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Skills-based approach The specification offers a skills-based approach to the study of English Language in an untiered context.Questions are designed to take students on an assessment journey through lower tariff tasks to more extended responses.They have to do as Dorothy did and take a journey down the yellow brick road, exploring new characters, finding the unexpected, and learning things about themselves they didn’t know before. As suggested to me in a conference I recently attended, a good way to start this process is to put an emphasis on reading for change, and to mould students into dynamic readers who share their ideas in constructive ways.
Often in class there are a few students to whom this comes naturally; the majority pipe up with the phrase, ‘‘how do I start?
’’ whilst some just look scared at the prospect and begin planning their escape.
Brief Introduction to the course The exam papers explained Reading: Skimming for the main idea Writing: Writing for purpose: creative 1 Reading: Annotating the sources W Reading: Putting it into practice (assessment- annotation) Writing: Writing for purpose: creative 2 Writing: Writing for purpose: viewpoint 1 Reading: Putting it into practice (assessment- annotation) Writing: Writing for purpose: viewpoint 2 Reading: The writer’s viewpoint Writing: Writing for an audience Reading: Fact opinion and expert evidence.
Writing: Putting it into practice (assessment- descriptive or narrative writing.) Reading: Explicit information and ideas.
Here I refer to an article written by my colleague Caroline Saunders in issue 4.4 of Teach Secondary (Beyond the lines); just as she was encouraging art students to draw without using lines, we should encourage English students to do the same when developing ideas for story writing, in other words colouring their narrative from the inside out.
At the start of the lesson have a series of images displayed on the board and printed out in colour for students to look at.
The specification will enable students of all abilities to develop the skills they need to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts covering the 19th, 20th and 21st century time periods as well as to write clearly, coherently and accurately using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures.
Dynamic and engaging content The specification offers the attraction of two equally-balanced papers, relating reading sources to the topic and theme of writing tasks.
Pick the idea that excites you the most, and you’ll find that its momentum will conjure up a whole new story world, replete with fascinating new characters! And if that’s not enough, generate your own with the Idea Engine, or peruse these lists of scene ideas, flash fiction prompts, and writing prompts.
Sometimes it’s very hard in English lessons to encourage students to be creative, especially when it comes to writing.