St Ursula’s School

English Curriculum Intent

English Language and Literature at St Ursula’s is the study of the written and spoken word, and how it is used to educate, challenge, entertain, and express opinions, ideas and desires.

We see the study of English as the foundation to a well-rounded education. Through literature and language, students are given the opportunity to hear, and consider, a variety of voices across history, and the vast range of ideas, feelings and experiences these texts reflect. Reading for pleasure is strongly encouraged, discussed and supported, as a means of self-discovery and empathy. We believe that the skills we give our students equip them to, in the words of our Ursuline pledge, ‘challenge what is wrong and fight for what is right’.

At Key Stage Three and Four our curriculum is wide, rich and exciting, comprising new and modern, culturally diverse and literary heritage texts. Literary study involves the close analysis of texts chosen to engage, challenge and reflect our students’ social and racial identity. A highly qualified team of specialists, we use our mastery, expertise and deep substantive knowledge to teach these texts in an inspiring and passionate way. We equip students with the skills to question and critique literature’s representation of people, place and events, as well as the notion of the literary canon, and the historical tendency to consider voices outside of that canon as ‘other’. We ensure that we expose our students to a range of literature, from the English literary canon to texts from cultures around the world to ensure they appreciate the rich diversity of literature that exists. The range of nonfiction included in our curriculum, ensures students gain access to great written and spoken texts such as famous speeches and autobiography extracts in order to widen their knowledge of and exposure to a range of social justice issues.

We believe that it is great readers who become articulate speakers and writers. Students are given the skills to be courageous, experimental and creative in the written and spoken word, as well as self-reflective, and technically accurate communicators. Our exam results reflect our success in enabling students to be independent readers and writers, who are empathetic, expressive, and excited by the possibilities of language.

From the moment they start at St Ursula’s – we guide, encourage and support our students to become learners who are independent and collaborative, conscientious and curious, contemplative and ambitious.

Links to curriculum map:

Year 10

Year 11

Links to useful sites for KS4 students, parents and members of the public