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What will students study this term?

Yr 7

This term students will be exploring the novel A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and the contextual influence of the Victorian era and Dickens’ own life. Dickens had a very particular style and students will be exploring the many different language and dramatic techniques used to convey his political and social message. Originally meant for serialisation, it is a very long book so we will be dipping in and out of it reading key passages and key chapters while reading summaries of others to gain a good understanding of the plot structure and key characters. Students will be challenged to question Dickens’ motives and techniques while exploring characterisation, descriptive language and his unique use of humour and emotion. In the first half term, the students will be studying ‘Of Mice and Men’ (an old GCSE exam text).

Yr 8

This term year 8 will be exploring the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and the contextual influence of the Victorian era and Dickens’ own life. Dickens had a very particular style and students will be exploring the many different language and dramatic techniques used to convey his political and social message. Originally meant for serialisation, it is a very long book so we will be dipping in and out of it reading key passages and key chapters while reading summaries of others to gain a good understanding of the plot structure and key characters. Students will be challenged to question Dickens’ motives and techniques while exploring characterisation, descriptive language and his unique use of humour and emotion. In the first half term, the student will be studying ‘Lord of the Flies’ (an Old GCSE exam text).

Yr 9

Students will be exploring the classic gothic ghost story, The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. Students will explore the gothic genre and look at language, form and structure. They will also look at Hill’s use of language, symbolism and imagery to create the dark tone of the novel as well as exploring the different characters, setting and plot structure.

In the second half term, students will be reading the Nineteenth century gothic novella, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. This is a classic tale of how scientific misadventure leads to a very real internal battle of conscience for the protagonist who is trying to split human nature into two separate entities (one good and one evil). Students will explore this very interesting plot structure and investigate the literary and language methods used to create tension, intrigue and mystery.

What assessment will students do this term?

They will have to write a critical essay exploring language technique and social and historic influences for their end of term assessment but will also engage in creative writing challenges, reading practice and critical debate and discussion.

Yr 9 students will write an essay based on a section of the novel and also will be marked on the accuracy of their spelling, punctuation and grammar. In the second half term, students will write an analytic essay exploring the language and structural techniques used by the author as well as the social and historical context of the Victorian attitudes and beliefs at that time.

What homelearning will be set this term?

There will be a wide variety of homelearning tasks which aim to cover a full range of English skills such as research, creative writing and writing to argue and persuade. Students will be expected to research the topic at home independently, undertake some extended reading and planning in preparation for classwork and assessment. Students will be given a full timetable of tasks with dates and extensions to complete.

Yr 9 Students will be able to choose from a range of exciting, engaging and challenging tasks such as writing their own descriptions, researching famous short story writers and creating mood boards of ideas.

What can we do at home to help with this term’s learning?

Useful conversations to help extend your child’s learning and progress further would be about content, characters and writer’s methods. This will help to engage your child fully and help to reinforce their memory and understanding of the novel. Do please check the quality of their homelearning assignments for presentation, content and creativity as this will further support the Academy’s emphasis on high standards of work and effort required to achieve this.

What extension project can students complete at home on this topic?

Researching Dickens, his motivations, life and attitudes and ideas. Reading his works and watching some of the film and TV adaptations. Exploring BBC Bitesize and looking at the resources, tasks and revision quizzes.

Yr 9 Students should research the genre of gothic literature but also the author Susan Hill. Students should try and gain a better perspective of the influences on the writer’s ideas.

What further reading is recommended to support this area of study?

Great Expectations,
Little Dorrit,
Bleak House,
Hard Times,
David Copperfield,
Martin Chuzzlewit.

Yr 9

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Dracula by Bram Stoker

What are some great websites that can help with this term’s studies?

BBC Bitesize

Charles Dickens Information Link

The Dickens Fellowship

Yr 9 BBC

Yr 9 Guardian

Yr 9 Woman in black

Yr 9 Jekyll and Hyde

Yr 9 Jekyll and Hyde 2

Yr 9 Spark Notes

Yr 9 Jekyll and Hyde 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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