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 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 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 Crime 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.
Explicit vocabulary and Mastery Writing Vocabulary and grammar
Students learn and use the Frayer Model to explictly learn new words and to expand their vocabulary. The practice is mirrored in other curricular areas. In addition to the English curriculum offer, students will have weekly writing mastery lessons. These lessons use discrete grammar teaching to improve the precision and accuracy in students’ work.

 

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 Romeo and Juliet 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.
Explicit vocabulary and Mastery Writing Vocabulary and grammar
Students learn and use the Frayer Model to explictly learn new words and to expand their vocabulary. The practice is mirrored in other curricular areas. In addition to the English curriculum offer, students will have weekly writing mastery lessons. These lessons use discrete grammar teaching to improve the precision and accuracy in students’ work.

 

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, including poetry, 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.
Term 2 Macbeth Students will explore this tragedy focusing on how Shakespeare uses language, structure and dramatic techniques to present characters and themes. 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 Dystopia Students will begin the term looking at a range of fiction and non-fiction dystopian texts, utilising their skills of inference, language analysis, comparison and maintaining a critical style of writing and informed response.
Explicit vocabulary and Mastery Writing Vocabulary and grammar
Students learn and use the Frayer Model to explictly learn new words and to expand their vocabulary. The practice is mirrored in other curricular areas. In addition to the English curriculum offer, students will have weekly writing mastery lessons. These lessons use discrete grammar teaching to improve the precision and accuracy in students’ work.

 

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