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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. 

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 who have a sense of self-worth, secure values and beliefs and are independent and relate well to others.

The programme of study for English provides an environment for pupils to explore their own values and beliefs. By recognising and discussing different interpretations of texts and connecting ideas and issues, pupils learn to respond with confidence, developing logical arguments and justifying their own views with evidence. Group discussions and drama activities allow pupils 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

Pupils’ experience of reading at key stage 3 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 3 should help pupils 'move beyond [their present situation] to experience different times, cultures, viewpoints and situations'. This, and the study of ‘texts that enable pupils to appreciate the quality and distinctiveness of texts from different cultures and traditions’, helps pupils 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 pupils to write and speak in a range of purposeful contexts, helping them to become confident communicators, developing their sense of responsibility and preparing them for life and work.

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