Key Stage 3


Literacy is about developing the skills, and enjoyment, of reading!
~ Sophie Richards

About Literacy at New Heights Key Stage 3

In this subject, students are introduced to a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts, focusing on a variety of topics throughout each term.

Within their first two weeks of starting New Heights Key Stage 3, students have the opportunity to practise key reading, punctuation, grammar and spelling skills using short snippets from smaller fiction and non-fiction texts.

Students then move onto practising the skills needed for English Language – reading various non-fiction texts; exploring different non-fiction formats such as newspapers, reports, letters and blogs and the stylistic features of each text type. During this topic students will also learn about the purpose and intended audience of different texts and explore fact, opinion and bias.

Literacy is power

Subject Content

In the lead up to Christmas, this year, our students will study Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Firstly, learning about the social and historical context of the novella and continuing to read the story to learn about the characters, events and themes. During the study students will identify, interpret and analyse key quotations and comment on when, where and why the text was written. Towards the end of this topic, students will also get the opportunity to watch the modernised film version of the novella ‘Spirited’ which has only recently come out in the cinema!

As the year progresses, students are introduced to the work of Shakespeare and, from there, progress onto poetry, with a particular focus of music as poetry – exploring language and structure.

During our final term, there is a focus on modern plays and also dystopian fiction, looking at texts such as Our Day Out by Willy Russell and Lord of the Flies by William Goulding. This will encompass the language skills required for explorations in creative reading whilst also introducing students to modern literature.

Curriculum Principles

Students are taught vital reading skills and strategies to support their understanding of texts and the social, historical and cultural context in which each piece of literature was written. Students are also taught about the writer’s purpose and perceptions in both fiction and non-fiction texts.

Students will explore how the language, form and structure of a text links to the writer’s ideas, themes and setting. 

Students are encouraged to respond to texts critically and imaginatively – selecting relevant quotes from the text to support their views/ideas.

Following the reading aspect of the English Language and Literature curriculum, Literacy is a core subject that supports students on their journey towards GCSE.


Assessment and Feedback

Student comprehension and inference skills are assessed when they arrive by taking a reading baseline assessment. They are also assessed on spelling, grammar and punctuation.  Student learning is assessed through a combination of work they have completed in class and also classroom-based tests (assessments) at the end of each topic.

Links to Everyday Life

Developing confident reading and literacy skills is a key part of life. Reading for fun and reading with confidence is both personally and culturally enriching.

Literacy is fundamental

Future Careers

As reading is ingrained in our daily lives, Students are encouraged to adopt a positive attitude towards reading and develop an understanding of language and also the world around them through the texts they study.

English proficiency links to many career pathways such as in media and journalism, teaching (UK or abroad), advertising and marketing and even law.