Christian Head, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, CA17 4HA

017683 71693

Kirkby Stephen Grammar School

A Co-operative Academy

Year 7 English

We aim to engage, excite and extend students’ perspectives through a diverse curriculum, rich in contemporary and classic fiction, media and non-fiction texts. The KS3 programme is designed to build upon the KS2 curriculum and to equip pupils with the knowledge to develop essential skills in reading, writing and oral communication. Pupils are encouraged to write for “real” audiences and purposes and to master grammatical accuracy, whilst developing a passion for creative and imaginative writing. Pupils are encouraged to explore the historical, social and cultural contexts of the texts that they study and the impact of these contexts on authors, movements and communities; this knowledge underpins pupils’ responses to texts. We want our pupils to develop transferable knowledge that they can employ in future encounters with texts and we aim to enthuse pupils about literature, developing the confidence to critically explore the power of language throughout history to the present day.

Teaching takes place through a wide range of challenging and engaging classroom activities and we encourage pupils to learn how to structure responses through shared writing, modelling and scaffolding in combination with activities designed to boost pupils’ independence. Formal assessments include end of module assessments and an end of year English exam. Depending upon the size of the Year 7 intake, English classes will be set using KS2 data as a guideline or in smaller year groups, pupils are in mixed ability classes. Where classes are set, there is scope for movement up or down throughout the year. All pupils take part in our personalised spelling programme throughout KS3 and we work closely with the SEND department to support pupils with additional needs.

We encourage participation in national writing competitions, the Poetry by Heart initiative and celebrations of both National Poetry Day and World Book Day in order to support and develop classroom learning. We are developing connections with the University of Lancaster, allowing pupils the opportunity to experience perspectives on literary texts from Professors and PHD students. Our enrichment calendar also includes theatre trips and poetry workshops and we are lucky enough to be able to offer pupils a lunchtime Creative Club. We also facilitate opportunities for all pupils to read for challenge, pleasure and information through structured independent reading activities.

Areas Covered

  • Language skills - punctuation, paragraphing and sentence structure knowledge development is an integral part of our lessons. We aim to support pupils to develop and improve upon their learning in KS2 to become confident, creative and fluent writers who are able to express ideas in their own fiction and non-fiction texts with subtlety, impact and skill.
  • Novel studies – we study a class novel, Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean, in order to help pupils understand the importance of context and to explore setting and character in a novel. Our approach includes guided reading and develops pupils’ empathy, inference and deduction skills as well as adding breadth to their vocabularies.
  • Prose studies – pupils explore how writers create character in prose extracts and short stories from a range of the world’s finest writers from Mary Shelley to Chinua Achebe. Pupils begin to exercise critical appreciation of texts, learning how writers use language techniques for impact. They also begin to learn how to structure and shape an academic response to a text. Pupils also study the conventions of non-fiction texts including articles and opinion pieces, producing persuasive webpage articles to engage specific audiences.
  • Poetry – we explore how poets use language and structure in a range of poems about animals including Edwin Morgan’s Hyena and William Blake’s Tyger, Tyger. Pupils are encouraged to make personal, empathetic responses to poetry as well as developing precision in explaining the writer’s craft. Pupils will also craft their own poetry in response to the same theme and will research the life and inspirations of Blake.
  • Shakespeare – pupils enjoy an introduction to Shakespeare's language, The Globe Theatre, life in Elizabethan England and attitudes to magic in c16th Britain. They research the life of the great Bard and explore the narratives of several of Shakespeare’s seminal works. They explore etymology through studying how many of today’s common colloquialisms and figurative expressions originate in Shakespeare’s plays. Pupils also enjoy bringing Shakespeare’s words to life through drama activities.
  • Speaking and Listening - talk forms the basis of our approach to learning in English. Whole class, small group and paired discussion and debate takes place regularly, helping pupils articulate ideas and shape responses to texts before writing. Through a structured group activity, pupils learn how to discuss collaboratively to investigate the crime in Poe’s Murders in the Rue Morgue.

For more information, please contact Ms Newstead.