Year 7 Reading:
In Year 7 students will build on the solid foundations of comprehension and inference laid in primary school using a challenging range of contemporary and historical texts. Comprehension is still an extremely important part of their studies in English and will form the basis of all the emergent analytical work that follows. In Year 7 we wish to develop structural understanding of texts, looking at how a writer structures ideas, character development or argument across a text especially at paragraph and chapter level. The Year 7 curriculum will develop language analysis skills, building on students’ strong existing knowledge of grammar and encouraging discussion about impact and effect on a reader. We wish to develop students’ emergent critical voices and evaluative skills focusing on personal response to texts. Students will cover a range of texts from, Stardust, Henry V to a range of Victorian fiction and non-fiction. They will also be given reading logs in Year 7 so that we can monitor their reading material and its challenge, ensuring that students are being targeted during their allocated reading time. Students will be given the opportunity to read in many different contexts and reading to a range of adults as well as using our Accelerated Reader programme.
Year 7 Writing:
Students enter Year 7 with strong writing skills from KS2. Students are encouraged to focus on the effect and impact of their choices of vocabulary and technique. In Year 7 students will start to develop a formal, critical and analytical style and will learn to write different styles of texts in different contexts. The Year 7 curriculum is heavy on descriptive and narrative writing, building on the creative enthusiasm of students at this stage of their school career. Students will learn to think structurally about their writing, planning narrative and non-fiction pieces that develop themes, ideas and effects across a whole text. Students will explore different conventions within descriptive writing (such as the use of pathetic fallacy or foreshadowing) and experiment with these in their own work. They will build on and maintain the effective editing and redrafting practices established in KS2.
Year 8 Reading:
In Year 8 we aim to build students’ confidence with a more challenging range of literature, this includes romantic poetry and a challenging whole novel study. Comprehension and inference skills are still foregrounded and are used to establish understanding before delving deeper into language analysis. In Year 8 students develop their ability to compare ideas across texts from different genres or eras. They start to track themes and concepts across novels and plays looking at how a writer uses symbolic meanings to communicate deeper ideas to the reader. Students will start to think about the writer’s intentions and how they are positioned as a reader, understanding that their own personal response may not be the only interpretation of a text. They cover texts such as Curious Incident (The play) and Romantic Poetry.
Year 8 Writing:
Students in Year 8 work on range and diversity of styles of writing. They experiment with different genres of non-fiction such as articles for magazines and different formalities of letter writing. In their descriptive and narrative work they start to take on the voice of another character or perspective, writing in role and with empathy. In their critical and analytical work, Year 8 students learn to write comparatively about multiple texts and establish a confident essay writing style. This year is about diversity and experimentation as students start to establish their own distinct writing voice; this is particularly explored in the persuasive writing unit ‘War of Words’.
Year 9 Reading:
In Year 9 students start to apply a more developed understanding of social and historical context to their comprehension of texts. At the start of the year, they learn about the social, cultural and moral conventions in America in the 1930s, building skills for context that they will need in their GCSE. In Year 9 students deepen their language analysis skills applying these to a range of texts of different genres. They build a confident critical voice and adopt an evaluative approach to texts appreciating the different meanings and interpretations that can be constructed by different readers. Their work on comparison focuses on intertextuality, comparing how writers of different eras present ideas and themes and how these presentations compare to our own contemporary understanding. In the Spring Term students will begin to study Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ preparing them for a full Shakespearean study for their GCSEs.
Year 9 Writing:
Students in Year 9 are writing with growing sophistication and start to experiment with the voices of other writers using pastiche as a way of learning new writing skills and style. They continue to write in a range of styles applying the conventions of different text types independently and with confidence. Students can adapt the formality and style of their writing to the task at hand, demonstrating awareness of audience and constructing a rapport with the reader. They develop a convincing critical voice, learning how to construct an argument within an essay and weave contextual information into their analysis of a text. They become more independent with the planning process for their own writing, choosing and adapting different styles to suit their audience.
Throughout Year 10 and 11 students are taught higher level reading skills through complex and challenging units.
In Year 10 students are taught skills of deeper analysis, focusing on structure and language with a range of material. We use the main set texts in Literature of Blood Brothers, Romeo and Juliet or Macbeth and Frankenstein or A Christmas Carol to underpin the key language skills needed for both Language Paper 1 and Language Paper 2 in their final exams. They continue to deepen their understanding of texts, evaluating the writer’s intent as well as considering a range of contextual factors and how this may influence or manipulate the reader’s response. They continue to build a critical voice throughout the year, referring back to previous texts they have studied to make comparisons of events, themes and ideas.
In Year 11 they become more independent with their reading skills and these are applied to the examination paper, students will refine and adapt their skills in order to meet the criteria of the examinations.
In Year 10 all of the three key set texts are studied throughout the year. Students will be tested on their understanding and comprehension of these texts and their ability to evaluate key ideas and themes that are presented throughout the text.
In Year 11 students begin their final Literature text study of a Shakespeare play. Whilst studying this unit students will be assessed on their ability to analyse language and structure at an advanced level. In Year 11 they become more independent in their revision of the key set texts; there are numerous opportunities in the curriculum to revisit key themes, events, ideas throughout each of the units on the course. Students will have opportunities to gain a deeper understanding and comprehension of key set texts visiting touring productions of any of the key texts that year.