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English

At The Blue School we aim to develop our students’ love of Language and Literature in all its forms. For the first half term in Y7, all students follow the same programme of work which enables students to analyse either a short story or a short film texts and produce a piece of creative writing. The work is designed to: 

  • give students a chance to write and talk about the film or story 
  • introduce students to the different aspects of English at The Blue School 
  • show students some of the procedures that they will need to follow in the rest of their English lessons during the year 
  • allow students to show the standard of their reading, writing and speaking/listening on entry to the school.

Key Stage 3

For the rest of the year, classes complete a variety of work based on a range of texts: poetry, plays, novels, short stories and media texts. Throughout this work students will be practising and developing their skills in all aspects of Language and Literature. 

Students joining Y7 have been given a pack containing a copy of the text ‘Wonder’ by R J Palacio. We would like students to read it over the summer and bring it with them for their English lessons in September where we will complete a number of activities based on the text. Also in the pack are a number of strategies to help you support your child’s reading. 

Some important things about English lessons: 

Personal reading - Students are expected to read for their own pleasure as this is an important part of English. They will be given regular opportunities to undertake such reading in the lessons and will be expected to always bring a reading book. 

Assessment - Each piece of work is assessed by the teacher according to the criteria set for the task. Students are given an A4 exercise book for class work, homework and assessments. Progress against target grades is checked at regular intervals, and is discussed with students and marked on work as appropriate. 

Equipment - Each student must bring a suitable pen, pencil and ruler to each lesson. In addition to this, the following things are very useful: 

  • coloured pens/pencils 
  • a pocket dictionary 
  • a pocket thesaurus 

Students are taught in mixed ability groups. Prior to the end of the first half term students will undertake our own baseline Reading, Spelling and Writing tests.  A small number of students who require additional support will be extracted from French to follow a specific literacy support programme. 

In Years 8 & 9 students will continue to be taught in mixed ability groups and to work on half-termly units covering a variety of texts, although Y9 students will also start preparing for their GCSEs. 

What can you do to help your child with English? 

  • Read through their exercise book and check any targets set for them: if they have not achieved them, help them to work on them. 
  • Encourage them to plan, draft, proof read and revise their work. 
  • Help with key spellings. 
  • Find out what they always forget (for example, there/their/they’re or using paragraphs) and help them to remember. 
  • Encourage them to present their work neatly. 
  • Ensure that they always have a reading book and encourage them to read for pleasure. This doesn’t always need to be stories: non-fiction books, biographies, magazines etc are all equally important to encourage a love of reading.

Key Stage 4