Back in the distant past, (2011), I arranged a visit to my old school to discuss their approach to teaching the first year intake in what is a Private Boarding School with a view to seeing if there was scope to adapt the approach in my own school. At the time I decided to let the matter rest, but have been thinking again about approaching KS3 in the light of the current removal of NC levels and the increase of academies and free schools.
I like this holistic approach and believe that there is mileage in an entry year which allows English and a range of humanities to work together, with the added advantage of greater emphasis on literacy knowledge across several subjects at once. Recently, reading the utterly brilliant article by Alex Quigley (@huntingenglish) here: http://www.huntingenglish.com/2013/11/22/whats-english-curriculum/ and here: http://www.huntingenglish.com/2013/12/06/moving-beyond-national-curriculum-levels/
and also being a reader of David Didau (@learningspy) who creates an excellent KS3 English curriculum here: http://www.learningspy.co.uk/english-gcse/principled-curriculum-design-teach-english/
I have much food for thought.
The idea of an holistic KS3 curriculum in which Christopher Booker’s basic plots shake hands with thematic course such as “who am I” or “war and peace” sounds too exciting to ignore. This is on the back burner for a while, but I am letting it marinate… now all I need is a realistic chance of creating it!
Discussion document from original visit.FORM inset