Subject Leader: Miss Hayley Syrett

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Deputy Subject Leader in charge of KS3: Mrs Charlotte Burrows

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What are we studying?

The Year 7 curriculum is organised into six units covering the requirements of the English National Curriculum and drawing on the advised learning objectives included within the Assessing Pupils’ Progress in English framework.

All Year 7 students will study: a non-fiction writing unit based around myths, legends and biblical allusions; a modern novel - this will be from the ‘Harry Potter’ series; a poetry unit; an introduction to Shakespeare's World; a creative writing unit within the quest and adventure genre, and a 19th Century novel. Within the normal English lesson timetable, we also visit the library once a week where students spend part of the lesson reading and part of the lesson completing activities to improve their grammar. Some students who require extra support with reading and comprehension will take part in the Accelerated Reader programme during the weekly library lesson.

We aim to offer a wide variety of teaching and learning activities in order to engage all learners. Just a few examples of activities your child may learn through are: close reading of texts, cloze exercises, role play, group discussion, oral presentations, hot seating, and storyboards. All classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards and we have our very own computer room which students will visit at least once a week.

Each core unit will offer a wide variety of activities to develop and improve students' Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing skills. We hope to equip your son/daughter with an appreciation and enjoyment of the subject as well as skills appropriate to their GCSEs.

How do we assess?

There will be one main assessment focus each term – either reading or writing. Students will complete a practice assessment task (AP1) half way through the term in preparation for their final assessment (AP2) which will take place towards the end of a term. Detailed feedback will be given for AP1 which will be used to inform a range of ‘upgrade’ tasks designed to help students make further progress towards their target step. The level achieved by students will be awarded for each formally assessed task and at the end of each term.

How are we grouped?

Groupings in Year 7 are initially based on the KS2 SATs scores and students are placed into one of 2 bands accordingly to ability; each band having 3-4 groups. We do not finely set in English preferring to take a more banded approach, which is why there are no numerical identifications of groups; e.g. Set 1, on student timetables. Each of our classes are instead identified by author names, with Year 7’s theme being Harry Potter character names.  However, all classes are taught to the highest target grade, providing stretch, challenge and support for all students in order to meet or exceed their target grades.

These groups are regularly reviewed and adjusted, and anyone clearly mis-placed is moved as soon as possible. These movements will be based on assessments and work completed during the course of Year 7.

How we provide for SEN and Most able students?

We aim to deliver lessons that both support and challenge our students. Those identified as SEN will receive support through differentiated tasks in lessons, and will often have the support of a TA.

Our most able students also benefit from differentiated tasks both in classwork and homework. Extension activities are used during lessons allowing students who finish tasks quickly to access more challenging work, but in an independent manner.

What homework are we expected to do?

Each unit of work lasts approximately six weeks and, typically, students will be set one homework task per week which should be completed in their class exercise book and should take around 30 minutes to complete. Typical tasks will include: spelling tests, self-quizzing from knowledge organisers links to in-class study, ‘Pick and Mix’ activities, research, pre-reading for in class study, and creative expression of core knowledge; e.g. designing a theatre poster.

Pupils are also expected to read every day outside of lessons; we suggest for 20 minutes. We expect parents to play an active role in monitoring their child’s reading. All students should have a book in school every day.

What can parents do to help?

Your help is very much appreciated and here are a few ideas about how you can support your children with their homework:

  • Talk to your child about how to approach the task set.
  • Discuss his or her reading; listen to him/her read
  • Help your child to look up unfamiliar vocabulary and to learn it
  • Proof-read work with your child (please advise us of the help you have given)
  • Test on spellings etc
  • Encourage the meeting of deadlines
  • Encourage your children to take an active interest in current affairs and to feel comfortable discussing their opinions

Parents are encouraged to monitor students' homework and offer guidance wherever possible.  The presence of books in the home and adults/older children being seen to read cannot be under-estimated.

Please do not hesitate to make contact with your son's/daughter's teacher in the first instance, in the event of problems or queries.

Useful resources and equipment:

A good dictionary or thesaurus at home. Easy access to a variety of novels or texts – encouraging students to read a daily newspaper is helpful. Access to a computer is not a necessity.

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