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Events Calendar
September 2016
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September 2017
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December 2017
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English Year 8

Aims:
We want to encourage and enable all pupils to achieve their potential in English and to develop their creative skills.  We aim to foster an enjoyment of the subject and a pleasure in reading for a range of purposes and for its own sake. We give pupils opportunities to speak with confidence and to listen effectively. We work with students to develop their analytical and critical skills and to express these in spoken and written responses which are clear and accurate. We encourage pupils to write clearly in different forms and for various purposes and audiences.

Content:
Our focus in the autumn term is ‘Writing from and about other cultures’ and this reflects the rich cultural heritage of the school’s community.  Students study a novel and some short stories set in another culture and written by an author from that background. We begin to work on literary essays so that students can respond to what they read in written form. At the same time, students explore poems from other cultures and traditions. Non-fiction reading and writing at this time looks at the conventions of travel writing.

Our pupils begin a study of a play by Shakespeare during the spring term, with the emphasis being on its dramatic elements and possibilities. This is complemented by a study of Shakespeare’s life and the theatre of his time. Our poetry work focuses on Shakespeare’s sonnets and students write their own. Other non-fiction work includes an exploration of writing to analyse. Pupils work on shaping drama texts by producing some script for a radio drama.

In the third term of Year 8, students explore the conventions of the detective novel, reading a novel or short stories that they choose for themselves and examining a variety of extracts from detective novels old and new.  Having worked on writing to persuade in Year 7, students consolidate this through preparing a ‘Dragons’ Den’-style presentation.  To finish, we explore some pieces from a contemporary poet, focusing on how they use language to create their distinctive style.   

Assessment:
Homework is given once each week and may be reading, writing, research or planning. A reading and a writing task will be set each term which will be the basis of that term’s assessment. Speaking and listening assignments are also assessed during the year. There is an examination of reading and writing in the summer term.

Extra Curricular:
We encourage students to participate in writing competitions, reading quizzes, Readathon, World Book Day and any other suitable activities. We run the Scholastic Book Club and Book Fair. We try to organise theatre trips for students as and when something suitable is being performed which fits with the texts being studied.

Useful Websites:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ks3bitesize/