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National Curriculum

English key stage 4 - Programme of study

Statutory content

Programme of study for key stage 4

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The programme of learning is made up of:

Importance of English key stage 4

English is vital for communicating with others in school and in the wider world, and is fundamental to learning in all curriculum subjects. In studying English, students develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing that they will need to participate in society and employment. Students learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others confidently and effectively.

Literature in English is rich and influential. It reflects the experiences of people from many countries and times and contributes to our sense of cultural identity. Students learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts, gaining access to the pleasure and world of knowledge that reading offers. Looking at the patterns, structures, origins and conventions of English helps students understand how language works. Using this understanding, students can choose and adapt what they say and write in different situations, as well as appreciate and interpret the choices made by other writers and speakers.

Key concepts of English key stage 4

There are a number of key concepts that underpin the study of English. Students need to understand these concepts in order to deepen and broaden their knowledge, skills and understanding. These essential concepts promote students’ progress in speaking and listening, reading and writing.

1.1 Competence

  1. Expressing complex ideas and information clearly, precisely and accurately in spoken and written communication.

  2. Reading, understanding the detail and gaining an overview of texts from a wide range of sources, including those found beyond the classroom.

  3. Demonstrating a secure understanding of the conventions of written language, including grammar, spelling and punctuation.

  4. Applying and transferring skills in a wide range of contexts, demonstrating flexibility and adaptability.

  5. Making independent judgements about how to communicate effectively and sustain formal interaction, particularly in unfamiliar contexts.

1.2 Creativity

  1. Making fresh connections between ideas, experiences, texts and words, drawing on a rich experience of language and literature.

  2. Experimenting with language, manipulating form, challenging conventions and reinterpreting ideas.

  3. Using imagination to create effects to surprise and engage the audience.

  4. Using creative approaches to answering questions, solving problems and developing ideas.

1.3 Cultural understanding

  1. Understanding that texts from the English literary heritage have been influential and significant over time and exploring their meaning today.

  2. Exploring how texts from different cultures and traditions influence values, assumptions and sense of identity.

  3. Understanding how spoken and written language evolve in response to changes in society and technology and how this process relates to identity and cultural diversity.

1.4 Critical understanding

  1. Engaging with the details of ideas and texts.

  2. Connecting ideas, themes and issues, drawing on a range of texts.

  3. Forming independent views and challenging what is heard or read on the grounds of logic, evidence or argument.

  4. Analysing and evaluating spoken and written language to explore their impact on the audience.

Explanatory text

Competence: Competence in reading, writing and speaking and listening enables students to be successful and engage with the world beyond the classroom. They are able to communicate effectively and function in a wide range of situations and contexts. Competence includes being able to speak or write correctly, read or listen reliably and accurately and, beyond this, being able to adapt to the demands of work or study and be successful.

Creativity: Students show creativity when they make unexpected connections, use striking and original phrases or images, approach tasks from a variety of starting points, or change forms to surprise and engage the reader. Creativity can be encouraged by providing purposeful opportunities for students to experiment, build on ideas or follow their own interests. Creativity in English extends beyond narrative and poetry to other forms and uses of language. It is essential in allowing students to progress to higher levels of understanding and become independent.

Cultural understanding: Through English, students learn about the great traditions of English literature and about how modern writers see the world today. Through the study of language and literature, students compare texts from different cultures and traditions. They develop understanding of continuity and contrast, and gain an appreciation of the linguistic heritages that contribute to the richness of spoken and written language. Comparing texts helps students to explore ideas of cultural excellence and allows them to engage with new ways in which culture develops. It also enables them to explore the culture of their society, the groups in which they participate and questions of local and national identity.

Critical understanding: Students develop critical understanding when they examine uses of language and forms of media and communication, including literary texts, information texts and the spoken word. Developing critical skills allows students to challenge ideas, interpretations and assumptions on the grounds of logic, evidence or argument, and is essential if they are to form and express their own views independently.

Key processes of English key stage 4

These are the essential skills and processes in English that students need to learn to make progress.

