Hellesdon High School

Year 8 English


  Topic(s) Subject Assessment
Autumn Term 

Letter of introduction











B Introduction to Genre: Dystopia and The Lottery








An Introduction to The Gothic

This unit offers students the opportunity to revise and extend their learning from the Y7 unit.  It allows pupils to introduce themselves to their new class teacher, and to learn about the importance of adapting their language (both in speech and in writing) to suit different purposes and audiences.

•    Using formal and informal language appropriately
•    Understanding layout / form features


In this unit, we introduce pupils to the concept of genre.  This key concept is useful as it helps readers to predict and understand events in stories.

The unit also pushes students to improve their inference skills, closing analysing language to identify narrative features as they did at the end of Y7.


Building on our work on Genre in the previous term, students are introduced to the Gothic, an important style of writing that features in many of the texts students will later encounter.  

Students will learn about the features of gothic writing, and apply these to their own original writing.

Assessment Star Reading assessment
Initial diagnostic assessment / ATL



















STAR Reading assessment
Writing assessment

Spring term

An Introduction to Shakespeare and Dramatic Interpretations 









 In this unit, students will learn about Shakespeare and the period in which he was writing.  This is important, as students will encounter Shakespeare's writing in KS4.
Students will also be introduced to the way in which performance can affect our understanding of language.


Building on students' knowledge of narrative, the gothic and of Shakespeare, students will now study Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's most famous plays.

Through this play, students will also be taught the skill of comparison.



GL Assessment








Writing assessment

Summer term

Poetry and Non-Fiction











Of Mice and Men

Building on students' knowledge of poetry from Year 7, this unit teaches students to establish the links between non-fiction - "real world" writing - and poetry.  Much of the poetry that the students encounter at KS4 is written to help give us insights into the real world.  This unit attempts to help students understand that how poetry can be used to communicate real feelings and concerns more effectively and powerfully than "normal" writing.


Building on students' studies of narrative in Y7, this unit revises and develops the skill of tracking and analysing narrative features.

Students are also introduced to the concept of context - the ways in which the real world shapes the fictional stories that they encounter.  This concept builds on the previous unit, and prepares them for KS4 where the requirement to make links between the real world and the story is a requirement.

Monitoring assessment / ATL












STAR reading test

Writing assessment

GL assessment