English at Key Stage 3

Year 7

During Year 7, students will frequently reflect on the concept of heroism.  Boys are challenged to question ideas around ‘otherness’ and are encouraged to empathise with everyone in society.  Alongside studying “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time”, boys will encounter a number of well-known myths and legends, be introduced to a wide variety of poems, study The Tempest by William Shakespeare, before studying a Non Fiction text in the Summer.  Boys will begin to develop critical reading skills as well as confidence in their own imaginative writing – as well as cultural capital.

Year 8

The texts become more challenging in Year 8, with boys moving onto the Victorian era – studying Gothic texts, including “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” and an abridged version of “Dracula”.  Pupils will also explore abstract worlds as well as the charismatic genre of travel writing.  Building on Year 7, pupils are challenged to include historical context when analysing the Romantic Period and its rich collection of poetry.

Year 9

In this final year before GCSEs, pupils are faced with powerful and hard hitting stories of prejudice and violence.  Beginning with “Whale Rider” (a story of a girl struggling within a patriarchy), boys are asked to reflect on the nature of turbulent societies where institutionalised prejudice is commonplace:  Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” becomes a vehicle for discussion and close analysis – as does Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, which we encourage boys to read in its entirety.  Throughout the year, the reading and writing knowledge, gained in Years 7 and 8, is consolidated and built on, leaving students ready for the next phase of study.