English

The English department are an enthusiastic and experienced team who make a strong contribution towards the academic success of the school and its extra-curricular life which includes public speaking, writing competitions and producing an online magazine.

Ensuring that pupils gain success in their GCSE course to enable them to access the post-16 pathways of their choice is the main priority of the department’s work, although

we encourage our pupils to enjoy all aspects of English and are pleased that many continue to study English and English Literature in Years 12, 13 and beyond.

Across Key Stage Three, students study and practise a range of skills which span: literacy skills, reading, writing (including spelling, punctuation and grammar) and spoken language. All these areas are taught alongside each other. The course at Key Stage Three is intended to provide direct links with the Key Stage Four curriculum and teaches the skills needed at GCSE.

Across Key Stage Three, students study and practise a range of skills which span: literacy skills, reading, writing (including spelling, punctuation and grammar) and spoken language. All these areas are taught alongside each other. The course at Key Stage Three is intended to provide direct links with the Key Stage Four curriculum and teaches the skills needed at GCSE.

The course followed is a mixture of English Language and English Literature.

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Autumn One

Victorian Literature 

Children’s Stories 

Back to basics.

Titanic/Desert Island Survival.

War and Conflict 
Autumn Two

Accent, Dialect and Spoken English 

Fairy Tales

Pre-1914 Drama and Prose. Cry Freedom – The Truman Show
Spring One Extended study of a contemporary novel. Extended study of a contemporary novel. ‘An Inspector Calls’, poetry and transactional writing.
Spring Two

Extended study of a contemporary novel.

Introduction to poetic devices and writing poetry.

Extended study of a contemporary novel.

‘An Inspector Calls’, poetry and transactional writing.

Summer One Pre-1914 poetry study.

Charity campaign.

Study and comparison of 19th Century and 21st Century propaganda.

‘A Christmas Carol’, poetry and transactional writing.
Summer Two

Poetry from other cultures. 

Contemporary play.

Introduction to Shakespeare.

Literature from other cultures.

Shakespeare extended study.
‘A Christmas Carol’, poetry and transactional writing.

As Key Stage Four has assessment based around a set of ‘Assessment Objectives’, so does Key Stage Three. During assessments, teachers will specify which Assessment Objectives are being tested.

Assessment Objectives
Reading

RO1 – Decoding text at word level, sentence level and at a whole text level.

  • Can you break down and understand text that you may not understand straight away?
  • Can you use clues to break down and understand unfamiliar words, sentences or texts as a whole?

RO2 – Reading for meaning and understanding.

  • Can you read a text and use your knowledge, alongside any clues to ensure that you understand material that you read?
  • Can you express this understanding either verbally or on paper?

RO3 – Understanding how writers use language.

  • Can you read texts and identify techniques that have been used by writers to express meaning or to make a reader think or feel a certain way?
  • Can you explain how and why these techniques make the reader think or feel a certain way?

RO4 – Understanding structure.

  • Can you understand how and why writers have organised texts in certain ways?
  • Can you understand features that have been used to fit the conventions of specific types of texts?
  • Can you understand the way a writer has structured their sentences and any effects this creates on the reader or how it expresses meaning clearly?

RO5 – Responding to texts.

  • Can you identify an author’s point of view from reading a text?
  • Can you respond to the ideas in a text offering a critical analysis of the messages being communicated in texts?
  • Can you read a text and then offer a personal response?

RO6 – Referencing texts.

  • Can you use evidence from a text to support any ideas or points that you offer?
  • Can you use appropriate evidence from a text to support any ideas or points that you offer?
  • Can you be selective when choosing evidence to support your ideas?

RO7 – Synthesising and comparing texts.

  • Can you summarise key information from a text including any relevant points of view?
  • Can you compare texts using basic similarities and differences as the main point of comparison?
  • Can you explore specific detail from texts and use this as a point of comparison?

RO8 – Understanding social and historical context.

