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English - Year 7

Mathematics - Year 7

Click here to return to our English curriculum overview

Below you will find more specific information about the curriculum in English for Year 7 students, explaining to you what students will learn, when, why and how. There is also information about how parents/carers are able to support students in their learning, extra-curricular opportunities in this subject and how it links to other subjects and the wider world.

While this information covers a broad range of areas, please do get in touch with the Subject Leader Mrs Weston if you have any questions.

Please click on the questions below to find out more.

How are groups organised?

Classes are set according to ability.

Students have 6 one hour lessons per fortnight.

What characteristics does a successful student have in this subject?

The most successful students in English are avid readers and writers who enjoy writing creatively and are able to interpret and analyse the work of writers from a range of backgrounds. They are insightful and can recognise and appreciate the ways in which writers craft their work to create meaning. They are able to use literary devices and linguistic features with confidence within their own writing and appreciate the importance of effective communication in all aspects of life.

What are the key concepts students will study at this level?

  • Reading for meaning
  • Analysis and evaluation of language use by a range of writers
  • Crafting and effective planning of creative writing
  • Writing to engage an audience
  • Confidence in both verbal and written communication

What will students learn at this level?

In Year 7, pupils build on their learning at Key Stage 2, studying a series of  units which have been designed to create a meaningful journey through English Language and Literature.

They build upon their literacy skills,  improving their accuracy in spelling, punctuation and grammar through exposure to a broad range of high quality writing and extensive practice in writing. They are encouraged to develop and employ a wider vocabulary in their speaking and writing and learn the meaning of complex words to improve the fluency of their reading.

Pupils are introduced to their rich and varied literary heritage and develop their knowledge and understanding of different genres of writing, including fiction and non fiction texts.  They learn to analyse the ways in which writers use language to create meaning and develop an awareness of the importance of the writer’s craft.

There is a particular focus on creativity as pupils write imaginatively in response to a wide range of exemplar texts, develop their writing skills, so that they become increasingly effective writers. They learn to plan their ideas and create characters, settings, plots and themes which engage the reader and reflect on the quality of their own writing, editing and redrafting to improve their work. They develop their writing stamina, producing  a number of extended pieces of written work.

Pupils are encouraged to read widely and read for pleasure through the inclusion of a wide range of texts and     extracts, in dedicated reading time at the start of lessons and in their regular library lessons. Reading is also regularly set for homework: there is an expectation that all pupils will read for at least 30 minutes each week.

Speaking and listening skills are developed throughout Year 7 as pupils are encouraged to work collaboratively,  discussing their ideas and responding to the ideas of others. The focus is on building confidence in reading aloud, reading in role and responding to questions in class. The aims are to ensure all pupils feel comfortable contributing in class and to improve the clarity of their verbal responses in a range of situations. 

Autumn term 1

Transition Unit: Reading and the Writer’s Craft   

Pupils are introduced to the procedure of reading for ten minutes at the start of lessons and keep a reading log. They review their personal reading histories, picking up on good practice at primary school. They study the writer’s craft, discussing and analysing a variety of extracts relating to character and place. Pupils are introduced to       technical terms relating to literary methods and language choices and complete guided analysis of extracts relating to character and place chosen from pupils’ personal reading. They complete an extended writing task, drawing on their own reading and their learning throughout the unit.

End of unit assessment task: write the opening of a story introducing a character and a place.

The Story of English

This unit introduces pupils to the history of English language and literature from the Celts to the present day,    building on their understanding of their literary heritage. Pupils learn about the influences of Latin and other      languages and examine the ways in which language changes over time. Pupils read literary works including extracts from Beowulf, the Anglo Saxon Chronicles and The Canterbury Tales.

End of unit assessment task:  a research task on a historical aspect of English language or literature.

Autumn term 2

Introduction to Narrative  Writing

Pupils learn about the conventions of narrative writing by reading and analysing a wide range of fiction. They study the ways in which writers create characters and settings and learn about narrative voices, the importance of     openings and endings, the use of dialogue and description for effect and effective planning. They plan, write and edit their own narrative writing, drawing on their extensive reading to craft their own writing.

End of unit assessment task: an extended piece of narrative writing in a genre of their choice.

