Key Stage 3

Subject: English

Aims of the subject: To deliver a KS3 curriculum that is both academically rigorous and culturally enriching in order to prepare students for the challenges of GCSE and beyond. We aim to foster a love of reading and literature through the study and appreciation of a range of increasingly challenging material and encourage all students to read widely and often. Our KS3 curriculum allows students to become confident and creative, curious and analytical, empathetic and empowered as they develop the skills to communicate effectively through the spoken and written word.

We challenge our pupils to think sensitively and carefully about issues in their own lives, in the world around them and in the books we read. English at The Deanery allows pupils to explore and debate, to escape into unfamiliar and fictional worlds and to recognise the power of language. We encourage our students to explore their ideas in a variety of forms: spoken and written, creative and analytical, fictional and transactional. We want our pupils to enjoy exploring language through creativity, performance and analysis and aim to encourage sensitive listening, fluent speech, discerning reading, independent thought, and for pupils to express themselves in writing with clarity and precision.


Year What will I learn? What will I do?
7 Term 1:

Narrative Writing: The Mystery Genre

You will build on the work you have done at primary school and explore story writing – focusing on the mystery genre. You will learn how to create different effects in your descriptive writing and experiment with structure.  You will also learn how to write a description based on a stimulus.



Charles Dickens Character Analysis

You will learn about life in Victorian England and explore how Dickens presents some of literature’s most famous characters as you read and study some of his most famous characters. You will also learn how to write about literature.




Term 2:

The Modern Novel and Non-Fiction Writing

You will read and study a modern novel chosen by your teacher. You will learn about the characters and themes and explore the ideas in the text.


You will also study the conventions of newspaper writing before writing a fictional news article relating to the novel.



Term 3:

An introduction to Shakespeare

You will learn about William Shakespeare’s life, his theatre and his work. You will also learn about some of his most famous poems and plays.








Forms of Poetry

You will learn about the different forms of poetry, and the ways in which poets use language and structure to create meaning and express their ideas.




Read and explore stories and descriptions.

Investigate and experiment with different techniques.

Write your own descriptions and stories.


Read extracts of work by Charles Dickens.

Creative responses to the novel.

Research Victorian England.

Analytical work that explores how Dickens presents the characters.






Read the novel as a class.

Discussion and activities on different parts of the novel.

Creative responses to the novel – including a fictional news article.

A formal essay about a character or theme.



Research William Shakespeare and The Globe theatre.

Read a modern version of a Shakespeare play and extracts from the original.

Read and compare sonnets.

Examine famous speeches from some of Shakespeare’s plays.

Create an informative guide to Shakespeare’s life and works.


Read and explore a range of poems on the theme of family/relationships.

Write a formal essay about a theme in one of the poems.

Write your own poems.

Perform a poem to your class.


8 Term 1:

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

You will study the text and learn about the plot and characters, themes and about aspects of life in Elizabethan times through studying key scenes.





War Poetry

You will learn about the way poets have experienced war and conflict. You will study a range of poems and develop an understanding of the way they have used language, structure and form to express their ideas.





Term 2:

Non-fiction reading and writing

You will learn about the devices writers use to persuade their audience and how to write a convincing and compelling argument.






Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

You will read the novel and explore the characters and themes. You will learn about the Great Depression and the American dream. You will develop your understanding of narrative structure, language techniques and how writers create effects.

You will also study Steinbeck’s descriptions and the techniques he uses to produce your own piece of descriptive writing.




Term 3:

Non-Fiction and Spoken language

You will study some famous speeches from history and learn how to give a speech on a topic you feel strongly about.






Close reading of key scenes.

Creative tasks to show your understanding of the play.

Essay exploring how Juliet’s relationship with her parents changes throughout the play.


Close study of a range of poems.

Research WW1 and apply your knowledge of history to the poems you study.

Compare the presentation of war in 2 poems.




Study articles and advertisements on a range of ideas.

Debate issues and compare viewpoints.

Analyse a text.

Write a persuasive argument giving your views.



Read the novel as a class.

Discussion and activities on different parts of the novel.

Creative responses to the novel, including a piece of descriptive writing.

A formal essay about a character or theme.



Watch, listen and read some of the world’s most famous speeches and explore why they are effective.

Prepare and deliver a speech to the class.


9 Term 1:

Gothic Fiction

You will develop your understanding of the gothic genre.  You will study narrative structure, language techniques and how writers create effects






Blood Brothers by Willy Russell

You will read a modern drama text and explore characters, themes, contexts and issues raised through the play. You will also develop your analytical and academic writing skills.






Term 2:

Descriptive Writing

You will learn about different descriptive techniques and ways that you can structure a description and use language for effect. You will read a range of poems and use them as inspiration for your own creative writing.









You will study a range of poems and explore the language, structure and form. You will learn how to approach, analyse and write about a poem you have never seen before and how to make comparisons between poems.




Term 3:

GCSE Spoken Language component

You will learn how to give an effective presentation and how to use spoken English to express ideas and engage an audience.



You will read and study Act 1 of Macbeth. You will learn about the social and historical context of the play and explore the presentation of key characters in Act 1.


Read a range of short stories/extracts from gothic fiction.

Learn about generic conventions.

Analyse stories and explore the effect of language and structure.





Read the play as a class.

Discuss the events, characters and themes.

Investigate the importance of key ideas such as class, education and social inequality.

Produce a creative response to the text.

Write an analytical essay.



Read poems and extracts about world issues, events and natural disasters.

Study different ways to structure a description.

Practise using imagery and language for effect.

Write your own description using the poems and images as inspiration.



Close study of the ideas, language and structure in individual poems.

Writing about poems.

Comparison of writers’ methods in two poems.



Plan and deliver your own presentation to the class and answer any questions from the audience.


Read Act 1 and study the characters and events.

Write about the way Shakespeare presents the witches and the supernatural in Act 1.





Extra-curricular opportunities:

  • Theatre trips
  • Author visits
  • Competitions
  • The Big Book Quiz
  • Readathon


How you can support your child’s progress:

  • Encourage your child to read on a daily basis – The importance of daily reading practice cannot be overstated. Research shows that pupils who read regularly for 20 minutes per day are far more likely to be successful at GCSE level and reading for pleasure is a habit that will enhance your child’s life for the rest of their life.
  • Talk to your child about the work they are doing in English. Ask them to tell you about the plot and characters of the books they are studying. Discuss with them their opinions and ideas.
  • Debate and discuss age-appropriate real world issues with your child as part of family conversation– perhaps things that arise from the media, TV or current affairs. Encourage your child to develop and express opinions and to support them with detailed reasons so that they become used to formulating arguments and debating ideas.
  • Provide a quiet, distraction free place for reading and homework, or encourage attendance at homework club and the library if this is difficult at home.
  • Encourage your child to proof read their written work, checking for accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar.
  • Encourage your child to develop their vocabulary by using a thesaurus.
  • Encourage your child to use Standard English and full sentences in everyday conversation as there is a clear link between good oracy and good writing.
  • Encourage your child to use online games and resources to work on vocabulary and technical accuracy – try Seneca, BBC Bitesize, and the many KS3 apps and study guides available.