Key Stage 3 English
Because success in English promotes success in all subjects, we offer students a wide range of opportunities to develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. We want our students to develop their understanding of the world around them by becoming fluent, accurate communicators. Language skills of all kinds are developed to promote fluency, accuracy and the enjoyment of reading and writing.
‘Literacy is the means through which every man, woman and child can realise his or her full potential.’ Kofi Annan
Students encounter a wide variety of texts from non-fiction texts to well-known classic writing fundamental to our culture, encompassing poetry, prose and drama. Students read regularly in class and are encouraged to read widely for pleasure.
We teach writing in a variety of styles for a variety of purposes. Our emphasis throughout is on developing accuracy and a clear sense of audience. Spelling, grammar and punctuation skills are taught systematically, highlighted regularly, and reinforced through testing. Literacy and catch-up classes and differentiated teaching give further support as appropriate.
Speaking and listening skills are developed through class and group discussion, drama and formal presentations. Building on their growing confidence, we expect students as they grow older to be ready to perform and to listen with real attention to their peers.
In Year 7, students study three termly units that cover a range of reading and writing skills. In Autumn, students study The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. As part of this study, students look at Greek mythology, writing skills, thematic issues and wider literary texts. In Spring, students study poetry from a wide range of geographical, historical and cultural backgrounds. In Summer, students explore the world of Shakespeare before studying Macbeth.
In Year 8, students develop their understanding and appreciation of literary texts through the study of the Private Peaceful and heroes and villains throughout literature. Students spend the Summer term developing their English Language skills by looking at a range of non-fiction texts.
In Year 9, students complete a GCSE skills year. In Autumn, the unit of work Identity and prejudice encourages students to comment on issues such as racism and prejudice in all forms. Students then move on to looking at Victorian England and study The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The Summer transition between year 9 and year 10 focuses on the detective genre. Finally, students study An Inspector Calls; this is their GCSE modern text.
Students’ work is assessed twice every term for reading and writing. Students respond to teacher feedback after every assessment to encourage independence and reflection.
Ways to help my child succeed
Ensure that your child has access to a range of reading material, including novels, literary non-fiction, newspapers and access to the internet. Read with your child and discuss your reactions to what you’ve read, whether this is a response to issues and characters in fiction or real events and issues in the news. Check your child’s homework for all subjects and work together to correct and spelling, punctuation or grammar errors that occur.