2.1 Speaking and listening

Students should be able to:

  1. speak fluently, adapting talk to a wide range of familiar and unfamiliar contexts and purposes, including those requiring confident and fluent use of standard English

  2. present information clearly and persuasively to others, selecting the most appropriate way to structure and organise their speech for clarity and effect

  3. select from strategies to adapt speaking and listening flexibly in different circumstances

  4. reflect and comment critically on their own and others’ performances

  5. listen to complex information and respond critically, constructively and cogently in order to clarify points and challenge ideas

  6. synthesise what they hear, separating key ideas from detail and illustration

  7. judge the intentions and standpoint of a speaker

  8. listen with sensitivity, judging when intervention is appropriate

  9. take different roles in organising, planning and sustaining discussion in a range of formal and informal contexts

  10. work purposefully in groups, negotiating and building on the contributions of others to complete tasks or reach consensus

  11. use a range of dramatic approaches to explore complex ideas, texts and issues in scripted and improvised work

  12. select different dramatic techniques to convey action, character, atmosphere and tension, and justify choices

  13. evaluate drama performances that they have watched or taken part in.

2.2 Reading

Reading for meaning

Students should be able to:

  1. analyse and evaluate information, events and ideas from texts

  2. understand how meaning is constructed within sentences and across texts as a whole

  3. recognise subtlety, ambiguity and allusion within sentences and across texts as a whole

  4. develop and sustain independent interpretations of what they read, supporting them with detailed textual reference

  5. select, compare, summarise and synthesise information from different texts and use it to form their own ideas, arguments and opinions

  6. reflect on the origin and purpose of texts and assess their usefulness, recognising bias, opinion, implicit meaning and abuse of evidence

  7. relate texts to their social and historical contexts and to the literary traditions of which they are a part

  8. recognise and evaluate the ways in which texts may be interpreted differently according to the perspective of the reader

  9. analyse and evaluate the impact of combining words, images and sounds in media, moving-image and multimodal texts.

The author’s craft

Students should be able to:

  1. analyse and evaluate writers’ use of language in a range of texts, commenting precisely on how texts are crafted to shape meaning and produce particular effects

  2. identify the purposes of texts, analysing and evaluating how writers structure and organise ideas to shape meaning for particular audiences and readers

  3. analyse and evaluate how form, layout and presentation contribute to effect

  4. compare texts, looking at style, theme and language and exploring connections and contrasts

  5. compare and analyse the connections between texts from different cultures and traditions.

2.3 Writing


Students should be able to:

  1. write imaginatively, creatively and thoughtfully, producing texts that interest, engage and challenge the reader

  2. write fluently, adapting style and language to a wide range of forms, contexts and purposes

  3. present information and ideas on complex subjects concisely, logically and persuasively

  4. establish and sustain a consistent point of view in fiction and non-fiction writing

  5. use a range of ways to structure whole texts to give clarity and emphasis

  6. use clearly demarcated paragraphs to develop and organise meaning

  7. use a wide variety of sentence structures to support the purpose of the task, giving clarity and emphasis and creating specific effects, and to extend, link and develop ideas

  8. support and strengthen their own views by incorporating different kinds of evidence from a range of sources

  9. select appropriate persuasive techniques and rhetorical devices

  10. draw on their reading and knowledge of linguistic and literary forms when composing their writing

  11. summarise and take notes

  12. use planning, drafting, editing, proofreading and self-evaluation to revise and craft their writing for maximum impact.

Technical accuracy

Students should be able to:

  1. use the grammatical features of written standard English accurately to structure a wide range of sentence types for particular purposes and effect

  2. use the full range of punctuation marks accurately and for deliberate effect

  3. spell correctly, including words that do not conform to regular patterns and words that are sometimes confused in use.

Explanatory text

Familiar and unfamiliar contexts: Familiar contexts could include speaking in the classroom to peers or adults who are well known to students. Unfamiliar contexts could include speaking to groups of younger pupils, making formal presentations in, for example, Young Enterprise groups, talking to visitors or adults who are employers or members of the wider community, and conducting interviews.

Standard English: When teaching standard English, it is helpful to bear in mind the most common non-standard usages in the UK for subject–verb agreement (they was), formation of past tense (have fell, I done), formation of negatives (I ain’t), formation of adverbs (come quick), use of demonstrative pronouns (them books), use of pronouns (me and him went), use of prepositions (out the door).

Structure and organise their speech: This includes chronologically, logically, in order of importance, by point/counterpoint or question/answer. It also includes judging appropriate use of ICT as a means of presentation.

Strategies: These are used in situations where the full range of contextual clues is not available, for example to establish the context and relationship in a telephone conversation. Strategies could include varying tone and pace, reiterating, questioning and reframing to establish clarity.

Listen to complex information: This develops the ability to follow ideas through complex material. It requires flexibility, comparison of opposing ideas, synthesis and selection of information from what is heard, and an understanding of where and when new ideas could be introduced. It develops the ability to look at an idea from different perspectives. It also develops the ability to hold different interpretations, and to evaluate their validity in the light of shifts in discussion.

