Key Stage 3

Key Stage Three English – Years 7 and 8

In Years 7 and 8, students follow a varied curriculum that covers all strands of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Topics range from Homer’s War with Troy and Shakespeare’s plays to Travel Writing. Private reading is actively encouraged through our Learning Centre lessons and students are given reading targets to spur them on to read more widely. Students are assessed for both reading and writing skills every term to help them develop as writers and to hone their analytical skills. All Key Stage Three assessments are one hour long and are delivered during class time.

Year 7 English

Autumn Term – Myths and Legends

In this unit, students listen to professional storytellers narrating Homer’s War with Troy as part of the Cambridge Classics for Schools programme. They will produce a piece of creative writing based on an aspect of the War with Troy story and a piece of analysis exploring how writers influence their readers.

Spring Term – Fiction and Non-fiction writing

In their second unit of work students will study one text from a range of novels, including Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo, Northern Lights by Philip Pullman and Holes by Louis Sachar. From this, they will produce a piece of analytical writing. During this term, they will also focus on developing their non-fiction communication skills, while exploring environmental issues in our world.

Summer Term – Theme Parks and A Midsummer Night’s Dream  

In the first summer half term, students focus on non-fiction reading and design their own theme parks. Students start by developing their speaking and listening skills by participating in a discussion or presentation task. They then study adverts, leaflets and websites of current theme parks and complete an analytical essay in which they compare different texts.

In the second summer half term, students study extracts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, exploring themes and language and consolidating both their reading and writing skills in their marked work. Students also explore contextual information about Shakespeare’s life and influences.

Year 8 English

Across the year, students will study six units of work with an equal split between reading and writing assessments. These units build on the work completed in Year 7 and begin to prepare students for the Year 9 units, which focus more heavily on working towards skills for GCSE.

Writing Assessments

  • Monster stories
  • Travel Writing
  • Writing to Argue or Persuade

Reading Assessments

  • Year 8 Novel: The Hound of the Baskervilles, Animal Farm, or The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
  • Shakespeare assessment: Romeo and Juliet
  • Year 8: Poetry From Around The World

Students at Key Stage 3 are assessed using two skills sheets- blue for Reading and yellow for Writing. These sheets will be kept in their books and can be used to discuss their progress at home.

Key Stage Three English - Year 9 

Year 9 is a bridging year, continuing to inspire a love of literature and enthusiasm for being creative writers, whilst also developing key skills learnt in Year 7 and 8 as a foundation for the demands of the two-year GCSE courses. In Year 9, there is an increased focus on refining essay-writing skills, how to revise for assessments and how to answer questions independently. All assessment questions in the Year 9 course are unseen, so students will be asked to go home and prepare for a range of themes within a topic and will see the question for the first time during the in-class assessment. All assessments at Year 9 are one hour long and will be delivered during class time. In addition, Literature assessments at Year 9 are open book, so students will have a copy of any relevant texts, with the exception of the Unseen Poetry assessment. The English Department will provide access to all of the texts studied in Year 9.

Students will study six units across the year, split between assessments designed to consolidate key skills and knowledge, and ensure they are well prepared for Year 10 and 11.

Autumn term – Novel: To Kill A Mockingbird OR Woman in Black OR Of Mice and Men AND Creative Writing

Spring term –Shakespeare: Othello AND Unseen Poetry

Summer term – Year 9 Exam – Technology: Reading and Responding to Non-Fiction Texts AND You're Hired (Non-Fiction Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening)