Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 English introduces students to a wide variety of voices and perspectives, representing the concepts and texts which define who we are today. Students learn a wide range of knowledge while building and developing their creative and analytical skills.
Students begin their study of English at Nuneaton Academy with a full read-through of “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson. This coming-of-age novel offers an effective welcome into the subject, beginning as it does with a young person finding their way in the world. Here, students are introduced to the idea of the text as a vehicle for discussing ideas and conveying meaning, and begin to analyse the author’s use of language for effect. Students then study the “Conflict Anthology” prose and poetry collection, which includes extracts and poems linked by one of the major themes which underpins the curriculum. Pupils develop their skills in analysing fiction and non-fiction texts and recognising the conventions of poetry, and their critical literacy in interpreting and creating transactional writing. William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” introduces students to the world of drama and the rich and rewarding language of Shakespeare, which we return to across the curriculum. Pupils will learn to recognise dramatic devices and the conventions of a Shakespearean play and will build on the skills they have acquired across Year 7 to develop their understanding of characterisation and language. The year finishes with a modern novel, “The Girl of Ink and Stars”, which incorporates the concepts of previous units by returning to and building on the presentation of conflict and relationships, and by focussing on both analytical and descriptive/narrative writing.
Students begin Year 8 with the second of our Shakespeare plays, “Richard III”. The unit focusses on an in-depth study of characterisation, using the central figure to consider how authors develop complex characters over the course of a text. Students then study the “Social Justice” prose and poetry anthology, which includes extracts and poems linked by another of our key curriculum themes. Here, pupils learn more about the conventions of non-fiction forms (such as the essay, autobiography, and article), narrative voice and poetic technique by considering modern issues relating to social justice. “Dystopian Fiction” takes the concepts of the previous units and applies them to the genre of speculative fiction, where authors use imagined states or futures to consider real-world issues. Students become familiarised with the form and purpose of the short story, as well as further developing their own creative skills as they plan and write a short story of their own. The year finishes with introducing pupils to the Gothic genre through the study of a whole novella, “The Woman in Black”. The unit incorporates the core concepts of power, conflict and relationships, but this time considered from an individual’s experience of the supernatural, which feeds into later units.
Students begin Year 9 with the study of “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller. This modern play builds on the concept of power while introducing the main focus of the year – identity and relationships. Students develop their knowledge of applying context to interpretations to examine how the writer has communicated meaning. The “Relationships and Identity” prose and poetry anthology consists of fiction and non-fiction stories, extracts and poems which capture the experience of those coming to terms with their identity and relationship with others. The perspectives are modern, which allows pupils to apply their understanding of the central concepts to the issues impacting the world today. Pupils build on their understanding of how different narrative voices are crafted by authors and are tasked with capturing voices of their own. The short stories of “Sherlock Holmes” are then used to explore the concepts of identity and relationships in further detail, with a focus on characterisation, setting and symbolism. Year 9 concludes with a full study of “King Lear” by William Shakespeare. This unit brings much of the whole KS3 curriculum together to consider the presentation of its central themes, including relationships, power, identity, and conflict. Prior to the study of “Macbeth” in Year 10, this unit also secures understanding of dramatic conventions and tragedy, and further familiarisation with the language and structure of Shakespearean plays.
Homework will be set weekly. Homework is typically in the form of small reading and writing exercises.
Lessons include knowledge retrieval questions to assess prior learning. Lessons involve the active use of mini whiteboards to check for understanding and to provide real time feedback and to deal with misconceptions quickly. Students will complete written assessments during the academic year where they will be given teacher feedback on how to improve. Students will sit a mid-year test in January and an end-of-year test in the summer term.
For further information/clarification about KS3 English please contact Mr Garland.