At Scissett Middle School, the English department aims to encourage children to be thoughtful and critical readers, writers and thinkers.
From Years 6 to 8, students follow carefully constructed skills and knowledge curriculum which allow access to the highest levels of academic achievement, whilst encouraging a love of both language and literature. The key elements of reading, writing, speaking & listening and literary analysis are at the heart of all English lessons.
The department works hard to create a positive and engaging learning environment for all students, through imaginative lesson planning and the use of a diverse range of learning activities. The students’ classroom experience is enhanced by extra-curricular groups such as our book, film and creative writing clubs.
Click here to see how British Moral Values are taught in English.
Key Stage 2
Our Key Stage 2 students enjoy a rich diet of high quality, exciting units of work that extend imaginations, instil a love of the subject and prepare our pupils for SATs tests and beyond.
On arrival into Year 6, pupils are placed into sets based on their reading and writing abilities. This means that pupils’ needs are more specifically catered for in smaller class sizes ranging from around 12 to 24 children per group. We enjoy excellent liaison with our pyramid schools; therefore, we are ideally placed to understand our children’s strengths and areas for development even before they arrive on the first of their transition visits at the end of Year 5.
Pupils in Year 6 have 13 English lessons over a fortnightly period, in addition to a fortnightly drama lesson. Throughout these lessons, students follow a skills and knowledge based curriculum that focuses on building from prior knowledge in reading, writing and speaking and listening. Within this time, each Year 6 teacher has additional time to identify any gaps in knowledge that their students may have and provide intervention to support these needs.
Units of Work Studied by Pupils in Year 6:
- Autobiography and Biography
- Classic and Contemporary Fiction
- Explanation and Instruction
- Formal Language and Recount
- Guided Reading
- Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
Students' work will be based around non-fiction reading about the tragedy of the Titanic and two fiction books: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Room 13.
Key Stage 3
Throughout KS3, we follow a skills and knowledge based curriculum that engages, inspires and motivates students. Our aim is to create a love and passion for the subject and provide students with the much needed stepping stones required for when they leave Scissett Middle School and transition into Year 9. Our curriculum is diverse and challenging and equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in English.
In KS3, all pupils have four lessons of English each week and these focus on encompassing the wide range of skills and knowledge that students require for the end of the key stage, whilst blending creativity and rigour. Alongside reading and writing, we frequently embrace the opportunity to develop speaking and listening skills, such as whole class debating and we ensure that our students are career-literate in English: our journalism project teaches students about how news is reported and students then enjoy the buzz of becoming teams of editors themselves, reporting on current local/school news.
The curriculum interleaves skills and knowledge and students are given the opportunity to recap and recall core knowledge and core skills, to allow them to retain the information learned and commit it to their long term memory. Students are also given Knowledge Organisers to encourage independent thinking, learning and revision, which will then benefit transition to their chosen senior school.
Units of Work Studied by Pupils in Year 7:
Students in Year 7 study thematic units of work, which encompass a wide variety of texts and genres. Students will study a range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays and prose. Students are assessed across a wide range of skills in English at the end of each unit.
- Gothic Horror - Students will study a range of fiction based extracts that follow this genre and they will write their own gothic inspired narrative at the end of the unit.
- Supernatural - Students will study a range of non-fiction based extracts and respond to a range of reading questions. Students will focus on their skills of inference and increase their knowledge in analysing language and explaining their ideas. Students will also write a range of transactional pieces of writing, acquiring the skills to adapt their language choices to suit purpose and audience.
- Contemporary novel: ‘Holes’ by Louis Sachar - Students will study themes and characters within the novel and build on their essay writing skills.
- Animal Poetry - Students will study a range of poems by poets such as William Blake, Tennyson and T.S. Eliot. Students will explore the language used in the poems and the themes and ideas that are presented. Students will demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the form of an essay. In this unit, students will also do Poetry by Heart and revise and recall the poem Hawk Roosting by Ted Hughes.
- Careers-based journalism project - Students focus on careers in English and look at journalism as a career. Students will become editors and report on issues locally and with school.
- Second contemporary novel: 'A Monster Calls' by Patrick Ness - Students will build on their analytical skills by studying the language and structure of the novel, at the same time as increasing their skills in evaluation.
Units of Work Studied by Pupils in Year 8:
- Twisted Tales - In this unit, students will experiment with their creative skills to write their own piece of narrative writing.
- Novel: ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck - Students will study themes and characters within the novel and build on their essay writing skills. In this unit, students will also do Poetry by Heart and revise and recall the poem I, Too by Langston Hughes.
- Playscript: ‘Journey’s End’ by R.C. Sherriff and Conflict Poetry - Students will study the play and build on their essay writing skills around theme and character. Alongside the play, students will study a range of poems around the theme of conflict. Students will build their knowledge of specific poetic devices and linking the writer’s intentions to the period in which it was written.
- Novel: The Woman in Black - Students will build on their analytical skills by studying the language and structure of the novel, at the same time as increasing their skills in evaluation.
- Shakespeare Text: King Lear - Students will study the full play King Lear and build their knowledge and confidence with the language used.
- Extreme Sports - Students will study a range of non-fiction based extracts and respond to a range of reading questions. Students will focus on their skills of inference and increase their knowledge in analysing language and explaining their ideas. Students will also write a range of transactional pieces of writing, acquiring the skills to adapt their language choices to suit purpose and audience.
- The Book and Biscuit Club is run by Mrs. Hull. Members meet every Wednesday in room 13, at 12.15pm, to explore new works of fiction and discuss character, plot and themes.
- The Real Cinema Club is run by Mrs. Hull, in room 13, on Fridays at 12.15pm.
- The Creative Writing Club is run by Ms. Cronin, in room 3, each Tuesday at 12.15pm.
- The Harry Potter Club is run by Mrs Hunter. Members meet every lunch time in room 5, at 12:15pm, to complete different activities based on the Harry Potter novels.
- The Learning Resource Centre is open for pupils every break and lunch time.
Year 6 receives weekly homework tasks that include revising a weekly spelling list and completing different activities on SATs Companion.
Years 7 and 8 receive weekly homework tasks that include vocabulary learning and revisiting and recapping key skills and knowledge that have been visited in the classroom.
In all Year groups, pupils are expected to read for 25 minutes, 4 days each week after Lunch time. In this time, they may also change reading books and quiz on books to test their understanding of them. Pupils who need additional support with ‘decoding’ and comprehending may attend Reading Recovery sessions to help them develop greater fluency in their reading. Some pupils will also be invited to read with an older ‘Reading Buddy’. The Library books are refreshed regularly and there are lots of recommendations for books on display and also on our school website. These books are recommended by pupils. Young Librarians and Library staff are also available to help pupils choose a book and parents are encouraged to continue to listen to their children read or discuss things they have read together.
You can access Accelerated Reader by following this link.
Careers in this subject
- Creative arts
- Public relations