Key Stage 3

Overview of Key Stage 3 English


Year 7


  • Reading texts

Students will read and analyse a range of extracts from a variety of different literary texts in preparation for AQA GCSE English Language Paper 1.

  • Oliver Twist

Students will read an abridged version of Oliver Twist, with some use of the original text. Students will explore the novel’s characters, themes and settings. We will also use this text to look at how our cultures and backgrounds make us who we are.


  • The Odyssey

Students will read a play version of Homer’s classic, epic tale, The Odyssey, by Kenneth Cavander. Students will gain an understanding of how a play text works and get the exciting chance to play different parts in the adventure Odysseus goes on to get home to Ithaca.

  • Poetry

Students will explore a range of poetry, learning about key poetic techniques. Students use the poetry skills they have acquired to showcase their creativity and write poems of their own.


  • Romeo and Juliet

Students will read the original text of Shakespeare’s famous play, Romeo and Juliet. We will analyse at the key scenes, characters and themes, as well as Shakespeare’s use of language. There are lots of opportunities for drama work and students will recreate sections of the play.

  • Reading and writing texts

Students will read a range of extracts from a variety of different non-fiction texts, in preparation for AQA GCSE English Language Paper 2. They will have opportunities to develop their own skills in writing for different audiences and purposes.

Year 8


  • Reading texts

Students will read and analyse a range of extracts from a variety of literary texts in preparation for AQA GCSE English Language Paper 1.

  • Lord of the Flies or The Hunger Games

Students will read either the classic novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding or the more modern novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins’.  Students will examine characters, plot and themes in the novel. They will begin to develop the reading skills needed for their GCSE English Language and GCSE Literature exams.


  • Writing to argue and persuade

Students will study the skills needed for successful persuasive writing and writing to argue, which is tested on Paper 2 of the GCSE English Language examination. Students will analyse the use of persuasion and its impact in a variety of texts. They will produce engaging texts of their own that are appropriate to audience and purpose.

  • Short stories

Creativity is at the heart of the English curriculum and students will be immersed into a different world and storyline, fostering a love of reading. Students will hone their own writing skills as they produce gripping short stories of their own.


  • The Tempest  

In The Tempest, William Shakespeare creates a magical land, where it may seem like anything is possible. Whirling through this whimsical world are also themes of prejudice, isolation and family struggles. While studying this play, students will reflect on how these themes are still important to 21st century audiences.

  • Poetry and art

Many famous works of art have been inspired by writing or have been the inspiration      for writers. Students will study the relationship between art and poetry and consider how art can inspire their writing, as well as developing their skills in analysing unseen poems.          

Year 9


  • Reading and writing texts

Students will study extracts from a diverse range of texts, commenting on how writers use language for effect, using relevant subject terminology to support their views. They will consider how writers use structure to engage readers and shape their work.

  • A Christmas Carol

George Orwell said the best test of literary merit is survival and, by that standard, A Christmas Carol must rank as one of the greatest works of literature ever produced. Students will study this seasonal staple, analysing aspects of language, characterisation and structure.


  • Animal Farm

At one level, this book is certainly a children's story but at another level it is a book with a serious political message, meant for advanced readers. Animal Farm, a set text for GCSE English Literature, is an allegory in which the various kinds of animals symbolise various classes of human society, in which certain particular animals represent certain historical personalities and in which certain happenings symbolise certain historical events. As they are introduced to the corrupt world of Animal Farm and its inhabitants, students will be encouraged to respond to the text critically and imaginatively, select and evaluate relevant textual detail to illustrate and support their own views on Orwell’s most important work.


  • Macbeth

Another set text for GCSE English Literature, Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's best known plays. His bloodthirsty tale of ambition still strikes a chord with modern audiences. Students will follow the central character, Macbeth, as he plots and kills in order to become king. As soon as he is crowned, audiences watch as his world falls apart around him. Students will be encouraged to read in depth, critically and evaluatively, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas.