English and Literacy

Key Stage 3 Information

Students study 8 hours per fortnight of English in Key Stage 3. To provide a broad, balanced curriculum and learning experience, these 8 hours are divided into:

  • 1 Library lesson (timetabled in the library) to encourage independent reading and engagement with Accelerated Reader quizzes
  • 1 Class Reader lesson (new in September 2018) to improve reading stamina, offer a rewarding and creative study of literature and challenge students
  • 6 lessons following the schemes of work below to develop the skills and knowledge needed for GCSE
  • NB Those classes identified as needing extra literacy support may have 1 Lexia lesson as well: Lexia Strategies is a computer programme which targets individual student’s literacy needs and provides personalised intervention

The overviews of our schemes of work outline the diverse skills that we aim to develop over Key Stage 3 and help each student achieve their potential. At least 4 times over the year, students will complete an assessment piece of work in their Progress Books that is graded on a flight path for progress for GCSE. Although we can no longer provide ‘Working At’ grades for Key Stage 3, these assessments allow us to see whether a student is on track, exceeding expectations or working below their GCSE target (based on their Key Stage 2 results). These assessments are then used to inform the ‘Blue Card’ data that is reported to parents.

A Note on Reading

The new GCSE curriculum (first exams in June 2017) requires students to engage with material (in both English Language and English Literature) that is both challenging and complex. Our aim is to ensure students have the necessary Reading Age and skills to achieve their potential in these exams. Therefore, we recommend that students:

  • Read for 20 minutes a day
  • Read the whole book – and don’t just dip in and out of books
  • Choose books that are of a suitable level – challenging, yet appropriate to Reading Age
  • Read a variety of genres, styles and authors
  • Quiz at least once a fortnight
  • Use the Recommended Reading lists on this page and in the library to guide book choices
  • Keep a Reading Journal to track plot, characters and other information
Useful Links

Key Stage 3 Overviews

Year 7 Overview

TermTopic & Reading FocusLearning ObjectivesKey Writing Assessments (Best Work Books)
Autumn Term Introduction to English: Storytelling The Umbrella Man by Roald Dahl Initial STAR Reading Age Test
  • Develop descriptive and narrative techniques, including using sentence construction and punctuation for effect
  • Create interesting, imaginative and thoughtful texts
1. Narrative A short story or the ending to a story provided Baseline writing assessment
Ancient Myths and Legends A selection of ancient myths and legends Reading comprehension on the description of Grendel A choice of Beowulf or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Michael Morpurgo
  • Read for meaning, using inference and deduction, and summarise understanding
  • Comment on the effect of language and structure on the reader
  • Support opinions with relevant quotations and explain inferred meanings
2. Explanation Write an essay on tension or structure in one of the texts studied
Inter-House Speaking Competition (November)
Modern Myths Class Reader Choice of texts such as: The Wind Singer, Artemis Fowl, The Wind Eye, The Kite Rider, Inkheart, Elidor,, The Spook’s Apprentice, The Gollum’s Eye
Spring Term Half Term 3: Home Learning Projects – Creative task based on Class Reader
Poetry Through The Ages A selection of poetry by:Benjamin Zephaniah, Simon Armitage, Dylan Thomas, Grace Nicholls, Robert Frost
  • Engage with reading, writing and performing poetry
  • Experiment with vocabulary, form and structure in original writing
  • Develop self-conscious crafting of structure and vocabulary for effect
3. Creative Writing and Summary Write a selection of original poems, then write a commentary to summarise your ideas
Half Term 3: Home Learning Projects – Creative task based on Class Reader
The Great British Novel Including: Boy by Roald Dahl, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo, Goodnight Mr Tom Including Internal Exam Preparation
  • Begin to understand genre conventions and link to the impact on the reader
  • Comment on the use of language and structure in a novel
  • Develop an argument
4. Evaluation How far do you agree……? An opinion essay based on a character or aspect of the narrative
Summer Term June: Reading Comprehension Exam (Language Paper 1) + Writing Exam (Descriptive or Narrative Writing) + STAR Reading Tests
Travel Writing Including: Drama performances, a letter of complaint, brochures, post-cards, blogs and other non-fiction tasks, Extracts from Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island
  • Understand the conventions of non-fiction writing forms
  • Develop use of language techniques for a specific task, audience and purpose
5. Internal Exams
Off on Holiday Class Reader Choice of texts such as: My Family and Other Animals, The Famous Five, The Explorer by Katherine Rundell

