At the start of each key stage 3 year (KS3), student’s writing skills are assessed through a base line writing test. This test is then carried out again during the summer term to ascertain which students have made progress and those who need additional support the following year. Reading, writing, speaking and listening skills are covered throughout KS3, using tailored units of work, which encourage all students to become active learners. ICT skills are incorporated into work when it aids students’ learning of a particular area of study.
Punctuation, spelling and grammar underpin students’ work in all subjects and a range of activities in English lessons helps to ensure that students make progress in these areas. The English department believe strongly in the need for students to re-draft longer pieces of work and to always check through their work carefully. Students are encouraged to check and comment on their teachers’ feedback.
Year 7 - Curriculum Information
At the start of the Autumn term students sit the NGRT reading test and the Vernon spelling test to ascertain their reading age and spelling age. They sit the same spelling test at the end of the Summer term to understand which students have improved their spelling age and which are still behind. During the course of the year students cover a range of topics: Autobiography and Biography; a set text, which includes a response to fiction through creative, sustained writing and close analysis of characters and themes; writing for different audiences and purposes (non-fiction) through Sports Journalism; modern and pre-1914 poetry and a Shakespeare play ('Romeo and Juliet'), which includes a project based assignment. Specific lessons are also devoted to reading for enjoyment - students keep a personal reading journal and are expected to read for at least 10 minutes a day. A range of reading activities are completed within this lesson, which also includes a competitive reading race: for every book read and a for every review written, students are able to compete to win an end of year prize.
Year 8 - Curriculum Information
During the course of the year students cover a range of topics: a set text (looking at contemporary and pre-1914 authors) to develop reading and writing skills; analysis of non-fiction texts (persuade, argue, explain and/or inform) with the ability to compare two different types of texts using a range of comparative connectives ; a Drama text to explore plot, characters and themes; they create a written text inspired by texts and the moving image, e.g. ‘The Man with the Yellow Face’ and study war poetry, which includes project based work.
Year 9 - Curriculum Information
During the course of the year students cover a range of topics to prepare them for the demands of GCSE: writing for different audiences and purposes; a response to a Shakespeare text (e.g. 'Macbeth' or Romeo & Juliet'); a set GCSE Modern Prose / Drama text (e.g. 'Lord of the Flies', 'An Inspector Calls', 'Animal Farm'); a range of poetry and revision of punctuation and grammar through a range of writing tasks. Students will also cover the GCSE exam skills: reading for meaning with fiction and non-fiction, so that they can confidently analyse, compare and evaluate texts. Project based work is encouraged to allow for independent study.
Key Stage 3 - How parents/carers can support their child
- Check planners for Homework set.
- Encourage their son to read regularly.
- Encourage their son to use a dictionary / thesaurus.
- Encourage their son to read over their work. Ask to see the work and highlight areas that their son could improve without doing the work
- Research areas of the work they are struggling to understand.
- Communicate any concerns by writing a note in their sons’ planner.
- Encourage students to complete the ‘Extended Homework Tasks’.
- Borrow books from the school’s ‘Virtual Library’.
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