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Key Stage 2


At Dorchester Middle School, we understand that English underpins all curriculum areas and is also needed to function and achieve in life after education.  In our English lessons, we aim to equip pupils with the knowledge and understanding necessary to communicate purposefully and creatively. We place a strong emphasis on the development of the basic skills necessary to be confident independent learners and successful adults.

The KS2 English Curriculum is delivered using the National Curriculum 2014, and we have updated our schemes of work to reflect the content and challenge of the new curriculum. Long term and medium term plans ensure that the objectives in the National Curriculum are covered and ensure progression from term to term and throughout upper KS2. Every week, teachers work together in their year groups to review learning, share expertise and produce short term (weekly) plans which they then tailor to the needs in their own class. Cross curricular links are made wherever possible, as is producing work for a real audience. English is taught daily (guided reading at a separate time) and most classes are supported by a teaching assistant who assists individuals or groups of pupils. 

In our English teaching we cover the following areas:

  • Spoken Language. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. We plan and provide opportunities for the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. They are encouraged to express themselves creatively in improvisation, role play, poetry recitations and other drama activities.
  • Reading. There are two dimensions to reading: word reading (decoding) and comprehension (understanding) and at Dorchester Middle School we understand that different teaching activities are needed for each. Different activities include whole class shared reading, Guided reading groups, 1 to 1 reading and independent reading. These activities take place both in the English lesson and in other curriculum areas. Each pupil has a Reading Record and is encouraged to read regularly to an adult at home. Reading Journals help develop children’s reading comprehension, and are used in school and for home learning. Classes visit the library on a regular basis.
  • Writing.  Like reading, there are two dimensions to writing: transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing). At Dorchester Middle School, we teach writing by focusing on different genres. First, we ‘hook’ the pupils by exposing them to high quality texts. We then explore the text in a variety of ways before modelling writing using shared writing. Pupils then develop their own text in the chosen genre, and this is supported in a variety of ways, including guided writing.  SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) skills are woven in units of work, but are also taught discretely.



Year 5 English Units 2015/2016




Sensational! (poetry)

Excuses excuses… (narrative)

The Fib (narrative)

Reading Journals

Animal perfectus (reports)

Robin Hood (legends)


Take one book: Wreck of the Zanzibar (novel study)


The Piano (narrative flashbacks)


Transition to Year 6


Year 6 English Units 2015/2016




Reading Journals

The utterly fantastic Mr Dahl (Narrative)

Flannan Isle (Narrative Poetry/Investigation)

The Black Hole (Film Narrative

Read all about it! (Newspapers)

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (Mystery)

The Wretched Stone (Discussion)


The Giant’s Necklace (narrative)

Take one book: novel study

Cloud Busting (Poetry)

Transition to Year 7



Jan 2016



Key Stage 3



Year 7

Year 8

Autumn Term

Narrative texts unit

Stories from ‘Nothing to be afraid of’ by Jan Mark

Using a thesaurus and investigating shades of meaning

Adding descriptive detail ( noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial and prepositional phrases)

Suspense techniques in narrative fiction

Character and plot

Using PEE to analyse character in writing

Babysitting story

Temporal Connectives and paragraph organisation

Punctuation and paragraphing of direct speech


The Battle of Hastings-essay

Sharks unit

Selecting and retrieving information

Making useful notes

Using connectives for different purposes e.g. adding and summating, to compare and contrast

Organising paragraphs in non-fiction texts

Varying sentence constructions

Writing information texts

Presentational features

Writing instruction texts



Dickens unit

Extracts from: ‘Great Expectations’, ‘A Christmas Carol’  and ‘Oliver Twist’

Using colon and semi colon in complex lists.

Complex sentences


Reading playscripts – adapting texts


Portraying character


Review/response to text


Homeless themed unit

Stone Cold by Robert Swindells - extracts

Narrative perspective

Formal and informal writing styles

Letter writing

Bias and Objectivity

Newspaper reports

Wordplay and ambiguity

Influence of the media


Analysing persuasive texts

Rhetorical devices

Identifying main arguments

Connectives used in argument

Writing persuasive texts

Developing and extending points

Giving a speech-formal presentation


Propaganda posters

War Poetry and story

Possible Texts:

War Game by Michael Foreman

Who’s for the Game – Jessie Pope

Vitae Lampada – Sir Henry Newbolt

In Flanders Fields – Macrae

Dulce et Decorum - Owen




Detective and crime fiction unit

(Address AFs 3, 4,5 and 6)

Key conventions of genre

Comparison of themes, values and ideas in related texts

Analysis of how writers create setting, character and mood at word, sentence and text level

Possible texts: The Speckled Band – Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles – Conan Doyle

Lamb to the Slaughter – Roald Dahl

Raymond Chandler

Continues in Spring Term




Spring Term

An introduction to Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s Theatre

Shakespeare’s Language

Texts of teacher’s choice plus…

Romeo and Juliet in more depth/detail


Book Study: Holes by Louis Sachar 

PEE writing about character

Persuasive Writing


History and Development of the English Language

Discursive text

Preliminary teaching

Real Meal Co. V Speed King task (from SAT paper)


A Tribute to Mandela

Nothing’s Changed – Tatamkhula Afrika

Various texts and media


Black Civil Rights in the US

Essay on Reconstruction

Presentations on people and events of the Civil Rights Movement


Revision for KS3Tests – planned by individual teacher’s according to students’ needs.

Summer Term

History and Development of the English Language cont. + Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales


Travel Writing

Revision as above + crafting writing for different purposes




Book Study: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas