​What literature texts are being taught in Years 7 to 9?

We are exploring this apparent area of teacher autonomy, to see what literature is being taught in Year 7 to 9, and to begin to gain some insight into how it is taught. The study is being conducted by researchers from six universities in Wales and South-west England.

(Judith Kneen, Cardiff Metropolitan University; Susan Chapman, Aberystwyth University; Joan Foley, University of the West of England; Lucy Kelly, University of Bristol; Lorna Smith, University of Bristol; Helena Thomas, Bath Spa University; Annabel Watson, University of Exeter)

Literature is a key element of the English curriculum. Exciting, enriching, enlightening and often challenging – literature can play a significant role in how pupils engage with English and with the wider world.In an era when external influences pervade what is taught and how it is taught, the choice of literature taught in the lower years of secondary school is still very much the domain of the English teachers.

We are exploring this apparent area of teacher autonomy, to see what literature is being taught in Year 7 to 9, and to begin to gain some insight into how it is taught. The study is being conducted by researchers from six universities in Wales and South-west England. The main aims are:

  • to identify the nature and range of literature taught in KS3 English lessons
  • to establish the key influences upon the literature choices made by teachers, departments or schools
  • to capture some key ideas about the approaches to teaching literature at KS3
  • to promote professional insight into and reflection upon the impact of teachers’ literature choices for KS3 learners