Course Aims:

We aim to ensure that our Key Stage 3 English curriculum enables all students to enjoy literature and gain an awareness and appreciation of classic texts. Throughout Key Stage 3, students will be given opportunities to develop as enthusiastic critical readers and enhance their written expression.

One Year 7 lesson a week is timetabled as a regular literacy lesson; it is used to focus on enhancing literacy skills, non-fiction comprehension and technical accuracy in writing, which will support students in their GCSE studies of all writing-based subjects.

We expect all students to be reading regularly and have a recommended ’16 reads before 16’ programme to promote this throughout the year and request that parents support this at home.

Course Content

 Year 7

Unit 1
Autobiography unit and Persuasive Writing
Exploring non-fiction through a range of autobiography texts.
Composing persuasive speeches using structure and technique.
Unit 2:

Modern Fiction: students will read a contemporary novel together and explore how the writer develops character and theme as well discussing what it reflects about society.

Unit 3:
Romantic &
Narrative Poetry
Analysis of a range of poetry from both pre and post 20th century using quotations and commenting on the effect of poetic techniques, including some from the GCSE Anthology.

Unit 4: 
Diverse Fiction

Fiction thematic study: diverse concepts.
Study of a range of literary prose text dealing with key concepts such as identity, freedom, rights, expression, race and gender.
Unit 5:
Narrative Writing - Subverted Fairy Tales
Students read as writers and focus on descriptive narrative writing, conventions of genre and modern representations.

Shakespeare Study: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Pupils are challenged to explore this Shakespeare text with confidence thinking about the themes of power and control in relationships.

 Year 8

Unit 1

Shakespeare study: Much Ado About Nothing pupils will be analysing the whole text, focusing on dramatic techniques, close language analysis and wider social historical contexts.

Unit 2:

Prose text e.g. Animal Farm, students will closely analyse a novel, and will look at the significance of wider social contexts.

Unit 3:
( The Romantics )

Students will analyse closely a range of Romantic poetry and look at the wider themes and issues explored at the time through the Industrial Revolution (links to Oliver Twist).

Unit 4:
Non- Fiction

Non-Fiction thematic study: the art of the argument. Students will develop their formal debating skills as well as analysing a range of non-fiction texts exploring a range of issues from both pre and post 20th century.
Unit 5:
Narrative Description
Narrative writing: preparation for GCSE skills. Students look at a range of pre and post 1914 short stories and enhance further their own writing skills.
Unit 6: The Importance of Being Earnest Focus on the play and influence of class and society on this text. Practice for GCSE Literature extract question. Vocabulary and spelling work, as well as developing evaluation skills.

Trips and visits:

  • Globe Theatre visits
  • The Globe Players Theatre Company visit (performance ‘What the Dickens!)
  • Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (NT)

Co-curricular activities:

  • National Theatre New Views playwriting competition
  • The Student View: journalism club
  • Reading Challenge
  • Literary Week (co-run by the library)
  • World Book Day (co-run by the library)

Key Stage 4 & 5 / Career Progression:

English can open up doors to any profession and can ignite your own imagination. If you can read, appreciate words and express yourself effectively, the world is your oyster!

Recommended Reading:

‘16 Reads Before 16’

  1. Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
  2. The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  4. Drawing a Veil by Lari Don
  5. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  6. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  7. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  8. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  10. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  11. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  12. Wonder by R.J Palacio
  13. Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson
  14. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  15. The Fault in our Stars by John Green
  16. Lord of the Flies by William Golding