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English

English at Deira International School

As an English department, our aim is to deliver a wide and varied curriculum that teaches students the skills needed to be proficient communicators in the real world. Our aim is to develop a passion and critical eye for language and literature in our students which will give them a solid basis for future study in any subject.  Our KS3 curriculum develops the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed at GCSE, IB level and beyond, with an emphasis on engagement and enjoyment through the texts that are studied.

Our curriculum aims to introduce students to a full range of literary and non-literary texts from a wide range of cultures and time-periods, thus developing their understanding of how language and literature reflect the world within which they were written, and how language reflects the identities and contexts of the writers.  The texts taught within the KS3 curriculum deliberately reflect the local and international contexts of our students, reflecting the range of nationalities within the student cohort and celebrating each student’s unique cultural diversity and identity.  The English curriculum contributes significantly to the wider curriculum of the school due to the focus on developing communication skills and their understanding of the written and spoken word as well as developing their ability to critically evaluate how language is used to achieve specific functions.  The department aims to create informed, inquisitive, empathetic and analytical pupils who can appreciate the world beyond their own experiences through language.

Please click on the arrow for a detailed breakdown:

Curriculum Intention  

Students’ work is divided into two topic-based units. Unit 1: Texts that Teach focuses on a variety of texts that teach the reader something about the world in which we live. The texts studied include a range of Aesop’s Fables, Greek Mythology and Autobiographical writing. Unit 2: Childhood and Identity centres around the text ‘The Breadwinner’ but will also link to a variety of other texts that relate to the theme.  In both units, students will interleave between the key skills that link to the National Curriculum as well as being closely linked to the GCSE assessment objectives. The skills they are developing in KS3 lead on from KS2 in that they are expanding on their ability to infer and interpret language, working on developing this into analysis of language and structure. 

Students are taught the following skills:  

Literature – Students secure the skill in ‘Point, evidence’ only, commenting on a character.

Language Reading – Students are able to identify how first-person writing is constructed in an engaging way through language and structure.   

Language Writing – Students learn how manipulate the structure of simple sentences by varying the subject of the sentence. This skill should be applied to the writing of simple narratives and biographical writing. The main focus in fiction and non-fiction is ‘show don’t tell’ developing convincing expression of emotions in both fiction and non-fiction writing.   

The thematic units specified in Year 7 (as in the rest of KS3) introduces the students to the full range of texts and genres that are addressed in the iGCSE and IB curriculum. Thematic interleaving of the skills ensures retention of information and regular implementation of skills in order to embed understanding. Each learning episode makes explicit references to the skills being assessed thereby developing students’ understanding of the curriculum and equipping them with the necessary skills and language for learning needed to take charge of their own learning experience. The scheme is also designed to find meaningful opportunities to link to British values, Emirati customs and the diverse student body at DIS. Tasks set are closely linked to developing the DIS10 in order to link to the IB.  Opportunities are also taken to incorporate analysis and creating of media texts using a range of digital platforms as well as speaking and listening tasks in the style of the IO. 

Curriculum Implementation    

Students are taught through various approaches and methods including:  

1. Overview of learning is clear at the beginning of each learning episode: Clear links made to the assessment objectives and what students are learning in that episode.

2. Progress of learning is clear using Blooms taxonomy verbs.

3. Lessons clearly structured with Learning Objectives and Success Criteria.

4. Each unit is centered around a theme that is central to the main topic.

5. Lessons are challenging and engaging with tailored differentiated tasks at every point in the lesson, scaffolding and grade 9 modelling to raise attainment and expectations.

6. Variety of tasks that include individual, paired and group work.

7. Self and peer assessment to inform learning.

8. Meaningful feedback with a focus on DIRT in order to ensure reflection on the next steps for progress. 

Assessment  

A variety of different assessment methods are used including: 

Formative assessment every 2-3 weeks covering the range of skills. End of unit assessment; a range of long and short answer exam style questions that reflect the structure and wording of an IGCSE English Language exam paper. PTE style spelling, grammar and comprehension tests. 

Wider Curriculum Opportunities 

1. Reading lesson allocated every fortnight 

2. The Big Read with book review tasks set regularly. 

3. Author visits. 

4. Emirates Literature Festival. 

5. Use of Digital Theatre platform to view productions until live productions resume post-Covid. 

6. Department leading on development of reading across the curriculum. 

7. Transition SOW with Year 6 proposed. Current students to be involved in teaching their peers the skills needed at KS3. 

Curriculum Impact  

Students will begin to build skills in the English focus areas of reading for English language, reading for English literature and writing for English language. They will be able to construct pieces of work that link to key concepts. Students should begin to draw parallels throughout the topics they have studied and be challenged to generate personal opinions.  

If asked, students will be able to articulate their progress in each of the English skills; explain how each skill links within their lessons and explain how they can continue to improve, specifically focused on their next assessment. 

Students will be able to explain not only why English is relevant according to the big picture of examinations, but also how it will support them in at least one real-world context. 

The aforementioned skills will be evident through: 

1. Extended fiction piece of writing (for their age group – targeted equivalent to National Curriculum Level 4 or above) 

2. Extended non-fiction piece of writing (for their age group – targeted equivalent to National Curriculum Level 4 or above)

3. Detailed literature analysis (for their age group – targeted equivalent to National Curriculum Level 4 or above)

4. Detailed language analysis (for their age group – targeted equivalent to National Curriculum Level 4 or above)

5. Public speaking1.

Curriculum Intention  

Students’ work is divided into two topic-based units.  Unit 1: Travelling and Telling focuses on a variety of texts that tell the reader about the context within which they were written as well as developing their ability to write about the world around them. Texts studied include a range of poetry from a variety of cultures as well as a selection of travel writing. Unit 2: Read All About It has a central text of the play ‘Fast’ but will also link to a variety of other texts that relate to the theme.  In both units, students will interleave between the key skills that link to the National Curriculum as well as being closely linked to the IGCSE assessment objectives. 

Students are taught the following skills: 

Literature – Students consolidate ‘Point, evidence’ begin to explain connotations, commenting on a character and the effect of place (location/time). Poetic terminology is explicitly taught alongside this unit.  
 
Language reading – Students are able to identify how setting is established through language – particular focus on sensory detail and anecdotal detail. Students are able to identify how events are reported in text, both fiction and non-fiction. 

Language writing – Students learn how to create vivid images in both fiction and non-fiction writing via specific use of verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs and progressing into figurative writing. Students focus on reporting information, specialising in prepositions, adverbials, direct and indirect speech. Figurative writing skills are developed in their descriptive writing. 

The thematic units specified in Year 8 (as in the rest of KS3) introduces the students to the full range of texts and genres that are addressed in the IGCSE and IB curriculum. Thematic interleaving of the skills ensures retention of information and regular implementation of skills in order to embed understanding. Each learning episode makes explicit references to the skills being assessed thereby developing students’ understanding of the curriculum and equipping them with the necessary skills and language for learning needed to take charge of their own learning experience. The scheme is also designed to find meaningful opportunities to link to British values, Emirati customs and the diverse student body at DIS. Tasks set are closely linked to developing the DIS10 in order to link to the IB.  Opportunities are also taken to incorporate analysis and creating of media texts using a range of digital platforms as well as speaking and listening tasks in the style of the IO. 

Curriculum Implementation  

 Students are taught through various approaches and methods including: 

1. Overview of learning is clear at the beginning of each learning episode: Clear links made to the assessment objectives and what they are learning in that episode. 

2. Progress of learning is clear using Blooms taxonomy verbs. 

3. Lessons clearly structured with Learning Objectives and Success Criteria. 

4. Each unit is centered around a theme that is central to the main topic. 

5. Lessons are challenging and engaging with tailored differentiated tasks at every point in the lesson, scaffolding and grade 9 modelling to raise attainment and expectations. 