  • Can you show an understanding of the time and conditions that texts were written in?
  • Can you identify links in texts to the time that they are written in?
  • Can you explain any influences on the writer which may affect the texts that they have written?
Writing

WO1 – Expression and writing in detail.

  • Can you express your ideas on paper clearly, so that they can be read and understood?
  • Can you use detail in your written work to ensure that your meaning or point of view is clearly understood?
  • Can you use language and linguistic features to convey exact meaning or to make your reader think or feel a certain way?

WO2 – Writing for a purpose.

  • Can you use language to match a clear purpose in your text?
  • Can you do this so that you can write to: describe, explain, analyse, advise, entertain, persuade, inform and argue?

WO3 – Writing for audience and using formality.

  • Can you match your language to suit the age of your audience?
  • Can you match your language to suit the formality of the situation, including using Standard English clearly and appropriately?

WO4 – Organising texts.

  • Can you organise texts in a logical order?
  • Can you purposefully organise texts for clarity?
  • Can you organise texts for effect?
  • Can you organise texts using appropriate features to match the type of text that you are creating?
  • Can you use paragraphs accurately?
  • Can you use paragraphs to guide your reader?
  • Can you use paragraphs to match your purpose?
  • Can you use paragraphs to create effects?

WO5 – Accurate sentencing.

 

  • Can you write in full sentences that make sense?
  • Can you show where a sentence starts and finishes using capital letters, full stops, question marks or exclamation marks?
  • Can you write using simple sentences?
  • Can you write using compound sentences?
  • Can you write using complex sentences?
  • Can you use a variety of sentence types to make your meaning clear?
  • Can you write using a variety of sentences for effect? 

WO6 – Accurate punctuation.

  • Can you punctuation accurately to show the start and end of a sentence?
  • Can you use commas accurately to split up clauses in a sentence?
  • Can you use a variety of punctuation accurately to express your meaning?
  • Can you use a variety of punctuation accurately to create effects?
  • Can you be ambitious when choosing your punctuation?

WO7 – Vocabulary.

  • Can you use appropriate vocabulary to express your meaning?
  • Can you use a range of vocabulary, including synonyms, to make your writing interesting?
  • Can you use a range of vocabulary to create effects?
  • Can you be ambitious when choosing your vocabulary?

WO8 – Spelling.

  • Can you spell common words correctly, including CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words?
  • Can you spell more complex words correctly?
  • Can you spell less common, more ambitious words correctly including vocabulary that you have not come across before?

WO9 – Planning, proofreading and editing.

  • Can you plan a piece of work effectively?
  • Can you plan a piece of work in order to create effects?
  • Can you proofread your work to eliminate spelling, punctuation and grammar errors?
  • Can you act upon advice and correct any errors to improve your work?
  • Can you edit your work to fit the conventions and length of appropriate texts.
Spoken English

SO1 – Speaking in a formal setting.

  • Can you present your ideas clearly in a formal presentation?
  • Can you use Standard English when delivering a formal presentation?
  • Can you express your point of view clearly and accurately in a formal setting?
  • Can you speak in an appropriate volume in a formal presentation?
  • Can you engage your audience?

SO2 – Reading aloud.

  • Can you read aloud clearly?
  • Can you read aloud using appropriate volume and with some confidence?
  • Can you read aloud with expression? 

SO3 – Small group discussion.

  • Can you contribute to a discussion in a small group clearly?
  • Can you allow other members of the group to share their ideas?
  • Can you work as a co-operative member of a small group?
  • Can you take on a leading role in a group?
  • Can you persuade others to agree with your view point?

SO4 – Large group discussion.

  • Can you contribute to a discussion in a large group clearly?
  • Can you allow other members of the group to share their ideas?
  • Can you work as a co-operative member of a large group?
  • Can you take on a leading role in a group?
  • Can you persuade others to agree with your view point?

SO5 – Listening and responding.

  • Can you listen to others attentively?
  • Can you respond appropriately to what others are saying?
  • Can you build on what others are saying?
  • Can you encourage others to speak through listening and responding?
  • Can you use contributions from more than one person and summarise what they have said?
  • Can you recount what others have said?

