Key Stage 3


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Term 1





Transition and Poetry Aloud


In the first term, we begin with a transition unit where we establish the foundations of English by introducing reading strategies, key vocabulary and embedding our expectations of what makes students effective speakers and listeners.


We then move on to poetry, giving students the opportunity to study ‘The best words in the best order’. Throughout Poetry Aloud, students will get creative with blackout poetry and use art to see that there are multiple ways of interpreting texts and that poems contain layers of meanings. Students will experiment with performing poetry in groups, writing their own poems, and attempting to memorise poems.


We will also teach students to analyse a collection of poems, examining what makes poetry distinctive and how poets use devices for effect. Students will be assessed on an analytical response to a poem.






Poetic Voices


In Term 1, students are invited to consider how “poetry is the lens we use to interrogate the history we stand on and the future we stand for.” Students will be introduced to a range of voices in poetry, starting with ‘Caged Bird’ by Maya Angelou. The poems in our anthology explore the power of language, structure, and form in constructing identity. Context becomes more significant here as we explore how poetry reflects shared experiences.


Once students have been exposed to the poetic voices of others, they look to develop a personal voice by constructing their own. They will write ‘I Come From’ poems in which they explore their own identities. They also get the chance to share their poetry through spoken word performances.


This unit culminates in a comparison of two poems from the anthology that have been chosen by the teacher.


Love and Relationships


In Term 1, students will continue to explore the aspects that make poetry unique by focusing on the kinds of relationships which exist between humans. Poems in the collection will be analysed to understand how the writer’s choices of language, form and structure communicate messages to listeners across time. Students will be exposed to a range of different poetic forms. Context continues to gain significance here.


Students are increasingly able to relate the poems we study to their own experiences and to develop their interpretations through group discussion.



This unit culminates in a comparison of two poems from the anthology. This time, students are encouraged to independently select their poems for comparison.







Term 2


Non-fiction writing

Weird and Wonderful


This term, we begin our ‘Weird and Wonderful’ unit. Students will identify the difference between fiction and non-fiction and explore the exciting genre of literary non-fiction. We will expose students to a range of literary non-fiction texts, appreciating how writers make the ordinary extraordinary.  We will discover how writers use literary techniques associated with fiction to report ‘real world’ facts, and then ask students to use these same techniques to tell their own ‘weird and wonderful’ stories.


During this unit, we will revisit how to craft paragraphing and sentence forms for effect, as well as using a full range of punctuation to shape meanings. Students will participate in writing workshops, evaluating and editing their work to produce their desired effect. They will channel their inner Roald Dahl – using ‘Boy’ as inspiration – culminating in their main piece of assessed work where they will write an extract from their autobiography about a weird and wonderful memory.


Argument and Debate


This term, we continue the thread of understanding how texts are integral in communicating a clear message. However, this term we move away from poetry into the realm of non-fiction argument writing.


Students will consider the art of persuasion by looking at fictional speeches from Shakespeare before jumping into a range of historic speeches from Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King. We then transition into more modern speeches delivered by Barack Obama, Tariq Jahan in the 2011 riots and Emma Watson.


Each speech will explore the impact of different rhetorical devices such as the use of metaphor, modal verbs or emotive language to name just a few. Students will regularly move between identifying rhetorical devices to applying them to their own writing. They will learn the importance of adapting writing for particular audiences and purposes, as well as the significance of structure from sentence to whole text level. Most importantly, students will reflect on issues that are important to them, establish their own independent viewpoint and develop a voice that we want to listen to and that deserves to be heard.


The unit culminates in the main assessed piece of work where students will produce a speech about a topical issue.


Exploring Perspectives


This term, we widen our lens to appreciate how everyone has a different perspective of the world, people, experiences, and events.


We start the unit by engaging the skills of speaking and listening and students reflecting on how confident and adept they are at these skills. We then move on to consider the idea of perspectives and to explore how different perspectives are conveyed in speech and writing. We will use different media such as film, art, and articles to encourage students to understand how ‘Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is perspective, not the truth’.


Students will use their oracy skills to debate and discuss a range of real-world topics and consciously adapt their writing and talk, to match the purpose, form and audience and to clearly convey their own perspective of something.