Year 8 Overview

TermTopic & Reading FocusLearning ObjectivesKey Writing Assessments (Best Work Books)
Autumn Term Pilgrimage Class Reader A choice of: Walkabout by James Vance, The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper and Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick
Language Investigation: Where does language come from? A selection of poetry including: The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer Search for My Tongue by Sujata Bhatt Half-Caste by John Agard Six O’clock News by Tom Leonard
  • Develop an understanding of how language works, including spelling, grammar and word class
  • Gain a sense of cultural understanding and the English literary heritage
  • Offer a personal response and interpretation
  • Develop an argument with evidence to support
1. Description Original writing on The Canterbury Tales: description of The Student or the journey to Canterbury
2. Evaluation How far do you agree…? Linked to language change and technology
Half Term 2: Home Learning Projects – Time Capsule
Spring TermDetective Genre Class Reader A choice of: The Ruby in the Smoke by Philp Pullman, The Murder in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes or The Sign of Four or The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (NEW)
Literary Shorts At least two short stories from: The Open Window by Saki (1914), The Gulf by Geraldine McCaughrean (1999), The Lawyer and the Ghost, The Flowers by Alice Walker Other stories from EMC’s Anthology may also be studied
Includes Internal Exam Preparation
  • Develop understanding of genre and convention
  • Consolidate self-conscious crafting of structure and vocabulary for effect
  • Experiment with narrative techniques, including using sentences and punctuation for effect
  • Experiment with structure
3. Narrative An original short story which demonstrates the conventions of a specific fiction genre
4. Internal Exams
Summer Term April: Reading Comprehension Exam (Language Paper 1) and Writing Exam (Descriptive Writing) + STAR Reading Tests (June)
Introduction to Shakespeare A choice of: Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Read for meaning and summarise understanding
  • Comment on the effect of language
  • Comment on a variety of dramatic effects
  • Offer a detailed response to a text, looking at the writer’s intentions and different interpretations
  • Develop comparison skills
5. Comparison An essay to compare two characters, ideas or speeches

Year 9 Overview

TermTopic & Reading FocusLearning ObjectivesKey Writing Assessments (Best Work Books)
Autumn Term The Gothic Genre At least two short Gothic Short Stories including: The Red Room by HG Wells, The Landlady by Roald Dahl, Dracula’s Guest by Bram Stoker, The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe, The Trial for Murder by Charles Dickens, Cause Unknown by Benjamin Hulme-Cross
  • Consolidate understanding of the conventions of genre and writing for a specific genre
  • Read and comment on layers of meaning
  • Use a range of creative features to shape and craft writing
  • Experiment with narrative techniques, using language, punctuation and structure for effect
1. Narrative An original Gothic short story or story opening
Gothic Class Reader A choice of: The Woman in Black (or abridged), The Mist on the Mirror, Frankenstein, Jekyll and Hyde, Kiss Kiss, Whispers in the Graveyard, The Watch House, Witch Child
Spring TermThe War Unit Range of non-fiction and literary non-fiction Four set poems (one to be examined on): Who’s for the Game? by Jesse Pope, Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen, Suicide in the Trenches by Siegfried Sassoon, The Soldier by Rupert Brooke Additional poets may also be studied e.g. Isaac Rosenberg, Patricia McCarthy, Ciaran Carson, Stevie Smith, Owen Sheers
  • Read for meaning and summarise understanding
  • Use terminology to explore the choices of language and structure made by writers
  • Comment on the effect of language and structure
  • Respond to and compare two texts, looking at the writer’s intentions and different interpretations
2.Internal Exams
Speaking and Listening: Debate on Marine A A newspaper article or letter home from the trenches
3. Comparison An essay to compare two poems: Who’s For the Game? and Dulce et Decorum Est
March: Internal Exams: STAR Reading Tests + Conflict Literature – one studied poem and one unseen poem + Non-Fiction Writing: A persuasive speech
Conflict Class Reader A choice of: Anne Frank’s Diary, Heroes by Robert Cormier, The Machine Gunners, Carrie’s War
Summer Term Political Class Reader A choice of: My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, The Wave, Animal Farm, 1984, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Cirque du Freak, Noughts and Crosses, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Out of Bounds
Taking a Stand Selection of political speeches, literary non-fiction and poetry: Out of the Blue by Simon Armitage, The Right Word by Imitaz Dhakar, District 6
  • Develop an understanding of political, social and cultural contexts
  • Identify and comment on the writer’s viewpoint and methods
  • Show a controlled crafting of sentence types, punctuation and vocabulary for imaginative effect
4. Description An original piece of writing inspired by a line of poetry e.g. Out of the Blue
GCSE Ready: Seminal World Literature A choice of: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee or Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Gain a sense of cultural and contextual understanding of a Modern American Novel
  • Read for meaning, using inference and deduction skills
  • Identify and comment on the writer’s viewpoint and methods
  • Evaluate different interpretations of a text
  • Craft a detailed and personal response to a text
5. Evaluation An opinion essay on the text (How far do you agree…?)
Home Learning Project (half term 6) – Reading Project and reading log on Political and Social Novels – link to GCSE Term 1

