Getting students to develop a love of reading is central to our teaching philosophy in the English department at Swans International Secondary School. Students have regular one-to-one meetings with a member of staff to discuss what they are reading, and this also gives us an opportunity to regularly monitor their progress.
We are also very excited about the implementation of Accelerated Reader, an online program which all students will be using from September 2015 to boost their motivation further. This award winning software has proven to be an extremely successful tool in the UK and the USA in the advancement of students’ reading skills.
An Interactive Approach to Learning
Students are given a range of active approaches during lessons to encourage their full participation. Combining plenty of pair and group work as well as incorporating short drama activities into lessons are just a few of the ways we like to keep students engaged. More traditional elements such as regular grammar lessons and dictation tests are also included within the curriculum to ensure students’ development is well-rounded and focused on the core skills of reading, writing and grammar. The department also includes elements from the courses for Cambridge First and Advanced Certificate in English within teaching time, so that students are prepared to take this exam, should they wish.
For homework, students are expected to write a lot and read a lot. To break things up, they are sometimes given more creative tasks such as to produce a video or ‘visual essay’ to explore an aspect of a text. Some of the responses to these tasks have been truly inspiring.
|Year 11 students give tips to Year 10 students on how to approach an exam task||Dr. Jekill and Mr. Hyde in drawings|