English

What will students learn?

Year 7

Family Affairs – This unit explore empathy and descriptive writing skills. Pupils will also deliver aspeech to their peers.

‘Once’ – Whilst studying this Morris Gleitzman novel pupils will develop their inference and deduction skills and have an opportunity to explore characters, themes and writers’ messages.

Writer’s Toolkit – In this unit pupils develop a repertoire of writing skills which will form their toolkit for writing throughout KS3.Pupilsusetheir creative talents to write their own story in a genre of their choice.

Superheroes – This is an exciting chance for pupils to further their understanding of how to write for different purposes. Having created their own superhero they will write a variety of texts in role as this superhero.

Angels – The study of this dystopian play allows pupils to widen their familiarity with a range of text types. They will develop the inference skills they have used throughout the year, and have the opportunity to link their understanding to real life contexts.

Year 8

Topical writing – Pupils will build on their writing skills from year 7 by writing a variety of text forms which all focus around the theme of young protesters.

Rabbits- Reading a multimodal text and analysing symbols and words in them. The skills that are covered are inference and writer’s purpose. Students create the final page of the text and write an analytical essay of their choices.

I love poetry – A chance to use creative skills to explore poetic techniques. Pupils will also perform their own poetry to their peers.

Noughts and Crosses – This play adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s famous teen novel is a favourite with pupils. Students will explore writers’ ideas and purposes through exciting drama activities.

As you Like It –This unit provides pupils with the opportunity to explore the media and persuasive writing skills. It culminates in pupils creating their own adverts for a product which they design themselves.

Controversy – This exciting new unit develops pupils’ research, debate, writing and speaking skills as they explore a range of controversial topics.

Year 9

Students in Year 9 cover all 3 key English strands: Reading and Writing. Throughout the year a second exercise book for home learning will be used to expose students to extracts from established and influential literature across the ages. These extracts will be thematically linked to the current units being studied allowing pupils to explore literary traditions.

In the first term students will analyse features of Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry alongside pre-1914 poetry and prose whilst thinking carefully about the specific purpose and effect of language devices.

Key themes of love and relationships will be developed in the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ unit which expands upon the student’s understanding of characterisation and thematic elements in the previous scheme of learning.

Students will then explore Dystopian fiction and George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’. To stimulate creative writing students will be exposed to extracts from ‘Divergent’, ‘Mockingjay’ and ‘Maze Runner’ amongst others before writing the opening to their own Dystopian story. This will be followed by students developing their textual analytical skills and comparing writer’s intentions.

Later in the year students will reflect upon the transition between KS3 and KS4 and the importance of crafting language before their end of year exam.

How will they be assessed?

Year 7

English teachers use Assessment For Learning strategies within all lessons. These include the use of no hands, strategic questioning, success criteria, peer and self---assessment, dialogic marking and traffic lights.

Exercise books are marked using two stars and a wish/question providing students with a regular snap shot of their progress. For every scheme of learning students are provided with a tailored success criteria sheet based on the Assessing Pupils Progress skills criteria. All feedback from teachers is based on these skills. In addition to this, teachers ask pupils questions in their feedback for pupils to respond to during scheduled ‘Target Time’ in order to encourage independent thinking, developed responses and a dialogue with their teacher about their progress.

Alongside this, every unit concludes with a formal assessment resulting in a level for Speaking and Listening, Reading or Writing. The English department provide clear levels for these separate strands (Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing) and not an overall level.

As part of our dedication to students’ learning, we schedule in ‘Reflection Time’ where teachers use a lesson to develop weaker class skills.

Year 8

English teachers use Assessment For Learning strategies within all lessons. These include the use of no hands, strategic questioning, success criteria, peer and self--- assessment, dialogic marking and traffic lights.

Exercise books are marked using two stars and a wish/question providing students with a regular snap shot of their progress. For every scheme of learning students are provided with a tailored success criteria sheet based on the Assessing Pupils Progress skills criteria. All feedback from teachers is based on these skills. In addition to this, teachers ask pupils questions in their feedback for pupils to respond to during scheduled ‘Target Time’ in order to encourage independent thinking, developed responses and a dialogue with their teacher about their progress.

Alongside this, every unit concludes with a formal assessment resulting in a level for Speaking and Listening, Reading or Writing. The English department provide clear levels for these separate strands (Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing) and not an overall level.

As part of our dedication to students’ learning, we schedule in ‘Reflection Time’ where teachers use a lesson to develop weaker class skills.

Year 9

Assessment of students work is on-going throughout the year and each lesson provides opportunities for students to check and develop their understanding.

Summative assessments of essays are recorded throughout the year and each has a specific skills focus. For example, in an essay on ‘Romeo and Juliet’ a student may be awarded a 6S based on their reading analysis. However, for a creative writing piece they may be awarded 5H based on their writing skills. As such there may be some variation from 1 interim level to the next.

At the end of year 9 an overall for the 3 skills awarded and this is based on progress and performance throughout the year. There is an end of year 9 exam in English which tests students’ reading skills.

Home Learning

Year 7

Home learning will include weekly tasks which contribute towards a joint English and History home learning project, during the first term.

These tasks will be based around the themes of identity, autobiographies and personal histories. These tasks will enable students to develop their independent research skills and allow them to write creatively.

The outcome for the project will be a time capsule with a variety of statements which students will share with their peers at an end of project celebration.

After this, home learning will be set by their English teacher. This will be a mixture of reading, writing or reseearch tasks, and will be on a weekly basis.

Year 8

Home learning will include weekly tasks which contribute towards a joint English and History home learning project, during the first term.

The tasks will be based around the themes of perspective and viewpoint identity and will enable dents to apply their knowledge of historical outcome for the project will be a multimodal theme, with pages which represent the important stages of students’ lives.

Students will share with their peers at an end of project celebration event.

After this, home learning will be set by their English teacher. This will be a mixture of reading, writing or research tasks, and will be on a weekly basis.

Year 9

An example of a year 9 differentiated home learning task is...

Annotate the extract of Frankenstein and think about the following:

  • Which were the key words used?
  • Which were the most effective language techniques used? Why?
  • How might the words link to one another? Are there patterns? How are images developed?
  • How could the structure be improved?

How can parents support their child?

Year 7

The English department encourages parents to involve themselves in their child’s learning by:

  • Checking the quality of your child’s home learning. Have they used their allocated time effectively?
  • Ask them what their current target is and check to see if this is being met?
  • Encourage them to read a range of fiction and non-fiction texts on a regular basis both independently and with them, and have a discussion about what they enjoyed about the book.

Where possible, involve your child in cultural experiences such as visits to the theatre, museums and city tours.

Year 8

The English department encourages parents to involve themselves in their child’s learning by:

  • Checking the quality of your child’s home learning. Have they used their allocated time effectively?
  • Ask them what their current target is and check to see if this is being met?
  • Encourage them to read a range of fiction and non-fiction texts on a regular basis both independently and with them, and have a discussion about what they enjoyed about the book.

Where possible, involve your child in cultural experiences such as visits to the theatre, museums and city tours.

Year 9

Regular reading of both fiction and non-fiction texts is essential. Students should aim to read for 30 minutes a day and it is recommended that they read 50 quality books per year.

For the Literary analysis this year, our reading focusses on ‘Animal Farm’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as well as the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy. To achieve the highest levels students should develop their confidence in exploring Literary language – this could include reading other Dystopian texts and Shakespeare plays.

The BBC Bitesize website has some useful writing and reading skills refreshers.