6. Variety of tasks that include individual, paired and group work. 

7. Self and peer assessment to inform learning. 

8. Meaningful feedback with a focus on DIRT in order to ensure reflection on the next steps for progress. 

Assessment:  

Formative assessment every 2-3 weeks covering the range of skills. End of unit assessment; a range of long and short answer exam style questions that reflect the structure and wording of an IGCSE English Language exam paper. PTE style spelling, grammar and comprehension tests.  

Wider Curriculum Opportunities  

1. Reading lesson allocated every fortnight.  

2. The Big Read with book review tasks set regularly. 

3. Author visits. 

4. Emirates Literature Festival. 

5. Use of Digital Theatre platform to view productions until live productions resume post-Covid. 

6. Department leading on development of reading across the curriculum. 

Curriculum Impact  

Students will continue to develop skills in the English focus areas of reading for English language, reading for English literature and writing for English language. They will be able to demonstrate these in increasingly more developed pieces of work which link to key concepts. Students should begin to draw parallels throughout the topics they have studied and generate some personal opinions and responses according to their understanding and trends that they noticed. 

If asked, students will be able to articulate their progress in each of the English skills; explain how each skills links within their lessons (and lessons from the previous year) and explain how they can continue to improve, specifically focused on upcoming assessments. 

Students will be able to explain not only why English is relevant according to the big picture of examinations, but also how it will support them in some real-world contexts. 

The aforementioned skills will be evident through: 

1. Extended fiction piece of writing (for their age group – targeted equivalent to National Curriculum Level 5 or above) 

2. Extended non-fiction piece of writing (for their age group – targeted equivalent to National Curriculum Level 5 or above) 

3. Detailed literature analysis (for their age group – targeted equivalent to National Curriculum Level 5 or above) 

4. Detailed language analysis (for their age group – targeted equivalent to National Curriculum Level 5 or above) 

5. Public speaking 

 

Curriculum Intention  

Students’ work is divided into two topic-based units.  Unit 1: Stereotyping focuses on the central text ‘Macbeth’ whilst also linking to a selection of other genres which focus on stereotyping such as persuasive speeches that have been written in order to challenge stereotyping. For Unit 2, students will transition into KS4 and begin working on their IGCSE English Literature course.  Within this unit of work they will study a central text of ‘An Inspector Calls’ by JB Priestley as well as developing their literary analysis skills in studying a range of ‘unseen’ poems.  Students will also complete a range of completing a series of tasks for the IGCSE English Language Spoken Language endorsement. In both units, students will interleave between the key skills that link to the National Curriculum as well as being closely linked to the GCSE assessment objectives. 

Students are taught the following skills: 

Literature – Students should be expected to produce ‘point evidence analysis’ structured essays which develop the critical style of their writing. They are assessed on their knowledge and understanding of the texts, as well as analysis of language, form and structure. There is an additional AO4 focus on context and how the context of the text informs our understanding and appreciation of the characters’ actions and viewpoints.  Students should be able to analyse character, setting and theme in a text and are expected to do so in detail. 

Language reading – Students can identify persuasive/rhetorical techniques and use PEAL to analyse their effect in the text. Students are able to identify how mood and tone is established in a text. 

Language writing – Students learn how to use structure and language in order to effective persuade/argue their opinion in a speech. Students learn how to use language to develop a description of setting and introducing a theme. Students focus on reporting information specialising in prepositions, adverbials direct and indirect speech. 

The thematic unit specified in Year 9 (as in the rest of KS3) introduces the students to the full range of texts and genres that are addressed in the IGCSE and IB curriculum. Thematic interleaving of the skills ensures retention of information and regular implementation of skills in order to embed understanding. Each learning episode makes explicit references to the skills being assessed thereby developing students’ understanding of the curriculum and equipping them with the necessary skills and language for learning needed to take charge of their own learning experience. The scheme is also designed to find meaningful opportunities to link to British values,  

Emirati customs and the diverse student body at DIS. Tasks set are closely linked to developing the DIS10 in order to link to the IB.  Opportunities are also taken to incorporate analysis and creating of media texts using a range of digital platforms as well as speaking and listening tasks in the style of the IO. 

