English

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.

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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

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Year 5 Course Summary

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.

Year 6 Course Summary

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
Zoo unit
This scheme of work was introduced in 2014 and is primarily a non-fiction unit. Students identify punctuation and grammatical features in ZOO by Anthony Browne and they study poetry and persuasive literature on the theme of animals in captivity. In this unit pupils write persuasive letters, write to inform and write from different viewpoints.

The Twits (story writing)
Extracts from the classic Roald Dahl novel are used as models for writing. Pupils plan and write their own chapter that could fit into the original story. Their task is to write a trick that one of the old hags plays on their spouse. It is expected that the full range of punctuation, wordplay and authorial techniques are employed by pupils in their writing of this text.

Spring Term A
Room 101
This unit is based on the popular TV series. Pupils are asked to give a presentation to the rest of the class, explaining what really winds them up. They are assessed on chosen success criteria such as how well they engage their audience, use of gestures and tone of voice, humour and subject matter.

Authors and texts
In this unit, pupils study texts such as The Iron Man, by Ted Hughes or Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer. Children are asked to keep a reading journal in which they are encouraged to record their responses to the particular author under consideration. Texts are explored through use of role-play and other empathetic approaches, and again, thoughts are recorded in their journal. They write a chapter which could be included in the novel and explore the features of journalistic writing by planning and performing radio news reports based on an event in the novel.

Spring Term B
Revision Units
Students revisit and revise the reading and writing of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays.

SATs TESTS
Short story with flashbacks
Students read a range of short stories which include flashbacks. They are taught to identify techniques used to indicate shifts in time and then work towards planning and writing their own short narrative.

Finding a voice
Children explore an issue meaningful to them, and at the same time read, respond, analyse and evaluate a range of poems about that issue. Students then write their own poems in response to the issue.

Summer Term A
The Mischievians
This is a delightful encyclopaedia about a group of fictional creatures that wreak havoc in our homes and schools. Pupils learn the style and conventions of writing to inform and entertain.

Summer Term B
Introduction to Shakespeare
In this unit pupils engage in the light study their first Shakespeare play. The Tempest is used as the main text, which is supplemented by other Shakespearean extracts. We teach pupils knowledge about the playwright and the context of Elizabethan theatre.

Year 7 Course Summary

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
Fear of Flying
This is a non-fiction unit. Pupils watch a short animated film and read a range of published film reviews. Reviews are analysed for word, sentence and style features. Those features are then applied by pupils when they write their own reviews of other short films.

Novel Study
The novel is selected by a teacher from the wide variety available at Oldfields Hall. These include familiar modern classics such as Michelle Paver’s ‘Wolf Brother’, Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ and Louis Sacher’s ‘Holes’. Students are taught a range of reading skills and are given opportunities to mimic the style of the author by writing their own chapters. They are also taught some of the more complex vocabulary from the tests and asked to use those words in the context of their own independent writing.

Spring Term A
Dystopian Fiction
This is a popular unit with year 7 pupils as it includes the study of extracts from books such as ‘The Hunger Games’ and other writing within the genre. We also use film trailers to excite and engage. Pupils work towards writing their own dystopian settings and short stories.

Spring Term B
Mini SPaG Unit
This unit gives teachers an opportunity to assess and recover any areas of grammar, punctuation and spelling that the group requires.

Gothic Horror
Text extracts are taken from 19th Century classic gothic literature such as Dracula and Frankenstein. Pupils engage in drama activities to explore language, events and settings and work towards writing their own fiction and poetry on the gothic horror theme.

Summer Term A
Film Narrative
“Broken: Rock, Paper Scissors”
This is a beautiful short animation which is used to inspire story and poetry writing. In this unit pupils are taught how to use flashbacks in their narratives and incorporate figurative language and mood making devices.

Summer Term B
Poetry Unit: Comic Poetry
Students will read a range of comic poetry by a wide range of poets including Michael Rosen. The will write their own poetry. A light and enjoyable way to end Year 7.

Year 8 Course Summary

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
Private Peaceful/War poetry
In November year 8 pupils are taken on a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas

War Unit
In this unit students read and analyse Michael Morpurgo’s novel, Private Peaceful. Students compare the novel with the anti-war film All Quiet of The Western Front. The theme of war is extended through the study of poems by war poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen.

Spring Term A
Public Speaking/ Debate Unit
Pupil take part in a number of discussion and debate activities and are invited to audition for the Uttoxeter Young Speakers Competition.

Shakespeare Study
In Year 8 we study Macbeth. Pupils also enjoy a visit from The Young Shakespeare Company who perform a highly enjoyable, interactive and abridged version. Pupils will have the opportunity to look at the play as a production, as a product of its time and how its themes are still relevant today.

Summer Term A
Identity Unit
Pupils explore different perspectives on identity. The core novel studied is ‘Wonder’ by R.J Palacio but we use extracts from other stories and poems that explore the theme of cultural identity and ‘otherness’. Pupils write their own story about a character’s journey from being excluded to being included.

Summer Term B
In 2016 we will study Roald Dahl’s ‘Boy’. This unit will be taught in each of the pyramid of middle schools in Uttoxeter and include transfer tests for Thomas Alleyne’s High School.