Key Stage 3: At Brakenhale school, we recognise the benefits of having an English KS3 curriculum which has been planned and sequenced in order to provide the stepping stones for students to reach and exceed their potential. Our students thrive through their confidence in being able to form links and respond creatively and critically to a wealth of stimuli: from the time of Gilgamesh 2100BC, to the ever-evolving language of social media in the 21st Century. Additionally, the curriculum offers students a safe environment to explore their opinions and feelings towards a range of important and sometimes uncomfortable themes such as climate change, child poverty, social injustice, prejudice, bereavement and urban life, thus aiding the development of emotional literacy.
The necessity for a broad, balanced and ambitious English KS3 curriculum is fundamental to successful student outcomes and at Brakenhale, our curriculum, along with our ‘can do’ expectation, facilitates ‘rapid progress’ (Ofsted 2019) which is sustained and developed further across Years 7, 8 and 9. With its foundations firmly planted in our knowledge of the KS2 curriculum, and the high expectations of our primary colleagues mirrored by our own, the KS3 curriculum builds on the prior learning of our students so that there are ‘no wasted years’. The KS3 English curriculum is an inclusive journey covering a breadth of diverse texts, techniques and skills in order to:
» ensure all students have a wide vocabulary, understanding of grammar and a knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language,
» promote critical thinking, develop empathy and emotional literacy,
» give students the writing and comprehension skills in order to prepare them for further study at KS4 and beyond,
» equip all students with the functional skills and cultural capital necessary to support them in life.
The KS3 English curriculum affords students the time and space to consider and revise interpretation and expression, and to develop their writing skills through a modelled, scaffolded approach. Students can communicate with clarity and coherence using language appropriate for purpose and audience as well as individual expression when thinking, reading and writing. Furthermore, the distribution of knowledge organisers empowers students’ independence and enables them to take control of their personal learning experience both in and out of the classroom. If the ‘overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping students with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment’ then our KS3 curriculum both meets and exceeds that expectation.