Ballads and  Narrative Poetry

Following their study of narrative writing, pupils study ballads and narrative poems, learning to recognise and   comment on the wide range of techniques  poets use to create meaning. They are taught to analyse poetry using appropriate terminology and learn of the significance of context when studying writers and their work. Pupils learn about poetic form and structure and write their own ballad, employing the conventions of the form.

End of unit assessment task: a ballad which shows evidence of understanding of form and structure, and includes a range of poetic techniques chosen for effect.

Writing  Skills Task 1:

Pupils complete a discrete extended writing task which reinforces the importance of effective planning, careful  editing and the accuracy of spelling, punctuation and  grammar.

Assessment task: write a story entitled The Text Message, Lost, The Haunted Mirror, or A Day to Remember.

Spring term 1

Library Reading Project: Fiction and Non Fiction

To develop pupils’ independent reading skills  and promote regular reading and reading for pleasure, pupils will study both fiction and non fiction texts. They will complete a series of activities designed to  broaden  their          experience of reading works of fiction  and non-fiction from a range of genres. They will consider the ways in which writers craft their work and will begin to completing a Reading Log. When studying non-fiction they will consider a range of genres including biographies, magazines and newspapers.

End of unit assessment task: short written responses to fiction and non-fiction texts.

Autobiographical Writing 

Pupils move from a broad study of narrative writing to literary non-fiction. They read a range of autobiographical writing drawn from a wide range of writers and learn the conventions of the genre. They study the ways in which writers communicate effectively and engage their readers. They develop their  comprehension skills through close reading of the texts and they are encouraged to reflect on their childhood experiences before planning, drafting and producing their own autobiographical writing, using their reading as a model for their work.

End of unit assessment task:  an extended piece of autobiographical writing.

Spring term 2

Author Study : One novel from:  War Horse, Private Peaceful, Kensuke’s Kingdom,  Skellig,  Century, Millions.  

 Pupils study one author in depth with a focus on the writer’s craft;  the ways in which the writer develops their themes, characters and settings. They are taught to understand and analyse the ways in which the writer uses    language for particular effects. Pupils develop a deeper understanding of the writer’s themes and the methods  used to develop them and are encouraged to respond to the novel by exploring their own views in discussion.

End of unit assessment task: an analytical response to an aspect of the text they have studied.

Writing  Skills Task 2: writing to advise

Assessment task: Write a letter in response to the concerns of a Year 6 pupil who is worried about starting Year 7 

Summer term 1

Genre Study: Gothic Literature

Building upon the knowledge and understanding gained in the unit on narrative writing, pupils focus on one genre of prose fiction, the gothic genre.  They learn the conventions of the genre and read a range of gothic extracts drawn from different literary eras and analyse the ways in which writers use language and the conventions of the genre to create their own, unique gothic text.  They write their own gothic story, employing the conventions of the genre and gaining inspiration from the texts they have read, using them as models for their own writing.

End of unit assessment task: plan and write an extended gothic story.

Drama Study: Dracula

Pupils will be introduced to the conventions of drama and will use their understanding of the gothic genre to     consider the ways in which the playwright has created and developed his characters, settings and themes. They will study scriptwriting and consider the significance of stage directions. They will be encouraged to write their own scripts and perform short scenes with the aim of developing confidence in participating in group speaking activities.

End of unit assessment task:
a  short script or additional scene based on the characters or themes presented in the play Dracula.

Summer term 2

Introduction to Shakespeare

Pupils will learn about the context in which Shakespeare was writing and will be introduced to a number of the themes, characters, settings and storylines within his plays. They will look at the language and imagery Shakespeare used and will analyse its effect on an audience. They will learn about the conventions of drama and will watch    extracts of plays in performance to create a deeper understanding of stagecraft and  characterisation.

The aims are to improve understanding of the significance of contexts and to increase  students’ confidence when approaching Shakespeare’s plays.

End of unit assessment task: an extended analytical response to a character, scene or theme within a play.

Writing Skills Task 3: descriptive writing based on a picture stimulus.

End of year assessment task: Write an imaginative description inspired by the scene in the picture.

Additional Units - to be completed as appropriate

Two Week Text

Pupils are introduced to texts from their literary heritage, using both multimodal versions and extracts from the original novels. Pupils consider characterisation, setting and themes and discuss their responses to the screenplay and extracts, developing their ability to articulate their opinions fully and effectively.

End of unit assessment task:  written or verbal response to the text, showing evidence of critical thinking skills.

What skills will students develop at this level?

