Much of the English curriculum in year 5 is devoted to the genre of reading and writing narratives. In this area, pupils study Roald Dahl as a ‘significant’ children’s author, looking at the distinctive features of: his characters, themes, settings and use of language to inform their own writing. They then have an opportunity to compare the style of Roald Dahl with the much more contemporary, yet strikingly similar style of David Walliams.
Teaching British Values
English at Perton prepares students for life in Britain by developing the secure literacy skills needed to be successful, and by fostering an interest in our literacy heritage through a study of our most influential writers.
In addition to this, they look at classic literature and writing in the style of C.S.Lewis, as well as studying the features of myths, legends and traditional stories from other cultures to develop their own writing style. They also examine how playscripts convey a story and are given opportunity to create their own.
Their poetry unit involves a specific study of The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes, examining character viewpoint, through drama and writing tasks. Towards the end of the year, students take part in an inter-form poetry competition where they both learn and perform poetry in a creative way.
In non-fiction writing, through their work on instructional texts, children have opportunities to identify and understand key features of this text type, resulting in writing and editing their own set of instructions. They also examine how writers use a variety of techniques to persuade their audience and use these to produce their own persuasive writing in a variety of forms.
In narrative reading and writing, pupils study a variety of genres, identifying key features for each genre. They have opportunities to share their favourite books with their peers, recommending them to others for reading. This leads to their own story writing within a particular genre, using film as an inspiration for writing.
During the year, they study the fantasy novel, Harry Potter and later the historical novel, Goodnight Mister Tom, using these as a focus for reading responses to deepen their understanding of character, plot and authors’ technique.
They also examine the organisational and language features of a range of non-fiction text types which include: biography, review writing (book and educational visit) and journalistic writing. They are also provided with opportunities to apply the grammatical conventions they learn, across the range of subjects they study, through cross-curricular writing which includes information texts, evaluations and diary recount. As a result, pupils further develop their ability to respond to, as well as write, across a range of text types to suit purpose and audience.
Towards the end of the year, they take inspiration from their visit to the outdoor education centre, ‘Chasewater’, to create their own Bear Grylls style adventure journals.
Students in year 7 begin with a study of contemporary fiction, focussing on how themes are developed in a novel and developing their ability to provide extended responses to text, embedding quotations into their answers. From this, they further develop their own descriptive writing, developing key themes throughout their narratives as well as recognising character viewpoint through writing in role.
In non-fiction writing, students continue to develop their skills across a range of genre with a particular focus on advertising where they study the use of stereotyping and how this has changed over time.
Their poetry study explores some of the many specific types of poems, ultimately focussing on narrative poetry, examining its structure and how a story can be developed in rhyme.
Towards the end of the year, students consider how the English language has evolved to the modern language we use today as well as discovering more about writers in history through a study of Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In year 8, pupils begin with the theme of War to study a variety of literature that includes the poetry of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon along with the contemporary novel, Private Peaceful. They are given opportunities to write their own poems and letters from the trenches as First World War soldiers, in response to their reading.
They further develop their narrative reading and writing skills, particularly looking at the development of themes and characters through the study of a pre-twentieth century novel, A Christmas Carol and the use of sub-plots in stories as demonstrated in the contemporary novel, Holes.
In non- fiction writing, they further advance their writing techniques for preparing a written argument, examining the use of persuasive techniques used in iconic speeches delivered by Martin Luther King and Barack Obama, developing these skills in their own argument writing.
Through their study of playscripts, they are able to develop their understanding of character viewpoint as well as linking the themes with the social and cultural context in which they were written.