In order for our vision statement to be realised it is our intent
To plan our KS3 curriculum so that Key Stage 3 builds upon the knowledge and skills developed in
To map explicit progression in skills and knowledge thematically across KS3 so that students learn
the key concepts that underpin KS4.
To study six full works of fiction, two Shakespeare plays, a range of poetry as well as a wide range
of non-fiction in KS3 which thematically and linguistically become progressively more challenging,
promote cultural capital and so that students are well prepared for the set and unseen texts they
will study as part of the GCSE syllabus at KS4.
To review and consolidate KS2 grammar skills in the early years of KS3 so that students can
become confident in recognising, applying and manipulating grammatical structures at word and
To explicitly teach and train students in the use of targeted tier 2 vocabulary so that they are
encouraged to become self-conscious users of a new and expanding active vocabulary range
To enable students to communicate effectively in discussion and to express themselves and form
their own opinions.
To promote our students’ ability to work independently and through our delivery of spaced and
interleaved learning, a pedagogy that develops mastery and incorporates regular assessment, we
aim to give them the skills, knowledge and attributes that will help them succeed at GCSE and
Key stage 3
The KS3 thematic curriculum is driven by the concepts of the individual, the societal and the
cultural. In year 7, students study the concept of the classical hero, the development of a
protagonist and the theme of identity in two novels and in a Shakespeare play. They also study a
selection of Romantic poetry as an expression of individuality and as personal, emotional
responses to the natural world. Year 8 read novels with a focus that moves on from the concept
of the individual to explore societal and global issues in, for example, the dystopian genre.
Shakespeare study focuses on the theme of conflict within society and our year 8 poetry study
explores how conflict between different societies is conveyed. In year 9 we move on to a study of
the cultural significance of literature; we explore the importance of considering the conceptual
and cultural contexts of texts which include seminal works from the 19th and 20th century
literary canon in preparation for the GCSE English course.
Similarly, the year 7 theme of the individual informs our non-fiction focus on subject matter that
is engaging on a personal, emotive level and then in year 8 progresses to texts expressing wider
societal and political ideas. Year 9 non-fiction is a progression to the study of nuanced texts which
express writers’ perspectives with greater subtlety and complexity; this progression has been
designed so that students are able to engage with the challenge of the non-fiction they will study
for GCSE Language.
They will develop their understanding of the different nuances of sophisticated (tier 2)
vocabulary and use this to explain the effects of language and linguistic devices and structures.
We will teach a bank of target vocabulary to each year group and by encouraging and monitoring
the use of this target vocabulary we can support students’ vocabulary acquisition across the key
stages. They will learn to explain writers’ attitudes and viewpoints and compare different
perspectives in increasing detail so that they can engage meaningfully in a wide variety of text
types. They will also learn how different contexts - historical, personal and thematic - create
meaning in a wide range of texts and this will enhance their cultural capital.
We begin by revisiting and consolidating the recognition of the various sentence structures taught
at primary level and as students’ confidence in knowing and applying these various structures in
their own writing develops, we teach how grammar can be varied for specific effects.
Over Key Stage 3, students will develop their ability to write fiction and non-fiction with greater
impact and control of how language is used for effect, adopting and adapting the different
structures and conventions, such as those of genre, when describing and narrating a story or
manipulating a reader’s response when conveying a point of view. Students will also be
encouraged to develop subtlety in their application of tone and stylistic features particularly in
the development of a formal, critical style of exploratory academic analysis.
We give our students opportunities to develop their ability and their confidence in the skills of
dialogue and discussion which are a key aspect of each lesson. We also give students the
opportunity to practise public speaking in a formal context.
Students study both English Language and English Literature in Key Stage 4 and this leads to two
separate GCSE qualifications. We follow the AQA GCSE syllabus for both subjects.
English Language is assessed by two examinations. Paper 1 includes an extract of fiction that
students are asked to analyse before producing some creative narrative or descriptive writing
themselves. Paper 2 assesses non fiction reading and writing skills; it includes two extracts of non
fiction linked by subject. One of the texts will be a 19th century extract. As in paper 1, students
complete a series of reading tasks before completing a piece of writing to express their point of
view on a given subject.
Similarly, English Literature is assessed by two examinations and we cover the five key elements
of the course over Key Stage 4: Shakespeare, a 19th century novel, modern prose or drama,
poetry and unseen poetry.
We assess understanding and progress each lesson through speaking and listening using class
discussion, participation in question & answer and monitored group talk. We also regularly utilise
mini whiteboards to quickly assess whole class understanding and progress.
Written work is marked regularly. We focus on six assessment objectives: reading to identify
information, make inferences, compare ideas and analyse language as well as context; writing
that is effective, and accurate, for a range of purposes and in a variety of contexts.
Classes across KS3 & 4 are set common agreed assessment tasks at regular times each year. To
support standardisation we apply a system of comparative “blind” marking known as No More
Marking. Each script is marked multiple times to ensure accuracy and objectivity in our
judgements and as these assessments are scheduled throughout the year, staff are involved in a
continual process of moderation that ensures standards are clear and coherent and confidently
applied to student work.
In KS4, assessment continues as outlined above however as the Literature syllabus leads to a
closed book exam - meaning students need to work from memory rather than take the text to be
examined into the exam room with them as was the case previously, we put a lot of emphasis on
students learning and retaining information that will be vital to their success in exams. Students
are expected to learn key ideas and quotations to use in the various potential exam responses
that will be demanded of them - this means we assess students recall and home based revision
closely from the summer term in year 9, when we introduce students to the Literature syllabus,