Why is English Important?
English has a pre-eminent place in education and society. English will teach pupils to communicate their ideas and emotions to others and, through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Reading enables pupils not only to acquire knowledge and build on what they already know but also, provides them the chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society.
This term we have continued to develop our whole school literacy strategies in order to develop pupils' vocabularies and embed a love for reading. We have strived to put a real emphasis on pupils' acknowledgement and understanding of the Word of the Day and encourage teachers to use the words frequently and effectively in their lessons. KS3 pupils participate in literacy focused activities, throughout the week during form time, which includes twenty minutes of silent reading and a Words of the Week spelling and definitions test. Year 7/8 pupils have also continued to enjoy the school's Drop Everything and Read sessions where they are asked to stop what they are doing in their ordinary lessons and read, for 20 minutes, once a week.
Key Skills Required
The study of English is divided into three distinct categories: 1. Speaking and Listening; 2. Reading; and, 3. Writing. These are equally weighted at KS3 and building pupils’ literacy- both written and spoken- is the main focus.
The study of Literature, both classic and contemporary, lies at the core of English throughout KS3.
Topics Covered in Year 7
Number of lessons per week: 4-6
Literacy Toolkit/Exploring fiction texts. (Victorian-Modern Literature)
Narrative and Descriptive writing
Studying and comparing contemporary poetry
Play – Dracula/Demon Headmaster
Novel – Holes/A Monster Calls.
Preparing for Assessment – focus on English Language Paper 1
Introduction to Shakespeare – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Topics Covered in Year 8
Number of lesson per week: 3-4
The English course has eight elements:
1. Literacy Shorts (Analysing Key Features of Short Stories)
2. Writing to describe/Creative Writing
3. Unseen Poetry (War Poetry)
4. Victorian extracts & short stories
5. Shakespeare - Macbeth/The Tempest
6. Novel - The Knife of Never Letting Go/Lord of the Flies/Stone Cold
7. Preparation for Assessment - focus on English Language Paper 2
8. Play - Frankenstein/The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
Pupils receive homework three times per week. This consists of a reading and summarisation, Sam Learning, extended writing, comprehension and spelling, punctuation and grammar practice.
In Year 7- Pupils will be assessed in six stages:
1) End of Unit Assessment: Writing to Describe
2) a) Reading Assessment: Compare Two Poems
b) End of Unit Assessment: Writing to Argue
3) End of Unit Assessment
4) a) Writing Assessment: Persuasive Writing
b) Reading Assessment: Structure
5) Reading and Writing Assessments
6) End of Unit Assessment: Evaluate
In Year 8 - Pupils will be assessed in six stages:
1. Compare two poems ALSO one modern (unseen) one pre 1900 ( could be extract)
2. Letter home from the front
3. The Knife of Never Letting Go: Viola – what is was like when she landed on the planet – writing to describe.
How does Todd change – explore this through the narrative voice of the text. (structure)
Explore the use of narrative voice to show the difference between Link and the Major (killer)
Writing – describe your first night on the streets.
4. Viewpoints and comparisons assessment
6. Frankenstein Analysis
www.bfi.org – for short films, educational films, etc.
www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists (recommended reading for teenagers)
The English Department has a comprehensive reading list which suggests a range of reading material, including the classics and modern fiction. These are intended to stretch a pupils’s reading ability and instil a love of reading. These reading lists are regularly updated and given to pupils during the Autumn Term.
Key Tips for Success
- It is vital that independent reading of fiction, non-fiction, good quality newspapers and magazines is facilitated outside of school. Pupils and parents can ask the school librarian or their English teachers for recommendations.
- Encourage good writing practice using spelling, punctuation and grammar.
How can a parent help their child succeed?
- Oversee your child’s reading. Encourage them to read widely!
- Discuss your child’s homework – encourage them to engage with topics covered in class and how these relate to modern society.