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Key Stage 3 English Curriculum: 2022-23

Curriculum Aims

At The Bridge Education Centre we want to provide students with a rich and broad curriculum, developing their love of English and cultivating a curiosity of learning. To enrich their knowledge and perceptions of the world around them we have created an engaging curriculum to enable every student to:

  • Be an individual and celebrate differences

  • Build resilience and become critical thinkers

  • Develop real world skills

  • Experience opportunities to develop their talents and skills

  • Be part of an aspirational culture of achievement, allowing everyone to experience success

For every student, we foster a love of learning; we promote curiosity; we broaden horizons.


Students will be encouraged to gain a broad experience of English across Key Stage 3, while also developing the key skills they will need to be successful GCSE students. We want students to develop a deep appreciation and enjoyment of reading and the English language, equipping them with the life-long skills to be effective, confident learners and communicators.

Curriculum Experience

All students will access a rich, challenging core curriculum. Most classes will contain a varied range of needs and prior-attainment, therefore teaching will be adapted to ensure that all students are invested in their learning and being stretched to achieve their full potential. Topics such as non-fiction texts, literary fiction and poetry will be considered throughout each half term. Each unit of work will, typically, comprise of around 6 weeks of teaching culminating in a Reading, Writing or Speaking and Listening summative assessment. Each unit will integrate the teaching of foundational skills such as spelling, punctuation and grammar, with Literacy Skills being a priority. All units of work will maximise opportunities for students to develop their spoken language skills through debate, discussions and presentations.

Danny, Champion of the World – Danny lives in a gipsy caravan with his father, the most marvellous and exciting father any boy ever had. All the land around them belongs to Mr Victor Hazell, a rich man with a great glistening beery face and tiny piggy eyes. Nobody likes him, not one-little bit. One day, Danny and his father concoct a daring plot that will give Victor Hazell the greatest shock of his life - so long as they don't get caught! Students will explore the world of Danny, by Roald Dahl, and consider a number of themes, most importantly the theme of relationships. They will also examine and evaluate roles within the novel and, through group debates, they will develop the ability to analyse characters and discuss themes. In addition, students will think about the significance of symbolism, and will make links between themes/symbolism and the real world.


Noughts and Crosses – this play tells the story of two young people: a girl called Sephy and a boy called Callum. Callum is a nought – he's white, from a poor family and lives on a rough estate. Sephy is a Cross – she's black, from a wealthy, powerful family and lives in a grand country house with a private beach. In this unit of work students will be introduced to the story of Noughts and Crosses, by Mallorie Blackman, in the form of a play. They will have the opportunity to experiment with characterisation, creating and sustaining different roles and scenarios, adapting techniques in a range of dramatic activities to explore texts, ideas and issues.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – this is a moving story about how friendship crosses all boundaries. In this novel, John Boyne portrays the Holocaust through the eyes of a German child named Bruno, who does not recognise the horrors around him. His friendship with Shmuel, a Jewish boy he meets in the outskirts of Auschwitz, exists and thrives in spite of and in ignorance of war, racism, and fear. In this unit of work students will consider and evaluate the characters, themes, plot, and context. They will explore themes involving boundless friendship, childhood innocence, denial, and ethics as well as interpreting symbols in the novel, including Shmuel's "pyjamas" and the fence. Students will also begin to consider language techniques and the impact they can have on the reader.

Refugee Boy – this is the story of Alem, the product of an Ethiopean father and Eritrean mother, being left alone in London, with his fate resting in the hands of the Refugee Council and the British justice system. Refugee Boy, by Benjamin Zephaniah, charts Alem's fate as he is moved from children's home to foster family, and in and out of court hearings. Students will consider characterisation and the presentation of feelings and emotions. They will explore the writer’s viewpoint and examine the impact on the reader, while also forming their own opinions, which they will share in group discussions.

Private Peaceful - Set during World War I, Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo, charts eight hours in the life of Tommo, a young soldier at the Front, as he looks back over the formative events of his life: his father’s early death, his relationship with his loving mother and brothers, Big Joe and Charlie, and their beloved schoolfriend Molly. Students will make links between their learning about WW1 in Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and WW2 in this novel. They will examine the characters and will consider the structure of the text, learning to identify structural features and will prepare a response that analyses the impact of these on the reader.

Of Mice and Men – This story is about the American Dream and two men named Lennie and George who want to own their own farm. In order to make that dream come true they need to find work. John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is a story about what it means to be human. Steinbeck's story of George and Lennie's ambition of owning their own ranch, and the obstacles that stand in the way of that ambition, reveal the nature of dreams, dignity, loneliness, and sacrifice. Students will consolidate their learning from their reading throughout the year to approach this novella with an eye on characterisation, setting, themes, symbolism, language and structural devices and the impact on the reader in order to respond to an assessment question.

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