Key Stage 3
They could be learning to manipulate words in order to create an estate agent’s brochure for a house featured in a 19th century novel.
They could be learning to shape words in order to solve a murder mystery.
They could be learning to structure words in order to build a shrewd analysis of a character from Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men.
Whichever way, our students are ‘bossing words about’ during Key Stage 3 English lessons at Poynton High School. It is our intention that they will experience a sense of excitement as they learn just how powerful it is to be able to control their words effectively in the modern world. Added to this, we hope that along the way they will also gain a sense of insight and understanding about the means that other people have used to powerfully control their words in generations gone by.
Through a variety of teaching methods and resources students can enjoy lessons where they explore the techniques that can be used to create engaging writing for a range of different purposes and audiences. In response to the changing academic demands of the new GCSE course, our KS3 schemes include a range of 19th and 20th century texts to prepare them for such rigours. Students follow a carefully designed and comprehensive thematic programme of study which gives opportunities for them to build communication and reading skills in written and spoken forms in every term of their Key Stage 3 English education. Units include:
Year 7: units on Family, Place and Myths and Legends
Year 8: units on Mystery Stories, Gothic Tales and Magic
Year 9: Hopes and Dreams unit*
*GCSE course begins in Term 2 of Year 9.
Reading is a large focus for both students and staff in our department. Staff and students read together regularly at the start of lessons and we challenge each student to read 30 books an academic year as part of our Reading Challenge; these are just some of the ways that a love of reading is promoted. An ongoing enthusiasm for reading is shared through personal recommendations, displays and our upper and lower school reading groups that each meet once a half-term. We also hold workshops with established authors; past visitors include Frank Cottrell Boyce, Keith Gray and Catherine MacPhail.
It is also very important to us, of course, that our students are academically successful. The level of achievement of each student is closely tracked and monitored through regular assessment. These assessments vary in type and formality but students receive detailed written feedback and are given time respond to their personalised targets, in line with whole-school policy.
Our hope is that students will very much enjoy the engaging content of our thematic curriculum. The skills that they will acquire at Key Stage 3 English in Poynton High School will enable them to secure a brighter future, both academically and personally.