KEY STAGE 3 - ENGLISH
Our main aim during Years 7-9 is to aid our students on their way to becoming confident and accurate speakers, listeners, readers and writers of the English language, and to develop their ability to put the skills they have acquired to effective use in a wide variety of situations, in familiar and unfamiliar contexts and in both formal and informal registers.
To develop effective speaking and listening skills, pupils learn to:
- Use the vocabulary and grammar of standard English;
- Formulate, clarify and express their ideas;
- Adapt their speech to a widening range of circumstances and demands;
- Listen, understand and respond appropriately and tolerantly to others.
Pupils are given opportunities to talk in a range of contexts, and for various audiences, becoming aware of register, and of how tone, intonation and gesture can alter meaning. Students practise their oral skills in a variety of groupings, including pairs, small group and class discussions, some teacher-directed and others not, and in class debates, where it is hoped that opinions and beliefs can be expressed openly and freely. They are encouraged to listen attentively to others, and to develop tolerance towards those with whom they do not always agree.
To develop as effective readers, pupils are taught to:
- Read with increasing accuracy, fluency and understanding, incorporating different reading strategies (e.g. skimming, scanning) for different purposes;
- Understand, empathise with and respond to the texts they have read;
Our students read, analyse and evaluate a wide range of texts, from a variety of genres, including plays, novels, short stories and poetry, both from English literary heritage and from other cultures and traditions. Non-fiction texts include autobiographies, diaries, letters, leaflets, magazine articles, and newspaper reports. Students are given opportunities to read texts which show quality in language use, and which portray issues and events relating to contemporary life or past experience in ways which are interesting and challenging.
Regular library sessions encourage pupils to read widely and independently for enjoyment, to develop as responsive and enthusiastic readers. We urge pupils to read increasingly demanding texts and to be discriminating in what they read, reviewing and commenting on books read.
To develop as effective writers, pupils are taught to use:
- Compositional skills, developing ideas and communicating meaning to a specified reader, using an increasingly wider range of vocabulary and style, organising and structuring sentences grammatically and texts coherently, developing their own distinctive styles and recognising the importance of commitment and vitality in what they write;
- Presentational skills, accurate punctuation, correct spelling and neat, easily legible handwriting;
- A widening variety of forms for different purposes and target readers, including notes, diaries, personal and formal letters, chronological accounts, reports, pamphlets, reviews, essays, advertisements, newspaper and magazine articles, biography, autobiography, poems, stories and play scripts.
To develop as writers of narrative, pupils build on their own experience of good fiction, and to use their knowledge of story structure, description of setting, organisation of plot, and means of conveying character and relationships. To develop as writers of non-fiction, they learn different ways of organising and expressing ideas and information in discursive, argumentative, persuasive and other types of writing, aimed at different target readers.