During key stage 3, you will complete five units of work per year. You will have four lessons of English per week. Each half-term, you will develop skills in reading, writing, and speaking and listening.

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

In Key Stage 3, pupils will study 1 text and topic each term and be formally assessed on it at the end of each term. The majority of English lessons will be focussed on this text or topic, but pupils will also partake in one hour of literacy and fundamental skills where pupils will maintain their confidence in defining, identifying and applying a wide range of skills that are essential for success in English. Additionally, pupils will also partake in one hour of a designated “just for reading” lesson through the Reciprocal Reading programme where pupils are exposed to a range of stories and develop their summarising, clarifying, questioning and predicting skills.

Year 7

In Year 7 pupils will be exploring the class text of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. Through this novel pupils will learn about character types, structures of stories and how the real world and historical events within it can influence fiction and literature. They will also be exploring a wide range of experiences, identities and voices through TGAK’s own handpicked poetry anthology. Throughout term 2 we will encourage pupils to consider not just what the poet is writing and how they do this through language and vocabulary; but also considering why the poet chooses to write the poem exploring their own personal backgrounds and experiences. Finally, in term 3 pupils will be introduced the most iconic writer and poet in all of British history, William Shakespeare. Pupils will examine and interrogate the treacherous and vile King Richard and his influential role in Richard III and will explore what makes a true villain and antagonist. Pupils will throughout the year also focus on extended non-fiction and fictional writing looking at persuasive and descriptive language.

Term 1 The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Term 2 Identity poetry
Term 3 Richard III

Year 8

In Year 8

pupils will be exploring the extremely popular genre of detective and mystery fiction through two infamous Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In this term pupils will be learning about what makes a great literary detective, a captivating criminal and an interesting and seemingly unsolvable crime. Pupils will also be introduced to the career of a film reviewer by writing their own film review based on a popular Sherlock Holmes film adaptation starring Robert Downey Jr. A real favourite term for all of Key Stage 3! In Term 2, Year 8 will be exploring the genre of dystopian fiction through a whole class novel. Pupils will learn about the importance of dystopian worlds and how they are always dictated and manipulated by a controlling government or authority and understand what happens to the people who decide to rebel against their rules. In Term 3, Year 8 will be exploring their class text The Crucible based on the infamous town of Salem and the historical and true experiences of the Salem Witch trials, through the fictional retelling of several women who are accused of being witches. This story is told through the complex and gripping series of trials that see them all be threatened of execution. This text will reintroduce pupils to plays and drama and explore the difference between them and traditional fictional novels. Pupils will be exploring the influence of historical, religious and political events on fictional texts through the specific focus of the treatment of women and outsiders in the play. Pupils will throughout the year also focus on extended non-fiction and fictional writing looking at persuasive and descriptive language.

Term 1 Sherlock Holmes
Term 2 Dystopian fiction
Term 3 The Crucible

Year 9

Term 1 – Whole class novel

In Year 9, pupils will be introduced to the gothic horror genre through the infamous Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, which is often regarded as the first ever example of science fiction in history. This whole novel study will begin to introduce the style, structure and skills of their English Literature and Language exams which they will begin to study in depth in Year 10. Through Frankenstein, pupils will also explore the science versus religion debate which has existed in society for centuries and through the questionable and immoral creation by Victor Frankenstein, will explore and debate the question “can science ever go too far”? In Term 2, Year 9 9 will study Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare this will equip pupils with the important foundation knowledge of Shakespeare and his tragedy plays in preparation for their study of Macbeth as part of their GCSE English literature qualification. Pupils will also confidently understand the important role of context on Shakespeare’s plays, looking at: the importance of being a man in Jacobean England, the control and oppression of women in a patriarchal society, the importance and power that God had over society and the importance of fate, the stars and destiny of all citizens. In Term 3, pupils in Year 9 will begin their transition into Year 10 and their GCSE text years by beginning to read, analyse and respond to some of the war poems from the AQA Power and Conflict Poetry Anthology such as: War Photographer, Poppies and Remains. Throughout this term, pupils will be able to explicitly and confidently see the relationship between the poet, the context and the poem. Pupils will throughout the year also focus on extended non-fiction and fictional writing looking at persuasive and descriptive language.

Term 1 Frankenstein
Term 2 Romeo and Juliet
Term 3 War poetry

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4

You will take GCSEs in both English Language and English Literature and will study a broad range of fiction and non-fiction and further develop your writing skills by crafting descriptive and narrative writing, as well as non-fiction, transactional writing.

GCSE English Language

Exam Paper What’s assessed? % of GCSE qualification
GCSE English Language Paper 1 (1 hour 45 minutes) Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing – reading questions based on an unseen passage from a literature text and a descriptive or narrative based writing task. 50%
GCSE English Language Paper 2 (1 hour 45 minutes) Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives – reading questions based upon one unseen non-fiction and one unseen literary non-fiction text and a piece of writing to express a viewpoint. 50%
Spoken Language NEA You will produce an individual presentation, where you effectively use Standard English; demonstrate presentation skills; listen and respond appropriately to questions and feedback. A separately reported grade (Pass, Merit, Distinction or Not Classified)

What will I study in the course?

  • A diverse and rich variety of literary fiction and non-fiction texts.
  • Analytical approaches to the language and structure of unseen texts.
  • Critical evaluation of unseen texts.
  • How to adapt your style, tone and register to suit audience and purpose.
  • How to effectively structure and craft a piece of narrative, descriptive, transactional or discursive writing.
  • Literary techniques: how to identify, analyse and apply them for effect.
  • How to utilise an extensive range of punctuation, vocabulary and sentence types.
  • How to identify and examine parallels between unseen texts.

GCSE English Literature

Exam Paper What’s assessed? % of GCSE qualification
GCSE English Literature Paper 1 (1 hour 45 minutes) Shakespeare and the 19th- century novel – students will write two extended essays based upon an extract from Macbeth and A Christmas Carol. 40%
GCSE English Literature Paper 2 (2 hour 15 minutes) Modern Texts and Poetry – students will write one essay on a modern prose or drama text, followed by a comparative essay based upon anthology poetry and a response to an unseen poem 60%


What will I study in the course?

  • ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare.
  • Unseen poetry
  • ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens
  • ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestley
  • The following 15 poems, as part of the AQA Power and Conflict anthology:
    • ‘Ozymandias’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley
    • ‘London’ by William Blake
    • ‘Extract from the Prelude’ by William Wordsworth
    • ‘My Last Duchess’ by Robert Browning
    • ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson
    • ‘Exposure’ by Wilfred Owen
    • ‘Storm on the Island’ by Seamus Heaney
    • ‘Bayonet Charge’ by Ted Hughes
    • ‘Remains’ by Simon Armitage
    • ‘Poppies’ by Jane Weir
    • ‘War Photographer’ by Carol Ann Duffy
    • ‘Tissue’ by Imtiaz Dharker
    • ‘The Émigrée’ by Carol Rumens
    • ‘Kamikaze’ Beatrice Garland
    • ‘Checking Out me History’ by John Agard

Knowledge Organisers

Knowledge Organiser: Year 7; The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Knowledge Organiser: Year 8; Sherlock Holmes

Knowledge Organiser: Year 9; Frankenstein

Knowledge Organiser: Yr 11; Literature P1: A Christmas Carol

Knowledge Organiser: KS5

Learning Journeys

Year 10 English Learning Journey

Year 11 English Learning Journey

Year 12 English Learning Journey

Year 13 English Learning Journey