Judge the intentions and standpoint of a speaker: This includes distinguishing tone and undertone, and recognising when a speaker uses and abuses evidence, makes unsubstantiated statements or is being deliberately ambiguous.

Take different roles: In formal situations this could include chairing, introducing or summarising a debate or discussion. In informal situations it could include mediating, arbitrating and negotiating to reach consensus or resolve conflict. Taking on different roles allows students to make a variety of contributions and to challenge ideas constructively in order to move discussions forward.

Range of dramatic approaches: This includes tableaux, hot seating, role play, teacher in role, ‘thought tracking’, forum theatre and ‘conscience corridor’.

Different dramatic techniques: These could include: varying volume, tone and pace, use of pause, gesture, movement and staging, choral speaking, monologue and dramatic irony. These apply to both scripted and improvised performances.

Evaluate drama performances: This involves making informed, evaluative judgements about the impact of a performance on the audience, relating the experience to previous knowledge and comparing different interpretations. It involves developing understanding of how the elements of a performance contribute to the overall dramatic effect.

Reading: On paper and on screen as appropriate.

How meaning is constructed within sentences: This could include recognising the effect of different connectives, identifying how phrases and clauses build relevant detail and information, understanding how modal or qualifying words or phrases build shades of meaning, and understanding how the use of adverbials, prepositional phrases and non-finite clauses gives clarity and emphasis to meaning.

Reflect on the origin and purpose: This involves looking at how texts reflect the purposes for which they were written and the impact they were intended to have on the reader. Texts could come from commercial organisations, employers, government sources, political and charity campaigns and websites.

Relate texts to their social and historical contexts: This could include relating the way women are presented in literature to the attitudes and behaviours of a particular period, and understanding that attitudes and behaviours change over time. Connections and contrasts between texts could be explored by looking at how writers from different periods and traditions approach similar themes or ideas.

Multimodal texts: Multimodal texts combine two or more modes of communication (eg written, aural and visual) to create meaning. Examples include the combination of words and images in a newspaper or magazine, the combination of words, images, video clips and sound on a website or CD-ROM, or the combination of images, speech and sound in moving-image texts.

How texts are crafted: This could include use of emotive language, subtleties in vocabulary choice, use of irony, use of the passive voice, shifts in pace or tense, choice of personal pronoun, use of modal verbs (eg can, could, must, would, shall, may) and use of rhetorical and literary techniques.

Structure and organise ideas: This could include linking paragraphs in a variety of ways (eg thematically or temporally) or varying paragraphs to support the purpose of the text (eg using single-sentence paragraphs to clinch an argument, or contrasting longer and shorter paragraphs to convey tension). For non-linear and multimodal texts, it could include using links and hyperlinks or interactive content on websites or CD-ROMs, or editing and sequencing shots in moving-image texts.

Writing: On paper and on screen as appropriate.

Present information and ideas on complex subjects: This should include producing pieces of extended writing on unfamiliar topics that require research and the collation of information from a range of sources.

Structure whole texts: This includes using features of whole-text cohesion that clearly signal the overall direction of the text to the reader (eg opening paragraphs that introduce themes and suggest direction and scope, and conclusions that summarise and consolidate).

Use clearly demarcated paragraphs to develop and organise meaning: This includes constructing paragraphs to support meaning and purpose between paragraphs (eg using chronological or cataphoric and anaphoric references) and a range of devices that support cohesion within paragraphs (eg pronouns, connectives, and adverbials as sentence starters). It also includes using presentational features that create impact and guide the reader (eg the placement of text on the page, headings, subheadings, bullet points, captions, font style or size, bold, italics).

Different kinds of evidence: This could include statistics, anecdote, visual material such as graphs, or quotations from authoritative sources.

Techniques and rhetorical devices: This could include use of irony, rhetorical questions, humour, hyperbole, repetition, emotive language, evidence, antithesis, comparison, euphemism, figures of speech, deliberate use of cliché, and balanced structures.

Linguistic and literary forms: This could include using particular forms for writing poetry, using pastiche and parody to demonstrate understanding of stylistic features, using satire and caricature, experimenting with different narrative voices, and understanding and using key features of literary genres.

Range and content of English key stage 4

This section outlines the breadth of the subject on which teachers should draw when teaching the key concepts and key processes.

The study of English should enable students to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding to relevant real-world situations.

