Year 7

Telling My Tale: Students will explore what makes a successful memoir and use this knowledge to write their own memoir about a significant moment in their lives, with a focus on expressing their voice and identity.

Once by Morris Gleitzman: Students will use this WW2 story as a vehicle to develop their understanding of key English Literature skills with a particular focus in identifying the themes and writer’s purpose. As a companion text, students will also read 'Now or Never' by Bali Rai to explore the different voices writers use in order to convey ideas about WW2. 

Movie Pitches: This is students’ first introduction to Media Studies and teaches them how the discipline uses similar skills to that of English Literature. Students will explore the choices made by film directors and have the chance to develop their oracy skills as they collaborate in groups to pitch their own idea for the next blockbuster movie.

Personal Writing Projects: Alongside the movie pitch unit, students will undertake a writing project of their choice. Lessons will take the form of a writers’ workshop, familiarising students with the writing process, as well as empowering them to both give, and respond to, constructive peer feedback.

‘His Dark Materials’ by Phillip Pullman: This unit will continue to develop the English Literature skills students have developed across the year as they read the National Theatre’s adaptation of Pullman’s trilogy. 

Fantasy Writing: Armed with the knowledge of fantasy conventions acquired through their study of 'His Dark Materials', students will create their own fantasy worlds, crafting language and structure to immerse their readers in characters and settings. 

Year 8

‘The Rabbits’ by Shaun Tan and John Marsden – Students will read this multimodal text and explore the context of colonial rule in Australia. They will focus on analysing how words and images are used to convey the writers’ views, ideas and perspectives.

‘The Night Diary’ by Vera Hiranandani - This novel explores the impact of the Partition of India and students will consider how characters are used to convey the writer’s ideas about key themes. They will develop an understanding of how to write an effective essay introduction in English Literature.

Feature Article Writing - Students will explore different types of feature articles in order to develop an understanding of the form. They will apply this knowledge in writing their own magazine feature article, and will have the opportunity to build on their Media Studies knowledge as they format their article.

Poetry Inspired By Greek Mythology - Students will read a variety of poems inspired by Greek mythology and bring together the literature skills they have acquired across Y7 and Y8 in order to write an analytical essay in response to their reading. They will use Greek myths as the inspiration for writing their own poems.

Understanding Shakespeare - Students will learn about the conventions of Shakespearean tragedies and comedies. Drawing on this knowledge, they will watch a Shakespeare play and consider how it conforms or challenges these conventions. 


Year 9

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 then have the opportunity to study one of the most famous plays of all time: Romeo and Juliet. This collaborative media, drama and literature unit will allow them to explore a text in performance, develop their own interpretations and also develop their ability to articulate their ideas through an academic style of writing.

Powerful Voices - This is an exciting 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. 

Animal Farm - Orwell’s novel is a great depiction of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the USSR. It is a short but powerful piece of literature that explores betrayal, power, and leadership in society. This text offers an excellent opportunity to develop and refine students’ ability to interpret, analyse, and draw links to contextual knowledge. 

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.

Unseen Poetry - This unit will give students the opportunity to build familiarity with a variety of poems in preparation for their GCSEs in the following year. They will learn how to approach and engage with poetry from a range of different poets. 

How will they be assessed?

Throughout KS3, students will undertake a wide variety of written and oral tasks designed to help them rehearse, demonstrate and consolidate their knowledge and skills. Assessment will therefore be continuous and ongoing, allowing teachers to offer students timely feedback on their learning and adapt lessons in order to best meet all students’ needs. In addition to teacher-feedback, students will benefit from self-assessment, 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. Many schemes of learning culminate in a final task which allows students to consolidate their learning. Examples of such tasks are outlined below:

Year 7

  • Written responses to extracts from ‘Once’

  • Costume designs and an accompanying commentary for characters from ‘His Dark Materials’

  • A ‘Dragons’ Den’ style movie pitch 


Year 8

  • Written introductions to a variety of essay-style questions on ‘The Night Diary’

  • A written analysis of a page from ‘The Rabbits’

  • A written essay in response to poetry inspired by Greek mythology


Year 9

  • An extended piece of writing inspired by Dickens’ Victorian London

  •  A written essay on a theme - starting with an extract and making links to the wider play.   

  • An original piece of creative writing and a written commentary. 

  •  ‘Animal Farm’ essay: personal response; writers’ methods; context

  • A persuasive speech 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 how they can achieve it; what will success look like?

  • Encourage them to read a range of fiction and non-fiction texts on a regular basis, both independently and with you (20 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.