Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3:

Throughout Key Stage 3, students are given the opportunity to study a wide range of prose, poems and plays from a variety of time periods.

As well as studying these texts, we also explore conceptually how texts across these vast time periods share common values or beliefs; as well as how literature reflects society’s changing beliefs. We term these our thematic concepts. Throughout Key Stage 3, these concepts are explored with relation to both reading and writing. At the end of each year, in our synoptic unit- which is assessed through an oral presentation- students take the time to explore these concepts through the range of texts they have studied, as well as researching many more. By mastering these concepts, students will become more confident in navigating the vast range of fiction and non-fiction texts throughout the curriculum as well as more adept at navigating the adult world.

Our Thematic Concepts:

Power drives conflict: Central to all human conflict is a search and desire of power.

The treatment of women: We explore the evolution in society’s perceptions of women.

Masculinity underpins male characters’ concept of self: Society places expectations upon men, some of which can be destructive.

The human condition: Literature often focuses upon what it is like to be human.

The supernatural and ‘unreal’ is used to escape from reality: A

Developing general knowledge

Central to being able to read, write and speak expertly is the necessity of having a vast general knowledge. Everything that has ever been written is informed by aspects of general and background knowledge that writers used to inform their writing. We acknowledge this ‘hinterland’ knowledge throughout our curriculum- providing opportunities to hear authentic voices, become active citizens and experience the rich vastness of general knowledge that accompanies all texts.

Curriculum Maps Key Stage 3:

Year 7:

In year 7, we begin the year with inference training. This is to equip students with the knowledge and skills to decode texts and read for meaning. We also use this opportunity to develop students’ writing for inference. Throughout the year, students study a range of texts from across the literary canon with a particular focus on racism and prejudice. Students are encouraged to reflect upon current issues, as well as those presented historically, all of which culminates in the end of year synoptic unit- enabling students to pool together their learning from across the year, as well as conducting further reading as guided by their class teacher. Poetry is integrated throughout the year, enabling students to develop their confidence and application of poetry that explores a range of themes within a range of contexts. This is used to support the core knowledge of our curriculum.

Term 1

Inference Training: 19th Century Fiction

The Modern Novel: Noughts and Crosses

Context informs interpretation

Context informs interpretation

Writers use language, structure and form

Writers use language, structure and form

Standard English is vital in conveying confidence

Texts and content are selected and sequenced to create specific meaning

An understanding of etymology, morphology and phonology is vital in decoding new material.

Term 2

The Art of Rhetoric: Making a Change

The American Dream: A View from the Bridge/ West Side Story

Context informs interpretation

Context informs interpretation

Writers use language, structure and form

Writers use language, structure and form

Texts and content are selected and sequenced to create specific meaning

Texts and content are selected and sequenced to create specific meaning

Standard English is vital in conveying confidence

 

Term 3

An Introduction to Shakespeare: Shakespeare’s Best Villains

Synoptic Unit: Racism and Prejudice

Context informs interpretation

Context informs interpretation

Writers use language, structure and form

Writers use language, structure and form

Texts and content are selected and sequenced to create specific meaning

Texts and content are selected and sequenced to create specific meaning

An understanding of etymology, morphology and phonology is vital in decoding new material

Standard English is vital in conveying confidence

Year 8:

Our year 8 course continues to build upon the foundations laid in year 7. Students begin the year by developing their narrative writing skills, focusing specifically on how writers’ craft their language and structure to manipulate and influence readers. These skills are continually shaped and honed throughout the year. As with year 7, our threshold and thematic concepts are embedded throughout, designed to deepen and broadens students’ expertise in English.

Term 1

Creating tension: Manipulating the reader

The Gothic novel: The Woman in Black

Context informs interpretation

Context informs interpretation

Writers use language, structure and form

Writers use language, structure and form

Standard English is vital in conveying confidence

Texts and content are selected and sequenced to create specific meaning

An understanding of etymology, morphology and phonology is vital in decoding new material.

