English Literature Grade 8

Overview

The English Literature Syllabus at GEMS Wesgreen International Primary School aims to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

Learning Outcomes

The aims of all subjects state what a teacher may expect to teach and what a student may expect to experience and learn. These aims suggest how the student may be enriched by the learning experience.

The aims of the English Literature Syllabus are to encourage and enable students to:

  • read and appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage.
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
  • Reading at least one Shakespeare play.
  • appreciate a rich and varied literary heritage
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
  • seeking evidence in the text to support a point of view, including justifying inferences with evidence.
  • analysing a writer’s choice of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural features, and evaluating their effectiveness and impact.

Ongoing Objectives

There are objectives that are covered and built upon throughout each unit of work.

Spoken English

The national curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language continues to underpin the development of pupils’ reading and writing during key stages 3 and 4 and

teachers should therefore ensure pupils’ confidence and competence in this area continue to develop.

Pupils should be taught to:

speak confidently and effectively, including through:

  • giving short speeches and presentations, expressing their own ideas and keeping to the point.
  • participating in formal debates and structured discussions, summarising and/or building on what has been said.
  • improvising, rehearsing and performing play scripts and poetry in order to generate language and discuss language use and meaning.

Reading

Reading at key stages 3 and 4 should be wide, varied and challenging. Pupils should be expected to read whole books, to read in depth and to read for pleasure and information. Pupils should continue to develop their knowledge of and skills in writing, refining their drafting skills and developing resilience to write at length. They are taught to write formal and academic essays as well as writing imaginatively. They are taught to write for a variety of purposes and audiences across a range of contexts. This requires an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary will arise naturally from their reading and writing. Teachers should show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. Pupils are taught to control their speaking and writing consciously, understand why sentences are constructed as they are and to use Standard English.

They should understand and use age-appropriate vocabulary, including linguistic and literary terminology, for discussing their reading, writing and spoken language. This involves consolidation, practice and discussion of language. It is important that pupils learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within teaching. Teachers build on the knowledge and skills that pupils have been taught at earlier key stages. Decisions about progression are based on the security of pupils’ linguistic knowledge, skills and understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils whose linguistic development is more advanced are challenged through being offered opportunities for increased breadth and depth in reading and writing. Those who are

less fluent consolidate their knowledge, understanding and skills, including through additional practice.

Writing

Pupils should be taught to:

write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length for pleasure and information through:

  • writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences, including:
  • well-structured formal expository and narrative essays.
  • stories, scripts, poetry and other imaginative writing.
  • ·notes and polished scripts for talks and presentations.
  • a range of other narrative and non-narrative texts, including arguments, and personal and formal letters.
  • summarising and organising material, and supporting ideas and arguments with any necessary factual detail.
  • applying their growing knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and text structure to their writing and selecting the appropriate form.
  • drawing on knowledge of literary and rhetorical devices from their reading and listening to enhance the impact of their writing.
  • plan, draft, edit and proof-read through:
  • considering how their writing reflects the audiences and purposes for which it was intended.
  • amending the vocabulary, grammar and structure of their writing to improve its coherence and overall effectiveness.

Grammar and vocabulary

  • studying the effectiveness and impact of the grammatical features of the texts they read.
  • drawing on new vocabulary and grammatical constructions from their reading and listening, and using these consciously in their writing and speech to achieve particular effects.
  • knowing and understanding the differences between spoken and written language, including differences associated with formal and informal registers, and between Standard English and other varieties of English.
  • using Standard English confidently in their own writing and speech.

Book/Poetry Overviews

Term 1

Poetry

Approximate length: 12 weeks

Poetry texts include:

  • Poem: The Character of a Happy Life
  • Poem: The Vagabond
  • Poem: “The Village Schoolmaster”
  • Poem: My Parents Kept me from children who were rough
  • Poem Inchcape Rock

Specific Secondary Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • To study the effectiveness and impact of the grammatical features of the texts they read.
  • To draw on new vocabulary and grammatical constructions from their reading and listening, and using these consciously in their writing and speech to achieve particular effects.
  • identifying themes and conventions in a wide range of books.
  • preparing poems and play scripts to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone, volume and action.
  • discussing words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination.
  • recognising some different forms of poetry [for example, free verse, narrative poetry.

Term 2

Book 1 – Macbeth: William Shakespeare

Approximate length: 14 weeks

Macbeth Summary: A brave Scottish general named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia.

Specific Secondary Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • To speak confidently and effectively, including through:
  • To use Standard English confidently in a range of formal and informal contexts, including classroom discussion.
  • listening and responding in a variety of different contexts, both formal and informal, and evaluating content, viewpoints, evidence and aspects of presentation.
  • improvising, rehearsing and performing play scripts and poetry in order to generate language and discuss language use and meaning, using role, intonation, tone, volume, mood, silence, stillness and action to add impact.
  • To learn new vocabulary, relating it explicitly to known vocabulary and understanding it with the help of context and dictionaries.
  • To make inferences and referring to evidence in the text.
  • To know the purpose, audience for and context of the writing and drawing on this knowledge to support comprehension.
  • To check their understanding to make sure that what they have read makes sense.
  • To use Standard English confidently in their own writing and speech.

Term 3

Book 2 – Chicken Soup for the Soul (selected stories)

Approximate length: 13 weeks

Chicken Soup Summary: collection of 101 true personal stories about how people found happiness by pursuing their passions, recognizing their purpose, and finding joy in their lives. Students can draw important life lessons from each one of these stories.

Specific Secondary Curriculum Objectives Covered:

  • To use Standard English confidently in their own writing and speech re-reading literature and other writing as a basis for making comparisons.
  • choosing and reading books independently for challenge, interest and enjoyment.
  • understand and critically evaluate texts through:
  • reading in different ways for different purposes, summarising and synthesising ideas and information, and evaluating their usefulness for particular purposes.
  • drawing on knowledge of the purpose, audience for and context of the writing,
  • including its social, historical and cultural context and the literary tradition to which it belongs, to inform evaluation.
  • identifying and interpreting themes, ideas and information.
  • exploring aspects of plot, characterisation, events and settings, the relationships between them and their effects.
  • seeking evidence in the text to support a point of view, including justifying inferences with evidence.
  • distinguishing between statements that are supported by evidence and those that are not, and identifying bias and misuse of evidence.
  • analysing a writer’s choice of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural.
  • features, and evaluating their effectiveness and impact.
  • making critical comparisons, referring to the contexts, themes, characterisation, style and literary quality of texts, and drawing on knowledge and skills from wider reading make an informed personal response, recognising that other responses to a text are possible and evaluating them.

Assessment

Baseline Test: At the beginning of the academic year, the students write an internal and standardized baseline test, which is used to measure progress.

Formative: Throughout the units, the children will complete graded work and quizzes which allows the teacher to assess the students’ attainment and inform their planning.

Summative: At the end of each term, we complete internal and standardized tests. This allows us to measure the students’ progress throughout the term and year. At the end of the academic year, the students complete the standardized GL and NGRT assessment.

Action for blended learning

Here at Wesgreen we are using multiple teaching methods in order to help our students learn more effectively and creatively. This will include a combination of traditional classroom instruction and digital learning, such as:

  • Bluetooth microphones to enable remote students to hear more clearly during lessons.
  • The use of different types of instructional materials, such as videos.
  • Incorporating different means of technology (Phoenix Classroom).
  • Varied online assessment methods (Microsoft forms, Kahoot, One Note).

Next Steps

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