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’ by Morris Gleitzman  Exploring voicees: 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.As a companion text, students will also read 'Now or Never' by Bali Rai to explore the different voices in World War Two.

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 both creative and persuasive language, and will get the chance to apply for a job at Superheroes United…

‘His Dark Materials" By Phillip Pullman -This unit will introduce our students to a 'Text in Performance', exploring how writers bring stories and ideas to life, from the page to the stage. 

Fantasy Writing: Following 'His Dark Materials', ​students will create their own fantasy worlds, crafting language and structure to immerse their readers in characters and settings. 

Poetry: Culture and identity: Students  will explore the concepts of culture and identity through reading a range of poetic voices, and writing some of their own!

Year 8: Exploring views, perspectives and opinions

Readingâ: Words and Images My view:

The Rabbits by Shaun Tan and John Marsden – 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.

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.

‘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.

‘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.

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

A Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare: Students will explore one of Shakespeare’s most famous and fantastical plays.  

Year 9: Powerful Literature

Dickensian Writing -  Students will study a collection of extracts from Dickens novels, exploring how he crafts his characters and settings to comment on Victorian society while keeping his readers hooked! Students will use what they’ve learnt to inspire their own stories and hone their creative writing craft. 

‘Romeo and Juliet’ – Students begin Year 9 by diving into Shakespeare’s tragic tale of love and conflict. This collaborative media, drama and literature unit will allow them to explore a text in performance, develop their own interpretations and explore how filmmakers have taken Shakespeare’s words to the big screen. 

Contemporary Voices - This is an exciting new unit where students will read articles, essays, poems and short stories from powerful voices published today. This unit will explore the relevance of language and literature in the 21st century and give students the opportunity to use their own voice. 

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.

‘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.This year we will be evaluating the success of the novel’s treatment of race through a 21st century perspective.

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 - Portfolio of work essay exploring texts in performance, including characterisation, set, structure, writers’ intentions and effect. 

Summer Term:

Writing – Descriptive fantasy writing: crafting language and structure for effect 

Reading and Writing - Poetry presentation and anthology 

Year 8

Autumn Term:


‘The Rabbits’ essay - analysing how writers create meaning through multimodal texts. 

Advert Analysis - critical appreciation of how an advert manipulates and persuades its audience. 

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

Spring Term:

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

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

Summer Term:

Reading - Close analysis of an extract from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Writing - A creative transformation task inspired by Shakespeare’s characters and settings. 

Year 9

Autumn Term:

Writing - An extended piece of writing inspired by Dickens’ Victorian London

Reading - personal response essay to a text in performance.  

Spring Term:

Reading: Contemporary Voices - A presentation on the power and purpose of contemporary literature. 

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

Summer Term:

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

Writing - A persuasive essay on a topic of their choice, performed in front of an audience for their GCSE Spoken Language Endorsement.

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.