9 to 1 GCSE Schedule – Starting September 2018

TermYear 10Year 11Year 11 Revision Focus
Summer Break Political Protest – Reading List and Reading Log 19th Century Novel – Wider Reading
Autumn Half-term 1 The Modern Play: An Inspector Calls
Curriculum Enrichment Week: Writing and Performing NEA “Don’t get me started on…” Student’s voice their perspectives
Poetry Link: London (Revision) The 19th Century Novel: Great Expectations or A Christmas Carol Shakespeare: Context, Themes, Characters, Quotes
Half-term 2 Language Paper 1: Reading Creative Fiction Key focus: Character, setting, aspects of narrative, structure Poetry Set 1: Narrative My Last Duchess The Émigré Checking Out Me History Ozymandias Language Paper 2: Reading Literary Non-Fiction Key focus: Comparison, Perspectives
Mock Exams Language Paper 2 Literature Paper 1 (Shakespeare/Dickens)
Re-read: Shakespeare
Poetry Sets 1 + 4 (Except London/Checking Out me History)
Spring Half-term 1 Poetry Set 2: The Reality of War Charge of the Light Brigade Exposure Bayonet Charge Link to creative: Saving Private Ryan Language Paper 1: Writing Creative/writing to describe Poetry Link: Checking Out Me History (Revision) Language Paper 2: Writing Non-fiction writing to argue/persuade
Revision: Language Paper 1
Re-read: An Inspector Calls
Poetry Sets 2 +3
Half-term 2 Poetry Set 3: Effects of Conflict Kamikaze Poppies War Photographer Remains Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing or Macbeth Revision: An Inspector Calls
Mock Exams Language Paper 1 Literature Paper 2
Re-read: Dickens
Unseen Poetry
Summer Half-term 1 Text Link: Guilt Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing or Macbeth
Approaching Unseen Poetry
Revision: Dickens Shakespeare Language Paper
Half-term 2 Poetry Set 4: Power & Society Ozymandias (Revise) The Prelude London Tissue Storm on the Island
Mock Exams Language Paper 1 Literature Paper 2
External EXAMS

