Key Stage 3

KS3 STRUCTURE (Years 7-9):


The Key Stage 3 English curriculum has been centred around developing students’ reading, writing and oracy skills. Each of our units focuses predominantly on one of these core skills whilst supplementing the others. We do this through a range of thematic units, each designed to engage our students in both English and issues of the wider world.

Students are taught in mixed-ability groupings in Years 7 and 8 to give all students the opportunity to share ideas together and build on one another’s strengths. In Year 9, students are taught in set groups based on ability. We use this opportunity to ensure that grouping and the learning environment for each student is at its best before we fix the groupings ready for GCSE study in Year 10.

In Year 7 and 8, all students will have two English teachers. The main teacher (6 hours per fortnight) will deliver a range of thematic units detailed below. The second teacher (2 hours per fortnight) will explore language and literature in a real-world setting, building writing skills, exploring a range of poetry and cultures, and exploring language and literature across the world.

In Year 9, students enter a transition year, building the skills needed for GCSE study whilst learning in a style they have become accustomed to. Texts across Key Stage 3 have been selected to increase in challenge, building to GCSE-level texts in Year 9. Students then begin their GCSE studies in English Literature and English Language in earnest in Year 10.


Year 7 Topics:

  • ARC Reading: Throughout the year, unpicking challenging texts of various genres, linked to the Personal Development Curriculum.
  • Gothic: Fiction writing, exploring the gothic genre
  • Autobiographies: Speaking and Listening unit: to inform
  • Equality: Fiction reading of “My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece”
  • Survival: Non-Fiction reading and writing of texts linked to survival
  • War & Comrades: Exploration of the modern play, “War Horse”

Year 8 Topics:

  • ARC Reading: Throughout the year, unpicking challenging texts of various genres, linked to the Personal Development Curriculum.
  • Dystopian: Fiction reading unit exploring the genre of dystopia through Susan Collin’s ‘The Hunger Games’.
  • Heroes & Villains: Short story reading and writing exploring various aspects of narrative.
  • Dragon’s Den: Speaking and Listening unit: to persuade
  • Romance & Rebellion: Detailed study of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
  • Past & Present: Exploration of 19th Century non-fiction texts to challenge reading and inspire writing.

Year 9 Topics:

  • Gender: Fiction reading and exploration of gender through Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”
  • Leadership: Detailed study of Shakespeare’s “Henry V”
  • Representation: Non-Fiction reading and writing skills based on how issues, groups and topics are represented across media platforms
  • Speaking and Listening: Students will research and present on a topic of their choice for their GCSE Speaking and Listening presentations
  • Crime & Detection: Fiction reading and writing skills based on Agatha Christies’ novel, “And Then There Were None”