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Lavington School

EQUA Trust

English

Subject Leader : Miss Hayley Syrett - h.syrett@lavington.wilts.sch.uk

Deputy Subject Leader : Miss Shannon O'Connor-Churchill - s.oconnor@lavington.wilts.sch.uk

Year 7

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.

Year 8

What are we studying?

The Year 8 curriculum is organised into six units covering the requirements of the English National Curriculum and drawing on the advised learning objectives included in the new GCSE assessment framework.

All Year 8 students will study: a modern novel (either War Horse, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Private Peaceful or Northern Lights); a novel from the literary heritage (Dickens’ A Christmas Carol); a Shakespeare play – The Tempest or Twelfth Night; a classic poetry unit; a creative writing unit based around children’s stories; and a unit studying 19th Century Non-Fiction, using the Titanic as a stimulus. Within the normal English lesson timetable, we also visit the library once week where students read independently. 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 fortnight.

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 are we assessed?

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 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.

How are we grouped?

Groupings in Year 8 will, for the most part, be determined by pupil performance through Year 7 and end of year internal examination results. 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 8’s theme being classic authors.  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.

Setting is reviewed throughout Key Stage Three at regular intervals. Students may be moved if they appear to be mis-placed or are not achieving their target grade.

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 homework book and should take between 30 minutes – 60 minutes to complete, depending upon their set. 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 30 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.

Year 9

What are we studying?

The Year 9 curriculum is organised into six units covering the requirements of the English National Curriculum and drawing on the advised learning objectives included in the new GCSE assessment framework.

All Year 9 students will study units that reflect the new GCSE specification and that will allow them to practice the skills required in Years 10 and 11. Units include: an introduction to GCSE English Language Paper 1, using Of Mice and Men or To Kill a Mockingbird as a stimulus; Journey’s End; an introduction to GCSE Poetry; Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’; an introduction to GCSE English Language Paper 2, using modern crime stories as a stimulus, and a 19th Century novel (Emma, The Hound of the Baskervilles or Sherlock Holmes Short Stories). Within the normal English lesson timetable, we also visit the library once a week where students read independently.

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, essay planning and writing, 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 fortnight.

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 are we assessed?

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 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.

How are we grouped?

Setting in Year 9 will be determined by pupil performance through Year 8 and end of year internal examination results. 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 9’s theme being dystopian authors.  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.

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 homework book or class exercise book, and should take between 30 minutes – 60 minutes to complete, depending upon their set. In Year 9 homework will be set from Skills Booklets that will be peer marked in class, however, individual teachers may set additional homework such as: pre-reading, spelling and research where appropriate.

Pupils are also expected to read every day outside of lessons; we suggest for 30 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.

Years 10 and 11

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

The aim of this paper is to engage students in a creative text and inspire them to write creatively themselves by:

Section A - reading a literature fiction text in order to consider how established writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to capture the interest of readers.

Section B - writing their own creative text, inspired by the topic that they have responded to in Section A to demonstrate their narrative and descriptive skills in response to a written prompt, scenario or visual image. The paper will assess in this sequence, AO1, AO2 and AO4 for reading, and AO5 and AO6 for writing.

Section A will be allocated 40 marks, and Section B will be allocated 40 marks to give an equal weighting to the reading and writing tasks.

Content

The source for the reading questions will be a literature fiction text. It will be drawn from either the 20th or the 21st century. Its genre will be prose fiction. It will include extracts from novels and short stories and focus on openings, endings, narrative perspectives and points of view, narrative or descriptive passages, character, atmospheric descriptions and other appropriate narrative and descriptive approaches. As a stimulus for students own writing, there will be a choice of scenario, written prompt or visual image that is related to the topic of the reading text in Section A. The scenario sets out a context for writing with a designated audience, purpose and from that will differ to those specified on Paper 2.

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

The aim of this paper is to develop students’ insights into how writers have particular viewpoints and perspectives on issues or themes that are important to the way we think and live our lives. It will encourage students to demonstrate their skills by:

Section A - reading two linked sources from different time periods and genres in order to consider how each presents a perspective or viewpoint to influence the reader.

Section B - producing a written text to a specified audience, purpose and form in which they give their own perspective on the theme that has been introduced to them in Section A.