3.1 Speaking and listening

The range of speaking and listening activities should include:

  1. prepared, formal presentations and debates in contexts where the audience and topic are unfamiliar

  2. informal and formal group or pair discussions requiring students to take on a range of roles

  3. individual and group improvisation and performance.

The range of purposes for speaking and listening should include:

  1. describing, narrating, explaining, informing, persuading, entertaining, hypothesising; and exploring and expressing ideas, feelings and opinions. The stimulus for speaking and listening activities should include those drawn from work contexts and other real-life uses.

3.2 Reading

The texts chosen should:

  1. be of high quality, among the best of their type, that will encourage students to appreciate their characteristics and how, in some cases, they have influenced culture and thinking

  2. be interesting and engaging, allowing students to explore their present situation or move beyond it to experience different times, cultures, viewpoints and situations

  3. be challenging, using language imaginatively to create new meanings and effects, and encouraging students to try such writing for themselves

  4. allow students to experience depth and breadth in their reading, enabling them to make connections across texts.

The range of literature studied should include:

  1. stories, poetry and drama drawn from different historical times, including contemporary writers

  2. texts that enable students to understand the nature, significance and influence over time of texts from the English literary heritage. This should include work selected from the following pre-twentieth-century writers: Matthew Arnold, Jane Austen, William Blake, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, Robert Browning, John Bunyan, Lord Byron, Geoffrey Chaucer, William Congreve, John Clare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Wilkie Collins, Joseph Conrad, Daniel Defoe, Charles Dickens, John Donne, John Dryden, George Eliot, Henry Fielding, Elizabeth Gaskell, Oliver Goldsmith, Thomas Hardy, George Herbert, Robert Herrick, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Henry James, John Keats, Christopher Marlowe, Andrew Marvell, John Milton, Alexander Pope, Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, RB Sheridan, Edmund Spenser, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jonathan Swift, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Anthony Trollope, Henry Vaughan, HG Wells, Oscar Wilde, William Wordsworth and Sir Thomas Wyatt

  3. texts that enable students to make connections between experiences across time and literary traditions

  4. texts that enable students to analyse the values and assumptions of writing from different cultures and traditions, relating and connecting them to their own experience

  5. at least one play by Shakespeare.

The range of non-fiction and non-literary texts studied should include:

  1. forms such as journalism, travel writing, essays, reportage, literary non-fiction, print media and multimodal texts including film and television

  2. purposes such as to instruct, inform, explain, describe, analyse, review, discuss and persuade.

3.3 Writing

In their writing students should:

  1. develop and sustain ideas, themes, imagery, settings and characters when writing to imagine, explore and entertain

  2. analyse and evaluate subject matter, supporting views and opinions with a range of evidence

  3. develop and sustain ideas and views cogently and persuasively

  4. use formal, impersonal and concise expression to explain or describe information and ideas relevantly and clearly.

The forms for such writing should be drawn from different kinds of:

  1. stories, poems, play scripts, autobiographies, screenplays, diaries, minutes, accounts, information leaflets, plans, summaries, brochures, advertisements, editorials, articles and letters conveying opinions, campaign literature, polemics, reviews, commentaries, articles, essays and reports.

3.4 Language structure and variation

The study of English should include, across speaking and listening, reading and writing:

  1. spoken language variation and attitudes to use of standard and non-standard forms

  2. the ways in which language reflects identity through regional, social and personal variation and diversity

  3. the differences between spoken and written language in terms of vocabulary, structure and grammar

  4. the importance of sentence grammar and whole-text cohesion and their impact in writing

  5. the development of English, including its development over time, current influences, borrowings from other languages, origins of words and the impact of technology on spoken and written communication

  6. the importance and influence of English as a global language.

Explanatory text

High quality: Both fiction and non-fiction texts selected must be rich and substantial enough to engage readers intellectually and emotionally. High-quality texts encourage students to explore ideas, themes and language in ways that relate to their own experiences, and also develop their understanding of less familiar viewpoints and situations.

Influenced culture and thinking: This includes texts that are widely known, referred to and quoted, and have become part of the cultural fabric of society through their language and the way in which they present ideas, themes and issues. They could be texts that stimulate social conscience and challenge preconceptions and particular viewpoints. They provide social and cultural commentaries that illuminate, provoke and encourage reflection.

Explore their present situation: The choice of texts should be informed by the cultural context of the school and experiences of the students. It could include texts that:

  • help students explore their own sense of identity and reflect on their own values, attitudes and assumptions about other people, times and places, either through continuity or contrast with their own experiences

  • explore common experiences in different and unfamiliar contexts (time, place and culture).

