English (KS3)

Year 7 Outline

The first unit of Year 7 is a transition unit called ‘Moving Up’, which ensures students are prepared for the challenges of Secondary School; they will be exploring Gothic Literature, enjoy and respond to a wide range of poetry, be introduced to the study of Media and Film and investigate how the English language has changed over time. Students also read shared texts (the class reader) to extend and develop their reading skills; further to this, the Accelerated Reader programme is on offer with the aim of allowing students to be further engaged with, and enjoy, their personal reading. We aim to develop students’ confidence and ability to speak to a group of people, and to talk and discuss issues as part of a team. We follow the Philosophy for Children programme, which encourages the formulation and discussion of enquiry questions, as a tool to promote thinking skills.

Year 8 Outline

In Year 8, grammar and language work continue to be taught explicitly, and students continue to practise drafting and rewriting skills. There is a focus on classic literature, as students will study a Shakespeare play in the form of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, be introduced to Dickens with A Christmas Carol, while a unit on Greek Myths allows students explore stories from antiquity. Moreover, students have the opportunity to learn research and study skills in the active Media and Journalism unit, while students will also study Protest Poetry. Students will also have the opportunity to engage with external speakers including a novelist, a poet and a journalist. Reading for pleasure continues to be an important focus, as students are introduced to reading projects which will allow them to take ownership and enjoy their own reading.

Year 9 Outline

Students in Year 9 read at least one novel or other text in class during the year, and we continue to encourage students to read independently. They will study a variety of other topics, including: Romeo and Juliet; World War One Poetry; News, Truth and Bias; Victorian Ghost Stories and the Canterbury Tales, with a focus on text structure. A book club is introduced this year which allows students to read a wide variety of 19th Century novels which is crucial for their GCSE studies.

Assessment

During each unit, students are assessed and given targets that clearly explain how they can improve their work and what skills they need to focus on. Throughout the year, students are assessed to National Curriculum standards on work covering the three attainment targets of Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening, each of which is equally important. These assessments provide students with clear targets explaining how to progress.

Grouping and Teaching/Learning Style

In Year 7, students are taught in tutor groups, while Year 8 students remain in mixed ability groupings and given the opportunity to work with a range of students as they are no longer in tutor groups. In Year 9, students continue to be taught in mixed ability sets apart from the highest achievers who are taught in an A band; a variety of data is used to create the groups including Teacher Assessment, Spelling Age, Reading Age, Verbal CATs scores and Test Results.

Lessons are fast paced and engaging: teachers use a variety of techniques based on the latest educational thinking to ensure challenge and engagement. Pair and group work encourage students to develop their confidence and reflection on learning and understanding the criteria for success are regular features of lessons. Each student is supported and challenged in order to reach their individual potential.