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Year 7

Term 1 - School days

Students will use the theme of School Days to explore how language is used to create mood and character in a range of texts including pre-1914 and contemporary novels, varying from classics like Charles Dickens' 'Nicholas Nickleby', to 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid'. They will also produce a podcast, a letter to the head teacher and an advice leaflet about their experiences in a new school by planning, drafting and editing to ensure the best quality work.

Term 2 - Heroes and Villains

Students will use the theme of Heroes and Villains to explore how social and historical context affects meaning in texts ranging from classic myths like 'Beowulf', to more contemporary texts which encourage students to read for pleasure, including comic strips. Focussing on accuracy of writing, they will also produce a written argument about what a hero is, as well as a written speech for a 'God Factor' formal speaking and listening activity.

Term 3 - Love and Loss

Students will use the theme of Love and Loss to critically read texts with a focus on analysing the way in which structure and shape impact upon the meaning in Shakespearean works such as A 'Midsummer Night's Dream' as well as more contemporary novels like 'A Mother's Fondness'. They will also extend their language skills and vocabulary by using a poem as inspiration for writing a story as well as writing a description of an argument between two conflicting parties.

Year 8

Term 1 - War and the Holocaust

Students will use the theme of War and the Holocaust  to explore how different texts portray alternate viewpoints. These texts will range from war poetry (by writers such as Wilfred Owen) to popular novels which will promote reading for pleasure, including 'Once and Then' and 'Private Peaceful.' Focussing on writing to present a viewpoint, they will also plan, draft and edit in order to write a diary entry and an article which explores what life in the trenches was like for World War 1 soldiers.

Term 2 - Crime and Punishment

Students will use the theme of Crime and Punishment to critically read texts in order to explore how language is used to create tension in a variety of texts ranging from pre-1914 texts like Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist,' to articles about contemporary issues like the Jody and Mary conjoined twins legal dispute. This will result in students producing speaking and listening role play activity based upon a courtroom trial. They will also develop their vocabulary and language skills by writing a mystery story and a description of a criminal event inspired by an extract from a relevant Pre-1914 text.

Term 3 - #inthemedia

Students will use the theme of the media to compare how the structure changes according to the genre in a range of non-fiction texts ranging from leaflets and newspaper articles, to speech transcripts and websites. They will also be involved in group discussions as well as producing a written informative article about a current affairs issue and a persuasive leaflet for a charity or company. Students will also study a Shakespeare play (Romeo and Juliet or Macbeth) and explore how some of the main plots would be presented in today’s media.

Year 9

Term 1 - Horror and Gothic

Students will use the theme of Horror and Gothic to critically read texts with an aim of exploring how the features of a text contribute to creating the gothic genre. This will involve a variety of texts ranging from pre-1914 novels like Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein,' to contemporary such as 'I am Legend'. Focussing on developing their language skills and vocabulary, they will also write a gothic story and an article explaining what gothic fiction is. There will also be opportunities for students to be involved in group discussions and presentations.


Term 2: Of Mice and Men


Students will study John Steinbeck’s famous novella ‘Of Mice and Men’ to help develop their understanding of the importance of context and setting in a narrative. Students will explore life in 1930s America and how different groups in society were affected by prejudice and discrimination, and link this to current world affairs. Students will also explore how the novella is structured and how Steinbeck brings settings and characters to life.


Term 3: Romeo and Juliet


This is the first GCSE text that the students will study and this term is when the English GCSE course is introduced. William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a perfect start to the course with students exploring the way Shakespeare uses language and a variety of techniques to create famous characters and a complex tragic love story.


KS4 English Language


Students will prepare for the AQA English Language course by developing, mastering and manipulating the variety of skills acquired at Key Stage 3. The course requires students to demonstrate their reading, writing and communication skills in two examinations at the end of the course.


KS4 English Literature


Students will build on their knowledge and understanding of Romeo and Juliet from Year 9 by also studying a 19th Century novel and a 20th Century modern text. In addition, students will also have to know 15 poems from the poetry anthology, and be able to practise skills of comparison.