Well, what a term! Certainly not the start to 2021 that any of us wished for but by Jove we’re not letting the grass grow under our feet as we have taken, every man, woman and child to our living rooms, our studies our dining rooms and our kitchen tables across North Yorkshire and beyond to establish impromptu workstations and study areas that allow us to carry on delivering and receiving great education!
Meeting, as we now do, online for every single lesson has allowed us to maintain our full curriculum timetable and although we would, of course, rather be meeting in person and all together, I cannot deny how productive this latest lockdown has been. Students across the whole school have been tuning in every day to every lesson keen to learn and we are, consequently, able to keep up with our curriculum plan for each year group thereby ensuring that whatever else might be going awry at the moment, the children’s schooling is not one of them!
Our year 7 students have been working on their creative writing skills and have also been tasked with the job of producing a ‘Working From Home’ blog where they explain what sort of things they’ve been doing as well as outlining the things they’ve found beneficial about their online work as well as some things they have found a challenge.
After the tremendous effort last term from Year 8 where we studied Phillip Pullman’s superb ‘His Dark Materials’, my year 8 class have taken to their online classes without missing a step. This term we are studying a non-fiction unit of work called ‘Spy-School’ where as well as inventing convincing code names and back-stories for themselves, our agents have been looking at persuasive writing, writing to advise and have designed and explained some of the most wonderful spy gadgets imaginable.
Year 9 have also been looking at non-fiction, but their genre has been ‘travel writing’. They have been looking at the different ways in which writers can discuss a common theme, employ many of the same linguistic devices but use them to achieve significantly different results.
Our Year 10 literature class has been continuing with its analysis of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and, having now analysed the whole novella, our students are looking at tying their understanding of the novel to the contextual factors surrounding its writing and publication.
There has been no rest for the wicked for Year 11 who have been plugging away heroically at the second of their language GCSE course where the focus is on two non-fiction texts. They have been analysing and replicating a variety of non-fiction forms such as broadsheet newspaper articles, Churchill speeches and travel writing.
Our AS Literature course is studying comparative literature with a focus on Wuthering Heights and Tess of the D’Urbervilles and our A2 class has been hard at work with a range of different tasks from working on their literature coursework to studying a selection of poetry from the Romantic period and Mrs Milner will again update everyone on the fabulous work they have all been doing in her classes in due course, as we carry on delivering and receiving great education!
Mr Chris Thomas, Head of English