Inspiring young people to transform our world 

Our mission is to ensure that every single student is inspired to become a motivated reader, imaginative writer and eloquent speaker. We have high expectations of ourselves as professionals and high expectations of our students.  

We believe the study of English is about much more than exam results. As teachers, we are serious about developing our own teaching expertise. Therefore, it is our responsibility to hone our pedagogical craft by researching, sharing and deliberately practising our skills.  

We want to educate, engage and inspire our students to find their voices and participate in the conversations of our society, whether these are themes of politics, race, culture, identity or gender.  

We want to challenge our students to use a range of thinking skills and communication tools taught using the highest quality curriculum. We strive to ensure that this curriculum constantly grows to become more accessible and relevant to students of all backgrounds and abilities. 

Our Intent for Reading  

We aim for our children to be fluent, expressive and confident readers who enjoy reading and therefore read regularly.   

Our Intent for Writing  

We aim for our children to be accurate, expressive and confident writers who can write academically and creatively at length. They have the ability to craft, edit and adapt their writing.

Our Intent for Vocabulary  

We aim for our children to know and use a wide range of tier two and three vocabulary. Children will understand the nuances and impact of language choices. 

Our Intent for Oracy  

We aim for our children to be articulate, expressive and confident speakers who can speak academically and creatively at length for a range of audiences. They have the ability to modify their speech according to context. 

Year 7

In Year 7, students begin the year by studying Heroes and Villains. This builds on KS2 by developing students’ inference skills and teaches them to craft their own characters. Subsequent learning takes students through Epic Journeys in The Hobbit; Noughts and Crosses – The Play; The Art of Rhetoric; Introduction to Shakespeare and finally, Lost Voices in Poetry.  

Year 8

The Year 8 curriculum is designed to develop the skills and knowledge gained from year 7, through an exciting mix of modern fiction, story writing and drama. Students have the opportunity to read and then practise writing their own dystopian texts, from ‘The Hunger Games’ to ‘1984’ and beyond. Students also build their cultural capital and knowledge of local heritage through travel writing; explore modern fiction in  ‘A Tulip Touch’ and begin to analyse poetry at greater depth, exploring conflicts of the mind. Students finish the year by continuing the theme of a ‘flawed character’ in the Shakespeare play Macbeth. Throughout the year, students build on what/how/why skills begun in year 7.

Year 9

Year 9 English at Plympton Academy aims to motivate, inspire and challenge all students, in order to prepare them for the rigour of their KS4 curriculum. 

Students begin with a dystopian novel, How I Live Now; develop their creative writing skills in a ‘What Future?’ unit; merge the darker themes of dystopia with themes of war and conflict in the play - Journey’s End. The themes of war and conflict are then continued in a range of war poetry from a variety of perspectives. Students begin the summer term by developing their Oracy in powerful speeches through ‘Prejudice and Protest’, finishing with Blood Brothers the play.

Years 10 and 11

Students follow the AQA syllabus and the qualification is structured as follows:

English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in creative reading and writing

  • 1 hour 45 minutes

  • 50% of overall grade

  • Reading section requires students to respond to a piece of fiction

  • Writing section offers the students to demonstrate their creative writing skills through a narrative or descriptive task.

Paper 2: Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives

  • 1 hour 45 minutes

  • 50% of overall grade

  • Reading section asks students to respond to two texts, one of which could be from 19th

  • Writing section requires students to write an extended piece developing their own viewpoint.

Spoken Language

  • All students will be assessed on their spoken language skills which will be accredited separately.

English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th-Century novel

  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 40% of the overall grade
  • One question on a Shakespeare play which students will have studied in class
  • One question on a 19th-Century novel which students will have studied in class
  • Currently the chosen play and novel are: ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’.

Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry

  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • 60% of the overall grade
  • One question on a modern prose text or play
  • One question comparing two poems, one of which students will have studied in class
  • One question on an unseen poem
  • Currently the chosen texts are ‘An Inspector Calls,’ or ‘Blood Brothers’ (play) and the chosen poetry cluster from the AQA anthology is ‘Power and Conflict’. These choices are subject to change.