Make connections across texts: Clustering texts according to themes that cut across periods and genres is particularly useful in supporting an integrated approach to teaching. Themes could include images of men and women, place and identity, and narrative voice/viewpoint.

Contemporary writers: This includes texts written for young people as well as adults and a wide range of recent and contemporary writing, such as historical, crime, science fiction and fantasy. Students should be encouraged to be ambitious in their reading, experimenting with new texts, authors and genres, particularly in their individual reading.

Texts appropriate for study at key stage 4 include some works by the following authors: Douglas Adams, Richard Adams, Fleur Adcock, Isabel Allende, Simon Armitage, Alan Ayckbourn, JG Ballard, Pat Barker, Alan Bennett, Alan Bleasdale, Bill Bryson, Angela Carter, Bruce Chatwin, Brian Clark, Gillian Clarke, Robert Cormier, Jennifer Donnelly, Keith Douglas, Roddy Doyle, Carol Ann Duffy, UA Fanthorpe, John Fowles, Brian Friel, Mark Haddon, Willis Hall, David Hare, Tony Harrison, Susan Hill, SE Hinton, Jackie Kay, Harper Lee, Laurie Lee, Andrea Levy, Joan Lingard, Penelope Lively, Liz Lochhead, Mal Peet, Peter Porter, Philip Pullman, Willy Russell, Jo Shapcott and Zadie Smith.

Other appropriate contemporary writers are included in the list of writers from different cultures and traditions (below).

The English literary heritage: This includes authors with an enduring appeal that transcends the period in which they were writing. For example, the novels of Jane Austen or the plays of Shakespeare continue to be widely read, studied and reinterpreted in print and on screen for contemporary audiences. The study of texts by these authors should be based on whole texts and presented in ways that will engage students (eg supported by the use of film resources and drama activities).

Writers from the English literary heritage during the twentieth century include: Kingsley Amis, WH Auden, TS Eliot, EM Forster, Robert Frost, William Golding, Graham Greene, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Aldous Huxley, Elizabeth Jennings, James Joyce, Philip Larkin, DH Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield, Sean O’Casey, George Orwell, Wilfred Owen, Harold Pinter, Sylvia Plath, JB Priestley, Siegfried Sassoon, Peter Shaffer, George Bernard Shaw, RC Sherriff, Stevie Smith, Muriel Spark, Dylan Thomas, Edward Thomas, RS Thomas, William Trevor, Evelyn Waugh, Arnold Wesker, John Wyndham and WB Yeats.

From different cultures and traditions: When choosing texts from different cultures and traditions, it is important to look for authors who are so familiar with a particular culture or country that they represent it sensitively and with understanding. The texts should help students learn about the literature of another culture, as well as reflect on their own experiences. Texts appropriate for study at key stage 4 include some works by the following authors: Chinua Achebe, John Agard, Monica Ali, Moniza Alvi, Maya Angelou, Isaac Bashevis Singer, James Berry, Edward Braithwaite, Anita Desai, Emily Dickinson, F Scott Fitzgerald, Athol Fugard, Jamila Gavin, Nadine Gordimer, Doris Lessing, Arthur Miller, Les Murray, Beverly Naidoo, RK Narayan, Grace Nichols, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Bali Rai, Wole Soyinka, John Steinbeck, Meera Syal, Mildred D Taylor, Mark Twain, Derek Walcott, Walt Whitman, Tennessee Williams, Adeline Yen Mah and Benjamin Zephaniah. The study of texts by these authors should be based on whole texts and presented in ways that will engage students.

At least one play by Shakespeare: The study of Shakespeare should be based on whole texts, presented in lively, active ways that encourage students to develop independent, critical interpretations and responses. Students develop their interpretive and analytical skills through seeing the play in terms of its social and historical context and significance.

The ways in which language reflects identity: These could include accent, dialect, idiolect, lexical change, varieties of standard English such as Creole, occupational variation, and differences in language use according to age or gender.

Curriculum opportunities of English key stage 4

During the key stage students should be offered the following opportunities that are integral to their learning and enhance their engagement with the concepts, processes and content of the subject.

