Reading, DEAR, SPG and non-fiction
The English curriculum covers both English Language and Literature. We cover a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts from a range of time periods.
During one lesson every week, the students have a SPG (Spelling, punctuation and grammar) and DEAR lesson to revisit, consolidate and build on the work done in Prep/primary and especially in year 6 for the SATs. This knowledge is important for GCSE and if it is not regularly revisited, it can be forgotten. DEAR stands for Drop Everything And Read. This is an essential part of the lesson as it enables English teachers to observe what the students are reading, the range of texts covered and offer alternatives / more challenge, if required.
The lessons are structured to allow for private reading time and SPG work.
The SPG work focuses on a particular part of speech, sentence structure or piece of punctuation. The term is introduced or revisited and students then practice identifying and using the term or skill themselves. They then demonstrate their understanding through parsing a sentence or using the sentence construction or piece of punctuation correctly. Spelling tests for key terms and vocabulary are also conducted in this time, where appropriate.
Autumn 1 and 2
SPG: Parts of speech
Spring 1 and 2
SPG: sentences + syntax
Reading is the most important skill our children can have. It is the foundation block that allows children to access ALL of their subjects at school. It increases general knowledge, creates cultural understanding, improves empathy, is a pleasurable activity but above all, it is the single most important factor in improving your child’s academic results and life chances. UNESCO researched what the single most important factor was in children succeeding and achieving what they are capable of. The resounding answer, above everything else, was whether they read for pleasure or not.
We feel that regular reading is essential at home and at school, as this can often be overlooked once children enter year 7. It is an expectation that students bring a reading book with them to school every day. This can be fiction or non-fiction but the students should be reading a range of texts and genres. We are also very passionate that students do not get ‘stuck in a rut’ and that they are challenged to read books that are suitable to their ability, rather than always bringing in the same ‘safe’ text that they always revert back to.
To enable us to support students of all abilities, we test the reading ages of all students when they enter year 7. We are then able to support and intervene where it is appropriate, and improve the progress of all students across all subjects.
Students read twice a week in form time and this allows staff to monitor the challenge and range of texts that they are reading. This is an important part of form time, as it allows individual discussion of themes and issues that may arise in the texts.
For our GCSE curriculum information for 2021-2023, please view the information in the presentations below. The information covers what your child will study in years 10 and 11 for GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.