Head of Department:



Autumn Term (term 1 and 2) Y7

Dahlights – A study of Roald Dahl’s nonfiction writing as well as his short stories. Students will explore vocabulary and sentence structure in fiction writing by writing the opening to their own short stories.

Shakespeare’s The TempestStudents will read the play and examine, through the characters, human motivation. Students will study the language and themes presented through the play and analyse key passages for meaning.

Spring Term (term 3 and 4) Y7

Of Monsters and Men – A study of the earliest forms of English literature – students will be studying Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales as well as looking at literary tropes and how characters have been portrayed through the ages through comparative essay writing.

Castaway – Students will examine and discuss a collection of fiction and nonfiction texts that revolve around the concept of survival. Students will look at language features and persuasive techniques as presented in a Speaking and Listening assessment.

Summer Term (term 5 and 6) Y8

The Boy in the Striped PyjamasStudents will read John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and explore the idea of innocence in the face of the greatest human tragedy of the 20th century. Students will look at nonfiction representations of the Holocaust as well as the importance of language and narrative voice.

Autumn Term (term 1 and 2) Y8

Heart SurgeryStudents will begin Year 8 with an in depth look at Gothic literature. Students will read a modern short story as well as classic works of Gothic fiction including The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. Students will explore the characteristics of the genre and transfer this knowledge into their own short stories.

A Christmas CarolStudents will read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and explore the language he uses to present characters, engage with complex vocabulary and learn how to write more developed essays.

Spring Term (term 3 and 4) Y8

Grammar for Writing This unit of study will focus on epistolary writing through a series of extracts from both fiction and non-fiction texts. Students will focus on writer’s voice and how language changes throughout a text as well as how to effectively discuss these texts in a debate situation.

Shakespeare’s Richard III – Students will read the play and examine the theme of monstrosity and human motivation through the characters in the play. Students will use prior knowledge to compare Richard to other Shakespearean characters.

Summer Term (term 5 and 6) Y8

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Students will read Mark Haddon’s novel as a class as well as explore nonfiction texts based on the themes and subject matter discussed in the book. Students will develop oratory skills in a Socratic Circle as well as reading skills in extract analysis.

How we assess students:

In English we assess students and develop skills in three specific aspects of English literature and language: reading, writing and speaking and listening. Assessments range from comparative essays to creative writing to delivering speeches. Students are formally assessed at least once a term using assessment focuses derived from GSCE criteria in order to ease the transition from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4. Feedback is detailed and specific to each student and students are given time to ‘Think Pink and Go Green’ on assessments.

How homework is set (please see Discovery homework timetable on our website for details ):

Homework Projects are set on a termly basis and supplement students’ study of the topic of the term. Students will receive project details in the first week of the term and will be checked periodically by the classroom teacher to ensure progress. Projects will be due in the final week of each term – students who fail to meet this deadline (without prior discussion with classroom teacher) will receive a three hour detention.

How parents/carers can support their child:

The easiest and most effective way to support your child is simply to encourage reading – push your child to more challenging reads, read with your child and have discussions with your child about what you have read. Good habits for GCSE preparation start at Key Stage 3. Parents can help support and foster independence in learning by encouraging students to start their homework projects early and work on them continuously throughout the term.

Useful links:





Reading list:

Summer reading list:

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A complete reading passport will be handed out to all Year 7 and 8 students in September.