"Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body" - Joseph Addison
The English curriculum at RHA aims to develop students’ abilities in the key areas of communication: reading, writing and oracy. Through the study of rich, diverse texts our students also experience opportunities to consider and understand different perspectives and the world in which they live.
In Years 7-8, students follow the MYP assessment framework. The curriculum is concept driven: key concepts will be honed and extended as they progress through to the next key stage. A range of appropriate and challenging texts have been selected as vehicles to drive these concepts - they also have a global outlook allowing for cultural capital opportunities. Concepts studied in Years 7 and 8 are many: perspective, creativity/style, structure, communication, connections, genre, character, audience imperatives, context, setting and purpose. The reading curriculum is aligned with the main English curriculum to support reading, vocabulary progression and retrieval of key concepts. In Year 9, students continue to consider key concepts from literature and develop their knowledge and understanding of how these issues have been explored by writers. We consider, for example, prejudice and dreams, tension and suspense, and nature versus nature. Students will also continue to develop their ability to communicate their own ideas clearly and effectively in both verbal and written work. Reading a range of texts is also a key feature of the Year 9 curriculum, as is ensuring students are equipped and ready to begin study of the GCSE courses in Year 10.
We are a Royal Shakespeare Company associate school so students regularly get the opportunity to take part in performances with professional actors and students from other schools. Students will also watch live broadcasts of Shakespeare plays. Students enjoy a rich and varied reading curriculum over their five years of study; experiencing a culturally-diverse range of authors. Students are offered trips to local theatres whenever possible. Recent trips have included A Christmas Carol at The Theatre Royal, Margate (one of the oldest theatres in England). The MYP framework in 7/8 allows for students to consider a global and cultural outlook through the choice of texts studied-eg. they have considered the impact of culture, historical context, poverty and education on childhood through exploring Chinese foot binding, hobbies/pastimes and corporal punishment. To generate creativity within writing, students visited outdoors settings to support vocabulary and understanding. Gothic horror creative responses were stimulated by a trip to a cemetery. A beach obseravtion trip preceded a creative writing piece about this setting. A visit to the Globe theatre is the plan post covid- also supporting the links in history to the Elizabethan Golden Age.