Curriculum Implementation   

1. Overview of learning is clear at the beginning of each learning episode: Clear links made to the assessment objectives and what they are learning in that episode. 

2. Progress of learning is clear using Blooms taxonomy verbs. 

3. Lessons clearly structured with Learning Objectives and Success Criteria. 

4. Each topic is centered around a theme that is central to the main topic. 

5. Lessons are challenging and engaging with tailored differentiated tasks at every point in the lesson, scaffolding and grade 9 modelling to raise attainment and expectations. 

6. Variety of tasks that include individual, paired and group work. 

7. Self and peer assessment to inform learning. 

8. Meaningful feedback with a focus on DIRT in order to ensure reflection on the next steps for progress.  

Assessment  

Formative assessment every 2-3 weeks covering the range of skills. End of unit assessment; a range of long and short answer exam style questions that reflect the structure and wording of an IGCSE English Language exam paper. PTE style spelling, grammar and comprehension tests. IGCSE English Literature Modern Drama coursework. Unseen poetry analysis. A range of speaking and language tasks for the IGCSE English Language Spoken Language endorsement.  

Wider Curriculum   

1. Reading lesson allocated every fortnight.  

2. The Big Read with book review tasks set regularly. 

3. Author visits. 

4. Emirates Literature Festival. 

5. Use of Digital Theatre platform to view productions until live productions resume post-Covid. 

6. Department leading on development of reading across the curriculum.  

Curriculum Impact 

Students will have refined skills in the English focus areas of reading for English language, reading for English literature and writing for English language. They will be able to demonstrate in developed and extended pieces of work which link to key concepts. Students should be able to draw parallels throughout the topics they have studied and generate several personal opinions and responses according to their understanding and trends that they noticed.  

Students will be able to articulate their progress in each of the English skills; explain how each skills links to their next KS of learning and explain how they can continue to improve.  

Students will be able to explain not only why English is relevant according to the big picture of examinations, but also how it will support them in several real-world contexts.  

The aforementioned skills will be evident through: 

1. Extended fiction piece of writing (for their age group – targeted equivalent to National Curriculum Level 6 or above) 

2. Extended non-fiction piece of writing (for their age group – targeted equivalent to National Curriculum Level 6 or above) 

