Cockburn John Charles Academy

English

Key Stage 3

Year 7

What will my child learn about in English this year?
In Year 7 students cover a range of texts:  Shakespeare, drama, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, 19th Century, and are assessed for both reading and writing.  Students will build upon their learning in Primary School, and will work on strengthening skills which will be vitally important in their GCSE studies. Several texts will be used as a way to explore reading and writing skills. We believe in a ubiquitous approach to English, whereby texts will be used as a way to explore core skills interchangeably.

Each Year Seven class also takes part in an Accelerated Reading lesson. This encourages students to independently read and take quizzes on books that they have read. Successful students in all subjects are stronger readers, and we believe this is a key part to enhancing student’s learning.

Term 1: Creative Writing & Greek Myths
All students begin with a Transition Unit on The Titanic whereby of one of the biggest maritime disasters will be explored through reading first hand accounts, and writing in role.

Students will then study the beginnings of Literature in the western world. Modern texts derive from conventions born in this era. This unit of learning will enable the students to trace the world’s literary timeline.

Students will be assessed on their ability to write to narrate. Students will also complete assessments on Greek Myths and their conventions.

Term 2: Shakespeare & Poetry
Students will study Romeo and Juliet, one of Shakespeare’s finest tragedies. exploring the conflict between the Montagues and the Capulets building upon their literature knowledge rooted in the classical Greek era.

Students will then study a selection of Poetry focused on the theme of the animal kingdom. Discursive writing will be explored as a method for students to express their opinions on the topics that have been expressed in these poignant poems. Furthermore, spoken poetry skills will be developed by students competing in aa annual poetry slam competition with local primacy schools. A Poetry Cup goes to the winners!

Students will complete a reading assessment on Romeo and Juliet, a writing assessment on non-fiction writing, and a spoken language assessment on their poems.

Term 3: Gothic Writing & Treasure Island
A range of writing and reading is important, the topics foster the ability for versatile skills.

Students will write their own gothic horror stories inspired by texts such as Dracula, Woman in Black, Room Thirteen and more from the genre. Key conventions and devices explored by the students will feed into their writing.

The final reading topic the students will learn is the Classic 19th Century text, Treasure Island. Written by Robert Louis Stephenson’s novel explores themes such as adventure, bravery, deceit and piracy. Reading skills will explore the exciting tale of young Jim as he takes on Long-John Silver and his crew.

Assessments in reading and writing build upon their previous learning ready for the curriculum content in Year Eight. There will also be an End of Year test which will measure the progress made by the students in their reading and writing.

What type of homework will be set?
Homework is set on a weekly basis and may consist of research, spellings, grammar, reading or extended writing tasks.  These tasks will be linked to the theme and the work covered during lesson.

How will my child be assessed in English?
Students are assessed half-termly using KS3 assessment frameworks. These are built upon their Year Six assessment frameworks in reading and writing by bridging the gap between KS2 and KS4. This transition from Year Six to Year Nine, will allow for fluid progress that uses their Primary School skills and develops them to move into GCSE.

All year 7 have their reading age assessed four times during the academic year using the Renaissance Accelerated Reader programme to ascertain an accurate reading age.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?
Encouraging your child to read widely and often is crucial to success in English.  Reading a range of materials such as leaflets, magazines etc. is just as important as reading fiction texts.  Discussing the bigger questions and taking an interest in homework are all beneficial in supporting us with your child’s learning.  Testing your child on their weekly spelling and putting them into sentences will secure the learning and enable them to apply their learning. every week, your child will have an Accelerated Reading lesson; to support this process, reading and discussing the books is a proven way to improve student’s reading abilities.

 

Key Stage 3

Year 8

What will my child learn about in English this year?
In Year 8 students cover a range of texts:  Shakespeare, drama, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, 19th Century, and are assessed for both reading and writing.  Students will build upon their learning from Year 7, and will work on strengthening skills which will be vitally important in their GCSE studies. Several texts will be used as a way to explore reading and writing skills. We believe in a ubiquitous approach to English, whereby texts will be used as a way to explore core skills interchangeably.

Some classes in Year 8 take part in an Accelerated Reader programme. This encourages students to independently read and take quizzes on books that they have read. Other groups in Year 8 take part in a Guided Reading programme. In this programme, students read a challenging text as a class and develop their inference skills. The texts range from 19th century classics such as the Sherlock Holmes stories, to more contemporary fiction such as Hunger Games. Through the implementation of both programmes, successful students become stronger readers in all their subjects, and we believe this is a key part to enhancing student’s learning.

Term 1: Crime and Punishment non-fiction and Oliver Twist
A range of writing and reading is important and the topics that Year 8 students will explore throughout the year, foster the ability for versatile skills.