4.1 Speaking and listening

The curriculum should provide opportunities for students to:

  1. build their confidence in speaking and listening in unfamiliar situations and to audiences beyond the classroom

  2. use their speaking and listening skills to solve problems creatively and cooperatively in groups

  3. engage in specific activities that develop speaking and listening skills as well as activities that integrate speaking and listening with reading and writing

  4. make extended, independent contributions that develop ideas in depth

  5. make purposeful presentations that allow them to speak with authority on significant subjects

  6. develop speaking and listening skills through work that makes cross-curricular links with other subjects

  7. evaluate and respond constructively to their own and others’ performances

  8. watch live performances in the theatre wherever possible and consider how action, character, atmosphere, tension and themes are conveyed

  9. participate in debate, discussion, live talks and presentations, engaging in dialogue with experts, members of the community and unfamiliar adults

  10. discuss issues of local, national and global concern.

4.2 Reading

The curriculum should provide opportunities for students to:

  1. develop independence in reading, encouraging them to become lifelong, discerning readers

  2. discuss and share their personal reading interests and preferences, encouraging individual reading for pleasure

  1. engage with whole texts in sustained ways

  2. read texts that provide the best models for their own writing

  3. respond to and act upon texts they have read

  4. develop reading skills through work that makes cross-curricular links with other subjects

  5. meet and talk with writers and other readers

  6. become involved in events and activities that inspire reading

  7. engage with texts that challenge preconceptions and develop understanding beyond the personal and immediate.

4.3 Writing

The curriculum should provide opportunities for students to:

  1. develop independence in writing on paper and on screen

  2. produce extended writing to develop their ideas in depth and detail

  3. experiment with language and explore different ways of discovering and shaping their own meanings

  4. use writing as a means of reflecting on and exploring a range of views and perspectives on the world

  5. evaluate their own and others’ writing in terms of impact and fitness for purpose and redraft their own work in the light of feedback

  6. develop writing skills through work that makes cross-curricular links with other subjects

  7. work in sustained and practical ways, with writers where possible, to learn about the art, craft and discipline of writing

  8. write in real contexts, for a range of audiences.

Explanatory text

Unfamiliar situations and to audiences beyond the classroom: Speaking and listening in unfamiliar situations prepares students to operate with confidence in the world outside school. Students need opportunities to make independent judgements about their audience and to engage in discussion with people whose responses may be less predictable than those of their teachers or peers. Contexts could include vocational contexts (eg interviews during work experience) and community contexts (eg council and public meetings, working with students and pupils in other secondary and primary schools, interviewing residents about local issues).

Purposeful presentations: Wherever possible, presentations should have valid contexts and real outcomes that involve communicating ideas and information to an audience. They could include the use of technology, such as video and audio materials, slides and other visual aids. They could also include collaborative work, such as dramatisations, practical demonstrations or displays, and informative talks.

Cross-curricular links with other subjects: These include using speaking and listening skills developed in English in other subjects (eg for coaching, mentoring and providing feedback in peer assessment in PE).

Respond to and act upon texts: The skills involved in reading, assimilating and taking action on written information are encountered in a wide range of contexts, including the workplace and other public settings. Opportunities to develop these skills could be provided by simulation or in-tray activities and situations where text can be used as a stimulus for responsive and interactive activities such as role play.

Cross-curricular links with other subjects: These include using reading skills developed in English in other subjects (eg assessing the validity of a range of sources in history or interpreting data in geography) or using themes and ideas from other subjects to provide a purposeful context for reading in English.

Meet and talk with writers and other readers: This could include attending author readings, visiting writers or writers in residence, taking part in seminars given by higher education institutions, interacting with writers via the internet and sharing peer reviews and recommendations.

Events and activities that inspire reading: These could include book groups, literary festivals, Children’s Book Week, working with younger pupils to establish reading groups, and organising events such as Carnegie shadowing.

Range of views: This could include responses in online forums to local, national and international issues, and articles on current issues and concerns.

Redraft their own work in the light of feedback: This could include self-evaluation using success criteria, recording and reviewing performances, target-setting and formal and informal use of peer assessment. Redrafting should be purposeful, moving beyond proofreading for errors to the reshaping of whole texts or parts of texts.

Cross-curricular links with other subjects: This includes using writing skills developed in English in other subjects (eg developing a written response for a particular audience about global warming in science).

Work in sustained and practical ways, with writers where possible: This could include taking part in a series of workshops or having ongoing interactions with writers via the internet. Writers could include writers of fiction, poetry, travel writing, journalism and biography, who may be experienced writers but not necessarily professionals. Students should have opportunities to showcase their work, eg through publication on websites or in print.

Write in real contexts: This enables students to see writing as a powerful tool to achieve a purpose.

Range of audiences: This could include employers, businesses, charities, colleges, local residents, local and national newspapers and politicians, multinational organisations and interest groups.

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