Students will continue to develop reading skills by using the reading strategies to tackle new texts, analyse a range of different non-fiction texts, and question how perspectives are conveyed by writers. They will also revisit how sentences are crafted for effect and how rhetorical devices create meanings.


The unit culminates in the main assessed piece of work where students will produce an opinion article that conveys their own perspective on a topic or discussion question.


Term 3


Modern Play

‘The Diary Of Anne Frank’


In Term 3, we return to literature and students study the play version of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’. Some students know Anne’s story, but those that don’t quickly become engaged with Anne’s inspirational account of life in the annex.


In this unit, we introduce students to the features of play scripts and performance and compare extracts from Anne’s diary to the modern play script. Students examine the structure of the play as well as the presentation of characters and themes. We also develop students’ contextual knowledge of WW2 and the Holocaust which is particularly important to RWBA as we are a Holocaust Beacon School.


Students will complete an analytical reading assessment examining the presentation of Anne in a key scene in the play.

‘Dr Korczak’s Example’


In Term 3, we expose students to the modern Brechtian play, ‘Dr Korczak’s Example’. This is a wonderful play that students thoroughly engage in as it explores humanity, bravery and every child’s right to freedom, respect and love even in the face of appalling injustice.


The play, set in 1942 during the final days of an orphanage under Nazi patrol in the Warsaw Ghetto, is inspired by the real life of Janusz Korczak, a writer, radio broadcaster, Doctor and teacher who dedicated his life to protecting children.


Students really engage with the unusual Brechtian style, exploring more abstract methods including the interesting use of symbols and staging.  The play poses powerful questions that engage the students in debate which resonates given Korczak’s role in inspiring the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.


The unit culminates in an analytical reading response where students explore the development of the character of Adzio across the whole text.


‘Journey’s End’


In Term 3, students explore the brutal reality of life in the trenches in WW1 through the powerful play ‘Journey’s End’ by R C Sheriff.


Set over a period of 4 days in 1918, students will explore the poignant relationships between the characters in the play as they seek to create some kind of normality amidst the horror. They will also analyse stage directions and symbols for layers of meanings, investigate the presentation of key themes and consider the writer’s message. This realist play expands students’ knowledge of the genres of plays. Satellite texts such as historical propaganda are examined to deepen understanding of context. Students watch the play.


The unit culminates in a thematic analytical response in which students explore the effects of war in the entire play.

Term 4


Prose fiction and narrative or descriptive writing


Tales of the Unexpected.


In this unit, students study a diverse collection of engaging short stories in written and animated forms, focusing on how stories are structured to engage and hook the reader. Students identify techniques writers use and then apply these in their own writing. Students will develop the skill of ‘show not tell’ when describing characters and setting, and craft powerful sentences through slow writing. We will explore the use of dialogue and tension and using vocabulary for effect.


This unit culminates in students planning their own narrative tale of the unexpected and writing their own exposition.


‘The Woman in Black’.


During Term 4, students will read the complete novel of ‘The Woman in Black’ by Susan Hill. We will analyse the text for a range of narrative techniques and their meanings, evaluate word choices, identify features of the gothic genre as well as learning about Victorian context.


Students will then use this as a stimulus for their own pieces of writing, applying these features to their own descriptions of setting, character, and supernatural happenings. We will imitate Susan Hill’s writing, consciously crafting writing and hopefully building confidence and fluency.


This unit culminates in a piece of transformational writing where students emulate the style of Susan Hill.


‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’.


In this unit, students will be exposed to a wealth of challenging vocabulary in the wonderful Arthur Conan Doyle story ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’. Students will read the complete pre-19th century novella.


During the close reading, we will examine the construction of character, setting and plot. Furthermore, through the study of the detective genre, students will build on their genre and contextual knowledge from Year 8. Students will also explore the importance of narrative voice and continue to craft their writing through careful choices of sentencing, punctuation, and vocabulary.


This unit culminates in descriptive writing using a visual clip as stimulus.


Terms 5 and 6



‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’


In our final two terms, students will study the complete play of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. In this comedy play where real and fairy worlds collide, students explore the chaos and confusion of complex relationships as well as the mischief and humour of the plot.


