Years 7-9

KS3 Curriculum Intent and Rational

The Church Stretton English curriculum consolidates and builds on the range of skills and knowledge developed at KS2. By the end of KS3, they will know more about the foundational texts in literature, will be able to remember more about English Literature’s social and historical context and will be able to do more creative and critical writing. Students will study the foundational texts of English Literature. Having a strong understanding of the text’s context, plot, purpose and author enables them to make connections and solidify their understanding.  

Creativity and originality emerge from a deep understanding of a subject’s foundations. By studying grammar and writing in isolation, also supported by dedicated schemes of work, students gain the foundational knowledge from which creativity can emerge. This enables students to compose multi-faceted narratives, articles and essays.  

Students need explicit instruction in high-utility tier-2 vocabulary to make them better readers. If students know more words, they will be able to understand and access more literary texts and more challenging texts across the curriculum and be able to do more with them.  

Importantly, the content and knowledge are connected so that students form a firm foundation of literary and linguistic knowledge that enables them to read and write accurately and critically as they move into KS4.  

The principles of English Mastery and how they are delivered

We have designed the programme so that students graduate Year 9 as confident and literate readers and critical and accurate writers. By the end of key stage 3 they will; know and remember more about the foundational texts in literature and social and historical context from the Literary Heritage units; be able to write more accurately and do more with this knowledge from Mastery Writing and explicit tier-2 vocabulary instruction; and be more confident and eager readers from our Reading for Pleasure strand which is the glue that unites Literary Heritage and Mastery Writing. 

Curriculum Overview

KS3 Skills for Writing

Skills for Writing – The KS3 Writing Curriculum 

An evidence-based approach to accelerating progress in writing at KS3 

Learning to write is about learning to be powerful. When you can write confidently, you can make things happen: you can campaign for things that matter to you; you can present yourself and your personality in writing for job or university applications; you can express your deepest, most personal feelings; you can write stories and poems that make others laugh or weep. In fact, you can write to change the world!  

‘Skills for Writing’ is to help you become a confident, powerful writer. It sets out to show you how authors create and convey different meanings in their writing by the choices they make and invites you to consider how the meaning might have been subtly different had they made different choices.  

Our programme of study is very clear about how you can become a better writer, but it is not a recipe book or set of instructions for success. Writing is far more complex than that. We want you to think like a writer, knowing what choices and possibilities you have in each piece of writing, and being able to make and justify those choices with confidence. Enjoy the power! 

Developed in partnership with Professor Debra Myhill and her team from the University of Exeter, Skills for Writing is designed to: 

  • embed the principles of the Grammar for Writing pedagogy - trialled and proven to almost double the rate of writing progress at KS3 for a clear route to KS4 success 

  • teach grammar in a contextualised way - focus on effects achieved, so students have a wider range of techniques with which to craft creative, effective texts 

  • provide engaging and interactive lessons - and the many digital resources focused on building grammatical knowledge and improving writing 

  • motivate students to write independently - encourage students to reflect on their writing and understand how to improve with our range of auto-marked activities. 

  • provide a sequenced, progressive and challenging KS3 curriculum that will fully prepare students for the rigour of KS4. 


Unit 1 (Year 7) 

'Alter Egos' explores texts such as The Witches, Flip and Twilight. It looks at how the authors of these texts create pace and tension, engage the reader and use narrative voice and viewpoint to portray a sense of a split identity. 

Unit 2 (Year 7) 

'Writing the World' looks at how people write about the world of nature in documentaries and environmental campaigns to understand how nature is described and presented in popular media. 

Unit 3 (Year 8) 

'Spy Fiction' explores the elements that make an engaging spy story, developing language skills in order to entertain and thrill the reader. 

Unit 4 (Book 8) 

'Explain' looks at how to write to inform and explain for different audiences by exploring some of the unusual activities some people carry out in their spare time. 

Unit 5 (Book 9) 

'News writing' looks at the key features of newspaper reports, how language choices can be made to imply a point of view and influence the reader’s opinion and how to condense large amounts of information. 

Unit 6 (Book 9) 

'Dystopia' uses texts such as 1984, Animal Farm and Brave New World, as well as more recent novels such as The Hunger Games and Gone. It looks at how the authors of these novels create settings and histories for their dystopias and helps students to create their own dystopias to build a sense of fear within their readers. 

Knowledge Organisers and Reading Lists

Extra-Curricular Offer

The Department will also seek out English Enrichment activities, such as trips to see live theatre productions, cinema showings and other opportunities where they arise.

How to support your child

We are sure that you already do many of these things to support your child but here is a useful reminder for you to refer to:

  • Encourage wider reading and try to ensure that they have a reading book for school which is appropriate for their age and ability.
  • Ask them questions about the book they are reading and share your own reading experience with them.
  • During their homework, encourage your child to carefully proof-read their work; reading out loud might help them to pick up mistakes.

PiXL English Reading - Half-Termly Newsletters


Years 10-11

Introduction and Overview

English follows the AQA English Language (8700) and English Literature (8702) GCSE.  This represents two separate GCSEs 

The English Language Syllabus consists of two papers.  Paper 1 Creative Reading and Writing and Paper 2 Different Writer’s Viewpoints and Perspectives.

It is 100% exam based and will produce a GCSE grade (1-9 - 9 being the highest).

It tests the students ability to:

  • Understand implied meaning and read inference.
  • To summarise.
  • To comment on writer’s use of language and structure.
  • To compare different texts.
  • To evaluate texts.

The English Literature Syllabus (8702) consists of two papers:  

  • Paper 1:  Shakespeare and the Nineteenth Century Novel 
  • Paper 2: A Modern text and AQAs Anthology of poems – Power and Conflict and Unseen Poetry.

Curriculum Overview

Knowledge Organisers 

All Years English Language Technical Accuracy

Year 10

Year 11


How to support your child

We are sure that you already do many of these things to support your child but here is a useful reminder for you to refer to:

  • Encourage wider reading
  • Ask them what they have learnt today
  • Help them to structure revision for tests and assessments
  • Make good use of BBC Bitesize
  • Purchase texts which can be annotated
  • Purchase revision guides

PiXL English Reading - Half-Termly Newsletters

Web Links

Make good use of the web-links and revision guides.




Additional Reading

They may find the Oxford AQA English Language textbooks useful.

However these additional classic texts would support their Literature study.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  • Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  • David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  • Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  • Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Colour Purple – Alice Walker