“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.”
“When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language.”
James Earl Jones
The Cape School Curriculum ensures that all our students have the opportunity for academic and personal development across a broad range of subjects and experiences. It combines equality of opportunity to our core learning with opportunities for students to make individual choices regarding their learning experiences. Acquisition of knowledge and transferable skills are the cornerstones of our student’s progress and we place a high value on building their understanding of community, place and social justice. Lessons and other learning experiences are sequenced to build on students’ prior knowledge, and to ensure that students deepen their understanding of each subject, and the interconnection between subjects and their global context.
Our Curriculum is the foundation to achieving our Core Principles:
- Students leave Cape with high value achievements and the life skills and resilience that provide a platform for future success and happiness.
- We are inspired to work together to research, design and implement highly effective and sustainable solutions to develop and maintain our thriving school community.
- Continuous improvement is achieved through a whole school culture of, and commitment to, creativity, engagement and professionalism.
What is Unique to the Study of English Language and Literature?
English is a multi-disciplinary subject encompassing the study of language, literature, drama, speaking and listening, writing, reading, media and I.T. Occupying a pre-eminent position both in the curriculum and in our society, a high quality education in English teaches our pupils to speak and write fluently, so that they can communicate precisely and powerfully in any given situation, both at school and in their everyday lives. Our Curriculum covers all aspects of the National Curriculum in a clearly sequenced programme to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence of our learners.
One of our fundamental objectives in English is to help young people become confident handlers of language. We actively seek out and include dynamic and interesting examples of written and spoken communication that students can model their own work on, and we encourage active debate and risk-taking within a classroom ethos of respect, support and safety. We know that it is crucial that all students feel empowered to explore their own responses to literary and media texts. Through our carefully sequencing programme of learning we allow them to build on prior learning and we equip them with the means to express their thoughts and reactions appropriately with increasing skill and complexity.
The study of English Literature plays a central role in our vision – we want our students to leave with knowledge of the English literary canon and of our beautiful language. We feel it is every student’s right to leave school understanding some of the novels, plays and poems that have helped shape our country’s cultural history and the language change that underpins it. The recognition of universal themes of literature also helps our students to better understand their own situation and develop a sense of self and place. They are thus better equipped to identify and understand similarities and differences and so empathise with others.
We believe it is our duty to develop our students culturally, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually and empower them to become truly global citizens: we want them to move forward with confidence and the cultural capital demanded by an increasingly complex world. Cultural capital ‘is embodied by an individual who is knowledgeable about a wide range of culture and is comfortable discussing its value and merits. It is characterised by the experience and skill to be able to deploy the appropriate knowledge in any given situation: a job interview, a conversation with a neighbour, building a work network and so on’. (Cultural Learning Alliance, July 2019) We want to ensure every student has the ability to reach their potential through our engaging and challenging English Curriculum.
We are committed to offering students a variety of extra-curricular activities and consider this a strength of the Faculty. Examples of such events include theatre trips and performances in school and at the Minack theatre; KS3 creative writing workshop at Bodmin jail; poetry workshops with published writers; a Year 8 poetry slam; the Kernow Youth Book Awards; the Dark Skies: Bright Stars creative heritage workshops; University visits and the BBC Young Reporters project. These experiences also develop knowledge of our local culture, resources and heritage to build a sense of place and confidence in our young people.
There are many areas where the knowledge and skills gained in the study of English Language and English Literature have value and, through our rich Curriculum we are able to introduce careers on an International, National and Local level that may interest students who particularly enjoy English including journalism, publishing, politics, teaching English, legal work, public relations, film and media, writer, advertising, and translating and interpreting work.