Teaching KS3 English Through the Trivium

Trivium 21c

V0007529 A woman with a bird on her head; representing dialectic. Eng

The new national curriculum for English at key stage 3 has the trivium at heart. There is an emphasis on grammar, knowledge, debate, argument, dialogue, discussion, speech, performance, talks, essays and expression. To put it simply: Grammar, Dialectic and Rhetoric. By judicious selection of texts key stage three English can be exciting, challenging, difficult and liberating for children if a teacher puts conflict at the heart of their teaching. This is an idea recommended by the cognitive scientist Daniel T Willingham. If you think of the course as a narrative, a story to be told, with a cast of hundreds all ready to get long, fall apart, fight, fall in love, look at each other askance from afar then it can truly excite not just your kids but also you, the teacher.

In the introduction to the national curriculum it says we should introduce pupils to the: “Best that has…

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