English Key Stage 3

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 OverviewTopicContent and skills
HT1‘Here’s what I think’Students spend their first half term with us developing their writing voice. Through exploring texts on topical issues written by trailblazing young people in our world (think Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai) students learn how to communicate strong opinions persuasively in their writing. Teachers will guide students to consider how authors use persuasive techniques to put across their viewpoints, so that students can apply these techniques to their own writing. In addition, in the first half term we create a strong foundation of reading skills with a particular focus on developing inference and analysis to support students in their learning going forward.
HT2The Taming of the ShrewStudents travel back in time and explore the patriarchal society in which Taming of the Shrew was written.
Against the back drop of Elizabethan cultural beliefs students will explore how Shakespeare presents the
theme of gender by analysing language used to present key characters in this iconic and controversial play.
Students will start to hone their skills of analysis by exploding quotations and consider how language
impacts the reader. In addition, students will use drama techniques such as hot seating and group
performances to study this play through medium Shakespeare intended.
HT3/4DickensIn Half Term 3 and 4 students continue their journey through literature exploring the social and historical
context of the Victorian period. They will be introduced to some of Dickens’ best loved characters and analyse
how the famous author used language to appeal to Victorian readers. Students will develop descriptive
writing skills by creating their own Victorian villain and speaking and listening skills will be put to great use in
both drama and group discussion activities.
HT5PoetryIn their last stop on their journey through English Literature in Year 7; students will be introduced to poems through time – from the Renaissance period to contemporary poems. Students will learn how to identify poetic techniques and analyse their impact on the reader in a range of poems. Students will also complete a Poetry Performance, memorising a short poem and performing it to the class using drama and role play.
HT6NewspapersBack to non-fiction for the last Half Term, students will identify and analyse the conventions of newspaper writing, developing skills of summary and comparison along the way, before turning their hand at journalism themselves and writing their own newspaper article.


Year 8

Year 8 Curriculum OverviewTopicContent and skills
HT1GothicHalf term one in Year 8 starts with a spooky twist! Exploring challenging texts such as Dracula and Frankenstein, students will analyse how author’s use language and structure to create gothic writing. In addition they will develop skills of analysis and inference on a range of non-fiction texts exploring the strange and unusual in our world, before turning their hand to creating their own gothic writing.
HT2Blood BrothersIn Half Term 2 students study their first contemporary play – the iconic 1980’s musical Blood Brothers by Willy Russell. Students will explore the social and historical context 1980’s Liverpool and analyse how Willy Russell uses language and dramatic techniques to present key themes and characters to impact his audience. Students will also get the opportunity to use drama and role play to portray characters and explore ideas in this complex play.
HT3/4Crime and PunishmentOver half term 3 and 4 students have an extended period of time to deepen their thinking and really work on developing their English skills in both reading and writing. Students will explore a variety of fiction and nonfiction writing styles, genres and formats based on the theme of crime and punishment throughout history. They will analyse how writers use language, structure and form to put across their ideas, before they create their own piece of writing around this theme.
HT5War PoetryIn half term 5 students are introduced to the power of poetry, by exploring the impact of the poetry of WW1. 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 explore how war poetry helped to affect the nation. Students will also complete a Poetry Performance, memorising a short poem and performing it to the class using drama and role play.
HT6Macbeth“Is this a dagger I see before me?” Making links back to their earlier work on crime and punishment, students will explore the motivations of perhaps one of Literature’s most famous anti-heroes – Macbeth. Students will explore the social and historical context of Shakespeare’s famous play and analyse how Shakespeare presents key themes and characters using language and dramatic techniques. Students should expect to discuss whether or not Lady Macbeth is evil and if it is she, or ambition, that is to blame for Macbeth’s downfall. They will act, write, read and debate this wonderful work


Year 9

Year 9 Curriculum OverviewThemesUnit content
HT1Introduction to LiteratureWhat is the symbolism of the apple, the snake or Eden? Who are the Greek Gods? Is knowledge of the Christian Bible essential to understanding contemporary English Literature? In this introduction to English Literature; Year 9 students will learn about the cultural influences that impact writers through the ages. Students will begin to explore techniques such as allusion, allegory and symbolism, making connections to myths, legends and religion.
HT2English Language – exploring fiction and writing creativelyIn 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.
HT3/4Romeo and JulietOver 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.
HT5Poetry through timeDrawing 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.
HT6An Inspector Calls Written by J. B. Priestley ‘An Inspector Calls’ is our chosen text for the modern drama component of the AQA GCSE exam. Students will sit English Literature GCSE at the end of Year 10, and this is their first foray into the specification to explicitly prepare them for their exams. Students will explore how Priestley uses language, structure and dramatic devices to present characters, themes and ideas leading to them writing extended essay responses to GCSE exam questions.

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