KS3 Curriculum Design

After the first round on the 9-1 English GCSEs we re-designed the curriculum, we wanted to make sure that our KS3 students were being exposed to high quality texts and first class teaching.

The first thing that we did was to do away with half-tearmly topics and instead opted for three term long units with a good quality text at the very heart. We had good intentions. We wanted to stretch, challenge and inspire. Yet, somehow we failed, our good intentions seemed to remove creativity from the curriculum and each term felt like a mini-GCSE unit.

As we approach that mythical period in secondary schools known as ‘gained time’ we must put it to good use – we must re-design our KS3 Curriculum to ensure that we achieve what we wanted to achieve two years ago (the Elmer above is my reminder).

In many ways we’ve got a solid model to work from – we will continue with the three topics (one per term), we will continue with our recently implemented fortnightly writing challenges and vocabulary lists that we have borrowed from the fabulous and generous @TLPMsF (you can read about those here and here). We will continue to study a Shakespeare text every year.

However, we must ensure that we put a bit of creativity and fun back into KS3, we also need to remove the mammoth tests that we had implemented and instead look at smaller, more manageable assessments that inform our understanding of what our students know and what they need to get better at (I’m late to the party but am currently trialling whole class feedback) in essence I think the groundwork is done, our vision is clear – now we must make it a reality.


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