Key Stage 3
About the Course
The KS3 curriculum at NRC encourages a nurturing yet challenging environment for young people to learn, take risks and make progress. The English Department’s core values are to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word. In addition, we endeavour to make reading a fun and relevant experience with opportunities for students to respond and write about diverse, engaging texts which explore wider, pertinent issues. As a department, we take care to choose appropriate, dynamic texts which are both relatable and relevant as well as challenging and new for the students. Exploring real life contextual issues through literature encourages an environment which enhances the development of students’ cultural capital and future career development.
We keep the expectations of our curriculum high so that the students can continually make good progress in their writing, reading and speaking and listening skills. Lessons are rigorous and engaging through a variation of activities and tasks which promote intellectual curiosity, empathy and a desire to learn. Through our personalised learning approach, we provide support for all, as well as stretch and challenge, so students are ready for reintegration into their next setting. All classes are mixed ability and mixed year groups at KS3.
What will students learn?
- Reading for pleasure
- Reading using reciprocal reading techniques that help with comprehension skills
- Read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction: contemporary, global and from our rich British heritage.
- Build the key reading skills of scanning/skimming/selecting and commenting on text
- Feel confident about writing responses to texts that include inference, analysis and evaluation
- Reading a variety of novels which span from the 19th century to the present day in order to have a diverse exposure to literature
Reading is at the heart of our department and all students have one dedicated reading lesson a week.
- Write clearly, accurately and in a range of forms
- Be creative and explore story writing and description
- Consistent leaning of spelling, punctuation and grammar
- Developing editing and proof reading skills
- Personalised language targets
Speaking and listening
- Use discussion to share ideas and practise listening skills
- Engage in drama activities to explore texts and ideas
- Learn the art of formal presentation
The sequence of learning
Each scheme of work is focussed on developing a particular skill e.g. reading/writing but also weaves in cumulative knowledge and learning from previous units. Spelling, punctuation and grammar is always a key focus in all units of work so students can consistently consolidate their knowledge and ability in this area. The sequence and content of the units offered mirrors the demands of the two English GCSEs so that students are prepared for their transition to KS4.
Students can also participate in independent learning tasks to develop their knowledge and skills further. Students will use the Lexia reading programme at least once a week to develop their reading skills, alongside reciprocal reading lessons, independent reading and one-to-one reading sessions. We also encourage students to develop their vocabulary using ‘Word Aware’ strategies.
Qualifications and accreditation
Students have an opportunity to complete the following courses with us:
- The Bronze Arts award
- Entry Level 1, 2 & 3
These are nationally recognised qualifications and along with the rest of the curriculum, help build the skillset and resilience needed for GCSE.
Students will have the opportunity to develop skills in Media Studies and drama to support their speaking and listening and comprehension. All topics link to a specific context, including social, moral, spiritual and cultural issues. Students may also explore cross curricular links to subjects such as History, Geography, Art and PSHE. Students also have the space and opportunity to seek additional teacher support during lunchtimes.
There are plenty of opportunities for students to develop their enjoyment of English and enhance their cultural capital through visits to the theatre, writing trips, competitions and clubs. For example, we take the students to Shakespeare’s Globe in order to expose them to culturally significant theatre in a historical setting. We aim for the trips to complement the students’ learning in the classroom so that they get a real life understanding within the curriculum.
How will students be assessed?
- Upon entry: baseline reading and writing. Reading age is worked out.
- During term: written and verbal formative feedback from teachers with opportunities to re-draft and edit work.
- End of each half term: students are graded with the PEARSON’S STEPS which correspond with the 1-9 GCSE grading system.
Due to the personalised nature of the teaching at NRC, students are able to receive instant feedback during lessons on their work and are given opportunities to respond to this immediately in order to take ownership of their progress. Self-assessment is also a crucial part of lessons so students can learn the skills of reflection and evaluation whilst also having autonomy over their learning. The students have clear learning objectives every lesson of which they are aware. Students are encouraged to have a discussion with the teacher every lesson about whether the objective has been met and discuss opportunities for development. Therefore, through the diverse range of formative and summative assessment points, we are able to track student progress very closely and use the data to deliver bespoke lessons in order to meet their individual needs.
Parents will receive a termly report about what went well for their child, as well as ways forward to improve wellbeing and progress.