Key Stage 3

In English at Key Stage 3 students develop skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening.

They will read a range of contemporary fiction such as Holes by Louis Sachar, Kit’s Wilderness by David Almond and Woman in Black by Susan Hill. They also study pre 20th Century fiction and a wide range of poetry. Students will also explore drama texts such as The Crucible by Arthur Miller and Our Day Out by Willy Russell.

During the three years students will write for a range of different audiences and purposes. They create short stories, design informative leaflets and write formal reports. We build on the essential skills and techniques developed in primary school and develop key writing skills to be used across the curriculum.

Speaking and listening is an essential skill which the students work on throughout the three years. We encourage students to work collaboratively in lessons to develop good group speaking and listening skills; also we give them opportunities to work in role, give speeches and deliver presentations.

Year 7 Curriculum

Students start their course in Year 7 by studying narrative writing with a focus on reading and writing biography and autobiography. We then move on to writing about alter egos and writing a short story based on this theme. Students finish their first term by reading a novel where they study character, theme and analyse the writer’s use of language.

In the Spring term we focus on a unit called “Writing the World” where students study non-fiction texts and write in this style. Students will then study their first Shakespeare play which is Henry the Fifth. In this unit we analyse Shakespeare’s famous speeches from the play and also think about how writers from different time periods explore the theme of war.

In the Summer term students focus on a unit about Cumbria where they read texts by famous local writers, Wordsworth and Wainwright, and write a descriptive guide to the school. They finish the year with a unit looking at how to write persuasive speeches.

Year 8 Curriculum

Students start Year 8 studying a novel where they further develop the skills established in Year 7 and working towards those needed for GCSE analysis. The second part of the Autumn term is focused on writing stories using the spy genre. We start the Spring term exploring poetry across cultures and then move on to writing different non-fiction texts so students have a clear understanding of how to write for different audiences and purposes.

The Summer term focuses on developing skills needed for their Language and Literature GCSEs. Students study how characters in novels have evolved from the first novels right through to contemporary novels. They then move on to analysing how language has changed from 19th to the 21st Century by exploring how letter writing has changed.

Year 9 Curriculum

Year 9 is very much focused on preparing students ready for their GCSE examinations. They start the year analysing how news is written and presented to audiences and then write their own newspaper articles. They continue with journalistic writing by creating a professional style film reviews. Students move on to study their second Shakespeare play which this time is Macbeth. This is a more comprehensive study of the whole play to build on their Year 7 work.

The Spring term starts with narrative writing, this time with a focus on writing a story based on a dystopia. Students then build on their work in Year 8 by studying how language has changed between the 19th and 21st Century. Students then read a fiction text (either a play or a novel) which have been previously been part of GCSE syllabuses.

In the Summer term students continue their work on the fiction text and then move on to studying poetry in preparation for their Literature GCSE.