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 our students’ perspectives through texts. Our focus this year is on the natural world and we hope to encourage pupils to think deeply about our relationship with the environment around us and the lifeforms it sustains via a diverse curriculum, rich in contemporary and classic fiction, media and non-fiction texts. The Year 7 programme is designed to build upon the KS2 curriculum, revisiting prior learning and further supporting pupils to develop essential skills in reading, writing and oral communication.

We believe that young people can unlock deeper enjoyment of texts by establishing their relevance to contemporary life. One way that we support pupils in this goal is to celebrate local connections through our curriculum and through our Reading for Pleasure sessions; here pupils learn a love for literary and non-literary narratives through class readings of texts including Spylark, by Danny Rurlander – this thrilling spy story takes our native Lake District as a backdrop. Other texts include classic tales of rural life by North Yorkshire vet, James Herriot, and Amanda Owen’s autobiography, The Yorkshire Shepherdess.

Pupils are encouraged to write for “real” audiences and purposes and to master grammatical accuracy, whilst developing a passion for creative and imaginative writing. We firmly believe that greater understanding of texts comes from contextual knowledge and 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. 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 baseline tests to better understand pupils’ individual starting points. All of our classes are mixed ability groupings. 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. We also further facilitate opportunities for all pupils to read for challenge, pleasure and information through structured independent reading activities.

If you require further information about our Year 7 programme, please click the link below to see detailed curriculum plans. You can also contact Sarah Newstead, Subject Leader for English, through the reception staff.