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Year 8 English

English is the foundation stone of our lives - we are “the articulate mammal.” We thrive because we are able to share ideas, ideals and information.  From complex concepts to simple expressions of affection – words form the basis of our lives. Their importance is self-evident. Our lesson programme allows us to explore how we can communicate effectively via a wide range of contexts and forms. We do that through exploring a range of texts, from Shakespeare to Spy Fiction, the diversity of which broaden our understanding of, not just core English skills, but also of the richness of the world around us.




Teaching takes place in dedicated classrooms, which have access to a whiteboard for use of audio-visual and dynamic lesson delivery.

Autumn Term

Grammar Unit - “Spy Fiction” 

Understand the key features of the spy fiction genre and how they engage the reader.

We explore a range of grammatical features and think about how they shape our writing.

For instance

  • Understand that writers use the opening of their story to grab the reader’s interest.

  • Understand how to write vivid descriptions to really make their pieces “pop.” 

  • Understand how to start sentences in a range of ways to create variety, pace, drama or emphasis in your writing.

The overall aim of the unit is to improve their written expression, and to fire their imagination.


Novel study - “Lord of the Flies” (or “The Hunger Games”)

Students have an exciting time exploring dystopian worlds. They undertake a wide range of creative and analytical tasks. For example

  • They explore some of the different ways in which a writer presents character and plot elements.

  • They explore the idea of civilisation and savagery and apply it to our society.

  • They write a persuasive  speech.

  • They imagine you are the naval officer who rescues the boys at the end of the novel, describe what you encountered.

Spring Term

Shakespearian study – Romeo and Juliet

The boys explore the rich world of Shakespeare and respond creativity and analytically to the text.

Some of the exciting tasks they encounter are:

  • Dramatic performances in role. 

  • Analysing language and literary techniques in specific scenes. Exploring key themes in the text and to think how these link to contextual issues in Shakespeare’s time. This begins to establish the core skills for GCSE English literature examination skills.

  • Creative and Transactional Responses Writing -  Letter / News article / Essay. Starting to work with text types links strongly to GCSE English language examination skills. 

  • Exploring specific scenes and writing / performing in response to ideas and issues.


The Language of Warfare

This popular unit explores the language of warfare through prose and poetry. Students will explore the social, historical and cultural context of a variety of texts.  

Some tasks the students will encounter:

  • Looking at how different prose texts reflects various attitudes to war.

  • Exploring war poetry and researching aspects of war, such as the use of poison gas and its effects.

  • Writing their own war poem.

  • Looking at famous war speeches in film and from history. Exploring what makes an inspiring speech.

  • Writing their own inspiring “locker room” speech.

Summer Term

Other cultures Poetry unit.

This successful unit engages students by exposing them to the rich diversity of our world trough poems from noted poets of any number of cultural background.

Some tasks the students will encounter:

  • Asking ourselves what is culture? Exploring the foundation stones of cultural difference and of what we share.

  • What is cultural identity? How is it expressed? What are the ideas around it and asking does multiculturalism work? 

  • Looking at issues of race and prejudice, through discussion, debate and poetic response. 

  • Acquiring analytical skills in preparation for GCSE poetry. 

Poems encountered: Search for my Tongue – Sujata Bhatt / Presents form my Aunts in Pakistan – Moniza Alvi / Half Caste-  John Agard / Not My Business – Niyi Osuande / Hurricane Hits England – Grace Nicholl / Island Man – Grace Nicholl


Dragons Den Unit (Speaking and Listening)

Boys design a product and marketing campaign and prepare a professional business presentation We have all seen the show The boys really enjoy this speaking and listening unit.

Key skills

  • Presentational skills

  • Writing a persuasive speech / preparing a convincing business presentation.

  • Team working,

  • Product design and marketing skills.