  • Reading skills
  • Analytical and evaluative skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Critical thinking.

How will students learn at this level?

  • By: reading a wide range of texts.
  • Reading examples of good creative writing.
  • Experimenting with different forms of creative writing.
  • Working collaboratively with texts.
  • Researching contexts and backgrounds.
  • Debating and expressing points of view.
  • Practising written responses and creative writing.

How will students’ learning be assessed at this level?

At the end of each term you will be given a writing skills assessment which is marked for content, organisation and technical accuracy.

At the end of each unit you will be given an extended writing task which will be marked against a number of criteria from the reading and writing assessment grids.

You will be given clear and focused feedback on aspects you are doing well and guidelines on what you can do to improve your work.

When do key assessments take place?

End of Units – 2-3 each term

End of term Writing assessments – last two weeks of each term

There is no formal exam at the end of Year 7.

How can parents/carers support students’ learning?

  • By reading together and showing interest in reading as a leisure activity.
  • By encouraging the completion of all homework activities to a good standard.
  • By reading all creative writing exercises and responding positively to ideas, offering constructive criticism where appropriate.

What equipment do students need for this subject?

Writing equipment

Reading book

How does this subject link to other subjects?

  • Literacy – all subjects
  • Analytical skills – most subjects
  • Communication skills – all subjects

What websites or resources may be helpful to support students’ learning?

BBC Bitesize for KS3


What extra-curricular or enrichment opportunities are available for students in this subject at this level?

  • KTS Best Books – writing a review for publication on the KTS website
  • Creative Writing competitions
  • Film club

What sort of careers can this subject lead to?

  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Freelance writing
  • Law
  • Any career requiring high level literacy skills

What does student work look like in this subject at this level?


How does this subject support a broad and balanced curriculum, meeting the needs of all students, and developing traditional core skills?

Broad and balanced:

We cover a wide range of literature including pre-1900 texts and texts from other cultures.

We study a range of non-fiction texts, including topics relating to current issues, and encourage critical thinking skills.

Meeting the needs of all students:

We differentiate appropriately in all lessons, adapting unit tasks and all assessments to ensure they are challenging and accessible to all pupils.

Texts are selected according to the ability, strengths and interests of students.

TAs are used effectively to support students and we liaise with relevant agencies/staff to ensure students’ needs are met.

Traditional core skills:

Literacy is at the heart of the English curriculum. We also develop critical thinking skills, encourage the forming and expression of opinion and consider ethics and morality when studying literature in particular.

How does this subject promote creativity, critical thinking, practice, perseverance and resilience, and making links?


We develop thinking skills and encourage students to respond creatively to texts and ideas explored in lessons.

We encourage creative writing throughout the key stage, allowing students the opportunity to think of their own ideas and develop them in the way they wish.

Critical thinking:

We encourage pupils to think about a range of issues, ideas, language use and writers’ intentions throughout the course. They are expected to formulate their own responses and ideas, identifying strengths and weaknesses and expressing their own views clearly and articulately.

Practice, perseverance and resilience:

We encourage drafting and self-editing to enable pupils to identify their own errors and improve the quality of their writing.

We encourage students to complete longer writing tasks on a regular basis to develop writing resilience and read longer, challenging texts and extracts to develop reading resilience. Pupils are encouraged to persevere with challenging tasks and we break down more complex tasks to ensure they are less daunting and more accessible to all students.

Making links:

this subject links with history, geography, ethics and philosophy, art, modern languages, science, through the nature of the texts studied and the ideas explored throughout the course.

How does this subject encourage enrichment and the development of cultural capital, deep learning, and inclusivity?

Enrichment/cultural capital:

We study a range of literary texts from the Anglo Saxon Chronicles to 21st Century novels and poetry.

We introduce pupils to the literary canon including works by Shakespeare and Dickens. We study modern drama, poetry from across the world and non-fiction from a range of writers.

Substance/deep learning:

We study texts written for adult readers as well as children’s literature. Students are encouraged to think about mature ideas and themes and reflect on a range of issues.

All ideas are fully explored and tested to ensure pupils have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the skills taught throughout the year.

Open and inclusive:

We ensure all literature studied is relatable and accessible to all students. The themes reflect a wide number of concerns and issues, which are always dealt with appropriately and with sensitivity. We actively promote inclusivity in all of our units and within our classroom teaching.