Today is the first day of Revision Week at Key Stage 3, ahead of our End-of-term-1 Assessment Weeks starting on Sunday 1 December until Thursday 12 December. Revisions are important of course, but their impact is not as significant as that of consistent, regular study throughout the term. With this in mind, I am sharing below an article explaining to you the strategies put in place in Years 7, 8 and 9 to support our students’ language acquisition and performance during and outside of lessons. Whether you are a native speaker or not, a first language learner or not, there is always room to sharpen one’s language skills. I hope you engage with your child/ren in a language-rich dialogue about their GLO target and their exit tickets!
Regarding our students in Years 10, 11 and 12, we put the emphasis on that much-needed consistent, regular work and do not schedule specific assessment weeks. However, our Year 11 and 12 students are getting ready for the mock examinations starting immediately after the winter break.
Head of Secondary School
Let us GLO!
Students who are not fluent speakers of English can easily become overwhelmed when the language of instruction is English in most subjects across the curriculum. Hence, the need for all subject teachers and the English teachers to join forces to support our student's language development. Keeping this in mind, KS3 launched the GLO - Grammar Language Objectives. Each student was allocated one grammar and language objective for the term, identified by the English teachers. The form was stuck into each subject notebook, and the students’ GLO target is being assessed and monitored by all subject teachers. This initiative will enable students to transfer their language skills to other subjects and for teachers to monitor each student’s English language development. Now every student can ‘GLO’!
Writing a reflection is an indispensable way for students to engage in a critical and reflective thought process that helps them to process their learning in a better way. To ensure this, students are now being issued ‘EXIT TICKET’ stickers by all their subject teachers at the end of the week in most core subjects and fortnightly in some subjects. The students briefly write down WWW (what went well) and EBI (even better if) for that subject and hand it back to the teacher as they exit the classroom. Teachers get an opportunity to read these valuable reflections and then hand them back to students to stick into their notebooks at the beginning of the following lesson. Students learn to reflect on their learning during the week and start understanding how they can become better learners with the continued encouragement from their teachers. Teachers can ensure that the following week tackles any gaps left from the previous week.
Taking notes during lessons is an important skill that will support students in their academic journey. When you are listening to teacher lectures, audio texts or reading presentations and texts from the internet as part of research activities, note-taking helps you to record, classify and organise the information. The Cornell Note-taking system is an exceptional tool for students, especially English Second Language students. This two-column note-taking template helps students key down details in brief bullet points and then categorise them into essential ideas or concepts. The summary section, in the end, allows students to recap what they heard or read into a simple paragraph. A great tool that allows for language development and helps in a quick review right before assessments!
Secondary ESL Lead Specialist