Year 8 English
What will my child study in English during Year 8?
During Year 8, students study a series of modules which cover the key components of the Key Stage 3 Curriculum. These include fiction and non-fiction, pre-1914 texts (including Shakespeare), poetry and texts from other cultures.
Modules are taught on rotation over the school year, with each module taking approximately 1 term. Over the course of the year your child will be taught the following modules (not necessarily in this order):
- Dystopias (a dystopian novel and Shakespeare’s The Tempest). The aim of this module is to explore ideas about society, whilst developing students’ reading skills with a focus on character, theme and context. Writing skills’ focus will be on narrative and descriptive writing.
- Culture Vulture (a novel or short stories and poetry from other culture(s), non-fiction about other cultures). The aim of this module is to develop students’ understanding of their own and other’s cultures. Reading skills’ focus will be on language analysis, narrative perspective, setting, character and context. Writing skills will focus on persuasion and argument, as well as inform/explain.
- Environment (range of poetry and non-fiction). The aim of this module is to explore how different texts can be used to raise awareness of issues. Reading focus will be on poetry analysis and summary skills, whilst writing skills will focus on poetry and descriptive writing.
Throughout all the modules students will be given opportunities to develop their Speaking and Listening skills through a range of activities such as discussion-based lessons (Let’s Think), presentations and speeches. We consider reading for pleasure to be key in developing students’ skills in English, so we have fortnightly library lessons in which students are encouraged to pick books that suit their reading age and in which we monitor and encourage students’ reading.
How will my child be assessed and how will I know how well they are doing in English in Year 8?
Students’ Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening skills are assessed during each module and their progress is closely monitored. For each assessment piece, the students are given levels and personal targets which enable them to improve their skills. Thus, by the completion of Year 8, each student will have a record of achievement in each component in English (Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening).
As students are continually assessed throughout the year, we do not have an end of year exam. The level reported via Progress Reviews is the average of Reading and Writing levels.
Parents will be informed of student progress via Progress Reviews and Parents’ Evening
What homework will my child be expected to do in Year 8 in English?
Year 8 students will be expected to complete reading (a minimum of 15 minutes daily) and spelling homework (20-30 minutes), which will be set on a weekly basis . We appreciate parents spending time with their child discussing their reading; this supports the child in developing their Reading skills. Students may also be asked to write about their reading in their Library Log.
In addition to regular reading and spelling homework, students will be given research, writing and project tasks which will support their module of study. We ask that research is written in the student’s own words and students should be encouraged not to rely solely on the internet for their research. All homework is set via SatchelOne.
How can I support my child to do well in English during Year 8?
- Ensure your child reads a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts in their own time. Discuss news items and articles with your child to encourage independent thinking.
- Ensure homework is completed to your child’s best ability and on time. Encourage your child to ask for further help if required.
- Encourage your child to proofread work their work for spelling and punctuation errors, and make any necessary corrections before handing work in.
- When your child is set homework reading a class text, please encourage them to complete this reading so they are ready to learn in lesson and therefore don’t fall behind.
What equipment may my child need in addition to the standard school equipment?
In addition to the equipment required according to school policy, your child should bring a private reading book into school every day (which can be a book from home or can be chosen during their Library lesson or in their own time, from a wide selection we hold in the Library).
By the end of the year, what would an 'expert' be able to do in English?
- Summarise a range of information and ideas from different sources.
- Write clearly about a range of texts and authorial perspective in these. Support their ideas by reference to the writer’s use of language, structure, themes and ideas.
- Identify and explain layers of meaning within a text at word and sentence level. Develops critical awareness of how author uses language and structure to convey meaning.
- Explain how the author’s context shapes their ideas and writing,
- Confidently varies style and register for different purposes. Links paragraphs to enhance meaning.
- Uses a wide range of sentence structures and vocabulary to enhance their meaning.
- Spell correctly, including complex irregular words.
- Uses punctuation to enhance meaning.
Speaking and Listening:
- Adapt speech confidently according to different contexts including the unfamiliar.
- Be creative and precise with vocabulary, carefully organising their speech to communicate clearly.
- Take a significant part in discussions, evaluating others’ ideas and carefully considering their own participation.
- Use Standard English confidently and clearly in a range of situations.
My child is struggling during the course, what additional help is available to help them keep up?
- Please encourage your child to be pro-active during lessons and ask their teacher / LSA should they need support. This support can be provided in a range of different ways such as adapted resources, extra teaching/scaffolding in class, catch-up sessions, adapted homework, recommendations as to websites which can be used to target specific areas e.g. BBC Skillswise for punctuation.
Updated July 2023