SO6 – Using questioning effectively.

  • Can you ask simple, straightforward questions about what someone has said?
  • Can you ask questions which build upon what someone has said?
  • Can you question someone in a clear, confident and constructive manner?
  • Can you ask probing questions to help explore topics in greater detail and extend your knowledge?

SO7 – Working in role.

  • Can you create a character during a performance?
  • Can you perform in character consistently?
  • Can you use voice and expression to create character?
  • Can you use facial expressions to express your character’s thoughts and feelings?
  • Can you use your body to express your character’s thoughts and feelings?
  • Can you direct others in order to produce a clear and cohesive performance?

SO8 – Non-verbal communication.

  • Can you use facial expressions to communicate your thoughts and feelings?
  • Can you use body language to communicate your thoughts and feelings?
  • Can you use gestures to make what you say more interesting?
  • Can you use non-verbal skills to encourage others to contribute?
  • Can you use non-verbal communication to encourage others to continue to extend what they are saying?

Content

The units of work studied by each year group in the key stage are changed on a half-termly, or in the case of a unit requiring detail and depth of study, termly basis. Each unit is based on a theme and within that theme students will study a range of texts and be taught and asked to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and ability to use the specified skills needed across reading writing and spoken English. 

Spelling, punctuation and grammar as well as key literacy skills are continuously taught and revisited throughout the year in all units of work. 

The course that is followed by students in Key Stage Three is detailed below.

Year Seven
Autumn One

Victorian Literature – students will briefly study extracts from Victorian Literature and complete a written piece based on this (in the initial weeks of the term).

Children’s Stories – studied in detail for the remainder of the term.

Autumn Two

Accent, Dialect and Spoken English – studied briefly.

Analysing fairy tales – studied in detail for most of the term including the exploration of ‘Christmas’ story.

Spring One Extended study of a contemporary novel
Spring Two

Extended study of a contemporary novel.

Introduction to poetic devices and writing poetry – studied briefly in preparation for study in the next term.

Summer One Pre-1914 poetry study in detail.
Summer Two

Study of poetry from other cultures – studied briefly.

Study of a contemporary play – studied briefly.

Introduction to Shakespeare – includes the study of his life and times and the historical context of his work. Also includes studies of text extracts.

Year Eight
Autumn One

Back to basics - focus on spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Titanic/Desert Island Survival.

Autumn Two Pre-1914 Drama and Prose – ‘What the Dickens?’
Spring One Extended study of a contemporary novel.
Spring Two Extended study of a contemporary novel.
Summer One

Charity campaign.

Study and comparison of 19th Century and 21st Century propaganda

Summer Two

Literature from other cultures – brief study.

Shakespeare extended study – including close reading of extracts and introduction to sonnets.

In Year Nine, students will begin to study for their GCSE qualification with an initial introduction to the course followed by detailed study of the AQA English Literature specification.

Year Nine
Autumn One War and Conflict – including the study of GCSE question types and poetry.
Autumn Two Cry Freedom – The Truman Show.
Spring One ‘An Inspector Calls’, continuation of poetry study and transactional writing.
Spring Two ‘An Inspector Calls’, continuation of poetry study and transactional writing.
Summer One ‘A Christmas Carol’, continuation of poetry study and transactional writing.
Summer Two ‘A Christmas Carol’, continuation of poetry study and transactional writing.
Reading Challenges

During Key Stage Three, students are issued independent ‘Reading Challenge’ booklets. Each year has a specific booklet which includes a number of tasks based around reading a variety of texts.

There are six compulsory challenges at the front of the book (one for each half-term) which students must complete. In addition to that, there are a number of additional challenges at the back where students can complete tasks to earn specific certificates and earn rewards.

Reading Challenge tasks may be set as part of research homework.

Electronic copies of the booklet are available below.

Year 7 Reading Challenge

Year 8 Reading Challenge

Year 9 Reading Challenge