Students are set in ability groups and, in Years 7 and 8, they follow a programme of study that fulfils the requirements of the national curriculum. They study a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, including a play by Shakespeare and poetry. Texts they may study include Private Peaceful, Holes and Trash. In response to what they read, students produce work on story, characters, themes and writers’ technique. Some of the work is hand written but speaking and listening activities such as role play form a key part of their work. Students also produce work in different media.

In addition, students follow schemes of work where they are taught the skills needed to write both fiction and non-fiction. In these units they produce stories, poems and descriptions, along with newspaper and magazine articles.

Assessment of reading and writing takes place once per term and grades are recorded in the front of exercise books. Students are given grades in line with the Chaucer Assessment Framework, and the assignments they complete are designed to mirror the exam questions they will meet in Y11, so they become familiar with how to answers GCSE questions very early on. Assessments are carried out in exam conditions and students are given clear advice on the areas they need to develop when given written feedback. Speaking and listening is informally assessed throughout the year.