At Key Stage 3 all work is based on the national curriculum and delivered in the form of half termly topics. Through these topics we will cover a range of skills focusing on speaking and listening, writing and reading. At least one assessment per half term is more formally assessed and the levels, which are based on the national APP scale, are entered onto Go4Schools.
The topics covered at present range from nonsense poetry such as Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky to formal analysis of Shakespeare’s use of language in Romeo and Juliet. Not only are topics engaging and varied, but they are also planned to ensure that the key skills necessary for GCSE and the world of work are developed.
Drama and library sessions also constitute a key part of the English curriculum with fortnightly Drama sessions held in the Drama Hall. Drama is also a key component of English in the classroom where it is used to help access texts and develop confidence and team working skills.
In order to show our students the relevance of English in the real world, poets and authors are invited in by the librarian to inspire the students. We also organise theatre trips and there is a tradition of inviting the theatre company Box Clever to perform the Shakespeare text studied by Year 9.
Students are expected to bring the relevant writing equipment that is necessary for all lessons.
Homework is set once a week in Years 7, 8 and 9.
Year 7 will develop their creative writing skills, understand the features of non-fiction texts and start focusing on how to write an in-depth, analytical response in the form of an essay. They will study a range of texts, including ‘Clockwork’ by Philip Pullman and extracts from Roald Dahl’s autobiography ‘Boy’.
Year 8 will continue to develop a variety of skills, such as exploring Shakespeare’s language with particular reference to ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream, looking at the origins of English with reference to the epic, Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf and discussing controversial, topical issues. They will produce information texts, creative and descriptive pieces of writing and analytical responses.
Year 9 is a gateway to GCSE. Using all the previously developed skills, students will study a range of fiction and non-fiction that has been tailored to mirror the GCSE syllabus and prepare them for the rigours of Key Stage 4. They will study the novella ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck in the Autumn Term, followed by Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in the Spring Term. Many of their key assessments will be completed in timed conditions to help prepare them for the exams they will sit in Year 11.