Students will be introduced to Year 8 through the topic of Crime and Punishment. They will explore key moments of crime and punishment throughout history, developing their knowledge through a range of non-fiction texts. Students will be assessed on expressing their opinions through article and letter writing.

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens allows students to not only develop their knowledge and understanding of 19th Century London, but also allows them to develop their skills of literature analysis and reading skills. Students will explore key themes such as identity, power, society and crime. At the end of the scheme, students will be expected to answer a reading question based on an extract from the novel, echoing the skills needed for their GCSEs.

Term 2: War Poetry and Descriptive writing
Students will study a selection of Poetry focused on the themes of war and conflict, including exploring key poets such as Tennyson and Armitage which are part of students GCSE Poetry Anthology. Students will demonstrate their knowledge of key themes and poetic devices through a poetry analysis assessment at the end of the scheme.

Using the war poetry as a stimulus, pupils will develop their descriptive writing skills and produce a description based upon an image.

Term 3: Henry V and Heroes Throughout Literature
What does it take to be a leader? What makes a successful king? Both are questions that will be explored through the reading of Shakespeare’s Henry V. The play will allow students to explore qualities of leadership and kingship, which students will be able to connect to their study of Macbeth in Year 9 and Year 10. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the play through a range of narrative and discursive writing tasks, as well as completing a reading assessment at the end of the scheme.

Students will complete the year by studying a range of different literary texts which explore heroes throughout literature. From reading the Greek myth of Theseus to the Medieval tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, pupils will enable to trace the journey of the hero, which again will be vital for their transition into Year 9.

What type of homework will be set?
Homework is set on a weekly basis and may consist of research, spellings, grammar, reading or extended writing tasks.  These tasks will be linked to the theme and the work covered during lesson. Homework Club runs every week  in the LRC (Learning Resource Centre) and is available to support all students with their English work.

How will my child be assessed in English?
Students are assessed half-termly using KS3 assessment frameworks. These are built upon their Year Six assessment frameworks in reading and writing by bridging the gap between KS2 and KS4. This transition from Year Six to Year Nine, will allow for fluid progress that uses their Primary School skills and develops them to move into GCSE.

All Year 8 have their reading age assessed four times during the academic year using the Renaissance Accelerated Reader programme to ascertain an accurate reading age.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?
Encouraging your child to read widely and often is crucial to success in English.  Reading a range of materials such as leaflets, magazines etc. is just as important as reading fiction texts. Testing your child on their weekly spelling and putting them into sentences will secure the learning and enable them to apply their learning. Every week, your child will have an Accelerated Reader or Guided Reading lesson; to support this process, reading and discussing the books is a proven way to improve student’s reading abilities.

 

Key Stage 4

What will my child learn in English ?
In Years 9, 10 and 11 students will study for AQA GCSE English Literature and the AQA GCSE English Language course.

As part of the Literature course, students will study a 19th century novel , ‘A Christmas Carol’; Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, and a modern play, ‘Blood Brothers’.  Students will also study a wide range of classic and modern poetry.  The course is assessed by 100% exam at the end of Year 11.

As part of the English Language course students will study a wide range of fiction and non-fiction extracts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.  Students are assessed on their ability to select and retrieve implicit and explicit information; their ability to analyse language and structure and their effect on the reader; and their ability to identify and explain opinion.  Students are also assessed on their ability to write fluently and creatively to describe and narrate, or to express ideas and opinions for different audiences.  The course is assessed by 100% exam at the end of Year 11.

What type of homework will be set?
Homework is set on a weekly basis and is closely linked to the work being covered in lessons.  As such homework tasks may require research into an author’s background or looking at what society was like during a given time period.  Students may be asked to write creatively, or to analyse a piece and offer a personal opinion.  All tasks are used to reinforce and support the Assessment Objectives covered in both Language and Literature.  All students are encouraged to read widely and regularly covering both fiction and non-fiction, and the re-reading of key GCSE texts is especially encouraged.

How will my child be assessed in English?
Students are assessed regularly for both English Language and English Literature.  Assessment is carried out via standardised classroom assessment each half-term, and through pre public examinations.

The actual GCSE for English Language and English Literature is based on 100% examination assessed over four separate exams taken at the end of Year 11, some students are identified to take in Yr10 (GCSE English Literature) and Year 11 (GCSE English Language).

What can my child move onto with English?
English is an essential subject for all career paths as any profession requires the ability to communicate, read and write effectively.  However, English is especially useful for students who wish to pursue careers in Teaching, Journalism, Media Studies, Law or marketing and advertising.

Most college courses ask for at least a Grade 5 in English and Maths.