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Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

English

Dream Jobs

  • Lawyer 
  • Banker 
  • Nurse
  • Learning support assistant 
  • Psychologist 
  • Social worker 
  • Consultant  
  • Politician 
  • Publisher 
  • Journalist 
  • Charity worker  
  • Product manager 
  • Business founder 
  • Teacher
  • Writer 
  • Civil servant
  • Actor 
  • Editor  
  • Librarian  

What do our students say?

“English at Oasis is very insightful and helps me learn more about diversity around the world through the power of words. It explores the hardships and celebrations of literature and we use emotion to elevate the meaning of our writing.” 
Safia, Year 9
 

“English at Oasis Academy South Bank is the most interesting subject and it teaches me to use amazing vocabulary. When I write I feel a sense of liberation and a distraction from personal problems. After all, it’s the best subject!”              Nazerrah, Year 8

“English lessons have been very interesting. From learning about the great potent Zeus to the story of the forthright Antigone or how Achebe defiantly stands up to racist, Eurocentric thoughts.”                Nada, Year 7

“I really like English lessons because you learn fascinating stories about tyrants and noble heroes. And you have lots of fun while learning!" 
Erika, Year 7

 

What do our parents say?

I have a dyslexic child who used to feel underconfident in English and the English teachers at South Bank were incredible and supported her to write with confidence. She believed that she had clever ideas to share and that nothing was impossible. She went on to achieve a Grade 7 for GCSE which she was ecstatic about. Being in these English lessons has given her such motivation. - Student Parent

"My son is always stimulated to expand his writing and his love for reading has come from lots of suggestions from teachers."

"My daughter loves English and with the help of the English department she is being challenged to go even further and is showing amazing writing skills. Her dream job is now to be a journalist and editor!"

“Becoming a successful reader is the single most powerful contribution that education can make to a child.” - James and Diane Murphy, Thinking Reading 

English at OASB

English at South Bank: rigorous instruction drives creativity and empowerment.

Studying English is about crafting and understanding words and meaning, which is at the heart of everything. At South Bank, our curriculum is in-line with the whole-school vision to open doors and close gaps for our students – we believe this is urgent, exciting and comes from careful planning. We know that students at South Bank come from a range of backgrounds and therefore our curriculum aims to provide opportunities for them to encounter diverse writing, interrogate language and share their ideas. In line with the OCL curriculum, we believe that rigorous instruction drives creativity and empowerment – we want our lessons to be joyful and purposeful.

From the very start, we plan for students at South Bank to encounter texts from a range of important voices, times, and places, and develop an understanding of the nuances of literary craft. In lessons, we want to see students reading and writing a lot and becoming more creative and confident because of the specific, versatile knowledge we teach. Through explicit vocabulary and writing instruction, we intend to give students the means to express their own, as well as others’, complex ideas. As our students encounter others’ powerful stories, we want them to develop and transform their own powerful voices, regardless of their starting point.

Students learn the connections between texts across times, places and genres and come to see how literature engages and grapples with the complexity of the human condition. Students first learn about foundational concepts which literature across the globe draws on: heroes and villains, love and conflict, monsters and the supernatural. They learn to identify the tropes of a classical tragic hero like Beowulf, Odysseus and Antigone and this gives them the tools to later understand Achebe’s Okonkwo, Shakespeare’s Macbeth and, eventually, Shelley’s Frankenstein at A Level. These ideas are not only intrinsic to literature, but also to the world around them – with this specific knowledge teaching, we intend to change how students see the world.

As their journey in literature continues, students encounter writing which challenges these foundations: the Romantic poets whose writing fought Industrialism, the Harlem Renaissance poets whose writing fought injustice and the modern playwrights who used theatre to denounce Capitalism. Our students therefore learn that, through language, comes power. We want our students to go on to become young people who can express their points of view, and who know that understanding the past allows us to speak and write for change in the present.

English teachers at South Bank are energised by their subject – English teaching brings us joy! We have chosen knowledge which opens doors and we want our students to become enlivened by reading and writing when they see us model our own excitement about what we teach. We are precise with our delivery and meet to discuss the clear path we want students to take through a unit so that all students can understand and articulate sophisticated ideas. We are guided by specific theory about learning and curriculum and observe each other’s lessons to ensure that we are all getting a little bit better every day.

Resources

For further information on the English curriculum at OASB please email bridie.mcpherson@oasissouthbank.org