The English Department aims to develop pupils’ enjoyment of English Language and Literature and provide students with a range of interesting texts from different cultures and time periods to enrich their experience of reading and inspire their writing. The Key Stage 3 Curriculum is designed to introduce pupils to a range of classic texts and authors whilst also introducing more contemporary themes and issues. We also have a fabulous calendar of author visits, theatre trips, in-house activities and project-based work to foster creativity and encourage reading.
In Year 7, the theme of the year is ‘Telling Stories’. Students begin by studying classic versions of fairy-tales and Greek myths to explore the concepts of structure and narrative, as well as enjoying the tales themselves! Pupils also experiment with writing their own fairy-tales and myths, considering modern adaptations and different perspectives. Year 7 students study two novels: one modern fantasy novel and one character-based novel, to build on the reading skills learned in the first term. There is also an Introduction to Shakespeare unit, where students will learn about Shakespeare’s world and study one of his plays – either Macbeth or A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Pupils will also study ballad poetry and write their own poetry anthology, including a ballad, haiku, acrostic poem and more. All pupils have a personal reading log, and one lesson a week is dedicated to literacy skills, library sessions and reading. In Year 7, we also run the Reading Rampage challenge, where pupils are encouraged to read 10 contemporary books aimed at younger readers – so the focus is very much on reading for pleasure!
In Year 8, the theme of the year is ‘Other Lives’. Pupils will study a range of texts from different cultures, perspectives, and time periods, and learn about how texts are influenced by their contexts. Year 8 students start the year studying a novel from a different culture and exploring the issues faced by the characters within the book. There is also a Victorian unit, where pupils learn about the world of Charles Dickens and the factors influencing this writing, as well as studying a Victorian text in more detail. Pupils also study an anthology of poetry from around the world, analysing and comparing poems, and learning about the context behind them. Year 8 pupils study one drama text in-depth and learn about staging and dramatic devices. The final unit of the year is a modern novel, which is focused on an issue in contemporary society. Throughout the year, pupils will study a variety of fiction and non-fiction extracts to support their understanding of these units and issues. There are also a variety of opportunities for pupils to develop their creative and persuasive writing.
In Year 9, the theme of the year is ‘Past, Present and Future’, where pupils consider how Literature has changed over time and make links between texts. The year begins with a detailed study of a classic American novel and exploration of how societal and cultural factors influence the text. Students then study a World War One unit, reading poetry, non-fiction texts and ‘Journey’s End’, a play about life in the trenches. Year 9 pupils then study a range of poems from different time periods, comparing them to consider different perspectives and styles, and developing their essay writing. There is a short story unit, where students read a variety of short stories from the dystopian genre, amongst others, and experiment with their own short-story writing. The final term is dedicated to preparing students for the GCSE course: an introductory unit to Romeo and Juliet and a non-fiction unit, where pupils explore a range of contemporary issues and develop their own viewpoints and opinions.
In Years 10 and 11, students prepare for the AQA courses of GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. Over the two years, students will study Romeo and Juliet, A Christmas Carol, An Inspector Calls, a selection of poetry based on the theme of power and conflict, and a variety of literary non-fiction from the last three centuries. Students are taught the key skills required for reading analysis and successful writing, as well as speaking and listening skills.
Further information is available on the AQA website www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english
Head of Department: Mr T Mummery - firstname.lastname@example.org
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