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Year 8 English Curriculum

  Topic Further details about the topic
Autumn Term
1 The Woman in Black

Students will develop their knowledge of the novel form through study of the gothic genre.

Students will develop an increased awareness of the role of narrative structure, characterisation and themes.

2 Tales from the Nineteenth Century

Students will engage with a range of nineteenth century fiction and non-fiction texts and extracts.

Students will develop analytical skills to effectively respond to nineteenth century texts with confidence.

Spring Term
1 Poetry: Growing Pains

Students will develop their understanding and analysis of poetry through a specific thematic focus on growing up.

Poets studied include Charles Causley, Elizabeth Jennings and Thom Gunn.


Exploring the Short Story: Diverse Shorts

Students will deepen their understanding of the short story genre through exploration of a range of short stories from diverse voices, including Toni Cade Bambara and Hans Fallada.

Students will develop analytical skills to effectively respond to challenging texts.

Summer Term
1 Studying a Playscript: Coram Boy Students will explore a modern playscript and learn about the range of approaches employed in reading a playscript. In particular, students will consider the importance of authorial intention and how to explain why a text may have been created.
2 Exploring Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Students will develop their understanding of the comedy genre.  

Students will – through both analytical written and practical drama explorative work – deepen their appreciation of Shakespearean language.


Students will be assessed during every main unit. Within fortnightly Reading and Writing Workshops, students will also undertake regular progress checks to monitor the development of their literacy skills. Progress in reading is also monitored through the Accelerated Reader Programme.

  Topic Type of Assessment



Unit Assessments


Unit Assessments

Main Resources

Resource Details Term
Recommended reading

Recommended reading list provided on the school website.

We also recommend that you read a range of media in areas that interest you – but always be willing to try something out of your comfort zone.


Recommended Websites


Enrichment opportunities

Activity or trip Day and time or term

Monthly English Department Writing Competition – keep an eye out for the month’s topic and the three categories which you can enter.


Accelerated Reader Programme – run collaboratively between the English Department and the LRC. Will you be one of our word millionaires?


Theatre visits, visiting authors, and attending poetry readings are dependent on what is available when.

As appropriate

Extra English Sessions are available. Please speak with your class teacher to find out details.


There are opportunities to take part in public speaking and mock trials competitions

 As appropriate

Where Next