Years 7, 8 & 9
In English we aim to provide a curriculum which prepares students for GCSE English, but also encourages an enriching enjoyment of the English language itself in all its forms.
Both year groups undertake schemes of work focusing on spelling, punctuation and grammar, a key focus in assessment at GCSE English, using a range of active resources and media. Students develop their skills in planning and structuring their writing for a variety of audiences and purposes. The process is also enlivened by spoken language tasks, enabling students to investigate and structure thoughts before they write..
We aim to provide students with the opportunity to explore a range of texts. Year 7 opens with a transitional scheme of work based around a series of short stories selected by members of the Department. Students explore and create poetry through a range of contemporary and classic poetry based around our linking theme for KS3: heroes, anti-heroes and villains. Real-life heroes across time and cultures are studied in our non-fiction scheme of work, and we end the year with Shakespeare's ant-hero masterpiece: 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. Alongside this, and running through all key stages, are our bespoke reading lessons and form time reading, where we concentrate on reading for pleasure, embracing all the academic and wellbeing benefits which it brings.
In Y8, students start the year focusing on reading, the core skill, through the application of the Sussex University Faster Reading Programme, rapidly reading two full novels (again based on our key theme) back to back: 'Children of Blood and Bone' and 'Lord of the Flies'; both texts are chosen to challenge students' reading ages with significant levels of complexity. Later in the year, students look at other challenging texts in a study of the Gothic, based around Philip Pullman's adaptation of Frankenstein. For poetry, the focus is on narrative poetry where students look at works such as 'The Highwayman', as well as some funny modern versions of 'The Canterbury Tales'. To complete the year, rather than focusing on Shakespeare, we are developing a scheme of work which analyzes humour and pathos in a variety of texts, including 'Only Fools and Horses'.
As can be seen, reading is central to our vision at KS3. We do ask that parents and carers support us in the promotion of this by making sure their child reads for at least an hour across each week. To encourage this, we run Buster's Book Club in conjunction with the Kent Messenger Charities group for years 7 and 8. This is a home/school reading programme which encourages students to share their reading experience with home, logging their reading minutes (confirmed by home) on their Buster Bookmarks; this data is then recorded, and each week trophies for the top reading group are awarded by our Academy Principle and Vice Principle. For more information, follow this link. Termly prizes are also awarded and, of course, overall winners for the year. For years 7, 8 and 9, we also run the Bedrock vocabulary application which boosts students' vocabulary with fun, interactive challenges. More information can be found here.
In Year 9, we continue exploring our key theme of heroes, villains and anti-heroes through Patrick Ness' intelligent and entertaining magic realism novel 'The Rest of Us Just Live Here' which mixes and juxtaposes the lives of everyday anti-heroes with fantasy heroes. We then go on to study protest poetry across time and cultures, exposing students not only to the poems themselves, but a range of non-fiction texts. Our focus the shifts to the crime genre, centred around a study of Priestley's classic whodunnit, 'An Inspector Calls'.
Across all year groups, we enrich our curriculum by celebrating key literary events, such as National Poetry Day, World Book Day, the Carnegie Awards, and we encourage students to take part in a range of internal and external writing competitions.
Work for Year 7 and 8 In Case of Inclement Weather