We will take creative approaches to the text, encouraging students to engage with the word play of Shakespeare’s rich language. We will examine characters and plot in a range of engaging ways. We will also introduce students to the context of the Elizabethan era and the world of the Globe. Plays are meant to be watched so that is the ultimate aim.


This unit culminates in students examining a section of the text and exploring the presentation of a character.




‘Romeo and Juliet’


In our final two terms, students study the complete tragedy play of ‘Romeo and Juliet’. In this play about making choices, students gain an appreciation of how and why Shakespeare presents love and conflict, themes that continue to be relevant in the 21st Century. We use modern film adaptions to bring Shakespeare’s language to life.

Students explore a range of different language, form and structure methods and engage with RSC techniques.


This unit culminates in a guided analytical response exploring the evolving relationship between Romeo and Juliet.



‘Twelfth Night’


Students build upon the skills developed during their study of Shakespeare in Years 7 and 8 to explore the comedy ‘Twelfth Night’. In this play of love, confusion, mistaken identities, and joyful discovery, students begin to analyse Shakespeare in greater depth, identifying layers of meanings, examining motifs and patterns, and understanding the structure of the play. Students also build on their knowledge of the genre of comedy.


We continue to embed RSC strategies such as Whoosh and tableaux to allow students to access the chaotic plot.


This unit culminates in an analytical response where students make independent links across the text to explore the development of character or theme.




Useful Links for KS3

Terminology table (grammarsaurus.co.uk)


Terminology table Y1 – Grammarsaurus

In year two, I should know… www.grammarsaurus.co.uk Terminology table Y2 Term Meaning Example Adverb A word that describes a verb. Past tense – verb used to show something happened in the past.


The national curriculum in England – English Appendix 1: Spelling (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Key Stage 4


Year 10

Year 11

Term 2

This term, with one teacher, students are continuing to study ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde’, building on the learning that took place in term 1.


 In studying the 19th Century Novel, students will be immersed in the murkier side of Victorian London, exploring how context informed both the production and reception of the novel. We will also continue to make our way through the plot of this exciting novella (short novel).


With their other teacher, students are studying ‘Power and Conflict Conflict’ poems from the AQA anthology. We are teaching these chronologically, enabling students to understand how poetic forms have changed through time. This term we will mostly be focusing on war poetry, exploring the attitudes to war of different poets at different time periods. By the end of term, students will have covered over half of the anthology cluster in depth and will return to this topic in Year 11.


Students will begin this term by preparing for their PPE, which is a full English Literature Paper 2. This includes the modern play An Inspector Calls, the Power and Conflict poetry from the AQA anthology and unseen poetry.


Following study leave, with one teacher they will continue to study the remainder of An Inspector Calls. exploring the plot, genre and message behind this exciting drama, as well as examining the contextual background that influenced production and reception of the play.


The other teacher will be picking up English Language for the first time this academic year, spending four weeks exploring a range of writing skills for both fiction and non-fiction writing. Students will gain the opportunity to carefully craft different types of writing, developing their skills in creating pieces of writing that are both engaging and accurate.



Term 3

This term, we will complete our teaching of ‘Jekyll & Hyde’, reaching the exciting conclusion of this famous novella, building examination skills into our learning. We will then use the themes of the novel, such as duality and good and evil, as well as the features of Victorian Gothic Literature to explore creative writing skills, preparing students for English Language Paper 1 Section B.


Your child’s other teacher will begin the Shakespeare text ‘Macbeth’, exploring how reading skills can help to decode difficult language and how context informs our understanding of a text, as well as supporting students as they get to grips with the plot and themes of this tragic play. Previous learning will also help students as many of the poetic devices that they will be familiar with from ‘Power and Conflict’ will also appear in Shakespeare’s verse, and themes such as power, corruption and duality can be linked to both ‘Power and Conflict’ and ‘Jekyll and Hyde’.


This term, we are actively preparing students for their next set of PPEs which will take place in Term 4. 

One English teacher will be delivering the final new content of the course: English Language Paper 2. This is a non-fiction paper, where, in Section A, students read two non-fiction texts on a similar theme, and then apply skills such as inference, summary, comparison and analysis. Whilst the layout of this paper is new to students, the skills are transferable from other parts of the course. In Section B of the paper, they then write a piece of non-fiction writing, a skill which students previously practised in Year 10.

