Here at St. Joseph’s, emphasis is placed firmly on the development of spoken and written English, with the teaching of reading as a major priority. The school’s aim is to foster the development of a literate, articulate child who is able to approach spoken and written forms of communication confidently. In addition to this, we have regular book clubs and we encourage all pupils to visit our library and enter the prestigious Lit Quiz in November when they join KS3. The “Lit Quiz” is a literary competition that allows avid readers to challenge their knowledge of children’s literature.
We believe that children learn best through speaking and listening and by encountering a range of situations, activities and audiences which are designed to develop confidence and competence. Drama activities are encouraged within lessons to support teaching and learning and we also build on the experiences that children bring from home. Reading a wide range of rich, stimulating texts in both fiction and non-fiction in class is a vital part of the literacy curriculum. Across the whole school, pupils are given frequent opportunities to write for a variety of purposes and audiences and they are encouraged to write individually and in groups; discussing their work with their teacher and their peers. Pupils learn the drafting process, spelling patterns and the necessity for accurate punctuation and grammar and above all the need for clear legible handwriting.
Year 5 - pupils study a range of popular authors such as Diana Hendry – “Harvey Angel”, extracts from non-fiction texts, poems and short stories. As the year progresses, pupils will also study other recognised authors, notably David Walliams and Michael Morpurgo.
Year 6 - “The Kingdom by the Sea” by Robert Westall. They will also cover many extracts from other texts such as classic narrative poems and traditional stories, fables, myths and legends in preparation for the Y6 SATs reading paper in May. Within Y6, great emphasis is also placed on the necessity for accurate punctuation, spelling and grammar.
Building on the reading skills at the end of Key Stage 2, Year 7 and 8 pupils develop a more analytical approach to literature in preparation for the demands of Key Stage 4.
Year 7 – Pupils will study “autobiography” through the autobiographical text “Boy” by Roald Dahl, extracts from “The Diary of Anne Frank” and poetry of Rose Tremain. “Goodnight Mr. Tom” is studied in the spring term and a unit of work covering myths and legends is studied in the summer term with reference to “Beowulf”.
Year 8 - Pupils will study traditional poetry in the World War 1 poets by Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. In the spring term, pupils will study “Across the Barricades” by Joan Lingard (a modern take on “Romeo and Juliet”) alongside the original play by Shakespeare. This will give children an appreciation of how the English language has evolved but show them that the same themes can still occur. Non-fiction texts are also examined and pupils are taught to have an analytical understanding of how a writer may use certain techniques to entertain the reader. Throughout KS3, pupils are taught vital essay writing skills in preparation for their GCSE courses.
K.Coulson – Subject Leader for English – November 2016