- To provide a core curriculum for all pupils which meets the requirements of the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 in Oracy (Speaking and Listening), Reading and Writing;
- to deliver this core curriculum through a variety of rich and engaging learning opportunities which encourage all pupils to become independent learners and to realise their full potential;
- to guide pupils to develop the vital literacy skills that they need in order to be confident, competent and independent writers, speakers and readers throughout their lives;
- to spark a love of books and stories that will energise pupils to read for pleasure;
- to create an environment in which pupils can explore their creativity and become writers for pleasure as well as purpose.
Areas of Study
In KS3, all pupils will study 6 units per year which vary across the year groups. The development of literacy skills underpins the focus of all lessons and pupils will also develop numeracy skills throughout each unit in line with Literacy and Numeracy Framework expectations. The units of study include:
- Narrative (story) writing;
- a study of WWI which includes creative writing such as letters and diaries as well as non-fiction writing such as informative leaflets;
- shared novel reading, including tasks such as character studies and comparison with films;
- non-fiction writing encompassing a wide range of text types such as persuasive, informative and explanatory writing. This is delivered via a range of tasks including letters, speeches, articles and reports;
- poetry reading including a comparative study of WWI poets, as well as studies of Welsh poets throughout KS3;
- ROWND tasks which are outlined in detail below;
- in Year 9, pupils engage in a Media unit where they will compare film trailers of their choice and receive an introduction to the language and techniques of Media Studies;
- finally, in Year 9 pupils study Shakespeare’s Macbeth with a focus on characters and close reading.
In addition to these units, pupils are supported to extend their reading through our Wider Reading programme, which encourages pupils in their own independent reading by offering title suggestions to engage and inspire them.
All pupils across KS3 benefit from completing a unit of work called a ‘ROWND’ task each year. These units are underpinned by a focus on Reading, Oracy, Writing, Numeracy and Digital Competence in line with Literacy and Numeracy Framework expectations and with the Digital Competence Framework. The ROWND units are organised as follows:
Epic Wales: this unit delivers the 5 skill areas via a focus on the culture and heritage of our local area and our Welsh heroes. Pupils will be given the opportunity to write the voiceover for a tourism advertisement of their own design and to learn how to pitch ideas based on tourism. In Numeracy, they will learn how to calculate profit and loss and to understand the implications and uses of this in practice.
Tidal Lagoon: this unit includes opportunities to work as a group to create an informative webpage about the proposed Swansea Tidal Lagoon; a task shared with the ICT Department. Numeracy opportunities will focus on developing an understanding of borrowing, interest and compound interest.
The Apprentice: this unit involves product design, pitching and speech writing and will develop group and individual Oracy skills. In Numeracy, pupils will develop and understanding of saving, investing and insurance.
Assessment will take place in Oracy, Reading and Writing over the course of the year. Pupils’ books are marked regularly and a dialogue between pupil and teacher takes place through written and verbal feedback. Each unit of work is assessed and records are kept to monitor and track pupils’ performance. Peer and self-assessment is used regularly to develop independent ownership of pupils’ learning and a true understanding of the steps required to improve. Pupils are given opportunities to edit, revise and redraft their work after receiving specific targets to improve their work. At the end of Year 9, pupils’ work is used to make an informed judgement of their overall performance in Reading, Writing and Oracy.
All pupils in Ks3 will sit an end of year exam which will assess their ability to write a text for a specific purpose and audience. For example, pupils may be provided with a title and asked to plan and write a story. The exam also explores their understanding of what they read via a range of texts and question types. Texts could include infographics, stories, articles or webpages. Questions could include multiple choice, sequencing texts and finding evidence in the texts that they read. Pupils’ Oracy will be examined via in-class formal assessments and all pupils will complete an individual, paired and group task over the course of the year. In addition to their end of year exam and Oracy assessments, pupils’ Reading skills will be assessed formally in the National Literacy Tests in May in line with national requirements.
In KS3, pupils receive homework once a week. Tasks may include exercises such as: private reading, reviews, editing existing work, planning and research. Pupils are encouraged to ask their teacher for help with homework tasks should they require assistance and there are lunchtime clubs available within the department to assist pupils with homework. Each pupil will of course complete homework at their own pace, however as a guide, tasks should take around half an hour to complete.
The English Department is passionate about offering pupils a range of experiences to further their learning and to spark what we hope will be an ongoing love and enjoyment of the subject. We encourage pupils to read, write and speak publically for pleasure and as such, pupils are offered opportunities to take part in visits, local and national schemes, competitions and clubs.
Pupils regularly compete in Young Writers competitions such as War of Words, Mini Monologues and Busta Rhymes, which appeal to a range of writing tastes from short stories to rap. This has resulted in many of our pupils experiencing the thrill of seeing their own work in print. Often, holding their own book in their hands provides pupils with a real taste of success which motivates them further both in their work and in their own personal creative pursuits. Both success and participation is always enthusiastically celebrated within the English Department and across the wider school across a range of platforms, including during lessons, assemblies and on Twitter.
In addition to competitions, we offer a diverse range of visits annually to encourage reading and writing for pleasure. Recently, pupils have thoroughly enjoyed visits to the Warner Bros Harry Potter Experience and to see Matilda in the West End. This year, pupils have also enjoyed visits to the Hay Literature Festival where they were given the opportunity to speak to real authors about their books and to take part in interactive workshops to bolster their love of reading.
We offer a range of lunchtime clubs every week. These include:
- Skill Stars to encourage independent learning, time management, personal effectiveness and homework support;
- a number of book clubs to engage pupils in wider reading for pleasure and stimulate their general interest in books across the ability and age range. Pupils are given the opportunity to engage with the Wider Reading Lists for Year 7, 8 and 9 and an opportunity to purchase books from Scholastic;
- Creative Writing Club, which offers the opportunity to write creatively for pleasure including stories, poetry and scripts. Pupils are also encouraged to enter a range of competitions to increase their confidence in their own work and to enjoy success and purposeful participation;
- Debate Club provides pupils with the opportunity to further develop their Oracy and thinking skills both formally and informally in order to present their views across a diverse range of topics.
- E-Mag Club, where pupils are able to experience journalistic writing styles such as articles about current events and research skills.