In Years 7 & 8, we believe in a firmly ‘text-based’ approach to English teaching, that is one where the year is divided into units structured around a stimulating novel or play suitable for the age group. We teach grammar, punctuation and spelling in order to improve essential language skills, but as far as possible we integrate such skills teaching into engaging reading and writing tasks.
Texts include Skellig, Holes, His Dark Materials (adapted as a play), Hatchet, Our Day Out, and Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry as well as some poetry.
Classes can also expect a Drama period every fortnight, focusing on various skills which complement their work in English. There is also a chance to perform in public for those who are keen, since for the last four years we have had a highly successful Staff-with-Year 8 pantomime (huge fun!). There are also theatre trips at various times to London or to local shows.
In Year 9 we focus on preparation for the SATS exams for two terms, which include studying parts of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. In the summer term there is more freedom to be original and creative.