English Key Stage 3

English and COVID 19

During lockdown your child was provided with a skills workbook and live lessons focusing on writing skills. We are confident that, if your child engaged with tasks set and live lessons offered, our educational offering should have helped to reduce what would have been missed in the classroom.

As a result of our lockdown curriculum our first focus on returning to in school lessons has been to get your child reading again and engaging with high quality texts. You’ll notice all schemes of work in the first term have an emphasis on reading, and we would ask and strongly advise you encourage your child to read widely at home. Reading is the best way of helping your child to develop their understanding of vocabulary and sentence structures, enhance their vocabulary and expand their knowledge and imagination; ultimately leading to them developing into confident communicators.

We know your child will have some gaps from missing in school teaching during COVID lockdown, but we have made sure our curriculum addresses these as a priority. Our lessons are differentiated to ensure your child accesses the work that is suited to their current level, but crucially has the opportunity to challenge them beyond that level consistently. We take time every lesson  for students to complete a quick task that systematically draws on prior knowledge that we have previously taught pupils; to ensure it is not lost or forgotten and to identify and address any areas of concern. We are using self and peer assessment to enable your child to more confidently assess their own strengths and areas for development to empower them to take control of their learning. We are marking work and adapting our teaching in response to your child’s efforts to plug the gaps we identify. We will be setting homework to consolidate learning and enhance skills taught in class.

How can I support my child?

  • Ensure they complete all homework tasks
  • Ensure they read at home for pleasure, ideally three times a week for a minimum of twenty minutes per time
  • Look out for KS3 English study and workbooks to keep your child’s mind active and encourage a ‘practice makes perfect’ mindset to going over topics and skills previously studied in school – this helps students to embed information into their long term memory


We recommend: https://www.amazon.co.uk/English-Complete-Study-Practice-Online/dp/1847621562/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=key+stage+3+english&qid=1599841531&s=books&sr=1-3




  • Encourage writing – diary entries, letters to family members, articles for the school newspaper, short stories, ANYTHING! Practice really does make perfect and the more your child can get used to writing independently the more confidence they will have in their ability
  • Contact us – all staff are available to contact via email – just ask. Any questions or concerns you have we’re here for you and happy to help!


KS3 students (year 7, 8 and 9) follow schemes of learning based around the English National Curriculum framework and the requirements of GCSE study in Years 10 and 11.
We are passionate about literacy and activities that promote key literacy skills have been built into the schemes of work. Our standards are high and our student’s study increasingly
demanding texts including GCSE level texts from Year 8 onwards; although these texts are taught at an appropriate level to suit students’ ability.
Reading, writing, speaking and listening are covered across the year with an even mix of knowledge and skills. Students are taught in sets and the level of work covered will depend
on prior attainment.

Throughout our schemes of work – especially at Key Stage 4 it is evident that we prepare students for their GCSE Exams explicitly. However, in the English department we are
passionate about our love of literature and language and we endeavour to instil the same passion and love of learning into the students we teach. Although students achievements in
exams are important, through the foundation of our carefully planned Key Stage 3 curriculum, our goal is to develop our students into lifelong learners. We aim to create
scholars of English, students who approach texts with curious and critical minds; who pick up a pen and write down their thoughts with confidence and who debate, discuss and voice their thoughts with conviction.

Year 7

Year 7 Curriculum Overview Topic Content and skills
Term 1 Dickens Students will explore the social and historical context of the Victorian period, they will meet some of Dickens’ best love characters and analyse how the famous author used language to appeal to Victorian readers. They will then use Dickens’ style of writing and apply it to their own piece of description based on 1900s London.
Term 2 The Taming of the Shrew Students will explore the social and historical context of this Shakespeare play and analyse how Shakespeare presents key themes and characters and uses language to impact his audience.
Heroes Students will explore heroes through the ages! From Spartacus to Muhammad Ali to Greta Thornburg. They will use their analytical skills to unpick how language has been used in the various modes used and then apply it in a form of a persuasive text.
Term 3 Poetry Students will be introduced to poems through time – beginning the topic with the foundations of looking at the poetic techniques through analysing song lyrics then taking them back to the Renaissance period and working towards Contemporary poems. They will then go on to read and analyse a range of poems with focus on the language, structure and context. Students will also complete a Poetry Performance, memorising a short poem and performing it to the class using drama and role play.
Newspapers Students will begin by looking at the conventions of a variety of newspapers and its purpose. They will go on to summarise and compare newspaper stories. They will ultimately write a news article on a chosen even portraying their skills learnt from throughout the topic.