3. Detailed literature analysis (for their age group – targeted equivalent to National Curriculum Level 6 or above) 

4. Detailed language analysis (for their age group – targeted equivalent to National Curriculum Level 6 or above) 

5. Public speaking 

THE LEARNING JOURNEY FOR ENGLISH   
       
Unit / Block of workKey Episodes / QuestionsAdditional DetailColour codeLength of time.Possible Symbol?Learner Attribute(s)
ChildhoodHow does our childhood impact or influence who we are?Childhood and individual identity.     Autobiographical and literary non-fiction writing.                                                       Reading comprehension and summary skills. Assessment: Baseline test and autobiographical writingGreen6 weeksChild or children playingReflective Knowledgeable
Culture and Identity poetryHow does understanding other cultures enrich our lives?Cultural contexts.                                         Poetry from different cultures.           Empathetic and critical response.     Assessment: Analysis of a poemPurple6 weeksPeople of different cultures, image of diversityOpen-minded      Thinker
The BreadwinnerHow do writers help us to understand other people’s experiences?Understanding of context of novel.                 Reading, study and understanding of novel.      Analysis of key episodes, characters, themes.     Empathetic response to characters and experiences.                                        Assessment: Analysis of a character and description of a settingOrange6 weeksFront cover of The BreadwinnerCaring              Communicator
PersuasionTo what extent are we influenced by external factors?Understanding the use of persuasive techniques — language and presentational.                                    Exploration of a range of persuasive texts — analysis of advertisements.                        Analysis and exploration of persuasive speeches.                                                             Non-literary writing.                            Assessment: Writing a persuasive speechBlue6 weeksPerson making a speechInquirer           Principled
Shakespeare and A Midsummer Night’s DreamHow does theatrical studies help us to be more creative?Understanding of Elizabethan England, theatre. Shakespeare’s life.                                        Nature of tragedy, comedy, history.                         Study of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.                       Analysis of character, theme , key episodes.              Assessment: Analysis of a themeOrange10 weeksImage of ShakespeareRisk-taker         Balanced       
THE LEARNING JOURNEY FOR ENGLISH
Unit / Block of work Key Episodes / Questions Additional Detail Color Code Length of time. Possible Symbol? Learner Attribute(s)
Travel To what extent does travel broaden our horizons? Reading and understanding of various travel texts: travel writing in newspapers, travel blogs, vlogs, travel advertisements. Analysis of conventions of travel writing. Descriptive writing of place: sensory language, imagery, creating atmosphere. Assessment: Travel writing Green 6 weeks Plane around a globe Inquirer       Communicator
Protest Poetry How do people use language to communicate their thoughts on different issues? Understanding of cultural and global issues of protest. Develop knowledge of poets’ specific contexts and social experiences. Study and analysis of selection of protest poetry. Empathetic and critical responses to poetry. Assessment: Analysis of a poem Purple 6 weeks Protestors or clenched fist of protest as below Open-minded         Caring
Media and Manipulation To what extent are we manipulated by what we read and see? Study of how global issues are presented in the media. Study of a range of newspaper and media articles. Use of bias. Analysis of use of language to manipulate the reader. Using language to present biases in writing. Assessment: Writing a biased newspaper article Blue 6 weeks Newspapers Principled            Balanced
The Hunger Games How do writers use language to create imagined worlds? Understanding of genre and dystopian fiction genre. Links to global issues that influence dystopias. Reading, study and understanding of novel. Analysis of key episodes, characters, themes. Critical response to use of language and creation of dystopia. Assessment: Essay on dystopian fiction Orange 10 weeks Front cover of The Hunger Games book Knowledgeable    Thinker
Dystopian Writing How can we manipulate language to reflect a genre? Study of extracts from dystopian fiction. Analysis of language conventions of the genre. Study of openings to narrative writing. Fictional writing and structures. Assessment: Opening to a dystopian story Red 6 weeks Dystopian landscape Reflective                Risk-taker
THE LEARNING JOURNEY FOR ENGLISH     
       
Unit / Block of workKey Episodes / QuestionsAdditional DetailColour CodeLength of time.Possible Symbol?Learner Attribute(s)
Animal FarmHow do writers use language to communicate their opinions on society?

Context of the Russian revolution. Reading, study and understanding of novel. Analysis of key episodes, characters, themes. Critical response to use of language and Orwell’s message. Literature GCSE style questions. Assessment: How does Orwell communicate his message about society in ‘Animal Farm’?

Orange8 weeksCover of ‘Animal Farm’ bookKnowledgeable         Inquirer                        Caring
Controversial Issues/Argument writingIs there only one morally right side to an argument?Understanding of the term ‘controversial’. Discussion of what constitutes a controversial issue. Issues studied include: Child beauty pageants and exploitation; Equality of wages (footballer vs nurse, soldier), cosmetic surgery; Capital punishment. Questions of morality. Discursive/argument writing techniques, academic expression. Assessment: Discursive writing on a controversial topic.Blue8 weeksImage of a JudgeOpen-minded         Balanced        Principled
Imaginative writing: Gothic LiteratureHow do writers use language to manipulate the emotions of the reader?Gothic Literature conventions. Aspects of descriptive writing and writing to create tension: Sensory language, figurative language, pathetic fallacy, use of sentence structure and punctuation, show don’t tell. Examples from Gothic Literature genre: Frankenstein, Woman in Black, The Red Room. Assessment: Gothic Literature description of settingRed8 weeksGothic settingCommunicator      Thinker
Imaginative writing: NarrativeTo what extent is structure more important than language when trying to engage a reader?Study of extracts from a range of genres. Analysis of language conventions of each genre. Study of openings to narrative writing. Fictional writing and structures. Use of stimulus material — war poetry: A Wife in London, Dulce Et Decorum Est. Assessment: Short story using features of a genreRed8 weeksPerson reading a bookRisk-taker              Reflective

KS3 English at DIS