3. Range and content
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 pupils 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:
- prepared, formal presentations and debates
- informal group or pair discussions
- individual and group improvisation and performance
- devising, scripting and performing plays.
- The range of purposes for speaking and listening should include:
- describing, instructing, narrating, explaining, justifying, persuading, entertaining, hypothesising; and exploring, shaping and expressing ideas, feelings and opinions.
The texts chosen should be:
- of high quality, among the best of their type, that will encourage pupils to appreciate their characteristics and how, in some cases, they have influenced culture and thinking
- interesting and engaging, allowing pupils to explore their present situation or move beyond it to experience different times, cultures, viewpoints and situations
- challenging, using language imaginatively to create new meanings and effects, and encouraging pupils to try such writing for themselves.
- The range of literature studied should include:
- stories, poetry and drama drawn from different historical times, including contemporary writers
- texts that enable pupils to understand the appeal and importance over time of texts from the English literary heritage. This should include works selected from the following pre-twentieth-century writers: Jane Austen, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Blake, Charlotte Brontë, Robert Burns, Geoffrey Chaucer, Kate Chopin, John Clare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, George Eliot, Thomas Gray, Thomas Hardy, John Keats, John Masefield, Christina Rossetti, William Shakespeare (sonnets), Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jonathan Swift, Alfred Lord Tennyson, HG Wells, Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Wordsworth and William Wordsworth
- texts that enable pupils to appreciate the qualities and distinctiveness of texts from different cultures and traditions
- at least one play by Shakespeare.
- The range of non-fiction and non-literary texts studied should include:
- forms such as journalism, travel writing, essays, reportage, literary non-fiction and multimodal texts including film
- purposes such as to instruct, inform, explain, describe, analyse, review, discuss and persuade.
In their writing pupils should:
- develop ideas, themes, imagery, settings and/or characters when writing to imagine, explore and entertain
- analyse and evaluate subject matter, supporting views and opinions with evidence
- present ideas and views logically and persuasively
- explain or describe information and ideas relevantly and clearly.
- The forms for such writing should be drawn from different kinds of:
- 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:
- the principles of sentence grammar and whole-text cohesion, and the use of this knowledge in pupils’ writing
- variations in written standard English and how it differs from standard and non-standard spoken language
- the significance of standard English as the main language of public communication nationally and globally
- influences on spoken and written language, including the impact of technology.