9 to 1 GCSE Schedule – Started September 2017

TermYear 11Year 11 Revision Focus
Summer Break Political Protest – Reading List and Reading Log
Autumn Half-term 1 The Modern Play: An Inspector Calls Unseen Poetry
Poetry Set 2 – Reality of Conflict
Poetry Set 3 – Effects of Conflict
Half-term 2 Poetry Link to ‘perspectives’: Checking Out Me History and London Language Paper 2: Reading Literary Non-Fiction Key focus: Comparison, Perspectives
Mock Exams Language Paper 2 Literature Paper 2 (Poetry + An Inspector Calls)
Re-reads: Dickens
Poetry Sets 1 – Power
Poetry Sets 4 – Perspectives
Spring Half-term 1 Language Paper 2: Writing Non-fiction writing to argue/persuade
Revision: Language Paper 1
Re-read: Shakespeare
Dickens Revision – plot, character, context
Half-term 2 Revision: Shakespeare & Dickens
Mock Exams Language Paper 1 Literature Paper 2 (Dickens/Shakespeare)
Re-read: An Inspector Calls
Shakespeare Revision – plot, character, context
Summer Half-term 1 Revision: An Inspector Calls Language Paper 2 Poetry Unseen Poetry
Half-term 2 External EXAMS

Key Stage 5 Overviews

A Level English Language

A-Level Language: AQA Language 7701/7702
TermYear 12Year 13
Summer Reading – Terry Deary “Wicked Words” and Bill Bryson “Mother Tongue” Wider Reading and collation of data for NEA
Autumn Introduction to the study of language. Analysing texts – understanding how meaning is created in a variety of texts. Introduction to language varieties: regional and national variations and attitudes towards these. Introduction to children’s language development. Develop work on non-exam assessment: language investigation. Non-exam assessment: original writing. Internal Mock Exams
Spring Textual variations and representations. Language, the Individual and Society – language varieties: social groups, gender and occupational varieties. Language Diversity and Change NEA Final Deadlines
Summer Preparation for mock exams – revision. Internal Mock Exams Introduction to full A level – key topics and non-exam assessment component: investigation. Revision of Year 12 topics Exam Preparation External A2 Exams: Paper 1 – Language and the Individual in Society Paper 2 – Language Diversity and Change

A Level English Literature

A-Level Literature: AQA Literature B
TermYear 12Year 13
Summer Reading of ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ Reading of independent poetry and prose texts for the NEA
Autumn Introduction to the genre of ‘Tragedy’
Prose: ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ by Thomas Hardy
Pre-1900 Drama: Shakespeare’s Othello
Introduction to the genre of ‘Political and Social Protest Writing’
Unseen Texts (Section A) – Exam Preparation
Prose: ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini
NEA Planning & Drafting
Internal Mock Exams
Spring Poetry: John Keats – Isabella, Lamia, The Eve of St Agnes, La Belle Dame Sans Merci
Modern Drama: ‘Death of A Salesman’ by Arthur Miller
Drama: ‘A Doll’s House’ by Henrik Ibsen
Poetry: Tony Harrison selection – v., Working, National Trust, Them & [uz], Marked with D NB – contains explicit language
NEA Final Deadlines
Summer Section C – Exam Preparation
Internal Mock Exams
Introduction to Critical Theory – AQA Critical Anthology (Feminism, Marxism, The Canon, Post-Colonialism) Setting questions and texts for the NEA
Revision of Y12 Texts Section C – Exam Preparation
External A2 Exams: Paper 1A – Tragedy Paper 2B – Political & Social Protest Writing

A Level English Language/Literature

A-Level Literature and Language AQA
TermYear 12Year 13
Summer Reading of ‘A Handmaid’s Tale’ Reading of independent poetry, prose and non-fiction texts for the NEA. Reading ‘The Great Gatsby’
Autumn Introduction to ‘Imagined Worlds’ Prose: ‘A Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margret Atwood Introduction to ‘Remembered Places’ AQA Anthology: Paris (particular emphasis on non-fiction and non-literary material). Introduction to re-creative writing Prose: ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald NEA Planning & Drafting Internal Mock Exams
Spring Remembered Places continued. Poetic Voices: Carol Ann Duffy selection from the ‘Mean Time’ anthology. Introduction to ‘Dramatic Encounters’ Play: ‘Othello’ by Shakespeare NEA Final Deadlines
Summer Exam Preparation paper 1 Internal Mock Exams Introduction to ‘Writing about Society’ Setting questions and texts for the NEA Revision of Y12 Texts Exam Preparation External A2 Exams: Paper 1 – Telling Stories Paper 2 – Exploring Conflict