English Key Stage 3 Year 8

Year 8 English- Course Overview

Over the course of the year students will study six units, covering reading, writing and speaking and listening skills. As well as continually developing writing skills and literacy the department is committed to structured activities to enable pupils to develop individual and independent reading, as well as shared reading experiences. All units provide opportunities for speaking and listening, including paired, small group and class discussion; presentational skills are developed; and dramatic skills in role play are explored. Specific activities are tailored to the class’s needs.
Unit 1: Poetry

Students are introduced to a range of poems by their teachers. The poems are grouped thematically in the style of the GCSE anthology. Through this unit students develop their ability to respond to seen and unseen poems, by inferring information, commenting on language and structure, and evaluated the ideas of a poet. Students are also introduced to contextual information about some poems and authors, and encouraged to use this information in their analysis.

Unit 2: 19th Century Texts

This is an exciting unit, full of suspense and intrigue. Students study a range of 19th Century texts, often focussing on short stories from authors such as Edgar Allen Poe. There is a particular focus on how authors establish setting, mood and atmosphere. The unit is assessed through a writing task; students incorporate the ideas and devices of authors into an original, creative piece of writing.

Unit 3: Media

This engaging scheme of learning enables students to develop the media-specific skills that they began to build in Year 7. Students study the methods used by advertisers and begin to look at how advertisers shape audience responses to products. There is also exploration of genre and stylistic conventions within genres. The unit is assessed through a persuasive piece of creative advertising.

Unit 4: Prose Analysis

Students study one text. The text will be read in class and the plot, characters and themes explored by the students. Engagement with the text is a key aim of the English Department. Students will produce 3 pieces of assessed work all linked to the text studied: A piece of creative writing inspired by the novel e.g. diary or story, an essay analysing writers’ techniques, a close analysis of a character, and the impressions informed on them in 1 or 2 chapters.

Unit 5: Fiction

Students study the style and techniques use by authors in a variety of detective or ghost stories. Through studying example texts students come to realise there are key components to this style of fiction, and that these components are vital to creating the right effect. Students are then led through the writing process, with them creating their own detective or ghost story. This is a chance for students to work on, and show off their writing skills.

Unit 6: Language Change

An interesting and fun way to end the year! Students explore how and why the English language has changed, taking into consideration factors such as: history, inventions, religion, invasions, technology, Greek and Latin root words etc. Students look at where the English language has come from, and start to develop ideas about what the future holds for the language. The assessment has a ‘writing to explain’ focus (AO5 and AO6 Language).