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English Department

Vision Statement for the English Department

We believe great literature transforms hearts and minds.

Our English department is dedicated to fostering a transformative educational experience, changing the way our students perceive different people, cultures and attitudes. We have four principles:

One: We are responsible for what we say and how we say it.

We believe in deep self-expression and the power of voice to discover others and our inner selves.

Two: We read for the growth of our perspective, pleasure, and appreciation of the written word.

We believe that active reading helps us to develop empathy and understanding for other people in other times and cultures.

Three: We prioritise learning new vocabulary to read more advanced texts and communicate complex ideas.

We believe that expanding our vocabulary enables us to express ourselves more fully and engage with others of different interests.

Four: We read novels, plays and poems that have influenced Western culture, enabling us to orient ourselves sensitively in the modern world.

We believe that culturally significant literature can be personally transformational.

We aspire to instil a deep understanding and reflection of human resilience and the power of overcoming adversity. By using culturally significant literary texts, we encourage our students to learn from the errors of the past. Through our curriculum texts, we aim to:

- Year 7: Equip students with the hope and ability to overcome challenging circumstances, fostering resilience and fortitude. All texts studied in this year have a focus on how people overcome various challenges: Texts -Jane Eyre, The Odyssey, Beowulf and Twelfth Night.

- Year 8: Encourage critical thinking and awareness of corruption and abuse of power, nurturing a commitment to ethical principles. All texts studied in this year have a focus on corruption and abuse of power: Texts - Animal Farm, Romantic Poetry and Macbeth.

- Year 9: Cultivate an environment that recognises and challenges prejudice, promoting equal opportunities for all to achieve their dreams. All texts studied in this year highlight social injustice and appropriate responses to it: Texts - Of Mice and Men, Contemporary Global Poetry and Educating Rita.

Each unit is sequenced with a logical progression towards transformation and ‘taking action’. For example, in Y9, students read ‘Of Mice and Men’ to learn about recognising prejudice and discrimination, in their global poetry unit they learn about how to ‘express’ feelings about injustice in the world and finally, studying Educating Rita allows them to see somebody responding to their own repressive environment and taking action in the world.

At KS4, our curriculum extends this vision by selecting great texts that highlight character transformation through personal reflection. Texts – An Inspector Calls, Romeo and Juliet and A Christmas Carol

This addition ensures that our students' personal growth is at the core of our educational intent. By engaging with narratives that confront humanity's historical and personal mistakes, we empower our students to rise above these failings and emerge as compassionate, enlightened individuals, equipped to make a positive impact on the world.

Our students explicitly learn to talk and through talk, with oracy skills developed and embedded each year through presentation, recital, discussion and drama. In additional, our intention for students to build a sophisticated vocabulary will enable all of them to express their inner voice fully, encouraged by accessing challenging canonical literature. We want our students to articulate how they have been affected by their literary studies with nuance, clarity and confidence by the time they reach the end of their learning journey at Madani.

June 2024

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