Key Stage 3 English
In Key Stage 3, pupils consolidate and extend core skills to build strong foundations for future success; they develop confidence and enthusiasm for reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Throughout, the study of both Language and Literature is highlighted. The curriculum comprises reading material ranging from extracts to whole fiction and non-fiction texts; these are chosen to stimulate and challenge through a variety of genres and text types that inspire thoughtful and engaging responses from pupils. Additionally, these texts are also used as models for students to produce writing in a range of genres and for different purposes.

Skills Developed

Broad reading skills are taught; wider reading – central to pupils’ success – is encouraged in a weekly lesson in the school library for Years 7 and 8 and a fortnightly lesson for Year 9. The focus is on the skill of how to retrieve, select, infer and interpret the writer’s choices of language and structure to make a personal and critical response.

Skills in writing are taught to enable pupils to purposefully structure and craft their language. The focus is on the skill of how to select, adapt, organise, structure and review their work; the importance of technical accuracy in spelling, terminology, punctuation and grammar is emphasised.

Speaking and listening skills are developed through the use of regular discussion, debate, presentations and the reading of drama texts.

Year 7

Key Topics Covered

Year 7 begins with Modern Drama: pupils study a playscript based on the novel Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo; this is followed by the19 century novel: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens which leads to an assessment of pupils’ interpretative and analytical skills of the writer’s choice of language.

In the spring term, a range of poems are studied in the unit Modern Poetry followed by 20th century Literary Non-Fiction: extracts are analysed from a variety of forms including diary entries, letters, newspaper articles, autobiography and biography. These also support the development of creative writing skills.

In the summer term, a 19th century novel: War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells is utilised as the inspiration for pupils’ creation of their own piece of science fiction in which they develop skills in creative, imaginative, structured writing.

Pupils’ skills are assessed formatively; in termly assessments and in the end of year exams.

Year 8

Key Topics Covered

The focus for the development of writing skills is in the production of a persuasive piece in the Advertising unit. Pupils also have the opportunity to design their own product.

Pupils build on the poetry analytical skills they acquired in Year 7; additionally, they write their own narrative poem which aids the understanding of the structural aspects of poetry. The genre of mystery and horror is undertaken to provide a variety of purpose, form and audience.

When studying the Shakespeare play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, activities include creative writing, a dramatisation and the writing of a newspaper report. The study of the 20th century novel, Animal Farm by George Orwell focuses on the analysis of language and how writers craft the structure of their story.

Pupils’ skills are assessed formatively; in termly assessments and in the end of year exams.

Year 9

Key Topics Covered

To prepare for GCSE, the curriculum is divided into Language and Literature.

Pupils in Year 9, in addition to building on prior learning in KS3, are prepared for the GCSE course by strategic linking of topics and skills to chosen topics; all units of work have been devised with GCSE core skills and objectives in mind.

Mirroring the components of the AQA GCSE examinations, units of work are divided into Reading and Writing. In the Reading part, skills of language selection, retrieval, interpretation, explanation, inference, analysis and comparison are practised. Writing consists of both creative, narrative and non-fiction forms, pupils develop their skills of planning before producing structured, developed, controlled and crafted pieces. There is an emphasis of technical accuracy and a varied vocabulary.

Modern Novel: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Modern Drama: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time based on the
novel by Mark Haddon
Modern Novel: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
Shakespeare: Macbeth
AQA board Poetry Anthology, a selection of poems from Power and Conflict
19 Century Novel topic: two stories of Sherlock Holmes

Pupils’ skills are assessed formatively and in termly assessments.


How is This Subject Assessed?

Assessment is conducted at regular intervals using formative assessment.

Summative assessments are produced six times a year and are linked to the GCSE grading system scale from 1-9.