Lessons in Key Stage Three aim to foster an enjoyment and appreciation of literature that will give students the ability to develop this into an interest in books and reading as they move away from their studies and into their adult lives. Students will learn to be critical readers, analysing and interpreting texts and distinguishing types of information, opinion and bias, as well as evaluating the texts they read.   They will also read, deconstruct and recreate a wide range of texts, developing their skills by writing in a range of creative, persuasive styles for a range of audiences and purposes.They will have the confidence to approach and tackle new forms of books and writing, reading insightfully and writing with flair and fluency.

What will my child study in Key Stage 3 English?

Year 7

·         Fact and Fiction: Newspapers - understanding bias, fact and opinion

·      A modern novel: ‘Private Peaceful’, ‘Mortal Engines’ or Roald Dahl’s short stories

·         Pre 20th Century writing: Adventure

·         Modern Drama: ‘The Search for Odysseus, The Chamber of Nothing, The death of Jude Hill or Flowers for Algernon

·         Comparing texts: Comparing childhoods

·         Media Texts and Creative Writing: Zootropolis

Year 8

·         Novel: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

·         The Sci-fi Genre: The Illustrated Man

·         Writing from the wars: poetry and non-fiction

·         Shakespeare: ‘The Tempest’

·         Genre study: Gothic writing

·         Pre 20th Century writing: tension and suspense

·         Modern Play: ‘Blood Brothers’

Year 9

·         Novel: ‘Of Mice and Men’ or ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

·         Writing Styles: Travel writing

·         Creating meaning and representation: Gender in the media

·         Wider reading: Exploration and discovery in literature from the 19th, 20th and 21st century

·         Writing styles: Expressing a viewpoint

·         Transition to GCSE: Short stories from other cultures and Romantic poetry

How can you support your child through Key Stage 3 English?

·         Encourage your child to read a wide range of texts and genres: novels, short stories, news articles, film reviews. More importantly, ask them to discuss, summarise or evaluate what they have read.

·        Help your child to re-read and edit their work to encourage proofreading.

·        Help your child use new words to develop a wide vocabulary.

·        Encourage the use of a dictionary and thesaurus.

·        Practise spelling; use errors teachers have flagged up in their work – each assessment record has a space to record three spelling errors to focus on.

·        Introduce them to classic texts such as novels/plays by Dickens, Carroll, Conan Doyle, Shakespeare or Tolkien, as well as modern writers.

·        Take your child to the theatre – many local theatres put on great productions which are cheaper than in London.

·        Encourage your child to back their points and engage in debates.

How will they be assessed in English during Key Stage 3?

·        There are two formal assessments per half term, both of which are marked with a KS3 level and target for improvement.

·        Students are provided with an assessment record booklet to complete post-assessment.

·        Peer and self assessment takes place through questioning and class work.

·        Assessments of speaking and listening skills are ongoing informally through lessons but student also complete formal speaking and listening assessments for during the year.

·        There is also an end of year test for each year group.

Head of English: Mr Jon Hayter Email: jhayter@sandownbayacademy.org

Key Stage 4

GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature

Exam Board: AQA (8700 and 8702)

Students will study GCSEs in both English Language and English Literature.  These are linear courses, without tiered entry and all exams are sat at the end of Year 11. The English Language GCSE and English Literature GCSE are both assessed under the new 1-9 grading system and are 100% exam assessed.

How is the course assessed?    

Literature: 100% examination. There are two exams, which are closed book (students may not take texts into the exam). All exams are taken in summer of year 11.

Language: 100% examination. There are two exams, which are taken in the summer of year 11.

Students all need to complete three speaking and listening assessments: a drama role play, group debate and individual presentation. Students will all get a separate certificate with their GCSE results detailing their performance in Speaking and Listening.

What is covered on the course?


Paper 1: Shakespeare and the Nineteenth Century Novel (1 hour 45 minutes, 40% of total grade)

·      Shakespeare: either Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet (dependent on set)

·        Pre-twentieth century novel:  either The Sign of the Four, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or A Christmas Carol (dependent on set)

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry (2 hour 15 minutes, 60% of total grade)

Modern text: either Lord of the Flies or An Inspector Calls (dependent on set)

      AQA Poetry Anthology: Poems Past and Present - 15 poems, focused on the themes of Power and Conflict

    A response to an unseen poem


Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of total grade)

·       Section A will present students with a previously unseen extract from a twentieth century piece of fiction.  They will need to analyse, evaluate and respond to it an range of styles.

·        Section B asks students to create a descriptive or narrative piece based on stimulus materials.

Paper 2: Writer’s Viewpoints and Perspectives (1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of total grade)

Section A will present students with two previously unseen extracts (one pre-twentieth century)of fiction.  They will need to analyse, evaluate and respond to it an range of styles, including comparison.

·         Section B asks students to create an argument or persuasive piece based on stimulus materials.

What texts would you recommend?

We recommend students purchase their own copies of the set texts. The school can also provide copies for students to borrow.  CGP revision guides are available at a reduced price through the school library.

What websites would you recommend for revision?

BBC Bitesize is an excellent starting point http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zr9d7ty,  as is AQA’s own website http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse.  English Biz has some great resources for writing styles and spelling, punctuation and grammar tips http://www.englishbiz.co.uk/.

Subject Leader: J Hayter Email: JHayter@sandownbayacademy.org

KS4 Coordinator: R Dunsterville 

Email: RDunsterville@sandownbayacademy.org