Access Key Definitions
Skip navigation
Access key details
Home page
Latest updates
Site map
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Terms and conditions
National Curriculum

English and the national curriculum aims

English has a distinctive contribution to make to the aims of the national curriculum. The programme of study for English provides opportunities to plan sequences of work, learning outcomes and teaching approaches that develop:

Successful learners

The curriculum aim of developing successful learners that are literate, creative and enquiring, able to communicate clearly and work both independently and collaboratively is at the heart of the programme of study for English and links strongly to pupils’ experience of the curriculum as a whole.

The key concept of competence in English is essential for learning to be successful. This centres on being clear, coherent and accurate in written and spoken communication, as well as being adaptable to the demands of different contexts.

Successful learners can work independently and cooperate with others to reach a common goal. These qualities are part of the programme of study for English. The key processes for speaking and listening ensure that pupils are able to work in groups, making relevant contributions and responding appropriately.

Confident individuals

The curriculum aims to develop confident learners that have a sense of self-worth, secure values and beliefs and are independent and relate well to others.

The programme of study for English ensures that students are equipped with the essential knowledge, skills and understanding to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life and work. The programme of study for English also provides an environment for students to explore their own values and beliefs. By recognising and discussing different interpretations of texts, connecting ideas and issues, students learn to respond with confidence, developing logical arguments and justifying their own views with evidence.

Group discussions and drama activities allow students to develop confidence in performance. They also provide opportunities for them to work collaboratively, taking collective responsibility for completing a piece of work successfully and receiving feedback on how to improve.

Responsible citizens

Students’ experience of reading at key stage 4 encourages them to engage with moral dilemmas and think about issues in new ways, contributing to their understanding of what it means to be a responsible citizen. Reading texts at key stage 4 should help students 'move beyond [their present situation] to experience different times, cultures, viewpoints and situations'. This, and the study of ‘texts that enable students to appreciate the quality and distinctiveness of texts from different cultures and traditions’, help students respect others, understand cultures and views other than their own and have a strong sense of their own place in the world.

The programme of study for English encourages students to write and speak in a range of purposeful contexts, helping them to become confident communicators, developing their sense of responsibility and preparing them effectively for life and work.

Back to top