English

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We are a dedicated and well established team of 7 English specialists, including the Head Teacher. We also have our own English learning mentor, who provides extra support in and out of lessons, and an English intervention tutor, who is an English specialist who works with small groups of students for 6 week blocks. We also have a team of student literacy leaders who help support and promote literacy.

Our Aim

Our aim in English is to provide high ambition for all and take the students beyond their everyday experiences. Ivanhoe College believes in teaching the best in what has been thought and said and helping students to retain this powerful knowledge. In English, we believe that chronology is key and will teach our students the ‘Story of English’ from Classical; Early; Renaissance; Victorian and, Modern. We feel that the best way to prepare students for GCSE and beyond, is to share this with all students through the study of great, culturally rich texts.

Clare Sealy, Head of curriculum & standards, States of Guernsey, described a glorious period where children are taught a curriculum jam-packed full of the very best that has been thought, said, and done, so that they enter the latter part of their schools with a broad, deep and rich base of cultural and communal knowledge, to draw upon in later life and, yes, exams.

This is what we aim to do.

English KS3 Curriculum at Ivanhoe College:

Year 7 Topics

Topics will be linked to Knowledge Organisers

Autumn

 

We read about Greek gods, heroic mortals and the oral tradition of storytelling.

 

Spring

 

We then look to Britain and the early English story Beowulf.

 

Summer

 

Moving on to Middle English, we dip into The Canterbury Tales.

 

We finish the year learning about the most famous Early Modern English writer, William Shakespeare, and his sonnets.

 

 

Year 8 Topics

Topics will be linked to Knowledge Organisers

Autumn

 

We begin by focusing on Shakespeare’s plays, looking at a comedy: Much Ado About Nothing.

Spring

 

We then consider the power of persuasion through words and speech as we learn the ‘Art of Rhetoric’.

 

 

Summer

 

We then return to love and the natural world through poetry of the Romantic period.

 

We finish Year 8, with an introduction to 19th Century literature – fiction and non-fiction - which plays a huge part in the student’s upcoming GCSEs.

 

 

 

Year 9 Topics

Topics will be linked to Knowledge Organisers

Autumn

 

We begin by reading a full Victorian novel: The Sign of Four´ by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Spring

 

We then start to look at the GCSE theme of power and conflict through WW1 poetry and the play, Journey’s End.

Summer

 

We finish KS3 reading their first GCSE play text - An Inspector Calls - and by starting to perfect their craft at creative writing for their language GCSE.

 

 

Within our challenging curriculum, we repeat often the key 6 threshold concepts in English:

  • Structure and coherence
  • SPAG (Spelling, punctuation and Grammar)
  • Awareness of impact
  • Understanding context
  • Using evidence
  • Analysing technique

English lessons at Ivanhoe

‘The more knowledge my pupils have about text and context, the more perceptive their analysis will be. Mnemonic cues and recall exercises prevent them forgetting what they’ve learned. And extended writing practice drills with precise, instant feedback have dramatically accelerated my pupil’s achievement…achievement drives motivation and builds self-esteem; when children start succeeding, they are more likely to buy in.’ Joe Kirby, a British school teacher and deputy head at Jane Austen College, who writes on translating research into the classroom.

Based on research, like this above, Ivanhoe English lessons follow a 3-part structure in mixed ability sets:

  • Re-cap of previous knowledge through low stake quizzing
  • Instruction through high level reading and teacher talk
  • Deliberate practice of threshold concepts

Interleaving lessons

Once a week, students will have an interleaving lesson which interweaves previous learning of topics and grammar knowledge from the curriculum. These lessons are designed to help students move their learning into long term memory. If the learning is a key concept, it needs to be repeated often. We believe it is not enough to simply keep coming back to topics at some point.

English assessments

Students need to remember knowledge before they can understand, apply, analyse, evaluate and create.

In English, we assess students through 50 mark knowledge papers which test what they can remember about the literary canon and threshold concepts. The end of each paper includes application questions to test if they have fully understood the knowledge.

Within lessons, we constantly cover the above threshold concepts and mark using whole class feedback to ensure skills, as well as knowledge, are being improved upon regularly.

