Subject Leader - Ms A Smith (stsmitha1@selstonhigh.org.uk)

Key Stage 3

At key stage 3 students study a wide range of topics in English; these ensure that all students study a broad range of texts including poetry, Shakespeare, pre-19th century literature and non-fiction texts. KS3 is vital in English as it builds the blocks to ensure students are successful at GCSE. To support with this, students are assessed continuously through KS3; this includes a mixture of both short, timed assessments, longer and more detailed pieces of work, and end of term and end of year examinations. Please see below the topics explored in each year group, and a selection of the texts that are studied.

Year 7

Year 7 is a key year for our students and helps to introduce to the study of English as an academic study. Students study a modern novel on their entry to Year 7. There are a range of novels available that may be studied including Holes, Wonder, The Switch and the Cirque du Freak. Following this students study non-fiction writing before moving on to their Shakespeare study of Romeo and Juliet. At the end of the year students study 19th century literature and then prepare for their end of year examinations. By the end of Year 7 all students have progressed towards the key assessment foci for KS3 English and will develop confident in extended writing and in reading more challenging texts.

Year 8

Year 8 students will further develop the skills introduced in Year 7. All students study Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol, developing their ability to read and understand 19th century literature. As the year progresses, Year 8s will study short stories, non-fiction writing and poetry before studying a modern novel towards the end of the year. In Year 8 students will begin to be introduced in a more detailed way to the skills required for GCSE and will grow in confidence in both reading and writing.

Year 9

Year 9 is a key year in English as it is a bridging year for students to prepare for the rigour of GCSE. Students start the year reading a more challenging modern novel, developing their essay writing skills and ability to comment on writer’s methods and contexts. Following from this, students study a cluster of poetry that is similar to the poetry they will study at GCSE. Students will also study a gothic novel, exploring ideas of genre in detail and preparing for the gothic novel they study in Year 10. At the end of Year 9, all students will sit their first GCSE exam papers so that we can create a baseline grade for all students before Year 10. They will also complete their GCSE Spoken Language assessment at the end of this year. 

Facilities and resources

The department has its own suite of classrooms that are equipped for the teaching of English. Students also use the ICT facilities around school at times to enrich their English education. In KS3 students are given the opportunity to become “English Leaders” and complete a course on leadership during their enrichment time. Over the next year, the English leaders will be working towards running an after-school library and reading club so younger students can engage with reading and develop their literacy skills.