Aims of the curriculum

  • To consolidate and enhance skills acquired at Key Stage 2.
  • To nurture independence through a variety of Teaching and Learning methods including self and peer assessments and using assessment criteria as a fundamental tool for progression.
  • To equip students with the love of learning and appreciation of language and literature.
  • To extend reading, writing, grammar and speaking and listening with the view of meeting or exceeding individuals potential at the end of the Key Stage.
  • To offer a challenging curriculum which mirrors and prepares the Key Stage 4 experience.

Curriculum overview

Year 7

Term 1
  • Changes - A thematic study introducing students to Key Stage 3 English alongside the study of the prose text 'Skellig'.
  • 'A Christmas Carol' - the study of a Victorian novel, investigating writers craft and the notion of a conventional villain in prose.
Term 2
  • An Introduction to Poetry – Students will study and write in a variety of poetic styles recognising and employing poetic devices to impact on the listener/reader of a poem. Students will prepare for the Key Stage 4 experience by studying the dramatic monologue form and recognising how character can be developed through poetry.
  • Responding to Different Text Types – Students will learn to write to inform, explain, describe, persuade, review and argue. This will prepare students for elements of non-fiction writing at GCSE and beyond.
Term 3
  • Speech Skills – Students prepare for a component of the Key Stage 4 experience by beginning to speak in a variety of different situations. Students will begin to differentiate between informal and formal speech and fulfil a variety of spoken assignments.
  • Students will begin to study David Almond’s ‘My name is Mina’, affording them the opportunity to explore two texts by the same writer and exploring how writers have typical styles unique to them.
  • An Introduction to Shakespeare – students will begin to investigate the life and times of William Shakespeare considering the role he plays in modern education and investigating his poetry and plays. Particular focus will be given towards ‘The Tempest’ where students will respond to scenes from the original text

Year 8

Term 1
  • ‘Macbeth’ – a play study – students build on their Year 7 investigation of William Shakespeare beginning to tackle characters, theme and dialogue from the play.
  • School under Siege – students will be introduced to a variety of media based terminology. They will then ‘become the media’ as they report back on a scenario where the school is ‘under siege’.
Term 2
  • Travel, Diary and Letter Writing – recognising the skills and degrees of formality required to write in the aforementioned formats.
  • Texts from Other Cultures – students read and respond to poetry and prose from other cultures recognising how writers biographical and cultural make up can influence their style and content.
  • Plays and Performance: ‘Blood Brothers’ – introduction to contemporary plays and how characters and conveyed through dialogue and action.
Term 3
  • Plays and Performance: ‘Blood Brothers’ – introduction to contemporary plays and how characters and conveyed through dialogue and action.
  • The Gothic Tradition – prose study – students explore a range of fiction from the Gothic genre considering the purpose and place of the tradition in modern society.

Teaching methods and student organisation

Students are seen as individuals and needs are catered for through grouping and colour-coded differentiation strategies from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 5.  Students are set on ability and are further supported and challenged through the use of task setting, intervention and opportunities for maximum progression. Regardless of ability all students will receive the same diet and will be frequently assessed encouraging students to become independent and reflective.

Progression after Key Stage 3

The Key Stage 3 curriculum offers a balance of literature and language modules which challenge and inspire a range of learners; equipping them with skills which are essential to the Key Stage 4 experience and moulding transferable literacy skills. Students study a range of canonical writers and learn to write and read a range of fiction and non-fiction. Each module is assessed for reading, writing and speaking and listening skills and supports students to become familiar with the controlled coursework and examination process they will encounter at Key Stage 4 and beyond. Students get a ‘taster’ of genres and writers studied at Key Stage 5 to promote a love of literature at the formative stages of a child’s learning journey.

Additional classes and extra curricular activities

Competitions and extra-curricular groups are held throughout the year; notice of such events is documented in More News! Extra-curricular activities are offered throughout the year, for example;

  • Why Shakespeare? Speech Writing Competition.
  • Book Ends – Reading group held on a monthly basis in the library.
  • Gifted and Able Writing Group.
  • Boosting Writers Group.
  • Amateur Playwrights group
  • Word of the Week


How can you help your child?

To help your child to improve:

  • Read a wide variety of texts at home with them, keeping a reading log. Reading of any sort is useful, even special interest magazines. If you read newspapers try to read both broadsheets and tabloids exploring their similarities and differences.
  • Pick up an autobiography/ biography of somebody your child is interested in and share reading with them. Ask them to identify the changes that this person has gone through in their lives.
  • Complete internet research with your child on the subjects/ authors we are covering during this term e.g. Charles Dickens, Shakespeare etc.
  • Encourage your child to practise the key writing skills we cover during the course of the year e.g. letters, stories etc. This can be done in a fun way e.g. write a letter to a favourite character from a film.
  • Work with your child to create a list of spellings that they find difficult. Use the suggested links to practise learning them in different ways.
  • Key Stage 3 revision books are widely available in bookshops and libraries and give a good general overview of the kinds of skills your child will need to develop. These can be used at home to complement what is being learned at school. If you are in any doubt, please contact your child’s English teacher.
  • Visit the theatre – productions of texts we study frequently tour, alternatively hire a DVD of the text studied and consider how characters are presented visually as well as through language.

Useful English websites