The paper will assess in this sequence, AO1, AO2 and AO3 for reading, and AO5 and AO6 for writing.

Section A will be allocated 40 marks, and Section B will be allocated 40 marks to give an equal weighting to the reading and writing tasks.

Content

The sources for the reading questions will be non-fiction and literary non-fiction texts. They will be drawn from the 19th century, and either the 20th or the 21st century depending on the time period assessed in Paper 1 in each particular series. The combination selected will always provide students with an opportunity to consider viewpoints and perspectives over time. Choice of genre will include high quality journalism, articles, reports, essays, travel writing, accounts, sketches, letters, diaries, autobiography and biographical passages or other appropriate non-fiction and literary non-fiction forms. In Section B, there will be a single writing task related to the theme of Section A. It will specify audience, purpose and form, and will use a range of opinions, statements and writing scenarios to provoke a response.

Non-examination assessment: Spoken Language

The aim of the assessment is to allow students to demonstrate their speaking and listening skills by:

giving a presentation in a formal context. Responding appropriately to questions and to feedback, asking questions themselves to elicit clarification using spoken Standard English. The assessment will be separately endorsed and will cover AO7, AO8 and AO9 for spoken language.

Content

Students will base their presentations on a theme or topic chosen by their teacher with guidance from AQA.

Tasks and standards will be exemplified by AQA. Presentations will be on a formal basis and students will need to respond to questions and feedback from the audience.   In the assessed piece, students will be required to use spoken Standard English as appropriate.

How are we assessed?

Two written exam papers at the end of Year 11: 

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (50% of GCSE, 1 hour 45 minute exam)

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (50% of GCSE, 1 hour 45 minute exam)

Assessment Objectives:

Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all GCSE English Language Specifications and all exam boards. The exams and Spoken Language endorsement will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives:

AO1: identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas select and synthesise evidence from different texts.

AO2: Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their views.

AO3: Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts.

AO4: Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references.

AO5: Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences. Organise information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features to support coherence and cohesion of texts.

AO6: Candidates must use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation. (This requirement must constitute 20% of the marks for each specification as a whole.)

AO7: Demonstrate presentation skills in a formal setting.

AO8: Listen and respond appropriately to spoken language, including questions and feedback on presentations.

AO9: Use spoken Standard English effectively in speeches and presentations.

How are we grouped?

As at Key Stage 3, students are taught in banded groups as opposed to finely set classes. For example, instead of a class only containing students with GCSE targets of a 5 or 6, a typical class will have a slightly wider range of targets, from grades 5 to 7 or from grades 4 to 6. Groups are no longer identified numerically (e.g. sets 1, 2, 3 etc.) but are instead named after some of the literary characters they will meet in their study of GCSE texts; e.g. Magwitch and Mercutio.

What home learning am I expected to do?

Home learning is given once a week and we would normally expect this to take between 45 minutes to 2 hours. Homework tasks are directly linked to the content of the lessons and may include:

  • Self-quizzing
  • Research
  • Pre-reading for in class study
  • Aim Higher booklets
  • Practice exam questions
  • Appropriate revision for in class tests

As well as this, we would expect students to be working independently to read through their notes from lessons; learn key words; improve literacy issues identified in their work and work on targets given in class.

Students are also expected to read outside of lessons; we suggest for three to four hours a week. At this stage, students should be aware of the world around them and we encourage the reading of good quality newspapers and non-fiction as well as fiction texts. 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 home learning:

  • Talk to your child about how to approach the task set.
  • Discuss his or her reading and encourage your child to offer evidence and explain it when discussing characters/themes (there are many reasonably priced study guides on the set texts that you can find in any high street bookshop or online).
  • Help your child to look up unfamiliar vocabulary and to learn it.
  • Proofread work with your child (please advise us of the help you have given).
  • Test on key words, etc.
  • Encourage the meeting of deadlines and/or communication with teachers to clear up any misunderstandings.
  • Encourage your child to take an active interest in current affairs/politics and to feel comfortable discussing their opinions.

Please note:

Although this is a separate qualification to GCSE Literature, students must be entered for GCSE

Literature to be awarded GCSE Language.

This is a single tiered qualification where all students, regardless of varying abilities, sit the same exam papers. This is the same for all GCSE Language and Literature specifications and across all exam boards.