English at KS3

Our KS3 Curriculum is specifically designed to cover a broad range of content and knowledge. Students revisit the following key themes in every academic year to ensure a thorough and in-depth coverage: culture and identity, The Canon, storytelling, literary visionaries, social investigations and reactionary writing.

By revisiting key themes through a multitude of texts we aim to encourage an understanding of a literary type or time period and to provide a strong skills basis for KS4 studies. We aim to develop students who feel confident and able to critique and question literature over time by engaging with critical theory and developing an understanding of how literature influences other literature. Students will frequently analyse literature and craft their own writing.

Year 7


Year seven provides a strong grounding for the study of English. We start Y7 by considering how early stories and fables have influenced literature through the creation of key tropes. Students will study the stock characters and plays of Shakespeare (the comedies, tragedies and histories) which will enable them to access any Shakespeare play. Through questioning the world students will develop the ability to critique the media and bias we see in texts.

Key topics:

  • ‘Tales that stood the test of time’
  • ‘Poetry through the ages’
  • ‘Writer’s craft: structural methods to storytelling’
  • ‘Introduction to Shakespeare’
  • ‘Non-fiction writing and questioning the world’
  • ‘The Gothic’

Year 8


Year eight builds upon the solid foundations of Y8. Students will start of the year by reading global literature and questioning issues such as colonialism in literature through a post-colonial lens. Students will further, critique the absent voice of the literary Canon and provide a voice through their own writing to those who are absent. Students will consider the director’s decisions of Shakespeare plays and consider how literature can be used as a vehicle for social change.

Key topics:

  • Global literature: fiction and non-fiction
  • Literature through the ages: challenging the canon
  • Music and poetry
  • Perspectives on Shakespeare: Othello or Titus Andronicus
  • Speeches that changed the world
  • Social change and the Victorian Novel: A Christmas Carol

Year 9


Year nine revisits once again key themes from Y7 and Y8. Students will analyse how speeches from history have shaped and changes society. Students will closely analyse key influential literature from the 19th century and craft their own narratives with skill.

Key topics:

  • Finding a voice: poetry about identity
  • 19th Century exploration
  • Mastering craft: experiments in language and structure
  • Commentaries on human nature and the dystopian
  • Viewpoints of the oppressed
GCSE in English Language and Literature

Why study this subject?

English is a compulsory subject at KS4 and an essential element of the new English Baccalaureate. The skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are of vital importance for a student’s future. Not only are they essential in most careers, but they also underpin successful study in all subjects at all levels. The study of English and English Literature develops critical and analytical reading and listening and equips young people with accurate and expressive communication skills. Proficiency as a reader and writer can add immeasurably to an individual’s general quality of life.

What will I learn?

Studying English Language and Literature, you will develop your written and spoken language skills. You will also read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts that cover the English language in a variety of forms. As a result, you will achieve a qualification that is highly valued in any future pathway you may choose.

How will I be assessed?

The English department prides itself in providing regular, rigorous assessment and feedback. Assessments are carried out at regular intervals throughout the year and are in a similar style to the terminal exam taking place at the end of Year 11. Your class work and homework will be regularly marked and feedback given will ensure you know how to improve your progress and attainment.

What qualifications will I get at the end of the course?

At the end of the course you will receive two GCSEs, one in English Language and one in English Literature. Your GCSE grades will reflect your work ethic and commitment.

What can this qualification lead to afterwards?

English can lead to a range of further qualifications, careers or training courses, and is often a required element of any job or further study. The key functional skills you will obtain in GCSE English will help you in any walk of life.

Post-16 Progression

English Literature A-Level is a widely respected A-Level and is listed as one of the most sought-after subjects for Universities by the Russell Group. The course will introduce you to aspects of narrative, using novels, plays and poetry to show how narratives are created by authors and the different ways in which readers can respond. Throughout the English Literature course, you will be introduced to a wide variety of texts, some of which will be of your own choosing. You will be also introduced to different ways of reading texts for study and to critical ideas which you will learn to apply to literary texts.

Where can I find out more about this qualification?

For more information about this course, please see Mr Dowling or look at the specification (http://www.aqa.org.uk)



King Edward VI Academy Trust Birmingham is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Registered number 10654935. Registered office: Foundation Office, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, B15 2UD. Tel: 0121 472 1147.

King Edward VI MAT

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