The English Department

Welcome to the English department at Oldfields Hall.

Reading, language and communication are the driving forces behind our English curriculum. Here at Oldfields Hall Middle School, our English team work tirelessly to ensure that pupils make good progress in all areas of literacy, particularly reading, writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling. We have a team of excellent, experienced subject specialists who enjoy creating challenging and engaging learning opportunities for all pupils.

The literature studied at Oldfields Hall Middle School reflects the experiences of people from different countries, cultures and historical eras. Over the four years here, pupils will study some of the works of William Shakespeare and a range of classical and contemporary fiction. We start every year with a whole school English unit to inspire children in those first few weeks. Themes have ranged from Superheroes to Spies and Villains. Following this, each year group then follows a separate course of study to the end of the year. More details can be found in the pages for each year group. Do feel free to have a browse through the pages and find out more.

Warm Regards
Miss E. Thomas
Head of English

Accelerated Reader

Autumn Term A
Secrets and Spies
In this unit pupils are assigned a number of spy missions. They collect rewards for missions completed and are encouraged to enter competitions such as ‘design a spy gadget’. Work will include the writing of a spy story, the production of a ‘Spy Guide’ and will incorporate a number of reading, punctuation and grammar tasks.
Autumn Term B
Myths, Legends and Fables
Pupils explore the features of the genre. They expand their knowledge of popular writers and stories and are given the opportunity to write in the same style. Throughout the unit, pupils are taught to plan, edit, revise, proofread and present their work to a polished standard. Alongside the writing tasks, there will be a focus on reading skills and the teaching of grammar and punctuation as specified in the 2014 National Curriculum.
Spring Term A
The Highwayman
The classic narrative poem by Alfred Noyes is studied and performed. Through practical activities and discussion, pupils explore how the poet used language to create dramatic effects. They work as part of a group and use drama strategies to explore characters in depth. They devise questions to ask the main characters and work in role to explore more complex emotional issues. Performances are evaluated and improved according to chosen success criteria and the impact of theatrical effect is examined in more depth.
The Firework Maker’s Daughter
This beautiful novel by Michael Morpurgo has been studied and enjoyed by pupils in year 5 for the past few years. We have re planned the unit to ensure overage of the objectives from the 2014 curriculum. Activities include creative writing from the main character’s point of view, descriptive writing, textual analysis and the use of figurative language. As always, there is a strong emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar in addition to the comprehension skills taught whilst reading the novel.
Spring Term B
The Watertower
This eerie short story always engages pupils. It is an unusual tale with stunning illustrations and lends itself to a range of role play activities. The text acts as a springboard for creative writing opportunities and provides stimulus for a variety of grammar activities and inference work.
Summer Term A
The Peacock Garden
This is a story about a young Muslim girl living in Pakistan at the time of the partition of India. As they read this novel, they deduce differences in patterns of relationships, customs and attitudes with particular reference to the way characters act and interact. In lessons we look at an author's use of language, for example literal and figurative language for descriptions; to create a comic or dramatic effect. We identify point of view from which a story is told. Select a character and use improvisation and role-play to explore the story from their point of view. Write in role, for example a letter from one character to another. Students plan and retell a whole story from an alternative point of view.
Cats Unit
In this unit of study, pupils are given the opportunity to learn poetry by heart. They learn some of TS Elliot’s poetry that inspired the lyrics of the CATS musical. In music lessons, Mrs McBride teaches pupils how to sing and preform some of those wonderful songs. Expanding on the theme, pupils undertake a novel study - either Varjak Paw or Diary of a Killer Cat.