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Year 8

Pupils in Year 8 have six periods of English per week; one of these is a dedicated Library period. Pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and to develop their curiosity and interest in learning through the use of non-fiction texts, magazines etc. Drama is delivered through the teaching of English; pupils practise the skills of speaking, improvisation and dramatic role play. Pupils also read and study two class novels during the year. Through planned schemes of work for each novel, pupils engage in a range of Reading, Writing and Talking and Listening exercises. Pupils have the opportunity to read a drama text and to study poetry from a Key Stage 3 Poetry Anthology. Pupils use dedicated workbooks on Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar with spellings set and tested on a weekly basis.

Assessment is embedded in each Unit of work with the emphasis on extending reading, writing and research skills and on accuracy and fluency in written and oral expression.  Pupils will be given a booklet containing a year plan, a full outline of tasks and detail about the content of mid and end of year exams – this clearly outlines the homework tasks and success criteria indicates how marks are awarded.  The 4 standardised tasks comprise 20% of the marks for the January and June examination. Pupils are guided, through the task sheet, to self-evaluation and target setting.  Tasks are marked to a common mark scale.

Pupils should be working to develop a very good vocabulary and be able to read, write and communicate purposefully and with insight exhibiting sophistication in expression, punctuation and language. In order to support and develop this aim, pupils are expected to read at home.  A range of fiction and non-fiction book should be read at home each term. 

All pupils are encouraged to enter the many competitions the English Department supports including the Lisburn Arts Annual Creative Writing competition. Additionally, pupils will have many opportunities to display and exhibit their work in the classroom and in the school magazine.

Below is an outline of topics and homework tasks for Year 8.

Tasks marked * contribute 10% towards school examination.

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3


Novel A

*Unit 1 – Personal Writing

SPGs – weekly  Spelling Tests


Novel A

*Unit 2 – Poetry Task

SPGs- weekly Spelling Tests


Start prep for Jan exam

Talking and Listening  (group discussion)


Winter exam consists of

Personal Writing essay & 10 SPGs for correction.


Novel B

*Unit 3 – Macbeth (Newspaper report)

SPGs - Spelling Tests

March - Easter

Novel B

*Unit 4 – Literary Response to Novel

SPGs - Spelling Tests

Talking and Listening  (role play)


Prep for Summer Exam: book cover analysis

SPGs practice and consolidation for exams.


Drama text

Creative Writing
Talking and Listening (individual speeches)

N.B. Pupils will read 2 class novels – ‘Boy’, Roald Dahl and ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’, John Boyne. They will also be expected to read a range of fiction books at home and in Library classes throughout the year.

English Department Extra Curricular activities: Junior Book Club, Public Speaking.

We hope you will enjoy taking part in the English Department activities.