S1

Dear Parent/Guardian,

I would like to take this opportunity to formally welcome pupils and their parents or guardians to the English Department in Queen Anne High School.

We follow the homework guidelines of the whole school policy.  Pupils will be asked to complete homework on a regular basis and we expect all pupils to be organised and know when work is due to be submitted.  Of course, homework will vary by class and pupil depending on the experiences and outcomes of that particular week.  Please check and sign homework on a regular basis.  This will reinforce and support our expectation of high standards in all areas of the English department from our learners.

Reading is an essential part of the English curriculum at Queen Anne.  We equip pupils with the critical skills to be confident and effective readers but there is absolutely no substitute for a programme of reading that is initiated, developed and monitored at home.  A strong work ethic with personal resonsibility for learning encourages young people to become successful lifelong learners .  The school library is open from 0845 to 1600 and most lunchtimes/breaks and all S1/S2 classes have a library period every fortnight and a course of ‘library skills’ is taught to all pupils at the start of the summer term.  The following is not an exhaustive guide but may help you select appropriate texts (you might even find one for yourself!):

www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk      www.scholastic.com   www.scottishbooktrust.com

www.penguin.co.uk     www.barringtonstoke.co.uk

Your assistance in the programme of home reading is greatly appreciated.

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The Transition from Primary 7

Research has shown that the transition from Primary to Secondary can be daunting for pupils and although the initial, general feeling amongst pupils that the work will be more demanding the formative years of Secondary education, in many cases, S1/2 courses are not challenging enough for some pupils. It is therefore important that the national priority of ‘Raising Attainment’ is a serious consideration for both the construction, and delivery, of our S1 and S2 courses in terms of balance and more importantly, progression. Many pupils arrive in S1 with a great enthusiasm for reading, writing stories and poems and our department aims to maintain this.

Language skills in the four modes of communication, Reading, Writing, Talking and Listening have already been developed in pupils since Primary 1. Coming into the English Department, pupils will have knowledge of these and it is our job to build on what has already been achieved. By the end of S2, as many of these pupils as possible should have developed their language and linguistic skills sufficiently to progress as far as possible on the Curriculum for Excellence courses. It is essential that S3 pupils are in a position to cope with the demands of National 4 or National 5 English in S4. It is important, therefore, that accurate profiles and records of Primary 7 are received and that these are maintained and updated in the Department. Our new S1 and S2 Pupil Record sheets have taken this into account. In addition and in line with the whole school policy, the new Target Setting forms give pupils a record with which to monitor and try to improve their attainment.

In S1, pupils come to English in set mixed ability (broad-banded) groups. Although the types of work they will do may not differ substantially from their language work in primary, the period timings mean that class organisation will be different. The English teacher is one of the most regular points of contact for the S1 pupil given that we see the S1 classes 5 times per week. Our S2 classes are set. The criteria for class allocation was based on S1 results and computer generated by way of the whole-school ‘tracking’ form. In addition, S1 teacher input was required to ensure that the correct ‘mix’ of classes. The Department at various intervals in the year will review this system.

Our S1/2 courses have been designed to accommodate the National Guidelines of Curriculum for Excellence. Within these parameters, however, there have been allowances for a degree of flexibility for individual teachers in choosing text and lesson-planning. Assessments allow a continuity and consistency across the department and the Department policy on Testing/Assessments is in line with these Guidelines and Fife Regional policy. Tests are administered by teachers when they feel that individual pupils have reached the appropriate level. The ongoing formative assessment of class work continues throughout the session.

S1 Writing Policy

Our Aims:

  • To focus one period per week on writing
  • To tackle a range of tasks
  • To ensure progression using purposeful tasks
  • To raise the attainment of our S1 pupils in the skills of writing

Approach:

  • To foster an understanding of the different kinds of writing, including the discussion of reading
  • To include a jotter specifically used for writing
  • To redirect the focus to the first piece of writing and where redrafting is necessary, teach the skills of redrafting
  • To ensure that the focus is on positive comments and ‘the next steps’ in a pupil’s writing