punctuation. 

Golden thread themes include – social in/justice and morality; love, patriarchy and the role of women; supernatural, spirituality and the Gothic; diversity and difference. 

Key strengths within English

  • Teacher Subject Knowledge and enthusiasm for sharing expertise. 
  • Questioning – targeted for challenge and accessibility. 
  • Checking for understanding – particular focus on checking the learning of Disadvantaged students. 
  • Sharing success criteria/objectives and careful modelling.  
  • Explicit focus on literacy and vocabulary. 
  • Feedback to students linked to 7 principles – verbal and written
  • Participation in Readathon (We are a Readathon Champion School 2019) Raising around £1500/£2000 a year. 
  • Targeted use of Accelerated Reader to support Reading development at KS3. 
  • Ilkley Literature Poetry competition winner (Yr7,8,9) – Children’s and Young people’s Poetry Competition 2021 

REACH values in English

RESPECT in English means…

Reading a wide variety of viewpoints and summarising and responding to those perspectives with a mature, independent voice.

Respecting the viewpoints of those from within and outside our identified culture.

Showing consideration and kindness in debate and class discussions.

Making considered responses to teacher and peer feedback.

EXCELLENCE in English means…

Expressing your original and critical response to both fiction and non-fiction texts.

Writing creatively with high levels of accuracy and ambitious vocabulary.

Making connections across texts and appreciating the impact of cultural context.

Analysing writers’ methods and applying terminology securely.

Reading widely, from fiction across time periods to critical theory.

ADVENTURE in English means…

Having the confidence to share your own opinions and interpretations of texts.

Pushing your thinking by asking probing questions of your teacher and peers.

Learning new vocabulary and trying to write and read in new forms and genres.

Inquiring about your topic outside of school by carrying out independent research and wider reading.

COMMITMENT in English means…

Attending all your lessons fully prepared and ready to learn and be challenged.

Applying yourself to reading, writing and speaking tasks in lesson with drive and enthusiasm.

Valuing and embracing the rounded educational opportunity English offers.

Striving to be resilient and bold in your attitude, even when you find it difficult.

HONESTY in English means…

Reflecting on your own behaviour for learning and changing your approach and attitude accordingly.

Knowing the work you produce in English is your best effort.

Responding to gaps in your knowledge and skills in English by acting on learning targets.

Curriculum overviews

English - Year 11(pdf)

Created July 2023

English – Year 10(pdf)

Created July 2023

English – Year 7(pdf)

Created July 2023

English – Year 8(pdf)

Created July 2023

English – Year 9(pdf)

Created July 2023


Harrogate Grammar School is part of Red Kite Learning Trust, a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 7523507, registered office address: Red Kite Office, Pannal Ash Road, Harrogate, HG2 9PH

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