Year 8

Year 8 Curriculum Overview Topic Content and skills
Term 1 Gothic Students will explore a range of texts within the Gothic genre. They will begin by focusing on contextual information, helping them understand the writer’s purpose when analysing language and structure in texts. They will also get the opportunity to use the Gothic conventions to write a descriptive piece themselves.
Term 2 Macbeth Students will explore the social and historical context of this Shakespeare play and analyse how Shakespeare presents key themes and characters and uses language to impact his audience.
Crime and Punishment Students will explore a variety of writing styles based on the theme of crime, analysing how writers use language, structure and form to put across their ideas, before they create their own piece of writing around this theme.
Term 3 War Poetry Students will explore the social and historical context of WW1 and how poetry was used to influence people at the time, from Propaganda to the works of Owen and Sassoon students will analyse a variety of poetic structures and forms and analyse how war poetry helped to change people’s minds about the great war. Students will also complete a Poetry Performance, memorising a short poem and performing it to the class using drama and role play.
Macbeth Students will explore the social and historical context of this play and analyse how Willy Russell presents key themes and characters and uses language to impact his audience. Students will also get the opportunity to use drama and role play to portray characters and think about their deeper responses.


Year 9

Year 9 Curriculum Overview Themes Unit content
Term 1 Why English Why do we study English? Students will be introduced to the importance of English in the curriculum. Year 9 will explore a range of texts through the ages that have contributed to the society we live in now. They will explore how English is a powerful tool within society for criticising, raising awareness, understanding and empathy. Students will be taught how to structure their writing in order to communicate their ideas and voice their opinions on English.
English Language – exploring fiction and writing creatively In Half Term 2 students are introduced to the key skills they will need for English Language GCSE. Students will study a range of 19th, 20th and 21st century fiction extracts and analyse and evaluate how authors use language for impact on their readers. This unit of work starts to develop students as critical thinkers: not only as readers who can identify and explore how and why writer’s craft their writing in the way they do; but also, as authors themselves, positioning the reader deliberately in their own creative writing to create maximum impact.
Term 2 Romeo and Juliet Over one full term students get to ‘deep dive’ into one of Shakespeare’s most famous works: Romeo and Juliet. Students will explore this timeless classic focusing on how Shakespeare uses language, structure and dramatic techniques to present characters and themes in the world’s most famous tragedy play. As well completing written analysis in response to their reading of the play; students will take part in drama activities to deepen their understanding of the key characters and ideas, and write creatively in response to key events in the play.
Term 3 GCSE Speaking & Listening Students complete the AQA Spoken Language endorsement by presenting a speech to their classmates on a topic they are passionate about. Students are assessed on their ability to: articulate their thoughts with clarity and flair, structure their ideas clearly and listen and respond to questions.
Poetry Drawing on their Year 7 and 8 knowledge of poetry; students continue to develop understanding and knowledge of a range of poetic styles and techniques. Exploring the Romantics and moving into Victorian poetry; students will explore how author’s present a range of ‘voices’ and ideas within their poetry, to reflect the concerns and beliefs of the time in which they were writing.


My child is in Key Stage 3, how can I support their learning at home?

There are several ways you can support your child’s learning in English:

  • Encourage your child to read for pleasure. We have a very well stocked school library and a very knowledgeable librarian. All students are eligible to take books out to read for pleasure. Reading for pleasure is proven to dramatically improve students’ vocabulary, writing skills and confidence – and it really is fun! Encourage your child to read a book, newspaper, magazine, blog – anything – ideally for 20 minutes a day. Follow this reading up with some questions – ask your child to tell you about their reading, to summarise what happened, explain their opinion of the text, predict what will happen next, tell you about the characters etc.
  • Don’t forget the basics! WH Smiths, Amazon and other book sellers stock books that enable students to practice their spelling, punctuation and grammar. Working with your child on constructing and writing exciting sentences using correct punctuation is a great way to make sure they’re keeping on top of those basic skills.
  • Get creative! Give your child a title, or opening line to start them off, then get them writing for you! It could be a newspaper headline, a how to guide or a story or description – the more your child can practice using their writing skills, the better they will get and the more confident they will be.
  • Watch out for film versions of texts and watch them with your child then discuss the story/character/themes etc.
  • Make sure your child does their English vocabulary homework and reading portfolio work.
  • Speak to your child’s English teacher to find out more ways you can help your child. It is easy to contact staff via email using their first initial and surname @stretfordhigh.com