 

English homework

In English, we use our homework to try and close the vocabulary gap between students. Alex Quigley writes that ‘on average, secondary school teachers who took part in the survey reported that 43% of Year 7 pupils have a limited vocabulary to the extent that it affects their learning.’

We need to know 95% of words to ensure reading comprehension. He explains that as teachers, we therefore need to filter the important vocabulary and teach it explicitly.

Students in English learn 10 words and their definitions per week which are all associated to the enriching texts we read in class. They are tested on these and their previous vocabulary each week in their interleaving lesson: revision of previous knowledge.

Extra-curricular activities in English

The English Department provides a range of extra-curricular activities.  These include providing our students with opportunities to attend and appreciate live theatre performances.  In addition, there are many opportunities for students to meet writers who talk to the students about their craft as well as entry into various reading and writing competitions at local and national level and a youth speaks competition. We also run various inter house competitions including a very competitive library challenge; spelling bee and a number of World Book Day activities.

Student Voice Comments

‘I like that in English, the whole class are involved.’ Year 7

‘I like that my teacher constantly gives feedback to help you understand more.’ Year 7

‘I like the class reading and booklet tasks, the spelling tests – pretty much everything.’ Year 7

 

Image Gallery

World Book Day Book Swap

Year 9 End of Year Arrangements

Year 9 Hoodies Ivanhoe Alumni Hoodies are now available for year 9 students in navy, grey and red and are printed with the names of all year 9 students in the shape of the Ivanhoe Knights head on the back. Hoodies are priced at £20 each. Students can trade in 400 house points to reduce th...

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Year 7 Camp Out Trip

Year 7 Camp Out Trip

In March we took 80 students over to The Oaks Campsite near Loughborough for our Year 7 Campout. It was a long...

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Year 8 Survival Skills Trip

Year 8 Survival Skills Trip

After the past few years, our staff and students were incredibly excited to be heading to the woodlands of the...

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Year 8 Theatre Trip

Year 8 Theatre Trip

On Friday 6th May, the English Department took 45 nominated students to a production of –Much Ado Abou...

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Developing Our Careers Education

Developing Our Careers Education

As part of the Age-Range Change at Ivanhoe we are working to develop a 5 year plan for careers education that ...

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Year 9 Whitby Trip

Year 9 Whitby Trip

At the end of April, we took 64 year 9 students to North Yorkshire on our Year 9 Whitby Trip. Over the 3 days,...

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Year 8 London Trip

Year 8 London Trip

The sun was shining for our Year 8 London Experience trip earlier this month. 40 students enjoyed a packed...

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Loughborough Lightning Netball Trip

Loughborough Lightning Netball Trip

On 4th April, we took 46 of our netballers to Loughborough University for a fantastic trip. It was jam packed ...

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Mental Health week

Ivanhoe’s first Mental Health Week has been a huge success! We have had lots of activities on offer to promote positive things our students can do to support their mental health and well-being. We know that mental health is important every day, but it has been especially fantastic to spend the wee...

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Plas Gwynant Trip

Wow " what a fantastic experience we have had this half term, taking our students to Plas Gwynant for the first time since Covid-19. Every single student was an absolute credit to Ivanhoe and we were so proud of them all. They took part in a wide range of adventurous activities; including gorge...

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STEAM SHOW 2022

STEAM SHOW 2022

This March saw the return of the Ivanhoe STEAM Show for it's 5th year. Who could believe that the last show to...

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Ukranian Collection

Ukranian Collection

Thank you so much to all of our families and friends of Ivanhoe that so generously donated to our collection f...

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Sports Hall Fundraiser Launched

Sports Hall Fundraiser Launched

Click here to donload an additional sponsorship form. ...

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Manchester City Football Development Trip

We were delighted to re-start our residential trip offers this year - our last Ivanhoe school trip was in early 2020! The PE department took 34 of our committed year 9 boys and year 8/9 girls football players in on a once in a lifetime football development tour to Manchester City FC. During this 3 d...

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Spotlight on Support - YoungMinds

Spotlight on Support - YoungMinds

At Ivanhoe we have an ongoing focus on the Mental Health of our youngsters and this week I would like to bring...

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Spotlight on Support - Kooth

Spotlight on Support - Kooth

Being the parent of teenager is a tricky business and we aim to offer as much help as possible to both parents...

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