The topics for year 7 and 8 are designed to be engaging but also stretching.  We have revamped them in recent years to make sure that they are in line with the harder GCSEs so students will leave key stage 3 already familiar with the skills and types of texts they will see at GCSE.

Year 7:

Students start the year with an autobiographical writing project.  Not only does this allow the students to introduce themselves in detail, but it lays the groundwork of accurate and ambitious writing.  We then move onto a project called ‘Dickensian London’ where students read a range of challenging 19th century texts including the majority of the GCSE level text ‘A Christmas Carol’.  In the spring term, students start with a novel study.  We have a wide range of challenging and engaging class sets, ranging from Martyn Pig to Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.  Following this is a persuasive writing and speaking project, honing the skills required in the GCSE Language paper 2 exam. Romeo and Juliet is the subject of the first half term of summer which includes an in school performance from a troupe of actors.  The final term is spent preparing for a GCSE style assessment followed by a short poetry scheme of work to finish off.

Year 8:

Students start with reading the Sherlock Holmes ‘The Speckled Band’ getting them used to 19th century fiction writing.  Students then move onto a Science Fiction topic which will help to develop their own creative writing.  In spring, students will study an old GCSE poetry cluster called Poetry from Other Cultures and Traditions.  The poems are accessible yet challenging and students will have to analyse and compare them to a GCSE level standard. Students then read the eternally popular ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck.  For many years this was taught at GCSE and will help push students to look at themes, context and characterisation. The summer starts with reading another challenging yet engaging text, Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.  As in year 7, the year ends with a GCSE style assessment followed by an opinion writing scheme of work.