Your child’s other teacher will be revising the two English Literature texts that are examined in Paper 1, ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Jekyll & Hyde’. Please ensure that your child brings in their copy of the relevant text; their teacher will tell them which text they are beginning with. These texts were covered in depth in Year 10; therefore, teachers will be focusing on revision methods, examination skills and ways of boosting grades.


Term 4

This term, students will continue with ‘Macbeth’. They will practise analysing the language and dramatic methods that Shakespeare has used to create this evocative tragedy. They will also study tragic theory and how this has influenced the text. Students will continue to have formative assessments, tracking their development as they continue through the unit.


Your child’s other teacher will begin to teach the skills needed for English Language Paper 1. This paper, entitled “Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing” asks students to read a fiction extract in detail, and answer questions which include the skills of retrieval, language and structural analysis and evaluation. In the second half of the paper, students will need to show off their own language and structural skills, as well as showing off their vocabulary and grammar skills, by writing their own piece of narrative or descriptive writing.


Students have now completed all new content for both English Language and English Literature. This term, we are undertaking the process of evaluating students’ recent Pre-Public Examination (PPE) Students will have plenty of opportunity to review and improve their answers from both papers (English Language Paper 2 and English Literature Paper 1). Teachers will also be using the data to identify any areas of weakness within their classes, that they will then address in lessons. This diagnostic teaching will ensure that skills will be addressed and revised. Content from Year 10, such as English Language Paper 1, will also be revised.


Students will be encouraged to take ownership of their own revision, and be taught, explicitly, revision methods that they can use to support them in their preparation for this summer’s exams.

Term 5

This term, students will begin to reach the end of ‘Macbeth’. They will practise analysing the text as a whole, as well as exploring key extracts through close reading. They will start to relate their understanding of tragic theory to the overall tragic arc of the story.


Your child’s other teacher will complete all the content needed for English Language Paper 1, both the reading and writing elements of the course. Once completed, they will move on to argumentative and persuasive writing. This is part of English Language Paper 2, but will also help support your child in preparation for their Spoken Language Endorsement Assessments which will take place in term 6.  

In the final weeks before examinations begin, lessons will focus on examination skills and ‘quick wins’ that will enable students to reach their full potential.


Teachers are utilising PPE data and student voice to plan lessons that are tailored to their individual classes and students.


Students continue to be taught, explicitly, effective methods of revision. 

Terms 3 and 4

Teacher A

Power and Conflict Poetry from anthology


The first (Baseline) assessment will be an analysis of one of the poems studied


The second (Main) assessment will be a comparison of two poems studied


This AQA Examination Board issued anthology is a blend of contemporary and historical poems which encompass the broad themes of internal and external power and conflict


Jekyll and Hyde revision


Paper 2 English Language revision


During this year, students will receive targeted support in the areas that their teachers identify as challenging to them

Terms 3 and 4

Teacher B

Paper 1 English Language Reading and Writing


The first (Baseline) assessment will be an attempt at the reading section.


The second assessment will be an extended response piece of creative writing


This AQA examination features an extract from a fiction text that will be analysed to time. The second section of the paper tests the crafting of creative writing.


Macbeth revision


Paper 2 English Language revision


During this year, students will receive targeted support in the areas that their teachers identify as challenging to them

Terms 5 and 6

Teacher A

Paper 2 English Language Reading and Writing

The first (Baseline) assessment will be an attempt at the reading section.

The second assessment will be an extended response piece of creative writing

This AQA examination features an extract from a contemporary non-fiction text and an extract from a 19th Century non-fiction text that will be comparatively analysed to time. The second section of the paper tests the crafting of Rhetorical writing.

Additional Support for students who need it during Study Leave

Terms 5 and 6

Teacher B

An Inspector Calls

The first (Baseline) assessment will be from the beginning of the play and will be a short character response

The second (Main) assessment will be a thematic response to the whole play


This is a play written shortly after the Second World War but based just before the First World War which deals with the idea of society and how our actions affects those around us.

Additional Support for students who need it during Study Leave

Useful Links for Year 10 & 11

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