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English Y7

English Y7

The English team at The Portsmouth Academy aspire to create a curriculum that ensures good progress for all and embodies the passion, beliefs and values appertaining to our subject.

For us, English is the key to successful learning in all subjects. A good command of the English language enables achievement in every aspect of learning, work and life. This belief is at the heart of our decision to underpin all of our schemes of learning with an overarching text. Our students will read at least three novels in each year of KS3, stretching across a range of themes, cultures and eras. Each class will enjoy a text that is pitched to both support and extend their abilities, yet all grouped thematically. In this way, we ensure that every student in the year group experiences a wealth of different genres during the academic year.

Our curriculum allows students to compare their core texts to poetry, non-fiction articles and comparative fiction. We encourage opportunities for independent and interdependent work, allowing students to engage with literature on a personal level. Being literate in reading, writing and communication is at the heart of our creative thinking; the technical aspect of literacy is the lynch-pin in all of our creative pursuits. Strong literacy skills and creativity widens our horizons and opens up a lifetime of opportunity.

Studying and reading literature for pleasure is like falling in love with words.

Fertile Questions

How can I write about myself?

• How does a writer use language and structure to describe themselves?
• How can I identify and retrieve relevant information from a variety of texts?
• How do writers convey attitudes and ideas?
• How do writers use language to interest readers?
• How do writers structure a text to interest readers?
• How can I use language and structure to create an interesting text?
• How can I create an engaging autobiography?

How do I write for an audience?

• How does your audience affect the words you choose?
• Why do we follow spelling rules?
• How might I interpret unfamiliar vocabulary?
• How do writers use words to paint a picture?
• How do writers use words to manipulate their reader?
• How might I demonstrate a judicious choice of language and structure?
• How might I demonstrate empathy in my writing?

How do I understand what a writer is trying to say?

• How can I summarise and synthesise information from a range of texts?
• How do writers use language to manipulate viewpoints and perspectives?
• How can I identify relevant textual references to support ideas?
• How can I compare writer’s attitudes?
• How can I use language and structure to convey my point of view?
• How can I improve a piece of writing to achieve a specific purpose and effect?

How do I create a character?

• How do writers use language to create interesting characters?
• How can I identify relevant textual references to support ideas?
• How do writers use structure to reveal information about characters?
• How do writers bring characters to life for the reader?
• How do writers create an interesting and engaging opening to a story?


Example question stems

• What 4 things do you learn about Michael and his family in chapter 1 of ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’?
• How does Gaiman use language to present the danger of the Other Mother in an extract of ‘Coraline’?
• Compare how Michael Morpurgo and Ellen MacArthur convey their experiences of sailing upon the open ocean.
• ‘It is never justifiable to use animals for the purpose of war. It is a human problem and should not involve any animal’ – having read ‘War Horse’, how far do you agree with this statement?
• Who do you think is the most powerful character in ‘Whale Rider’?
• How does the writer present ideas about the importance of family in ‘Coraline’?
• How does the writer present the effects of conflict in ‘Animal Farm’?
• How does Orwell structure chapter 9 of ‘Animal Farm’ to create suspense during Boxer’s betrayal?
• How far do you think Private Peaceful reflects the issues facing young men during World War One?