Year 7 English

Unit Content
Unit 1


Students read a selection of gothic texts, developing the ability to analyse an extract for points and supporting evidence. Building on their KS2 learning, they enhance their understanding of how to create point-evidence paragraphs.

Extracts include: Edward Scissorhands, The Highwayman, The Castle of Otranto, Dracula, The Graveyard Book, City of Ghosts, Frankenstein, Coraline, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Raven.

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding how authors create atmosphere in their writing using the linguistic and structural devices included in this unit's toolkit

Key skills developed:

  • How to annotate an extract of gothic literature for a specific purpose
  • How to construct point-evidence paragraphs based on an annotated text

Assessment: Learning is assessed at the beginning of Term 2 at the first school-wide assessment point. The assessment focuses on the construction of point-evidence paragraphs, and includes single-mark questions that test students' knowledge of the literary devices included in the unit's toolkit.

Unit 2

Creative Writing

Students learn to create careful, purposeful descriptive writing, drawing inspiration for their texts from written prompts and animated clips. Students are introduced to an advanced vocabulary which they can use in their writing, and are explicitly taught punctuation and sentence variation forms. They explore the process of developing individual characters which they then bring into their own creative writing.

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding how believable characters are created in writing
  • Understanding how punctuation can be used for effect
  • Knowing an advanced vocabulary for use in creative writing

Key skills developed:

  • How to recognise and deploy linguistic and structural devices
  • How to craft, draft and edit a piece of creative writing in response to explicit instruction
  • How to use advanced vocabulary confidently in creative writing

Assessment: Students are assessed at the end of the unit in a short creative writing task inspired by one of the animated texts they study.

Unit 3

Romantic Poetry

Students learn to read and explore poems from the English Romantic movement. They develop the skills required to analyse and write about a given text, developing confidence in identifying a range of poetic devices that writers use when building meaning. Students also learn to use subject-specific terminology when analysing poems.

Texts studied include poems by William Wordsworth, John Keats, Emily Brontë and John Clare.

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding the linguistic and structural devices a poet can use to build meaning
  • Understanding what a text can reveal about the time in which it was written
  • Knowing the context of the English Romantic movement and some of its key poets

Key skills developed:

  • How to navigate and analyse a poem
  • How to select relevant information and to interpret key quotations from the text
  • How to write point-evidence-explanation paragraphs to create a response exploring aspects of the text

Assessment: Students complete a formal written assessment in response to a question on a given poem at the end of the unit. They write a sequence of point-evidence-explanation paragraphs drawing upon knowledge built throughout Unit 1. Knowledge of the poetic devices toolkit is tested as part of the second formal assessment in Term 5.

Unit 4

Novel Study

Students read Killan Millwood Hargrave's novel The Island at the End of Everything, using the book as a context in which to learn how writers construct texts in ways that engage their readers. In this unit, students build on the learning of Unit 1, increasing their confidence in tracking key ideas, themes, characters and evidence across a whole text.

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding how writers use linguistic and structural devices to create meaning
  • Understanding how characters develop, grow and change throughout the course of a whole novel
  • Understanding the context in which contemporary fiction is written, and how contemporary texts can be influenced by events of the past

Key skills developed:

  • How to select relevant information and to interpret key quotations from the text
  • How to write detailed point-evidence-explanation paragraphs to create responses exploring characters from the novel.

Assessment: Students complete a formal written assessment at the end of the unit drawing on their understanding of how a character has changed throughout the course of the novel.

Unit 5

Modern Drama Study

Students explore a piece of contemporary drama and develop their understanding of theatrical forms. They read a play in full, before choosing a key scene and identifying how they would direct it. Students learn and refine important skills related to live presentation while benefiting from in-depth discussions of compelling themes around inclusivity and diversity.

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding how modern playwrights create believable characters through their use of theatrical and structural devices
  • Understanding how modern playwrights tackle issues relating to inclusivity and diversity

Key skills developed:

  • How to select and interpret key scenes from the play
  • How to manipulate theatrical devices to present a key scene from the play
  • How to make a live presentation to an audience, articulating the decisions that support a particular interpretation of a play

Assessment: Students choose a key scene from the play and then produce a five-minute presentation and deliver it to their classmates. The presentation outlines the scene they have chosen and explains the key theatrical decisions they have made.