Porthcawl Comprehensive School / Ysgol Gyfun Porthcawl

News from the English Department

Monday, 9 January 2017 Exams, English
News from the English Department

Dear Parent/Guardian,

As you are already aware, all year 10 pupils will focus on studying English Language throughout year 10.

Reading
Throughout the two years of the course, pupils will read a range of fiction and non-fiction texts as well as continuous and non-continuous texts. Continuous texts could include; autobiography, biography, diaries, speeches, travel writing, short stories, reviews, articles, leaflets, blogs and letters. Non-continuous texts include advertisements, graphs, diagrams, lists, tables and schedules.
Writing
Pupils will develop their skills in description, narration, exposition, persuasion and argumentation. In addition to this, pupils will also be required to proofread and edit texts as this is a requirement on the new Language examination paper. Half of the marks available for the writing tasks are allocated to accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Pupils should work through skills booklets independently and should learn key spellings.

To support this work, pupils will find a variety of fantastic resources available on the English page of the HWB.

Once a fortnight, year 10 pupils will be set homework which will require them to access the HWB in order to complete exam based tasks. These will be in addition to their skills and spelling homework.

Further information can be obtained from your child’s English teacher, Mrs Llewellyn (Head of KS4/Second in Faculty) or Mrs Victor (Head of English Faculty).

Dear parent / guardian, Year eleven pupils will sit their first GCSE English (Literature) exam in January 2017. We introduced your son/ daughter to the examination text during year ten and pupils should now undertake thorough revision at home. We hope that this letter will give you important information about the forthcoming examination. We appreciate that this is a hectic time for students (and parents!), and hope that the information in this letter will aid preparation. The key focus should be: Characters Events Themes Context eg. The American Depression, women in 1930s America, racism. Pupils will find a superb variety of revision resources in the English section of the school’s Hwb. They know their passwords and should access these in order to prepare for the forthcoming examination. Format of the GCSE Literature Paper Section A - Extract from ’Of Mice and Men’ (10 marks) A typical question will ask pupils to comment on Steinbeck’s presentation of a character. They will be expected to comment on the use of language, key themes and / or the mood of the extract. Pupils will study a range of extract questions in class, and should complete timed extract responses at home in order to prepare for question one. (Please extract questions and sample answers on the Hwb.) Question b / c - An essay response (20 marks) Typical questions will focus on how the author presents a particular character or theme to the reader. Pupils should complete revision notes at home and should be prepared to refer to key scenes from the text, using quotations where possible. Close independent reading of the text at home is essential for success in the essay question, as is reference to the social and historical context. Pupils should choose to answer one out of the two essay questions. Poetry Section (20 marks) - This part of the exam paper will ask pupils to analyse two (unseen) poems. Pupils will study past paper poems in class. They should work on exemplar poems at home. They will be given booklets in school and there are further samples, advice from the WJEC and a Powerpoint with important reminders about how to approach this question on the English page of the Hwb. What can I do to help my child prepare for their examination? To ensure your child is well prepared, confident and performing at their best for this examination, he /she should now be working hard on revision both at school and at home. Your child will have past paper questions and sample responses from their teachers in lessons. If they run into any difficulties, they should ask their teacher for help and advice. Students should now be reading ’Of Mice and Men’ at home. Please remind them to look at the Hwb. We have uploaded resources specifically to help and support them! PTO In addition, the following resources are useful as extra revision aids: Sparknotes.com (’Of Mice and Men’ themes, overview, characters and useful analysis of each chapter) Schmoop.com ’Of Mice and Men’ (Notes on characters, themes, etc.) bbc.co.uk (Bitesize KS4 English Literature ’Of Mice and Men’ - for character notes, contextual details and sample questions) Please encourage your son / daughter to visit the English section of Porthcawl Comprehensive School’s English Hwb page for revision notes on ’Of Mice and Men’ and help for the unseen poetry question. They’ll find a range of tasks, notes on characters / themes, sample responses, past papers, etc. on there. Thank you for your support. If you have any queries or concerns, please contact the English Department. Once a fortnight, year 10 pupils will be set homework which will require them to access the HWB in order to complete exam based tasks. These will be in addition to their skills and spelling homework. Further information can be obtained from your child’s English teacher, Mrs Llewellyn (Head of KS4/Second in Faculty) or Mrs Victor (Head of English Faculty).

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