As with other subjects, the English Department follows the National Curriculum of England. All Key Stage 3 students (those in Years 7 to 9) follow common topic based courses which last for approximately half a term. The topics for each year group are detailed below; texts selected for study will be dependent on the ability and interests of individual teaching groups.
|Year 7||An introduction to poetry||Non-fiction writing – autobiographical||A Shakespeare play||A modern drama text||A class reader – a novel||English and media skills project work|
|Year 8||Ballad Poetry||Non- fiction writing- persuasive speeches||A Shakespeare play||A modern drama text||A class reader – a novel||English and media skills project work|
|Year 9||War poetry||Non- fiction writing-travel writing||A Shakespeare play||A modern drama text||A class reader – a novel||English and media skills project work|
In addition, students will also be following a programme of language skills and will take part in a Wider Reading Achievement Programme which involves regular library sessions where students are encouraged to read both fiction and non-fiction texts by a range of authors. Students are also given access to the school’s online library system, where they can review the books they have read. All students, regardless of ability, are encouraged to foster a love of language and literature, being suitably challenged to realise their full potential.
Aims of the Key Stage 3 Curriculum
Each of the topics followed in Key Stage 3 aims to develop students’ abilities in reading, writing and speaking and listening, providing a firm foundation for the GCSE years. Although each topic will culminate in a reading, writing or speaking and listening based summative assessment, opportunities to develop skills across all three strands of the English curriculum are embedded into each unit of work.
In reading based work, students are encouraged to develop the following skills, which are also formally assessed:
- Use a range of strategies including accurate decoding of text, to read for meaning.
- Understand, describe, select or retrieve information, events or ideas from texts and use quotation and reference to text.
- Deduce, infer or interpret information, events or ideas from texts.
- Identify and comment on the structure and organisation of texts, including grammatical and presentational features at text level.
- Explain and comment on writers’ use of language, including grammatical and literary features at word and sentence level.
- Identify and comment on writers’ purposes and viewpoints and the overall effect of the text on the reader.
- Relate texts to their social, cultural and historical traditions.
In writing based work, students are encouraged to develop the following skills, which are also formally assessed:
- Write imaginative, interesting and thoughtful texts.
- Produce texts which are appropriate to task, reader and purpose.
- Organise and present whole texts effectively, sequencing and structuring information, ideas and events.
- Construct paragraphs and use cohesion within and between paragraphs.
- Vary sentences for clarity, purpose and effect.
- Write with technical accuracy of syntax and punctuation in phrases, clauses and sentences.
- Select appropriate and effective vocabulary.
- Use correct spelling.
In speaking and listening based work, students are encouraged to develop the following skills, which are also formally assessed:
- Talk in purposeful and imaginative ways to explore ideas and feelings, adapting and varying structure and vocabulary according to purpose, listeners and content.
- Listen and respond to others, including in pairs and groups, shaping meanings through suggestions, comments and questions.
- Create and sustain different roles and scenarios, adapting techniques in a range of dramatic activities to explore texts, ideas and issues.
- Understand the range and uses of spoken language, commenting on meaning and impact and draw on this when talking to others.