Term 2

Voices of Conflict: Individual experiences of conflict

Finding your voice: Spark Speeches

Context informs interpretation

Writers use language, structure and form

Writers use language, structure and form

Texts and content are selected and sequenced to create specific meaning

Texts and content are selected and sequenced to create specific meaning

Standard English is vital in conveying confidence

Standard English is vital in conveying confidence

 

Term 3

Shakespeare’s Language: Titus Andronicus/ Twelfth Night/ A Winter’s Tale

Synoptic Unit: The treatment of women

Context informs interpretation

Context informs interpretation

Writers use language, structure and form

Writers use language, structure and form

Texts and content are selected and sequenced to create specific meaning

Texts and content are selected and sequenced to create specific meaning

An understanding of etymology, morphology and phonology is vital in decoding new material

Standard English is vital in conveying confidence

Year 9:

Term 1

Authentic Voices: Creating an effective narrative perspective.

Prejudice and Society: To Kill a Mockingbird/ Blood Brothers

Context informs interpretation

Context informs interpretation

Writers use language, structure and form

Writers use language, structure and form

Standard English is vital in conveying confidence

Texts and content are selected and sequenced to create specific meaning

An understanding of etymology, morphology and phonology is vital in decoding new material.

Term 2

Shakespeare and Society: Othello/ Merchant of Venice

Context informs interpretation

Writers use language, structure and form

Texts and content are selected and sequenced to create specific meaning

An understanding of etymology, morphology and phonology is vital in decoding new material

Term 3

Media and Society: Violence in the Media

Synoptic Unit: Crime and punishment

Context informs interpretation

Context informs interpretation

Writers use language, structure and form

Writers use language, structure and form

Texts and content are selected and sequenced to create specific meaning

Texts and content are selected and sequenced to create specific meaning

Standard English is vital in conveying confidence

Standard English is vital in conveying confidence

Creating Expert Readers, Writers and Speakers:

Expert Readers:

Reading comprehension is a vital skill in understanding and interpreting the world. We seek to make all students experts in reading by equipping them with the knowledge and skills that expert readers have.

We use two strategies in English in order to support our students in their reading journey. Firstly, the Accelerated Reader programme runs throughout the entire of Key Stage 3. 

The second strategy that has been implemented whole school is the national strategy of ‘DEAR’ (Drop Everything and Read). DEAR consists of every student and adult at school, once a week, spending 20 minutes reading. Our key stage 3 students are encouraged to read their accelerated reader reading books and key stage 4 are encouraged to read their reading books or any other material they have or revision material the teacher can provide.

Another area of our curriculum that we have incorporated key reading skills is through the hinterland knowledge of our chosen texts. We believe the key knowledge of the texts we’ve chosen to study, play a key role in the reading and comprehension for the students. This fundamental knowledge is also directly linked to the thematic concepts of each text thus automatically broadening our students’ general knowledge and hopefully will encourage our students to choose new books based on the themes we’ve studied.

Expert Writers:

Throughout Key Stage 3, students are constantly provided with the opportunity to develop their creative and academic flair. Each year begins with refreshing and developing students’ skills at writing both fiction and non-fiction. Throughout the year, opportunities are provided for students to revisit the skill of writing as established at the start of each year whilst studying the set texts.

Expert Speakers:

Through our work as a Voice 21 Hub school, we dedicate ourselves in ensuring that every student we teach finds their voice. In order for our young people to become well-rounded citizens of the future, they must feel confident in presenting, discussing and debating their ideas in a range of contexts. All lessons invite opportunity to develop students’ oracy, as well as deepening and enriching students’ understanding and application of knowledge.

Students are also assessed on the quality of their oral contribution. At the end of each year at KS3, as part of our synoptic unit designed to develop students’ confidence with our thematic concepts, students will perform an individual presentation designed to showcase students’ understanding of what they have learnt across the year and to celebrate their successes. Equally, we build in explicit speech units throughout Key Stage 3- including our exciting ‘Spark Speeches’ project, in which students develop and perform individual speeches as part of a whole year competition. Finally, due to our role within Voice 21, students will be invited to a yearly oracy celebration event with other Leicester schools. This is an opportunity for students to present, debate or discuss in front students from across the city.