What will students learn?

Year 7

This three year KS3 course aims to inspire, challenge and support all students in their journey between primary school (KS2) and their GCSEs (KS4). They will develop crucial skills in reading and exploring both fiction and non-fiction texts, as well as producing their own original writing. In doing so they will develop their own ‘voice’ – analytical, creative and scholarly, discovering the power of literature and their own perspectives.

Year 7: Finding your Voice

Shakespeare - Developing a voice: This unit explores the power of language through exploring a range of Shakespearean soliloquies, giving students the opportunity to engage with Shakespeare and create their own powerful speeches.

‘Once’ – Exploring a voice: Whilst studying this Morris Gleitzman novel, students will develop their inference and deduction skills and have the opportunity to explore characters, themes and writers’ messages.

Superheroes - Using your voice: This is an exciting chance for students to further their understanding of how to write for different purposes. Having created their own superhero they will experiment with persuasive language to apply for a job at Superheroes United…

‘Angels’ – Changing voices: The study of this dystopian play allows students to widen their familiarity with a range of text types by focusing on drama. They will explore the structure of a whole text, and have the opportunity to link their interpretations to real life contexts.

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ – Crafting a voice: Students will explore one of Shakespeare’s most famous and fantastical plays. Using this as a stimulus they will create their own fantasy worlds, crafting language and structure to immerse their readers in characters and settings. 

Year 8: Exploring views, perspectives and opinions

Controversy - Expressing an opinion: This exciting new unit develops students’ research, debating, writing and speaking skills as they explore a range of controversial topics.

‘Noughts and Crosses’ – Challenging perspectives: This play adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s famous teen novel is a favourite with students. They will explore writers’ ideas and purposes and see the powerful link between literature and the real world.

Reading Images – My view:
Ad you Like It –This unit provides students with the opportunity to explore the media and develop their persuasive writing skills, analyse how advertisers create effects and have a go themselves.
‘Rabbits’ – Students will read this multimodal text and analyse the power of words and images in it. They will create their own multimodal page and write an analytical essay on the connection between writers’ purpose and methods.

Poetry Writing - Expressing Perspectives– A chance to use creative skills to explore poetic techniques. Students will also experiment with poetry in performance and have the chance to showcase their work.

‘Lord of the Flies’ - Views and Perspectives on Childhood - A chance for students to pause, think hard and pull their analytical skills together in exploring William Golding’s timeless novel.

Year 9: Powerful Literature

‘Romeo and Juliet’ – Students begin Year 9 by diving into Shakespeare’s tragic tale of love and conflict. They will team drama with analysis in developing their own response to the text, ending on an essay exploring the presentation of key themes and ideas.

Powerful Papers - Students will use their previous work on ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as a stimulus for their own non-fiction writing – creating a powerful, opinionated voice in a thoughtfully crafted broadsheet article. 

Dickensian ‘Social Outcasts’– Students will study a collection of extracts from Dickens novels. These powerful literary extracts allow students to develop their evaluation and analysis skills and are used to inspire creative writing.

 ‘Of Mice and Men’ ­–Steinbeck’s novel provides a powerful impression of 1930s America, offering an excellent opportunity to refine students’ inference and analytical skills and their exploration of writers’ purpose in preparation for GCSE Literature.

The power of spoken language – Students officially begin their English Language GCSE course: researching, writing and performing a speech on a topic of their choice. This will be assessed for their GCSE Spoken Language Endorsement.

Poetry – Students study a selection of poems from the GCSE Literature anthology ‘Power and Conflict’ (Exam Board: AQA). They will explore and compare the ways poets craft language and structure to convey powerful ideas and issues across time.

How will they be assessed?

As well as the assessments listed below, students will be given ongoing formative assessment on their work through the school’s Feed Forward strategies: a range of self-assessment, exemplar peer-assessment, personalised and whole class verbal feedback, and written feedback to support their progress over the 3 years and beyond. They will be expected to respond to all of this feedback thoughtfully to make the most of every learning opportunity. Success criteria will be provided for each unit and assessment to help students achieve their best.

Year 7

Autumn Term:

Writing – Monologues: using language for effect; performance skills

Reading - ‘Once’ essay: inference; language analyse; exploring writers’ messages

Spring Term:

Writing - Persuasive Letters: writing for purpose; sentence types

Reading - ‘Angels’ essay: analysing whole text structure; exploring context

Summer Term:

Writing – Descriptive writing: crafting language and structure for effect 

Year 8

Autumn Term:

Writing – Persuasive speeches: writing for a purpose; speaking and listening skills

Reading - ‘Noughts and Crosses’ essay: interpreting writers’ ideas; exploring context

Spring Term:

Reading – Multimodal texts, 2 analytical essays (Advertising/’Rabbits’): analysing writers’ methods and writers’ purpose

Writing – Poetry: using language for effect; poetic crafting; imagination

Summer Term:

Reading – ‘Lord of the Flies’ essay: analysing writers’ methods and writers’ purpose

Year 9

Autumn Term:

Reading – ‘Romeo and Juliet’ essay: personal response; writers’ methods; purpose

Writing – Persuasive article: writing for purpose; crafting sentences and structure

Spring Term:

Writing – Dickens:

Reading - ‘Of Mice and Men’ essay: personal response; writers’ methods; context

Summer Term:

WritingSpeeches: research; writing for a purpose; speaking and listening skills 

Reading –Poetry comparison essay: analysing poetic techniques; interpreting messages; comparing writers’ ideas and writers’ methods

How can parents support their child?

The English department encourages parents to involve themselves in their child’s learning by:

  • Checking the quality of your child’s home learning. Have they used their allocated time effectively?
  • Ask them what their current target is and check to see if this is being met?
  • Encourage them to read a range of fiction and non-fiction texts on a regular basis, both independently and with you (30 minutes per day). Have a discussion about what they enjoyed about the book.
  • Where possible, involve your child in cultural experiences such as visits to the theatre, museums and city tours.
  • The BBC Bitesize website has some useful writing and reading skills refreshers.