KS3 English

Year 7

In the English Faculty at Lymm High School, our curriculum is designed to help our Year 7 pupils to work on the following important skills:

  1. Speaking and listening skills: to make plenty of contributions in lessons, and to listen carefully to the ideas of others and to try to develop them.
  2. Reading skills: to read regularly at home, and to enjoy a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books.
  3. Reading skills: to use the ILS and to know how to find fiction and non-fiction books of their choice.
  4. Reading skills: to be able to locate information by finding it in a fiction book, a reference book or an online source, and then to be able to scan the text to find the information that they need.
  5. Writing skills: to use language for deliberate effect to interest a reader and to redraft their work to further engage their audience (using a dictionary or thesaurus to do this).
  6. Writing skills: to proof-read all written work independently, without being prompted by their teacher or anyone else.

Underpinning each of our units will be a supportive learning programme of spelling and grammar, through class teaching and workbooks provided for all pupils.

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Descriptive writing:

Initial assessment piece.

ILC Induction:

Pupils will complete a sequence of four sessions in the ILC with a focus on fiction. They will learn to locate books arranged by author and to consider the information on the book cover when selecting fiction books.

Gothic Fiction:

We enter the realms of Gothic fiction, this half term.  Pupils will study a range of writing and create individual responses to texts.

Autobiography:

Pupils will study a range of autobiographical texts in order to complete their own.

Other Cultures:

Here, pupils will study a range of poems, from pre-twentieth century to contemporary poetry, and will consider how to formulate a personal response.  Key features of poetry will be learned and there will be an opportunity to compare and contrast some of the poems studied.

ILC Induction:

In a sequence of four sessions pupils will be introduced to researching with non-fiction beginning with an explanation of the Dewey classification system. Pupils will be shown how to find relevant information using books and the internet and will produce a leaflet on a sport of their choice to demonstrate techniques learned.

Shakespeare:

Shakespeare’s writing will be studied alongside the life and times of the author.  This will take the form of analysing extracts from ‘The Tempest’ in order to explore some of the key features of Shakespeare’s scope.

Novel:

Pupils will begin to study a class reader to underpin their reading skills and to encourage their engagement with fiction designed to be read by young readers. Pupils’ own private reading is also strongly encouraged!

ILC Induction:

Pupils will look at children’s picture books as part of the Greenaway Shadowing scheme. There will also be sessions on poetry reading and writing and be shown how to refine their information searches using the school library management system ‘Eclipse.net’.

 

Year 8

Year 8 is an important year in pupils’ development as English students as they move away from Year 7 and towards KS4. In the Year 8 curriculum, we ask pupils:

  • to think about what a writer is trying to suggest or create whenever they read a text, and to make thoughtful choices about how they can engage their reader whenever they write something;
  • to have an eagerness to think for themselves and to ask interesting questions about the skills they learn and the texts they study;
  • to think about the language they use and where it comes from, and to appreciate all the different cultural influences around them;
  • to take advantage of the literature that surrounds them and to read as widely as possible;
  • to be more responsible for, and leading, their own learning than when they entered the school in Year 7;
  • to involve themselves in lessons so that they have the best possible chance of enjoying and achieving in English.

Our units are designed to encourage pupils to consider a range of reading, writing, and speaking and listening strategies shaped to affect the reader in a variety of ways.  These are all skills that will be assessed at GCSE and so are vitally important at this early stage.  Underpinning each of our units will be a supportive learning programme of spelling and grammar, both through class teaching and workbooks provided for all pupils to access on the school website.

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Initial assessment:

Review of opening chapter of set novel.

Novel:

This unit will focus on the analysis of literature looking at key writing techniques used to engage the reader.  Pupils will also be studying a class reader at this time.

‘Good and Evil’:

Pupils will study non-fiction reading texts and poetry linked to this theme.

Shakespeare/Marlowe:

The study of Shakespeare or Marlowe, linked to the reading of a play and various tasks aimed to develop pupils’ awareness and understanding of the work of drama, will be the basis of this half term’s learning.

 

Detective Fiction:

Pupils will study the genre of detective and crime fiction, including pre 20th century literature.  This will help to develop pupils’ skills of analysis and their appreciation of challenging fiction.

Year 9

In Year 9, pupils begin to make the transition from Year 9 into GCSE and their curriculum is closely tied to the reading and writing skills required for success. In the Spring and Summer Terms, pupils begin their study of GCSE English Language in earnest as they begin to study examination set texts.

In the Year 9 curriculum, we ask pupils:

  • to think about what a writer is trying to suggest or create whenever they read a text, and to make thoughtful choices about how they can engage their reader whenever they write something;
  • to have an eagerness to think for themselves and to ask interesting questions about the skills they learn and the texts they study;
  • to think about the language they use and where it comes from, and to appreciate all the different cultural influences around them;
  • to take advantage of the literature that surrounds them and to read as widely as possible;
  • to be more responsible for, and leading, their own learning than in Year 8;
  • to involve themselves in lessons so that they have the best possible chance of enjoying and achieving in English.
Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Travel writing:

Pupils study a range of examples of travel writing and apply the necessary skills for each style.  The unit focuses on using a range of interesting and imaginative vocabulary, structuring work with a range of sentence types and paragraphs and writing texts to appeal to specific audiences and styles.

