English is an exciting subject at Ponsonby with students unpacking a big question every term through their English work. English is comprised of five 45 minute sessions throughout the week and during this time the students will work on reading, writing, visual literacy, speaking and spelling. Students will be working on exciting and engaging work across a range of forms, genre and topics.
- Term 1: Our Endangered Earth: What’s going on and what can we do about it?
- Term 2: Novel Study: What is conflict and how does it drive the narrative?
- Term 3: What makes a great story?
- Term 4: The Power of Words
- Term 1: What inspires us to write?
- Term 2: Science Fiction: Why might it be worth reading?
- Term 3: Novel Study: How are characters portrayed and developed in texts?
- Term 4: Poetry: How does poetry enrich our lives?
Students will be exposed to a range of writing forms during their two years at Ponsonby Intermediate. Writing is implicit in all subjects but the fundamentals are taught during English sessions and practised across the curriculum. We assess writing using our school writing rubric, which gives students a clear idea of their next steps. Extending students vocabulary is a key focus for our school and the students are encouraged to use sophisticated language in all of their written work.
Grouped reading takes place in all classes with students working through a variety of texts during their reading sessions. We teach and use a range of strategies in our reading programmes to help students with new texts. Students are exposed to a wide variety of reading material throughout the week including library sessions where they can select personal novels, exemplars of the written form they are using, journals, sophisticated picture books, articles, novels and online texts.
Visual Literacy (presenting):
Twice a year students will work on a piece of visual literacy work aimed at presenting ideas in a visual form to develop their digital and design skills. We work with the students on balancing visuals and text across a range of forms. This includes posters, powerpoint presentations, brochures, picture book design and film.
Through the English programme we work hard to develop our students ability to speak in front of a range of audiences. Students will be involved in speaking assignments each term to help develop their confidence and skills in addressing groups of people. This will be in group, pair and individual situations. The students will speak with a range of purposes including; persuading, informing, entertaining. Students will also be given a range of opportunities to build their confidence in answering questions and articulating their ideas and opinions in the classroom environment.
Each week students will bring home words for spelling testing. These words are to help students learn spelling blends as well as to extend their vocabulary. The words come from set spelling rules, work errors and our school “Target Language List”. Extra spelling support is available through a range of sources at school.
Differentiated Learning Approach:
Each English class works on a differentiated approach where students will be working in groups based on their needs and assessment data. Course work will be differentiated in reading, spelling and writing to best support our learners.
We make judgements on students learning needs through our three pronged approach; formal observation, learning conversations and standardised assessment results.
Our homework system is set up to help our students develop the skills and time management to deal with high school workload. All homework is directly related to the in class work. Students will be given a homework outline each term with homework expectations for the big topic.
We make judgements on students learning needs through our three pronged approach; formal observation, learning conversations and standardised assessment results. Students will be assessed with standardised testing tools for reading, spelling, vocabulary, and Punctuation and Grammar. A school wide writing success criteria rubric will help to guide their writing. This is similar for speaking and presentation work as well. Teachers meet often to moderate the work to ensure consistency across the English teaching team.
Learning Centre Support:
A range of programmes are available to support our students needs through the Learning Centre. Students will spend 1 -2 sessions in the Learning Centre on tailored programmes to help support their differing needs. English teachers coordinate with the learning centre staff to ensure students are best supported with their literacy needs.
English across the curriculum:
Although English is taught in isolation, we believe that English is a subject used in all subjects across the curriculum. All subjects will be using “Direct Vocabulary” strategies to help students engage in and understand the language of different subjects.
Wider Opportunities in English
Writers and Readers Festival
Writing Club and Book Club Options
ICAS: English, Writing, Spelling