Pre-twentieth century fiction (H.G. Wells):

Pupils will study a range of extracts from H.G.Wells’ writing. They will explore characterisation, themes, setting and the author’s intentions.  They will also develop understanding of how texts are influenced by contextual and historical issues.

Unseen Poetry:

Pupils will examine a range of unseen poetry in line with their new GCSE course.

Descriptive Writing:

Pupils will develop descriptive writing skills in line with their new GCSE course. There will be a strong focus on developing spelling, punctuation and grammar here.

 

Disasters:

Pupils will practice a range of non-fiction writing under the theme ‘disasters’. There will be a clear focus on spelling, punctuation and grammar.

They will use these texts to analyse a range of figurative language features, implicit and explicit meanings and the development of key themes. Pupils will explore characterisation, themes, setting and the writer’s intentions.  They will also develop understanding of how texts are influenced by contextual and historical issues.

Shakespeare:

Pupils will begin their study of their set GCSE text ‘Macbeth’.

Homework

Two home learning activities per week are set for each year group. Typically, home learning may consist of the following activities which are designed to prepare pupils for their next lesson, but this is not an exhaustive list:

  • preparation of story, description, poem, play-script, book review;
  • writing a draft;
  • making notes on character – from a class novel, for example;
  • working on a project – novel or theme;
  • reading selected chapters of a novel for a particular purpose;
  • finding information, research, meanings of words;
  • annotation of a text;
  • illustrations – book covers, booklets, posters;
  • completing corrections – spellings, punctuation.

Other Useful Information

Pupils should be aware of their current and target levels.  Understanding of these, and of how to improve, will be discussed at key assessment points and also during the course of lessons/home learning when appropriate.

Assessment:

Classroom assessments

During Key Stage 3 students will sit regular, class based assessments in English. These will assess a variety of skills including analysis of language and text structure, evaluative writing, identifying explicit information and creating a range of fiction and non-fiction texts.

Reading assessments

Examples of the types of reading questions students will answer are:

  • How has the writer used language in the extract to emphasize the character’s feelings of happiness?
  • How has the text been structured to interest the reader?
  • A teacher has said: ‘The opening of this text is particularly good as it makes the reader feel as though they are in the room with the characters.’ To what extent do you agree?

Writing assessments

Examples of the types of writing questions students will answer:

  • Students will be given an image as a prompt and asked to write a description or a narrative linked to the image.
  • Students will be given a statement and asked to argue their point of view e.g. Festivals and fairs should be banned. They encourage bad behaviour and are disruptive to local communities. Write a letter to the council explaining your point of view on this statement.

Internal Examinations

Internal examinations in English will be taken in the January and May of Year 7, 8 and 9. In the examinations pupils will be tested on both reading and writing skills. They will have three questions based on a fiction or non-fiction extract to answer within 45minutes. These questions will assess comprehension skills, language analysis, understanding of text structure or evaluative skills. They will also have 45 minutes to produce a fiction or non-fiction texts which will demonstrate their understanding of descriptive, narrative or viewpoint writing skills.

All assessment questions at Key Stage 3 are designed to mirror the question types and skills that pupils will need to master for their GCSE.

Useful resources

For Year 7, 8 & 9 Internal English examination guidance click here

To help your children prepare for all in class and exam assessments you could use resources from the following websites:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z3kw2hv

http://www.educationquizzes.com/ks3/english/

http://www.topmarks.co.uk/Search.aspx?Subject=9&AgeGroup=4

Additionally there are a number of excellent Key Stage 3 revision and workbooks available from Amazon and WH Smith. The English Department recommends:

CGP KS3 English Study Guide ISBN: 978 1 84762 257 0

Reading and Understanding at Key Stage 3 English: Levels 4-7 ISBN-13: 978-0993273506

CGP Key Stage 3 English the Workbook ISBN-13: 978-1847621542

Key events: 

  • End of September/early October: Interhall book quiz
  • National Poetry Day: Interhall poetry competition for Year 7
  • Cheshire Book Quiz: Year 7 and 8
  • World Book Day 2017
  • Carnegie / Greenaway Shadowing: Years 7, 8 and 9

 

4 ways I can help my son/daughter

1

Speaking and listening skills: help build up students’ confidence about contributing in classroom discussions and becoming more involved in lessons.

2

Reading skills: help their children find enjoyable and challenging fiction books; listen to them reading aloud and to ask them about their understanding of the books they read.

3

Writing skills: encourage their children to craft pieces of written work in all of their subjects; show them how to draft and edit their work on the computer and in their book; encourage them to use a dictionary and thesaurus at home.

4

Creative ideas: take their children to the theatre or other cultural experiences; take them to local libraries and help them to develop regular reading habits.